Tag Archives: Beddington Corner

1879 : Beating the Bounds

From the Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 31 May 1879, via the British Newspaper Archive

PERAMBULATION OF THE PARISH OF MITCHAM.

On Ascension Day, May 22nd, and the day following, was witnessed in the parish of Mitcham the now almost obsolete practice of “Beating the bounds of the parish,” which had not taken place since 1835, although a dispute as to boundary occurred in 1847 which was settled by the now fashionable means of arbitration. The arrangements having been kept somewhat secretly, prevented the assembling of so large a concourse of people as might have been expected, the weather being on the first day all that could be desired. We understand that there bad not been a general invitation to the parishioners to attend, but it extended only to the clergy and parish officers. But before giving any further details of the day’s proceedings it may interest many of our readers to give a short account of perambulations in general, and that of Mitcham in particular.

It is stated in Shaw’s Guide to parish law, published upwards of century ago, that “The boundaries of parishes being now settled by custom care is and ought to be taken to preserve them by annual perambulations, which should be kept up at the usual time, and the boundaries of the parishes so carefully viewed and settled in them as to leave no room for any doubt or contest about them. In the times of Popery these perambulations were performed in the nature of processions, with banners, handbells, lights, staying at crosses, &c., and therefore, though such processions were forbidden by the injunctions of Queen Elizabeth, yet by the same injunctions, the useful and innocent parts of perambulations were and are still retained.”

The earliest account that we can find of a perambulation of the parish of Mitcham is obtained from the oldest volume of Churchwardens’ accounts, which covers a period from 1653 to 1680, for in the accounts for the year 1662, the following item occurs: —“ Pd for our dinner and the boyes att our perambulatinge 7s. 2d.” Whether the boys underwent the bumping and whipping generally understood to take place upon those occasions, to indelibly impress the doubtful and difficult parts of the boundary in the juvenile mind, is not here stated, but in the year 1663 is this entry, “Expended on those who went perambulatinge in the Rogation weeke for victualls and drinke the sum of £1 0s. 4d.” and again under date 1670, “ Expended at the perambulacon on those that went ye bounds of ye Pish, £3 2s. 2d.” In the year 1673 the the description of the fare provided upon these occasions is more fully expressed thus for meat, drinke, and cheese, for those that went the perambulation.” No further mention is found of the matter until 1678, when “Expended at the perambulacon on Holy Thursday £3 0s. 0d. for horse hyre that day, 1s.” These items distinctly prove that perambulations of the parish were much more frequent in the 17th than 19th century. Passing over a few years we find that these gatherings did not always pass off quietly as could be wished, as is shown by the following extract from the minutes of a vestry held 20th June, 1731 :- “It is the opinion or the parishioners now in vestry assembled that the churchwardens, against whom actions are brought by William Farrer, Esq., Henry Downs, clerk, Thomas Green and Osmond King, For going in their perambulations on Ascension Day last thro’ a place called the new grounds formerly taken out of Mitcham Heath, ought to bee indemnified by the parish from all costs and charges that shall arise concerning the same.” The foregoing is followed by resolution passed at a vestry held on Sunday, 27th of same month, that “It is the oppinion of the parishioners that Mr. Peter’s be employed to make a case concerning the perambulatious, &c.” The bounds were also ordered to be walked in 1771 and 1772. With the following two entries from the churchwardens’ accounts we shall close our notice of the ancient perambulations of the parish:- “3 May, 1733, Paid for the dinner, wine, bread, beer, cheese, &c., when Mr. Hatsell and the churchwardens, with a great number of the other inhabitants of Mitcham, went the whole perambulation of the parish of Mitcham, £6 19s. 5d.” The Mr. Hatsell here mentioned was the Rev. William Hatsell, eldest son of Sir Henry Hatsell, Baron of the Exchequer. He was instituted vicar of Mitcham 13th July, 1724, and resigned 13th January, 1733-4. “23 May, 1724, To the Wid Boddison was due to her late husband for drink at the perambulation 3 May, 1733, and left unpaid, 10s. 6d. Paid for the dinner, wine, bread, beer, cheese, &c., when the churchwardens, and great number of the parishioners of Mitcham went again the perambulation on the south side of the parish, taking in all Mitcham Common as usual, together with the 80 acres called new grounds, antiently taken out of Mitcham Heath, £6 10s. 0d.”

The place of rendezvous selected on Thursday was the Goat Inn, situated about half-a-mile from Mitcham Junction, and punctually at eight a.m. the perambulation was commenced. Amongst the company present were the following:- Rev. D. F. Wilson, M. A., vicar, Rev. H. G. Dod, curate, Mr. Churchwarden Nobes, who bore his wand of office, the three overseers, viz., Messrs. W. R. Harwood (who carried a staff inscribed Mitcham Parish,” apparently a relict of long defunct bumbledom), S. Love, and J. Lewis. A few other parishioners and friends joined later on.

The arrangements for the day were principally under the direction of Messrs. E. and R. M. Chart, the latter of whom carried a ribbon map of the boundaries, upwards of 25 feet in length. The proverbial “boys,” six in number, especially told off for the duty, beat the various boundary posts and streams of water, &c., with willow wands. The “State” was represented by two policemen, who apparently enjoyed this somewhat novel form of duty.

Starting from the Goat Inn the party followed the river, leaving McRae’s tannery on the left, a man provided with waterman’s boots defining the boundary down the stream, but it was found advisable to take a punt where the water was particularly deep and muddy. Searl’s and Ashby’s mills were passed in due course, and the various boundary posts having been beaten by the boys after the Vicar had pronounced, whilst the perambulators stood bare-headed, “ Cursed be that removeth his neighbour’s land mark.” Entering the grounds of the late Mr. G. P. Bidder, the stream was followed to Rutter’s snuff mills, then through the grounds of Morden-hall, and past Phipp’s-bridge to Merton Abbey Station. Merton bridge was reached at 12.15 p.m., where a stick was floated under, the waterman being in mid stream ready to receive it as it came out on the other side.

The company then adjourned to the Six Bells for lunch, which was admirably served by Host Giles. The chair was taken by Rev. H. G. Dodd, the Rev. D. F. Wilson having left the party, but rejoined it later on in company with Rev. F. S. Legg, vicar of Christ Church, Singlegate, Mr. Churchwarden Nobes taking the vice chair. After all had done justice to the collation.

The Chairman rose and in a short but pointed speech proposed, “The Queen,” which the company heartily responded to by singing the National Anthem. The Vice-Chairman, in rising, said he had much pleasure in being present on that occasion. It was the first time he had walked the bounds of Mitcham, although he had done so in another parish. He spoke of perambulations being an ancient custom and alluded to Lord Nelson having resided at Merton, upon the verge of which parish the company were then assembled. After complimenting the overseers and Mr. Chart upon their excellent arrangements, he concluded by calling for three cheers for those gentlemen.

Mr. W. R. Harwood, in an appropriate speech, returned thanks for the overseers, and Mr. Chart, whom said they were all indebted.

The perambulations were again commenced, through the garden of the Six Bells, over part of what was once the Wandsworth and Croydon tramway, the boundary here being somewhat intricate, to the back of Child’s flour mill, and Byegrove-mead, where the new sewage works are in course of and up to the wall of Garrett Cemetery. The railway crossed in several places, the axe being used on the various boundary posts to show that none had been passed over. Some little time was spent in defining a small detached part of the parish, which being at last satisfactorily settled, the party made towards Tooting Junction, some of them going through a house that had been built over the parish boundary. Tooting Junction was reached at 4.30 p.m. and after crossing the garden of the house supposed to have been the residence of Daniel de Foe, the company separated, having had a somewhat tiring but agreeable day.

The weather on Friday morning looked very threatening, and heavy showers were experienced during the day, but nevertheless at a few minutes after 8 a.m. the Rev. H. G. Dodd, the overseers, and others arrived Tooting Junction, and immediately the perambulation was recommenced under the guidance, as before, of Messrs. E. and R. M. Chart. Following the course of the Graveney, a tributary of the Wandle, to Streatham-lane, where noted the bridge over the stream, called Roe Bridge,” which connects the parishes of Mitcham and Streatham, has a stone let the north side, bearing the Merchant Taylor’s arms, and inscribed, “This bridge was built at the cost of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, 1652.” Still following the river to the railway, which was crossed near Streatham Rifle Butts, the party proceeded to Lonesome, passing over the race course and leaving the stand the left. Here several posts put up by Croydon parish were duly marked with a cross. Passing through the wood to the extreme north east corner of Mitcham Common, which was reached at ll a.m., and at that point, the rain having cleared up for a short time, an enjoyable al fresco lunch supplied by Mr. Marchant, of the Horse and Groom, was partaken of. The common was then skirted to Beddington station, and after going down Beddington-lane for a short distance the fields were entered on the right, and a walk straight across country passing over the railway en route brought the company out of the plantation near Beddington Corner. Mr. Chart informed us that the enclosure of this piece of ground, about 80 acres in extent, was the cause of considerable litigation which was finally settled about 1816 by the Court of King’s Bench. The vicar here joined the party, and skirting the plantation, reached the post opposite the Goat Inn at 1 p.m., and against it “the boys” received the orthodox bumping, although of a mild description, which brought the perambulation to close.

We cannot conclude without commenting upon the orderly manner in which the proceedings were conducted throughout, and which reflected great credit upon all concerned.

The overseers expressed their determination place iron boundary posts at various points decided upon during the perambulation.

Fish Leather at Beddington Corner

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th January 1950, page 4.

WORKING on trawlers sailing from the sturdy little fishing port of Fleetwood, Mr. W. V. Kuncewicy was struck with an idea. But it was war time and his conviction that the seas surrounding these inlands contained great untapped wealth could bear no fruit until the end of hostilities.

When peace came Kuncewicy and his friend, S. Cyuba, equipped only with an idea and about £300 between them, began to explain to people that a flourishing industry could be built on the by-products of fish, principally the skins, most of which are thrown away, or at best, reach the fertiliser factory.

The skins of cod and catfish, declared these two former Polish naval men, could be used as a substitute for fine leather. Cleaned, treated and dyed it would make dainty shoe uppers, belts and other trimmings. The skin of the dolphin, porpoise and shark, which at present sport unmolested about our shores, were the real wealth which, if scientifically harvested, could provide enough hides to abolish the need for a large percentage of leather imports. The oil, too, was valuable.

Five years after the end of the war these two men have established a factory in Goat-road, Mitcham, where fish skins are treated for commercial use.

HOME MADE FACTORY.

Its home is a converted stable. Kuncewicy and Cyuba did most of the converting. They laid the concrete floor of the tanning room, installed the machinery, converted the loft above the stalls into an office-cum-work shop, The entrance is by an outside wooden staircase. To get in you bend double and, push open the old loft door. There is an old-fashioned air about this beamed, dimly-lit building where a new industry has been born. In the former loft skins of cod and catfish hang from lines stretched across the low ceiling. In the stable below 2,500 skins are cleaned and tanned each week.

The tanning of fish skins has been attempted with indifferent success for probably 3,000 years. Now, for the first time it is being done satisfactorily, and dainty shoes and other accessories, many of them in gold and silver finish, are being exported as well as sold in the West End.

The skin is soft and flexible, yet, stronger than leather of equal thickness. Fish skin accessories have become popular for evening wear, yet probably few women realise that they are adorning themselves with the skin of cod.

How in these days of restriction have these two penniless sailors succeeded in launching a new industry? The real answer lies in the burning enthusiasm of Kuncewicy; the imagination, initiative and drive that persuaded the authorities to allow him to study at a marine biological station on the Clyde, and later imbued enough people with sufficient enthusiasm for fish skins to lend money to set the factory going.

ON OUR DOORSTEP.

But powder compacts and evening shoes are only part of Mr. Kuncewicy’s dream. In spring millions of porpoises and dolphins come to Britain’s shores. Spring, too. brings schools of sharks to Scottish waters.

“These creatures represent potential wealth.” said Mr. Kuncewicy. “The hide of a porpoise or dolphin is the size of a cow hide, and as tough. There are several layers of skin: the outer ones can be used for heavy goods such as suitcases or heavy boots, the inner layers for lighter things.

“Fishermen on the Clyde used to poach dolphin from small boats — killing them was illegal — for the sake of the blubber and the skin. To-day the blubber would be useful as lubricating oil, and the meat is quite good, much better than whale steak.”

Shark skin was a good substitute for calf. They had had one skin from the shark station at Soay, the tiny Hebridean island that lies in the shadow of the Black Cuillins of Skye. The setting up of a station there had failed because the shark fishing had been treated rather as a gentleman’s sport than a serious business. But it had demonstrated the use to which these creatures, some of them as long as a London bus, could be put.

Mr. Kuncewicy has been asking the Board of Trade to establish three stations — on the Clyde. Cornwall and the East Coast — for the purpose of catching porpoises, dolphins and sharks. Such an experiment would provide the nucleus of a flourishing industry.

“The Government sets up elaborate groundnut schemes in Africa, but has no time for the undeveloped natural wealth of Britain,” he commented. “The launching of a scheme would cost only about £15,000. It could well grow into an important industry, providing Britain with much of the leather she now imports. The raw materials department of the Board of Trade have shown some interest, but the Treasury will not respond to appeals for funds.”

British Pathe made a newsreel in 1949, which can be seen on YouTube:

On the British Pathe website, the names are given as Witold Euncewicz and Stanislaw Czuba, as opposed to Kuncewicy and Cyuba in the newspaper article.

1888 Death of Mrs Weedon

MITCHAM.

Sudden Death.—

Wednesday morning Mary Weedon, aged 61, wife of William Weedon, a labourer, of 19, Fountain-road, was found dead in bed. The deceased, it is understood, had been suffering lately from bronchitis, but appeared no worse than usual on Tuesday night. The husband, who is very old man and imbecile, sat downstairs in his armchair all night and could give no explanation of the matter.

On Mrs. Murphy, who lives in the same house, taking the deceased up cup of tea at about 7.30 she found her apparently dead. She at once fetched Dr. Love, who found life extinct, and ordered the body removed to the mortuary, there to await an inquest.

The poor old man was found to be in a terribly dirty and neglected condition, and was removed to the Croydon Infirmary.

Weedon is one of the oldest inhabitants of Mitcham, and was was one of the old men who a few years ago were taken day after day to London to attend at the High Court as witnesses in the protracted law suit respecting common rights at Beddington Corner.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 27 October 1888 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1876 auction of onions

Mr. J. MORGAN
Will Sell by Auction, at the Goat Inn, Mitcham Junction, on Thursday, March 23rd, at 5 p.m.,

THE GROWING CROP OF LISBON ONIONS, on nearly One-and-a-Half Acres of Land, in the occupation Mr. Buck, Beddington Comer. For (‘onditions of Sale see printed bills.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 18 March 1876 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Beddington Corner Football Club

1947/1948

1947/1948

Names on this photo

    Standing

  • T. Ciani
  • F. Elwood
  • A. Lucas
  • P. Howes
  • D. Vaughan
  • T. Reirling
  • B. Childs
  • K. Harwood
  • J. Vaughan
  • W. Smith
  • G. Streeter
  • Seated

  • D. Holmes
  • Eric Stepney
  • W. Dixon
  • D. Brockwell
  • D. Herriman
  • K. Abbott

Eric Stepney was the brother of Manchester United goalkeeper Alex Stepney, who played for Tooting & Mitcham United FC and after whom the road Stepney Close is named.

Isolation Hospital

1910-os-map-isolation-hospital

From the 1913 Health Report, published in February 1914:

The Isolation Hospital, which is situated in Beddington Corner, Mitcham Junction, was opened at the beginning of March, 1899, and since that date 4,309 patients been admitted.

Accommodation.

At the time the Hospital was first opened, the population of the district being about 28,000, it was thought that 28 beds will be sufficient accommodation. Shortage of beds, however, became more pronounced in each succeeding year, and in 1905, the Hospital was very considerably enlarged by the addition of a Scarlet Fever pavilion of 22 beds. The hand laundry, and some additional dormitory accommodation is provided in the Administrative Block.

A further enlargement took place in 1910, which included a cubicle block 12 patients, and also quarters for Resident Medical Officer.

Staff

The Staff of the Hospital consists of

Title Number
Resident Medical Officer 1
Matron 1
Assistant matron 1
Nurses 13
Laundresses 3
Engineers 2
Servants 7
Wardmaids 6
Seamstress 1
Gardeners 2
Porter/Portress 1 each

Patients

During the year 292 patients have been admitted, of which number

Condition Number
Scarlet Fever 185
Diphtheria 94
Typhoid Fever 6
Puerperal Fever 1
Cerebro-spinal Meningitis 2
Erysipelas 4

Nineteen of these patients were admitted by arrangement with other authorities, and 17 were admitted from Merton.

Of the 292 patients admitted, 280 were discharged as cured, and 12 died, viz., 3 from Scarlet Fever, 5 from Diphtheria, 1 from Typhoid Fever, 1 from Erysipela, and 2 from Cerebro-spinal Meningitis (including one from Tuberculous Meningitis).

The case mortality is 4.1 per cent as compared with 4.4 in 1912.

In Scarlet Fever the case mortality is 1.5 per cent as compared with 0.85 in 1912, and in Diphtheria it is 5.3 per cent as compared with 7.9 per cent in 1912.

During the year 1,120 swabs were examined at the Hospital.

The sputum of 17 patients in the Hospital were examined during the year.

Note that the health report was for the Croydon Rural Sanitary Authority and the figures shown are for all parishes, which included

  1. Addington
  2. Beddington
  3. Coulsdon
  4. Mitcham
  5. Morden
  6. Sanderstead
  7. Wallington
  8. Woodmansterne
  9. Merton

1902 Nurse Appointment

From the minutes of the Croydon Rural District Council
Volume 8
1902 to 1903
15th May 1902
page 99

The Council considered applications for the appointment of a nurse at the Isolation Hospital, and had before them Nurse Owen, of Gravesend, Nurse Avery, of Islington, and Nurse Blaker of Portslade.

After interviewing the candidates, it was Resolved, That Nurse E. Blaker, of Portslade, be, and is hereby appointed nurse at the Isolation Hospital with a salary at the rate of £24 per annum, together with uniform, and the usual resident allowances, in accordance with the terms of the advertisement.


Demolished in the late 1980s, more information can be found at the Lost Hospitals website.


Minutes of meetings held by the Croydon Rural District Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.