Tag Archives: Cranmer Road

Air Raid shelters in 1948

Mitcham Borough Council minutes, volume 15, 1948-49, page 95 :-

The Borough Engineer submitted the following report: –

December 3, 1948.

To the Chairman and Members of the General Purposes Committee.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Air Raid Shelters.

In accordance with the instructions of the Committee I give below a list of shelters which have not yet been demolished :—

  • Morden Road (Deer Park Gardens).
  • Commonside West.
  • Commonside East.
  • Manor Road.
  • Rowan Road.
  • Figges Marsh S.
  • Figges Marsh N.
  • Manship Road.
  • Moffatt Gardens.
  • Cranmer Road.
  • Fair Green.
  • Carshalton Road.

Home Office sanction to the making safe of the shelters has just been received and negotiations are proceeding with the contractors, Messrs. J. Sullivan, Ltd., whose tender (in the sum of £603 15s.) was forwarded, in July, to the Home Office for approval.

Personal note: I remember in the mid 1960s the air raid shelters at the southern end of Figges Marsh and on the north side of Cranmer Road near the junction with Carshalton Road.

Cranmer Motors

clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Streets_Col_Cro_17-7, copyright London Borough of Merton, showing Cranmer Motors on garage

This photo shows 3, possibly 4, petrol pumps, and the sign projecting from the gable in the roof has the text:

Cranmer
Motors
Regent
Petrol

This dates the photo to before 1967 which was when the Regent brand was changed to Texaco, according to Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History.

Cranmer Motors was a garage that was near the present day roundabout with Madeira Road and Cricket Green. Although the 1953 OS map shows it between 76 and 94 Cricket Green, Cranmer Motors Ltd was listed in the 1963 Mitcham Borough List of Factories as Motor Vehicle Repairs, 1 Cranmer Road.

1953 OS map

The site was redeveloped as flats around 2008/9, as stated in planning application 06/P0708:-

Former Service Station Site, Cranmer Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 4LA

Erection of a part 2 / part 3 storey building to accommodate 12 flats (9 x 2 and 3 x 1 bedrooms) together with 12 car parking spaces.

Filed with this application:

Following air raid damage to residential properties during the Second World War, a garage forecourt replaced the destroyed houses on the study site, which by the 1970s was redeveloped as an Esso fuel filling station.

Source: Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd. 2008 An Archaeological Watching Brief at the Former Esso Petrol Station, Cranmer Road, Mitcham, London Borough of Merton.


From the Mitcham Urban District Council minutes,
Volume 3, pages 104, Public Health and Burial Committee meeting of 11th September, 1917, a petrol licence for 150 gallons was issued to Mr G. Hart, Motor and Cycle Works, Cranmers Road.

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

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

The Brampton Connection

Overheard on an S1 bus recently, as it passed the Wilson Hospital:

“Wilson Hospital?”
“Which Wilson was that then?”
“Harold Wilson?”

Named after Isaac Wilson, the Wilson Cottage Hospital in Cranmer Road, was opened in 1928. He paid £60,000 for the land and its construction. In 1933, he donated a further £10,000 for an extension to the hospital.

The Cumberland Hospital, built in the grounds of his house Birches, was named after his home county.

Eric Montague, in his Mitcham Histories book “The Cricket Green”, tells us that Isaac Wilson was born in 1862 in Milton, near Carlisle, one of four sons of a Cumbrian farmer. His brothers persuaded him to join them in London, where their building business was flourishing.

For a time Isaac and his wife Sarah lived at Fulham and then, in the early 1900s, they moved to Gorringe Park Avenue in Mitcham. Whilst living there the Wilsons became active members of St. Barnabas church and many of the houses in the vicinity were built by them.

He lived at ‘The Hut’, later numbered 185 Commonside East, on the western corner of Cedars Avenue, until 1928. He then lived at The Birches, built by his firm in Lower Green East. This road was renamed to Cricket Green in 1944 after a suggestion by Lady Robertson.

An idea of the size of their enterprise can found in the local newspaper report on the Mitcham Military Service Tribunal in 1916, when Joseph Wilson asked that his last employee left be given exemption. Mr Wilson said that before the war he had a staff of 40, and there were around 1,000 houses to be kept in repair.

Isaac Wilson also funded the building of 56 houses for the elderly, the Mitcham Garden Village, which was opened in 1930.

A similar development of 24 homes in Brampton, near his home town of Milton, Cumbria, called the Wilson Memorial Homes, was built in 1930.

Back to Mitcham, and the house at the corner of Cold Blows, currently a nursery, was originally called Brampton. Montague says it was believed to have been built by the Wilson firm, which, given its name, is quite likely. See 1953 OS Map.