Tag Archives: Glebe Path

1924 : Fireman Aged 7

From the Belfast Telegraph – Tuesday 05 February 1924, via the British Newspaper Archives. which requires a subscription.


When Mitcham Fire Brigade turned out yesterday people in the streets were amused to see following at a long distance behind the engine a smaller fire tender complete in every detail pedalled by a very small boy fully equipped as a regular fireman. It was a model exact in every detail — just a third the size of the Mitcham motor tender and escape — made by Fireman A. Palmer Riley, of the Mitcham Brigade, for his 7-year-old son, Alexander, who is as keen as his father on fire engines and fire brigade work. This was young Alec’s first appearance with his wonderful machine.

His father, who is a master plumber and sanitary engineer at Collier’s Wood, later told a “Daily News” correspondent — “My son is a born fireman and runs after fire engines wherever be sees one. He continually worried me with questions, so in my spare time I made him an engine, or rather a tender for himself. I finished it on Saturday. It is an exact scale model of the Mitcham tender, minus the driving engine. It is made of wood, steel, and brass, the rod work being old gas tubing. A steel tank inside it will hold two gallons of water and what is called a first aid supply.

“A five foot escape is on top, two chemical extinguishers at the rear made out of salt tins, and a complete tool outfit and hose piping are carried. Two electric headlights and a searchlight and a resounding brass warning bell, all made by myself, are other main features.”

Alec wears a brass helmet and axe, also made by his father, and a full fireman’s uniform made by his mother. Mr. Riley is a remarkable fireman. He speaks French fluently, and understands modern Greek, Italian and Spanish. For years he travelled as a highly skilled craftsman in all the countries of Europe for big London firms.

From Ancestry.com:

1911 Census

Alexander Palmer Riley, aged 32, was living at 10 Park Road, Colliers Wood with his wife Alice Gertrude, 29, and their daughter Alice Eileen, aged 2. His occupation was listed as Plumber Gas and Hot Water Fitter.

Library and Museum of Freemasonry; London, England; Freemasonry Membership Registers

On 16th October 1917 he is listed as a Regimental Sergeant Major, residing at the Holborn Military Hospital.

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations)

He died in 1962 leaving £2,664. His address was 2 Glebe Path, Mitcham.

See also report on a fire in 1932

Russell Road

Road off west side of Glebe Path, connecting to Love Lane.

Houses are numbered, from west to east, from 1 to 38. They all have the postcode CR4 3AP. Number 1 is divided into 3 flats. There are four terraces of houses. From Love Lane on the north side, houses are numbered odd 1 to 21, and on the south side even 2 to 24. At the Glebe Path end, the terrace on the north side is numbered odd 23 to 31 and on the south side 26 to 38. Source: Royal Mail postcode finder.

It is believed that the road is named after Athel Russell Harwood, as is the nearby Harwood Avenue.

1953 OS map

The Glebe Path end of this road was originally called Bounty Place, presumably a reference to Queen Anne’s Bounty. It was renamed to be an extension of Russell Road, and hence renumbered, by Mitcham Urban District Council in 1930. Source: Mitcham UDC minutes, 24th June, 1930, page 171.

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

Queen Anne’s Gardens

Cul-de-sac road that runs eastward from the north end of Glebe Path. Possibly built in 1928/9 as first mentioned in electoral registers of 1930.

Presumably named after the Queen Anne’s Bounty that bought land in this area as ‘glebes’: a source of income to support the local clergy.

In this 1953 OS map, the shaded area to the right hand side of number 14 was a pair of garages.

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

Houses are arranged in three terraces, two on the north side, numbers 1 to 13 and 15 to 27, and one on the south side, numbered 2 to 16.

Number 16 at the eastern end of the south side was added in 2010, on land that was occupied by the garages at the side of number 14, according to planning permission 10/P0102.

Number 27, at the eastern end of the road on the north side, was split into two properties, numbered 27 and 27A, in 1983/4, according to planning permission MER771/83.

Aerial view of Queen Annes Gardens, looking to the north.

Aerial view of Queen Annes Gardens, numbers (from left to right) 1 to 27, looking to the north.

Aerial view, looking northwards, of Queen Annes Gardens, numbers 2 to 16 (south side).

Aerial view, looking southwards, south side of Queen Annes Gardens, numbers (from right to left) 2 to 16.

According to tree planning applications 10/T2775 and 13/T1448, number 9 has a eucalyptus tree in its rear garden.

Occupants in 1930 from the Electoral Register
1, Charles Thomas and Alice Jane ALEXANDER; John and Alice Beatrice KING
3, Robert Henry and Mary Sophie SIMS
5, Arthur Ernest and Frances Lilian NEIL; Ellen Julia KETTLE
7, Henry John, Florence Annie and Beatrice Minnie SIMPSON
9, Herbert John and Alice SMITH
11, John and Edith Maude BUTTERS
13, Ernest William and Gertrude Florence STONE
15, Harold Sydney and Gladys Victoria HAMMOND

17, Victor John Bertha and Charlotte KING
19, Amelia BINNS; Ellen HATCHER; Robert ROBERTSON
21, Stephen Daniel and Mary Ellen HIGGINS; Michael DONOVAN; Soloman BECKETT; Thomas O’DWYER
23, William Henry and Pansy Grace FULLBROOK
25, Michael Thomas and Margaret Ada COLLINS
27, Albert, Emily and Maud SIMMONDS

2, Frederick Ernest and Kate Eva HOLLAMBY
4, Robert Albert and Ada Elizabeth GREEN
6, William Horace and Elizabeth Phoebe TEASDALE
8, Henry Herman and Grace Eveline BENSBERG; James and Emma SATCHELL
10, Robert and Amy LEWIS; Albert HEPPER
12, Arthur James and May Beatrice ANGUS
14, Augusta CRAMPTON

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

Glebe Square

Social housing built by Mitcham Borough Council, in 1955, on the site of the Glebe Villas. The council’s 2,500th post-war dwelling was completed there.

The blocks of flats are arranged as a square, with the western side on the east side of Glebe Path. The two southern blocks face Lower Green West, but are separated from it by fencing. There are two other blocks, one on the eastern and the other on the northern side.

There are 36 properties in total, numbered anti-clockwise sequentially from 1. In 1960 an attempt was made to change the numbers of the western block that had doors facing onto Glebe Path. Protests from homeowners in that road prevented this. See Glebe Path renumbering.

Layout of Glebe Square. Lower Green West is at the bottom of this diagram.

Layout of Glebe Square. Lower Green West is at the bottom of this diagram.

Aerial view of Glebe Square. The road on the left of the square is Glebe Path.

Aerial view of Glebe Square, looking northwards. The road on the left of the square is Glebe Path.

Glebe Path

Road that runs northwards off of the north side of Lower Green West.

The houses were probably built in 1929 or later by Isaac Wilson. The title deeds for one of the houses up for auction in February 2017 show that he bought the land on 10th November, 1928.

A Conveyance of the land in this title and other land dated 10 November 1928 made between (1) The Revd. Charles Aubrey Finch (the Incumbent) (2) The Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of the Maintenance of the Poor Clergy (3) Cyril Forster Bishop of Southwark (4) The Revd. Alard Charles De Bourvel (5) Randall Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury and (6) Isaac Henry Wilson (Purchaser)

On this 1867 OS map a path is shown across ‘glebe’ fields to the Glebelands house. These fields had been bought in the 18th century using the Queen Anne’s Bounty, which was a scheme for providing an income to the local clergy.

1867 OS map

1867 OS map

This 1910 OS map shows a road called Glebe Path, the row of houses on the left in Lower Green West is Preshaw Crescent, and the separate houses on the right were called Glebe Villas.

1910 OS map

1910 OS map

The OS map for 1953 shows the houses in this road. On the western, left hand side, going north, is a detached house, then a pair of houses before the junction with Russell Road which runs westward. North of Russell Road is a terrace of eight houses. On the eastern, or right hand side, the map shows a terrace of seven houses north of the junction with Russell Road opposite. At the north end of Glebe Path, the road turns right into Queen Annes Gardens.

1953 OS Map

1953 OS Map

Aerial photos

west side

west side

west side after Russell Road

west side after Russell Road

east side

east side

After the old people’s housing of Glebe Square had been built, an attempt in 1960 to renumber all the properties in Glebe Path was made by Mitcham Council, but the homeowners in the road protested. See Seven Defy The Council.

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

Glebe Path renumbering

Glebe Square had been built by Mitcham Council as old people’s housing. This consists of blocks of flats arranged as a square around a green space. The western block has doors facing onto the east or right hand side of Glebe Path. In 1960 Mitcham Borough Council attempted to renumber all the properties in Glebe Path. Homeowners in Glebe Path protested.


It’s the battle of the numbers at Glebe Path, Mitcham. Residents of seven houses, who have been told by Mitcham Council that they must change the numbers on their front doors, gave their answer last week.

It is : “No, no … seven times No. Fines us, if you want.”

And it took Mitcham Council a little aback. For if they want they can force the people to change their numbers by taking them to court. The penalty for the number rebels could be up to £2.

Confessed a spokesman : “I have had no experience of anything like this before, but I presume we shall have to do something officially.”


But the seven rebels are standing firm … and meanwhile the number mix-up at Glebe Path and Glebe Square has caused chaos. For the council have already changed the numbers of THEIR property, the old people’s flatlets in Glebe Square.

So this is what tradesmen find when they arrive at Glebe Path: The numbers start at 2, climb to 28 … and then DROP again to 2 and continue up to 14.

The council want the numbers to start at 2 and end up at 42.

Why have the seven started their number strike? It’s because they think Mitcham Council blundered when they numbered the old people’s flatlets which face on to Glebe Path.

THE MAN AT NO. 14 (42 IF THE COUNCIL HAD ITS WAY) SAID : “I refuse to submit to the renumbering.”


“Someone on the council needs to have his knees caned for having so little foresight as to number the old people’s flatlets the way he did. If they were numbered properly in the first place this would never have happened.

“Look at the trouble we should have to go to if the numbers were changed. We would have to notify the bank, change the deeds of our home, tell the land registry people, the Post Office, and alter our letter headings.”

THE WOMAN AT NO. 8 (36, SAY THE COUNCIL), Mrs M. Bassano, said: “I have lived here for 31 years. Why should we change our numbers because of a council mistake after all this time?

“Why couldn’t the council have just changed the numbers of the ld people’s flatlets?”

THE MAN AT NO. 2 (30, IF THE REBELS GIVE WAY), Mr Palmer Riley, said:


“Look old man, we are not grumbling because we think we will have to go out with a screwdriver and put the new numbers up. But after all we were here first, and it is the council’s mistake.

“I will have to alter my letter heading embosser, and I know there are plenty of people here who will have reams of notepaper made useless.

“I have worked out that it will cost me 8s. at least to let people know my new number.

“The numbering of the old people’s flatlets was the height of inefficiency.”

Mr J.R. Thomas, chairman of South Mitcham Residents’ Association which campaigned for the numbering of Glebe Path and Glebe Square to be altered because of confusion between the two, said:


“The residents decided to stand firm at a meeting on Friday. When we asked the council to change the numbers we just wanted them to reverse the numbers of their own property, Glebe Square.

“But now they have brought one side of Glebe Square into Glebe Path.

“They did not do it the simple way. But it was the woriding of the notice which, I think, annoyed people most. It just stated the change had to be made and mentioned a £2 penalty – I think a more human letter would have had more effect.”

Mr Thorns has written to the council asking the renumbering of Glebe Path be suspended until discussions can be had with the highways committee. Most others of the seven residents have also written in protest.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 1st April 1960, page 5.

The council reversed their decision.

The rebels looked like winning

The seven rebels of Glebe Path, Mitcham, looked like winning the battle of the numbers yesterday (Thursday). They are the people who said no when Mitcham Council told them to renumber their homes.

A resolution before the council yesterday completely surrenders to the rebels. It says that they may keep their numbers – they live at 2 to 14.

The resolution says that it is the council cottage dwellers at Glebe Path who will have to have their numbers changed AGAIN. Nearly a month ago they were changed by council workmen.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 22nd April 1960, page 9.

Queen Anne’s Bounty

To help with the income of poor clergy, the Queen Anne’s Bounty was a sum of money used to buy land. This land was then rented out and this rental income was used to support the clergy.

In 1734, £200 of this Royal Bounty was used to buy an area of land from Charles Dubois in Mitcham, to support the vicar at the parish church.

Source: An Account of the Augmentation of Small Livings by “The Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of the Maintenance of the poor Clergy” published in 1856, by Christoper Hodgson, M.A.

Source: An Account of the Augmentation of Small Livings by “The Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of the Maintenance of the poor Clergy” published in 1856, by Christoper Hodgson, M.A.

Eric Montague, in his Mitcham Histories : 12 Church Street and Whitford Lane, page 107, said that more land was bought in 1762 from Mary Gellibrand.

This OS map of 1867 shows areas marked as ‘Glebe’. Note that the London Road was, as shown on this map, known as Whitford Lane.

1867 OS map

1867 OS map

Later, parts of this land was sold off to developers to build houses. Montague, page 108, ibid., said that in 1790 a substantial plot was sold to build a house which became Glebelands.

In the Land Registry title for a house in Preshaw Crescent for example, a conveyance was made in 1897:

A Conveyance of the land in this title and other land dated 2 September 1897 made between (1) The Reverend Frederick Wilson Clerk (the Incumbent) (2) The Governors of The Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of The Maintenance of The Poor Clergy (the Governors) (3) The Right Reverend Father in God Edward Stuart (the Ordinary) (4) Francis Charles Simpson (the Patron) (5) The Right Honourable and Most Reverend Frederick By Divine Providence Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (the Archbishop) and (6) Richard Arthur Bush (the Purchaser) contains covenants details of which are set out in the schedule of restrictive covenants hereto.

See also Queen Anne’s Bounty on wikipedia.

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