Tag Archives: Bruce Road

A Romance of Evacuation

From the Norwood News – Friday 24 August 1945

A ROMANCE OF EVACUATION

Bridegroom 75, and Bride 77

LATEST tenants at Mitcham’s hut town at Wide Way, are a 77-years-old bride and her 75- years-old bridegroom. The wedding at Mitcham Parish Church of these two old-age pensioners was notable for several reasons. First, the bride arrived with no-one to give her away, and then it was found that the bridegroom had been equally forgetful — he had not brought a best man.

The quandary of Mrs. Flora Sarah Farr, Rodney-road, Mitcham, and Mr. Hadyn Douglas Sanders, Bruce-road, was solved by Mr. A. E. Champion, who in nearly fifty years as parish clerk has attended thousands of weddings and has unriddled many such knotty problems.

He not only became best man but persuaded Mr. Joseph Stevens, gallery keeper, who happened to be in the vicinity, to give the bride away. All four members of the bridal party who assembled before the vicar, the Rev. G. S. Lubbock, were over seventy years of age.

The ceremony over, Mr. and Mrs. Sanders sought a wedding luncheon at several local hotels. but it being Sunday they were unsuccessful, and so they went to their new hut home, where the bride opened a tin of corn beef.

EVACUATION ROMANCE.

The romance of Mr. and Mrs. Sanders began when a party of Mitcham old people were evacuated during the flying bomb raids to a country mansion at Great Barrington, Oxfordshire. Their first meeting was last summer, when they packed into cars at the Mitcham Citizens’ Advice Bureau for their journey into the country. During their nine months stay at the mansion Mr. and Mrs. Sanders sat next to each other at meals, and took walks in the country lanes together. When they returned to Mitcham they decided they would like to continue the companionship and arranged to get married. Both were so anxious to keep the wedding quiet that they did not tell their families the date on which it was to take place. “We were sure that it would leak out and that there would be someone we knew at church who would be able to act as witnesses. But no-one turned up and we had to rely on the good offices of Mr. Champion,” said Mr. Sanders.

Mr. Sanders lost his home in an early blitz, when his wife, son and daughter were killed. As a bombed-out person he qualified for a hut. Both he and his wife like their new home. Mr. Sanders managed to save enough furniture from the ruin of his old home to make the hut comfortable. Its walls are hung with pictures of his family, of whom he is very proud. Among them are portraits of his mother, Grace Armitage, who achieved fame as an actress in the latter part of the last century. His sister, Grace Noble, following in her mother’s footsteps, also became an actress and won renown in Australia.

Mr. Sanders’ father was an opera singer and appeared at Covent Garden, but his early death brought hardships to the family who had chosen Tooting as their headquarters. His mother continued her career and sang at a Manchester theatre on the night her son, Haydn, was born — to help bring up her family of four boys. As soon as he was old enough Haydn went out to work in the shoe trade.

“If there had been enough money for training I should probably have followed in my father’s steps and, become a singer,” said Mr. Sanders, “But as it was I spent a life-time in the shoe trade, starting at a Tooting shop and working in many parts of the country. Now, with Mrs. Sanders, I am going to enjoy a well-earned rest, free from bombs,” he said.

Notes

The original news article had the spelling Saunders instead of Sanders, which is the spelling used by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission (CWGC) website and records on Ancestry.

Mr Sander’s wife, son and daughter died during the Blitz, on 11th October, 1940, at 29 Bruce Road. Below are links to the CWGC casualty records:

His wife, Minnie Sanders, aged 69. His son, Reginald Frederick Sanders, aged 44, an A.R.P. Stretcher Bearer. His daughter Ella Marjory Dunn, aged 31, wife of Charles Dunn.

Flora Sanders died later that year. Her death is registered in the last quarter of the year, in registration district Surrey Mid Eastern, Volume 2a, Page 268.

Haydn Douglas Sanders died the following year, on 11th November 1946. His address was 35 Wide Way.

Tyrell’s Poultry Farm

A poultry farm that was in Gorringe Park.

According to Eric Montague, writing about St Barnabas church in his Mitcham Histories : 2 North Mitcham, page, 109:

During preparation of the site for the new church what remained of Gorringe Park stables, then known as Tyrell’s Farm, was demolished.

He also said that a clock, removed from one of the old farm buildings, was installed in the church tower through the generosity of Joseph Wilson and his wife, who were living at Gorringe Park House at the same time as the church was built.

The 1904 street directory describes Gorringe Park Avenue as walked from the London Road:

…. here is Bruce Road
Charles FROST (Gorringe Park Lodge)

Christ Church Church Room

Christleib T. LIPSHYTZ (Gorringe Park House)

The Surrey & Sussex Poultry Farm Limited

Arnold & Arnold, veterinary surgeons (Gorringe Park)

The spelling of the surname differs in the 1910 electoral register, which shows William TYRRELL at Poultry farm, Gorringe park. Henry TYRELL is shown at 5 Thirsk Road.

The 1911 street directory, also described from west to east, now shows William Tyrell poultry farm:

…. here is Bruce Road
St Barnabas District Mission Church

St Barnabas’ Men’s Club (W.G. WOODWARD, hon. sec.)

Reverend Christleib T. LIPSHYTZ (Gorringe Park House)

William TYRELL poultry farm

Arnald & Arnald, veterinary surgeons (Gorringe Park)

This can be compared to the 1911 OS map:

1911 OS map

The assumption then is that field numbers 574 and/or 575 were the locations of the poultry farm, with 571 being the vets.

The path that is shown between Gorringe Park House and the poultry farm is followed today by the course of Edenvale Road, as shown on the georeferenced OS map on the NLS website:


During World War 1, three members of the Tyrell family were called up and went to the Military Service Tribunal to ask for exemption. Reports of the tribunals in local newspapers have been summarised by the Merton Historical Society

3rd March 1916

“My business, run under agreement, cannot be run without my supervision,” wrote Mr. Albert Tyrell, aged 31 years, keeping a poultry farm at Mitcham, and who is a pig breeder and butcher at Streatham.
Claim for exemption was disallowed.

Leonard Tyrell, 28, a poultry farm keeper and pig breeder, whose mother is dependent on him, claimed total exemption but was only given a month.

8th September 1916

John William Tyrell, 23, a pig and poultry dealer, was quite unable to get anyone to carry on his business if he went. This was his fourth Tribunal appearance. His father, aged 58, suffered from a strained heart, and had been medically certified as unfit for heavy manual labour. The Chairman thought there was no reason why he should not turn to and do what he could; we were all now doing things that once we had given up doing. One more month, to be final.


Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.