Tag Archives: David Chalkley

Independent Order of Oddfellows : 150th anniversary in 1960

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 19th February, 1960, page 7.

THE Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a friendly society who ban arguments about religion and politics at their meetings, were praised as “ pioneers ” by the Mayor of Mitcham (Ald. D. W. Chalkley) on Saturday.

He was speaking at the annual dinner at the Crown, Morden, of the order’s Mitcham and district section, who cover large areas of Surrey, South and South West London. About 178 people attended.

Ald. Chalkley said the order, 150 years old, had helped pioneer the welfare of Britain’s ordinary people and the idea that a sick man should be helped and not cast aside.

“ You have also pioneered the right of people to belong to organisations irrespective of race or creed — a thing people could well do to remember these days,” he said.

HOW IT STARTED

Earlier Mr. R. O. Early, past Grand Master, outlined the beginnings of the order. He said it started among farm labourers who used to meet regularly for a drink at a Midlands pub.

One night one of them was missing — he was ill. The others clubbed together to help him. When he was better they continued to keep the fund going in case others needed it.

“ It is now the richest friendly society in the world,” he said.

Mrs. L. M. Payne, Provincial Grand Master, proposed a toast to the Manchester Unity and Mitcham District. Chairman, past Provincial Grand Master, Mr. Harry Crossley, proposed the
loyal toast.

Note: The Odd Fellows got their name because, at the beginning of the original scheme, it was thought strange that poor people should contribute to a fund for others.

For more on this society’s history, see their website.

Dust Destructor Chimney

From the Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser, 15th September, 1955.

A LANDMARK familiar to thousands of Mitcham residents disappeared last Thursday with the felling of the 125 ft. high refuse destructor chimney at Phipps Bridge.

This was the first major step in clearing the area adjoining Homewood Road for Mitcham Corporation’s proposed £1,750,000 redevelopment scheme to house 636 families.

During the previous week-end, two steeplejack brothers Mr. Arthur Collard and Mr. John Collard. began work on what was for them the end of another chimney. By Thursday they had cut away half the 18-ft. wide base, leaving timber props in place of the 3-ft. 6-in. think brickwork.

At 2.26 p.m. the props, soaked in 20 gallons of paraffin, were set alight. As flames leapt high, the 21 year old chimney belched smoke for the last time. Nine minutes later, it heeled over with a muffled roar 460 tons of brickwork fell to the ground beneath a vast cloud of dust.

The deputy borough engineer, Mr. W. B. W. Wignall, and a number of Mitcham councillors, including the chairman of the Housing Committee, Aid. D. W. Chalkley, watched the chimney crash down a few yards from their feet.

“PERFECT DROP”

And from his New Close home which overlooks the site Mr. Tom Good, now in his seventies, saw the end of the chimney he had helped to build.

“It was a perfect drop.” said Mr. Arthur Collard. With him was Alec, his 13 year old son, “who always comes to watch the interesting jobs.”

Built in 1934, in the last year of the old Mitcham Urban District Council, the chimney and destructor cost £9,869. A council spokesman told “The Advertiser” afterwards: “It would probably cost three times that sum to build at present-day
costs.”

The destructor was last used at the beginning of 1953. The amount of refuse handled by the corporation had grown so much that it was decided to tip all refuse on Mitcham Common.

Smith Meters, Ltd.

Rowan Road

Electric and Gas Meters

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


Norwood News – Friday 20 January 1961, via British Newspaper Archive

U.G.I. METERS DIVISION
(Proprietors: Smith Meters Ltd.),
Rowan-rd.,
Streatham Vale,
S W 16.
CLERICAL—FEMALE
SHORTHAND TYPISTS
CLERK TYPISTS
SUM LOCK OPIRATOR
HOLLERITH PUNCH OPERATOR
HOLLERITH VERIFIER

Hours: 8.45 am. to 5.30 p.m.
Monday to Thursday.
8.45 a.m. to 5 p m. Friday.

Please apply :
PERSONNEL OFFICER.
Tel. Pollards 2271.
(Bus Nos. 118 and 130 stop at works.)

News Articles

1968

At Smith Meters Ltd., Rowan Road, the production manager,
Mr. John Allan, said that production had come to a halt.
“The factory is completely stopped,” he said.
“ We employ 2,000 and almost every one is on strike. A very
small number have come to work, and this is insignificant.
“ There were pickets outside this morning, but there was no
bother. This is a national strike,” he added.

Source: Mitcham News and Mercury, 17th May, 1968 page 1

1962

NEW CENTRE FOR THE HAPPY FACTORY

Mr. Norman Smith, chairman of Smith Meters Ltd., Rowan Road, at the opening of the firm’s new dining and recreation centre last week, said: “This building is a sign of the great success the firm has had over its many years.”

The centre incorporates a small hostel, two dining-rooms, a central kitchen and a confectionery kiosk.

A plaque on the first floor landing was unveiled by Mr. R N. D. Bruce, Chairman of the South Eastern Gas Board, who performed the opening ceremony.

Afterwards the 50 guests toured the new block. In the kitchen much interest was shown in the modern equipment, among them automatic potato peelers and mashers, electric dish washers and the latest cooking ranges.

The party, which included Mr. Robert Carr, M P. for Mitcham. Alderman D. Chalkley, Mayor of Mitcham, Mr. T C Battersby, president of tho Institution of Gas Engineers, and members of the Board of United Gas Industries, also toured parts of the main factory.

At the luncheon held in one of the new dining-rooms Mr. Smith said the success of Smith Meters had grown from the fact there was always a happy atmosphere in the factory. “We believe in looking after our staff well, giving them good food and good working conditions.”

He reminded his audience of the early days of the company. “When it was first started,” he said, “there were only a handful of people on the staff. The week’s wages for all the staff were similar to one man’s weekly wage today.”

Mr. Smith paid tribute to those responsible for building the new block. It is a very fine building and the architect and builders should be praised.”

Smith Meters factory in Rowan Road, Mitcham, is one of a large group of factories connected with United Gas Industries Ltd.

The Rowan Road premises are the headquarters of the U.G.I. (Meters) division which controls factories in Belfast, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leicester, Manchester, Kennington and Dunblaine. There is also a factory in New Zealand.

Smith Meters was founded in 1834 and established in Snow Hill, in the City of London, moving to Kennington in 1865. In 1929 an additional factory at Mitcham was built.

The company now employs about 2,300 people, 1,750 of them at the Rowan Road factory.

Among the products made by the division are gas and electricity meters, coin switches, and food processing and catering equipment.

Source: Mitcham News and Mercury, 18th May, 1962 page 15


Maps

1950 Smith Meters maps

Smith Meters was in the Lonesome area of the Mitcham Urban District, as can be seen on this 1933 map.

Aerial photos from 1947:
1947 Smith Meters 1

1947 Smith Meters 2

1947 Smith Meters 3

1947 Smith Meters 4


Kenneth Marsh, who served in the RAF at end of WW2, worked for the Department of Energy and eventually was based at the United Gas Industries (UGI) in Rowan Road. He was responsible for certifying the accuracy of gas meters made there and at nearby Smith Meters.

1970s – Ken Marsh’s office at UGI

1970s – testing rigs at UGI

David Walter Chalkley

1959 mayor of Mitcham. Born 11th May 1913, died 1987, aged 74.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 22nd May, 1959:

Forty-six-year-old Ald. David W. Chalkley, prospective parliamentary Labour candidate for Croydon North-West was elected Mayor of Mitcham yesterday (Thursday). Ald. Chalkley, who lives in Deal Road, Tooting, was nominated Mayor last year, but he was forced to turn the offer down through his wife’s illness.

Housing Committee chairman in 1972, as stated in this clip from Mitcham News & Mercury, 16th June, 1972:

Mitcham News & Mercury 16th June 1972


Miss Barbara Thrupp, ex-Mitcham Council Housing Manager, in the Close named in her honour. With her are, front row, left to right, the Town Clerk of Merton, Mr Sidney Astin, Housing Manager Mr Archie Brown, and Housing Committee chairman Coun David Chalkley.

Merton Memories Photos

1959 as mayor
with family at mayor making ceremony
1960 at Red Cross Dance


Chalkley Close, off St Marks Road, is named after him.