Tag Archives: Bond Road

1976 : Mr Sparrowhawk out-drinks horse in Bucks Head

From the Sunday People, 31st October, 1976, via the British Newspaper Archive.

Mr Sparrowhawk out-drinks Boozy Toby

It looked like a cert for Toby the pony when he met Ron Sparrowhawk in a challenge beer drinking contest.

Observers of form in the public bar at the Bucks Head, Mitcham, Surrey, pointed to the size of his mouth, the length of his his tongue and his great capacity for liquid.

Challenger Ron Sparrowhawk, they argued, though known to be a fast man with a pint, was taking on more than his weight. The smart money was going on Toby, a proven sprinter over anything from one to six pints.

The public bar was tense when timekeeper Mike Green, landlord at the Bucks Head, put up Toby’s pint.

It was a smooth three-lap performance – three laps of that long tongue and the pint was gone in a snappy six seconds.

Then it was the turn of Ron Sparrowhawk.

He looked confident as he took his stance opposite his pint, nicely placed at the edge of the bar.

He raised the glass with a nice easy action, placed it to his lips.

Then, as the crowd fell silent, Ron downed the pint in an amazing three seconds.

Over

The contest was over. The dark horse had won.

What the punters didn’t know is that Ron Sparrowhawk, of Bond Road, Mitcham, is an expert on the drinking capacity of animals.

“I’ve always been a drinking man,” he said later, “so naturally I’ve been curious about what other animals can sink.

“I wanted to put my theories to the test with Toby, hence the challenge.

“I just open my mouth and pour. It’s like tipping it down a drain.

“Toby has a long tongue, I grant you. But I’ve got the technique. And a long longue is no match for technique.

“Watch the drinkers in any local. How many long tongues do you see?

“Mind you, that Toby can hold more than I can. But he hasn’t got the speed.”

Ron, who owns a shellfish stall, was full of praise for his beaten rival.

“He’s a plucky contestant that Toby and I’m planning a rematch.”

Landlord Mike Green said that Toby started drinking beer six months ago.

“He has three pints in the morning and three at night.”

Henry Fowler, Last of the Lavender Growers

clip from Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_People_57-1, copyright London Borough of Merton.

Lavender grower who lived at Lavender House in Bond Road.

He had a stall at Covent Garden from 1882 to 1919, according to this article in the Hull Daily Mail of Monday 28 July 1919:-

Sweet Lavender.

Mr Henry Fowler, one of the largest dealers lavender in the country, who has large gardens at Mitcham, has retired from the Covent Garden stall which he has occupied for 37 years without a break. The first crop of lavender from Carshalton was cut on Saturday, and a few bunches were on sale in the streets.

After the First World War, the price of lavender had doubled, and was grown outside Mitcham, according to this article from 1920:

Mitcham Lavender Dearer.

The first cut of Mitcham lavender, which is ready for market a fortnight earlier this season, has been made by Mr Henry Fowler, of Lavender Nursery, Bond-road, Mitcham, known as the last of the growers. –

It is 1s 6d a bunch this season, which is more than double the pre-war price. The crop, though small, is in fine bloom. Most of it is grown just outside Mitcham, at Wallington and Carshalton.

From the West Sussex County Times – Saturday 17 July 1920.

In 1921 the price was five times that before the war, he said in this article from the Daily Herald of Monday 18 July 1921:

SWEET LAVENDER

Once Flourishing Trade Now Almost Extinct

For the first time in Mitcham’s history, the lavender season has opened without even a sprig of the sweet-smelling plant being on sale in the town.

“It doesn’t pay to handle it nowadays,” said Henry Fowler, well known at Covent Garden as “the last of the Mitcham lavender kings,” to DAILY HERALD representative, “although never do I remember such a figure it fetched in Garden yesterday — 20s. a bundle. Before the war I sold for 4s.!”

Mr. Fowler, who is 76, used to sell as much as 20 tons a season. All the “Mitcham lavender” (offshoots from the original Mitcham stock) is now grown at Carshalton, a neighbouring place, by a Beddington firm of market gardeners.

There are only about five acres left, but next year, Mr. Fowler said, there would be more grown. “And then I shall dabble in it again.”

Mitcham soil grows the finest lavender in the world, but the market gardeners say that other flowers and vegatables are more profitable. Moreover, all the land will soon commandeered for manufacturing purposes.

Distilling lavender is still a big trade in Mitcham, much of the plant coming from Hitchin, Worthing, and other places.

“It is the first time for 40 years I have never had lavender to sell,” were Mr. Fowler’s parting words.

A large lavender distillery was run by W.J. Bush & Co. Ltd.


Henry Fowler had been born around 1846 in Dunstable, Hertfordshire. When he was 35 he was a florist’s labourer according to the 1881 census, which shows him as living at number 6, Dixon’s Cottages (near the present day Gardeners Arms in London Road). In the 1911 census he is listed as a florist, aged 65, with his wife Anna 72, and daughter Nellie 39.

He died in 1925, as reported locally and in the West Sussex Gazette – Thursday 26 March 1925:

Mr. Henry Fowler, the “Lavender King,” hes died. For over 40 years he supplied Covent Garden market with big consignments of lavender. Since 1922 he had been out of the business.

Note that lavender is still grown in Carshalton.

News articles are from the British Newspaper Archives, which requires a subscription.

1967 : The Game’s record banned by the BBC

A MITCHAM beat group’s record on drug addiction was banned from Saturday’s “Juke Box Jury.”

Because of complaints to the Home Office, sales are to be restricted by E.M.I., the record company.

The programme was recorded two weeks ago. And the record — “The Addicted Man,” by The Game beat groups came under strong criticism from the panel of four disc jockeys after they heard the first 70 seconds of the number.

The disc jockeys, Peter Murray, Simon Dee, Alan Freeman and Jimmy Saville, described the record as revolting, disgusting and horrific.

But most record shops reported that they had sold out on Saturday.

Officials of B.B.C. decided to cut the record and comments from the programme after a preliminary run-through. This meant that the programme started nine minutes late and a cartoon was put on to fill the gap.

The record, released on Friday, was written and composed by three local teenagers who manage The Game group under the name of Original Sound Productions.

Nineteen-year-old Alan Gowing, Bond Road, Mitcham, with 18-year-old Terry Brown, Laburnum Court, Mitcham, wrote the music, and Lesley Blake, Haynt Walk, Merton, also aged 19, wrote the words.

DISTORTED

Speaking from their office at Bond Road, Mitcham, Alan Gowing said : “The whole aim of our song has been distorted.

“We are firmly against drug addiction, and we would never encourage drug taking.

“What has happened is that the disc jockeys heard the first two verses and not the last chorus, which changes the whole meaning of the record.”

The first verse is:

Take it, boy and feel you swing,
Take it, boy, make your blood swing,
See the girls move and sway,
Take it, boy, and you’ll get that way.

The last verse is:

So reach there, man, get there fast,
You’ll live in hell while you last.

Disc jockey Peter Murray said, “It was a terrible record. The most disgusting that I have ever heard.

“The last verse was read out to us and, in my opinion, does not in any way alter the song, which, as I see it, says ‘Have a good time taking drugs, even though you will end up in hell.’”

A spokesman for E.M.I. said: “We believe in all sincerity that ‘Addicted Man’ is an anti-drug record. No one could be sorrier than we are that it has caused such tremendous repercussions.

“If we had thought it was going to offend, we would never have released it in the first place.

“So despite the fact that some of the records have already gone out to dealers, we will do everything in our power to restrict sales, and we will see to it that no more copies are sent to the shops.”

A MISTAKE

“I’ve played the record through several times, and while as a production it is quite good, and could well appeal to the fans, I think it a most unfortunate choice (writes Reg Exton). The title itself gives a clue to what it is all about, and while it is true the word drugs is not mentioned, the lyrics make it pretty obvious.

I’ll concede that the last verse,
“So reach there, man, get there fast,
You’ll live in hell while you last”

– emphasises the dangers of taking drugs. But why a pop record at all about such a subject? Drug taking is a very serious matter. It has been the ruination of many young people. To my mind this disc is a mistake. The Game were ill-advised to make it.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, Friday 13th January, 1967, page 1.

For a list of other records produced by The Game, see the Discogs website.

Waite & Son, Ltd.

Listed in the 1963 Borough of Mitcham List of Factories, as Wait without the final ‘e’, at Menin Works, Bond Road, Lampshades & Electrical Fittings

See also Grace’s Guide.

Adverts
Norwood News – Friday 13 April 1962

BURROUGHS SENSIMATIC 200 operator required, part-time, hours by arrangement; 5-day week.
— Apply Waite & Sons Ltd., Bond Road, Mitcham. Mit. 2201.

Smart and Brown (Engineering) Ltd

Menin Works
Bond Road

Assembly of Light Fittings


Source:
Borough of Mitcham List of Factories,
Town Clerk’s Department,
July 1963.
Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) Mitcham

Adverts

Norwood News – Friday 09 March 1962

CREDIT CONTROL CLERK. 30/45. male or female: 9 a.m.-5.30 p.m., no Sats
— Apply Smart & Brown Engineers Ltd., Menin Works, Bond Road, Mitcham.
Telephone Mit. 0154

Lester & Cann, Ltd.

Cloth weaving factory

Menin Works
Bond Road

Ad from 1966:Text of ad:

LESTER & CANN LTD.
(Modern Cloth Weaving Factory)
MENIN WORKS, BOND ROAD, MITCHAM, SURREY

Due to expansion the following personnel are required. Experienced or trainee staff will be considered for all positions.

MEN

1. MACHINE MINDERS FOR CIRCULAR KNITTING MACHINES (shift work).
2. YOUNG MEN FOR STEAM PROCESSING OPERATION IN FINISHING DEPARTMENT.

WOMEN

1. INVISIBLE MENDERS.
2. CLOTH EXAMINERS FOR FINAL INSPECTION.

MODERN FACTORY, GOOD CONDITIONS. EXCELLENT PAY WHEN FULLY TRAINED.

This is a unique opportunity to join an associate company within
the Courtaulds Group, as any vacancies are filled very quickly.

Telephone No.: MITcham 1076.

T.S. Jackson & Sons, Ltd

Varnish and paint manufacturer based at the former Holborn Union Workhouse site in Bond Road/Western Road.

Established in 1853, according to this ad from Grace’s Guide :

Listed in the 1954 telephone directory as

Thomas S. Jackson & Sons Ltd., varnish and paint manufacturers
Jasonite Works
132 Weston Road
telephone : MIT 2977

Listed in the 1963 List of Factories as

Blocks ‘C’ and ‘S’
James Estate
Western Road

Paint and Varnish

Source:
Borough of Mitcham List of Factories,
Town Clerk’s Department,
July 1963.
Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT