Tag Archives: Homewood Road

1932 : Young man electrocuted while washing his employer’s van

While washing his employer’s van, Frederick Mansfield, aged 18, was electrocuted. From the newspaper reports it would appear that he grabbed an electric light flex, that didn’t have a light bulb in it, and probably didn’t realise that the switch was on. Electricity shorted from the lamp socket across his body to the wet floor on which he was standing.

The story was syndicated nationally and appeared in a number of regional newspapers. Here’s one article from The Scotsman:


A remarkable fatality occurred at Mitcham on Saturday night, when Frederick Thomas Mansfield (18), a butcher’s assistant, of Homewood Road, Mitcham, was electrocuted while washing a motor car.

Mansfield and another boy were cleaning the car at the rear of the premises of Edwin Birch & Sons, butchers, Church Road, and were using a “flex” attached to the electric light installation of the car for illuminating purposes. Hearing a shout, the manager went to the spot, and found Mansfield lying on his back with the flex in his hand. The manager knocked the wire from the boy’s hand, but when a doctor arrived Mansfield was found to be dead.

Source: The Scotsman – Monday 04 January 1932 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

At the inquest it was added that the vehicle being washed was his employer’s van.

It was stated at an inquest yesterday on a Mitcham butcher’s assistant, Frederick Mansfield (18), who was electrocuted while washing his employer’s motor van, that he had a flex in his right hand, and must have got the best part of 200 volts through his body. Dr. Henry Love said that Mansfield had exceedingly large thymus gland, which was a contributory cause.

Source: Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail – Thursday 07 January 1932 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

The postmortem would likely to have been performed in the Mortuary Chapel in the parish churchyard. This building was demolished some time after the formation of the London Borough of Merton in 1965.

The 1930 commercial directory gives E. Birch & Sons, butchers at numbers 36 and 38 Church Road.

Homewood Road

Road off west side of Church Road, now forms part of Phipps Bridge Road.

1910 OS Map

1910 OS Map

1952 OS Map

1952 OS Map

World War 1 Connections
Stoker 2nd Class James Munt

Private Andrew Ohlson

Private William Henry Page

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

C F CHALLIS of 6 Homewood Road, aged 36 Years, Tobacco Blender. Conscripted on 3 January 1917 to the Army Ordinance Corps.

J COLLISON of 22 Homewood Road, aged 26 Years 4 Months, Dustman. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 5 June 1916 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment.

T E GRAHAM of 12 Homewood Road, aged 40 Years 1 Months, Carman. Volunteered on 2 June 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

F JELLEY of 24 Homewood Road, aged 35 Years, Dustman. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 7 June 1916 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment.

J F PEARCE of 18 Homewood Road, aged 30 Years, Dustman. Conscripted on 7 June 1916 to the Royal Garrison Artillery (no 1 Depot).

S J PICKETT of 14 Homewood Road, aged 39 Years 1 Months, Labourer. Conscripted on 9 May 1916 to the Labour Centre.

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

C.U. Engineering

4 Benedict Road
30,32 Homewood Road

A.E. Catlin
E.L. Catlin
H.F. Usher

Light Engineering

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

1978 ad

1978 ad

From the Mitcham History Group on Facebook – November 2016:

Nick: I worked for Catlin Bros Engineering in Homewood Road in 1972.
Cliff: I Remember the Catlins, wasn’t the steel firm called Catlin and Usher?
Nick: I only knew it as Catlin Bros Engineering.
Cliff: most likely that the name changed when the Dad retired, there were a few brothers, and they played cricket for Mitcham. Usher was the brother in law. That’s what I was led to believe.
Nick: It was Derek Catlin I mostly worked with back then, welding, grinding etc.
Catlin’s also had a lockup at the very end of Century road.
Cliff: I believe that the yard in Century Road was accessed from the Catlins garden in Benedict Road.
Nick: That’s right Cliff, it be came a carpet warehouse when they packed up!

Homewood Terrace

A terrace of 12 houses, with 6 on either side of Homewood House, on the west side of Church Road. Originally numbered from south to north, starting at two houses south of Homewood Road, and continuing north to Chapel Road.

1952 OS map

1952 OS map

The 1925 street directory described this terrace, going south from Chapel Road:

— here is Chapel road

Homewood Terrace:
12, Joseph Payne
11, William Reeves
10, Charles Andrew Grant
9, William Bailey
8, James Gough
7, Charles E. Weight, plumber

John George Bowskill (Cologne cottage)
William Morgan (Homewood house)

Homewood Terrace:
6, Mrs Blackwell
5, Henry Siviour

— here is Homewood road
4, John Tutley
3, Henry George Shead
2, Henry Hunt
1, Richard Harding Kisser

On the 1952 OS map, these houses have been renumbered:

Homewood Terrace Church Road
12 145
11 143
10 141
9 139
8 137
7 135
6 129
5 127
4 125
3 123
2 121
1 119

World War 1 Connections
Private Walter William Tedder

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

Dragmire Lane

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, January 31st, 1936

Running from Benedict-road to Morden-road, Dragmire Lane is a footpath according to Borough Engineer’s Department, after a case at the police court on December 11th 1935 re Walter Richards, Homewood-road summoned for cycling on it.

Mr Isaac Wilson, chairman, dismissed the case as there was some conflict over the case. Defendant said it was used as a road by carts. Borough Engineer said it was a path under the 1932 Rights of Way act.

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.


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

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.