Tag Archives: Cold Blows

Three Kings Road

No longer exists. It was a road that was on the east side of the Three Kings Pond and connected Commonside East to Commonside West. In around 1982 it was removed and this connection was replaced by an diversion of Commonside East and a roundabout.

Source: Merton Council planning application number MER494/82, which was granted 9th September 1982 :

The diversion of Commonside East involving construction of new carriage way, construction of roundabout on Commonside West, closure of Commonside East/West junction to vehicular traffic, narrowing of part of carriageway of Commonside East and stopping up of Three Kings Road.

1953 OS map of Three Kings Road

This photo, from around 1974, of a Metropolitan Police Recruitment day shows the road on the right.

A recruitment drive showing some of the specialisations available once 2 years probation was complete. Dog unit, motorcycle unit, underwater search unit etc.

Note also the route of the footpath that connected Cold Blows to Lavender Walk. This was an ancient path connecting the west and east fields. The path is now diverted to before the start of the Beehive Bridge incline.


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

Cumberland House

Cumberland Hospital was paid for by Isaac Wilson, and built on land he owned, at the rear of his house The Birches. Its entrance was at the end of Whitford Gardens at Cold Blows.

Opened in 1939, it was demolished in 1992. Its perimeter wall along Cold Blows remains.

1953 OS map

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 21st July, 1939, page 1.

LEFT THE GOLD KEY AT HOME

But Sir Isaac’s Splendid Gift is Duly Inaugurated

CUMBERLAND HOUSE OPENED

An amusing hitch occurred at the formal opening of Cumberland House, Mitcham, on Friday afternoon. Sir Isaac Wilson, as the munificent donor of the place, was about to present the key to Sir Richard Meller, M.P., with which to unlock the door, when he discovered that he had left it at home.

A messenger was dispatched post-haste, and in ten minutes’ time he arrived with the gold key.

The ceremony then proceeded smoothly. It was a semi-private affair, arranged by the Surrey County Council officials. Among the guests present were Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson, Sir Richard and Lady Meller, the Mayor and Mayoress of Mitcham (Ald. and Mrs. Field), Mr. R. M. Chart, the 89-years-old Charter Mayor of Mitcham, Mr. Stephen Chart, the vicar of Mitcham (the Rev. C. A. Finch) and Mrs. Finch, Col. W. F. Johnson, Mr. Christopher Chart, Dr and Mrs. A. T. Till, Ald. E. H. Rickards (Croydon), County Councillor Mrs. C. Randall, Mr. and Mrs. G. S. Alderman, Mr. H. H. Dance, staff, officials, and inmates of the House.

COSTS £60,000.

The building was erected at the cost approximately of £60,000 by Sir Isaac Wilson, on land belonging to him, and adjoining his own residence at The Birches, almost overlooking the famous Mitcham Cricket Green. The foundation stone was laid on March 1, 1937, by Sir Kingsley Wood, then Minister of Health. The place was originally to be used as a home for poor disabled persons, and it was vested in trustees for that purpose. Subsequently, however Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson, with the approval of their co-trustees, offered the building as a gift to the Surrey County Council for use as a convalescent home in connection with the Council’s hospitals. The munificent and public-spirited offer was gratefully accepted in May, 1938. Under the scheme, Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson are life members of the committee of management, with seven other members appointed by the County authority. The hospital has been furnished and equipped by the Council, who have also appointed the necessary staff. The first patient was admitted on March 29 last. The hospital has accommodation for 110 patients and 24 staff. The patients are mainly transferred from hospitals as requiring from two to eight weeks’ further treatment in order to firmly reestablish their health.

UP-TO-DATE.

On the ground floor there are the administrative offices, kitchens, a dispensary, and two units. The first floor comprises two ward units, an electrical treatment room, the doctor’s flat, and dining-rooms for the nursing and domestic staff. The second floor contains bed- and other rooms for the matron, assistant matron, and 22 members of the nursing and domestic staffs, including two staff common rooms. The lay-out of the Home is magnificent, with sunshine balconies, and spacious grounds for recreation.

Sir Isaac paid tribute to the architects, Messrs. Chart, Son and Reading; the builder, Mr. C. Higginson; his confidential friends, Mr. R. M. Chart, and his son, Mr. Stephen Chart (Town Clerk of Mitcham), Sir Richard Meller, and the Rev. C. A. Finch, chaplain of the home. He declared that every one of these gentlemen had helped him by good advice during the building of the Home. He went on to say that the Surrey County Councii were now trying to do the very best they could with the building, and “I shall be fully recompensed to know that the institution will be carried an efficiently in the future for the benefit and use of convalescent cases,” he added.

DEPUTISING FOR MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Sir Richard Meller humorously suggested that a record of the ceremony should be “the safe arrival of the key.” He greatly appreciated the honour and privilege conferred upon him, he said. He was really deputising for the Minister of Health, who was unable to attend. “This is a succession of noble acts of benefaction by Sir Isaac Wilson,” commented Sir Richard. The building of Wilson Hospital, and the Garden Village, are other worthy examples of his generosity. There is nothing which adds to human happiness so much as the enjoyment of good health, and Sir Isaac and Lady Wislon have been so charity-minded as to build these institutions to try to confer the greatest blessing on mankind by providing them with means of achieveing the greatest human happiness.”

In handing over the Home to County authority, Sir Richard thought the donors had paid tribute to the efficient administration of that body. It came at an opportune moment for the County Council in providing them with the necessary accommodation to relieve their present hospitals, and particularly as an outlet for the large institution being built on St Helier Estate. Sir Richard gave the assurance that the intentions of the trustees would be carried out as far as possible.

“The opening of this home, concluded Sir Richard, “confers a very valuable asset upon the County, and it should be duly recorded among the great historic events of Mitcham.”

“By taking over this building, the County Authority have enabled Sir Isaac to confirm two benefits on community, provision of an institution for the sick, relief for the ratepayers. It is a second example of the dual benefit that Sir Isaac has conferred upon the ratepaying community through Wilson hospital and now Cumberland Home. “Where I am ye shall dwell,” seems to have animated the donor, for he has built both institutions close to his own private residence, equivalent to saying what is good enough for me I hope is good enough for you. In your name as residents of Mitcham, and on behalf of the County of Surrey, I express to Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson our whole-hearted gratitude for their generosity and kindness. Before their eyes they will have the satisfaction and knowledge that those who came here sick went away rejoicing in good health.” (Cheers).

The company then proceeded to the main entrance of the budiling, and Sir Richard unlocked the door with a gold key, declaring the Home open for the succour of mankind.”

Photos on Merton Memories:
Laying of the Foundation Stone
Foundation Stone
1958 : Chest hospital building


The hospital, originally under the Surrey County Council, became part of the NHS in 1947. This ad for nurses in 1949 shows it was part of the St Helier hospital group:

16th July 1949

In 1979, the Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth Area Health Authority announced it was to close. The buildings were demolished in 1992. Redevelopment of the site by the health authority has included day care centres, and is the site of the Merton Dementia Hub.

For more information about the hospital, see the website Lost Hospitals of London.


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

Langdale Avenue

A cul-de-sac road, off of London Road north of the telephone exchange, with its southern, closed end at the Cold Blows footpath.

Houses are numbered from the London Road end, odd on the left (1 to 95) and even on the right (2 to 84). In 2019, a Royal Mail postcode lookup shows 87 addresses, and 4 postcodes, CR4 4AE/F/G/J. Some houses have been converted into flats.

The name comes from the Langdale family who owned Elmwood (previously called The Firs), an 18th century house, sold in 1822. Albert Road, Elmwood Road, Langdale Avenue and Whitford Gardens are all built on the site of the Elmwwod estate. The family were related to Marmaduke Langdale, who fought on the Royalist side in the English Civil War.

In this 1910 OS map, the terraces have houses numbered odd from 1 to 11, then after a narrow alleyway 13 to 19, and are the only houses shown on this side of the road.

1910 OS map

The 1911 street directory shows the occupants:

1, Frederick Arthur LOOSLEY
3, Edward James WILLIS
5, Alfred Albert Henry COOPER
7, Raymond REED
9, Rev. Wallace PERRY, B.A.
11, Mrs ACOCKS
15, John William MOORE
17, James HARDING
19, Frederick HAZELL

Next is a pair of semi-detached houses numbered 21 and 23. Then is a terrace of four houses, numbered 25 to 33, after which is a public footpath leading to Commonside West.

Land at the rear of Newton House was developed as a pair of semi-detached houses as numbers 49 and 51, according to planning permission MIT1986, which was granted retrospectively on 27th March 1953.

Next are two more pairs of semi-detached houses, numbered 53 and 55, 57 and 59. After this are terraces, divided by small alleyways: 63 to 67, 69 to 75, 77 to 81, 83 to 95 which is at the end of the road next to the Cold Blows path.

Number 93 on the left has the builder initials H.H. in the gable, and number 95 has the year 1907.


On the right hand side, from the London Road end, is an alleyway that still has cobblestones on the footpath at its entrance. Then there is a terrace, numbered 2 to 12, and in 1911 the occupants were:

2, Frederick James CHARMAN
4, George D.N. FORD
6, Thomas HARRIS
8, Miss CLAYTON
10, John William COULSON
12, John Hunter RIGDEN

(Number 6 was also called Iveldene in the 1935 Mitcham Cricket Club yearbook.)

The 1910 OS map showed a gap between these houses and Elmwood Road, after which is a terrace that curves right with the road. The houses are currently numbered 22 to 34, but originally they had names as shown in the 1911 directory:

The Lees, Walter HOGG
St Brelades, Walter ATTWOOD
Woodlands, John McLennon JONES
Moss Dale, Louis BRIGDEN
St. Leonards, Henry MOYCE
Chamonix, William Arthur GREGORY
Glenroy, Walter Edgar WARNER

There are no more houses shown on this side of the road on the 1910 map.

From a postcard dated 1916. Houses currently numbered, from right to left, 22 to 34, with the junction with Elmwood Road out of shot on the right. These houses had names at the time of this photo.

1953 OS map

Next is a terrace of six houses numbered 38 to 48. The 1937 electoral register 38 as occupied by John Kentish and Alice Mary HARVEY, with John Kentish junior and Lawrence Reginald Harvey. J.K. Harvey had the chemists at the Fair Green up to 1966.

Then there is a terrace of ten houses from 50 to 68, followed by a pair of semi-detached houses numbered 70 and 72, then a terrace of six houses numbered 74 to 84, which is the end of the road at the Cold Blows footpath.


From the minutes of the Croydon Rural District Council
Volume IX 1903 – 1904
7th May 1903
page 72

No. 2506, Harding, J., 12 houses, Langdale Avenue, Mitcham

From the minutes of the Mitcham Urban District Council
Highways, New Streets and Buildings, and Lighting Committee
Tuesday, 8th June, 1926
Page 120

Plans submitted for approval

No. 808
Applicant: Mr. Isaac Wilson, The Hut, Commonside East
Nature and Situation:

Amended layout for five houses, Langdale Avenue (for subsidy)


World War 1 Connections
Private W Bassett

Private V W Jones

News Articles

1921 suicide in Langdale Avenue explained

Lamp Explodes

A gas street lamp in Langdale Avenue, Mitcham, exploded on Thursday last week – startling people in nearby homes. A jet of flame flared from a broken pipe until Gas Board engineers arrived. Firemen stood by.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 5th June, 1959, page 1.


Occupants in 1925

2, Miss E. ELLIOTT (school)
3, Ernest Edward JONES
5, Alfred Albert Henry COOPER
7, Hugh CLAYSON
9, Donald HADFIELD
11, Mrs DODD
13, Henry George RUSSELL
15, William James BIGSBY
17, William ANSTEY
19, William Bernard FARADAY
21, Charles Henry PARSLOW
23, Albert George WELLS
The Bungalow, Raymond Edgar REID

4, Edwin George CARD
6, Frederick G. CULMER
8, Misses A.R. & C.C. CLAYTON
10, Thomas FRANCIS
12 Charles E. JENNER
… here is Elmwood Road
The Lees, M. ALLSOP
St. Brelades, Walter Charles BATCHELOR
Woodland, Samuel MICHIE
Moss Dale, Robert WALLS
32, Frederick Richard CANN
34, James Alexander CORMACK
36, John Kentish HARVEY
38, Bodwin SELIER
40, Mrs MILLER
42, Mrs L.E. BEACON
44, John Stuart CAPBELL
46, Alfred John KNIGHT
48, Philip HARDING
50, Mrs COOPER


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


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