Tag Archives: Kings Head

1877 : Methodism in Mitcham

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 22 December 1877

METHODISM AT MITCHAM

The following particulars as to the history of Methodism generally, and particularly in regard to the parish of Mitcham may be interesting to our readers. They formed the basis of lecture given by Mr. John Wade a short time since.

The term Methodism was first applied about the year 1729 to four young men at Oxford, namely, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and two others named Morgan and Kirkham, and a year or two afterwards to Messrs. Ingham, Broughton, Clayton, Hervey, and last, not least, George Whitfield, who met together at stated times for prayer, searching the Scriptures, and mutual edification, and also devoted themselves to the visiting of the prisoners in the gaol, the sick, and the poor. This course of conduct did not fail to attract the notice of their fellow collegians, and it is recorded that one of them, a young gentleman of Christ Church, exclaimed, Here is a new set of Methodists sprung up! alluding to some ancient physicians, who were so called about 30 or 40 B.C., and the name has been applied to them or their followers ever since. They were also derisively called “Sacramentarians,” and the “Holy Club.” Many of the influential masters and doctors of the University frowned upon them, but to no purpose. It was thought desirable by the family that John Wesley should succeed his father as incumbent at Epworth, but Wesley preferred remaining at Oxford as a tutor. About April, 1735, a new colony was formed in Georgia, North America, and Mr. Wesley consented to there as chaplain. Mr. Wesley’s High Church principles some time after brought him into collision with the authorities, and he left Georgia in October, 1737. February, 1738, he arrived in London, having been absent therefrom about two years and four months, and became acquainted with the Moravians, whom he afterwards joined. He subsequently visited the Moravian settlement at Hernhut, in Moravia, and on his return to England, as he was shut out of the churches, and Whitfield commenced preaching in the open air. In July, 1740, Mr. Wesley separated from the Moravians, and established a society which met a place called “The Foundry,” which had been used for casting cannon, in Moorfields, and from this date, until his death in 1791, in the year of his age, he pursued a successful career in spreading religion through the land. The first mention of Methodism as respects Mitcham is contained in vol. 4 of Mr. Wesley’s Journal, page 117, under the date of January 12, 1764 (113 years since), where there occur the words:—

”I preached at noon at Mitcham, and in the afternoon rode to Dorking, but the gentleman to whose house I was invited seemed to have no desire that I should preach, so that evening I had nothing to do; but on the next day (Friday, Jan. 13th) I went at noon into the street, and in broad place not far from the market-house proclaimed ’The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ At first two or three little children were the whole of my congregation, but it quickly increased, though the air was sharp, and the ground exceedingly wet, and all behaved well but three or four grumbling men, who stood so far off that they disturbed none but themselves, had purposed to preach there again in the morning, but a violent storm made it impracticable, after preaching at Mitcham on the way, I rode back to London.”

Nothing appears to have arisen from this first effort of Mr. Wesley to introduce Methodism into Mitcham, until about years after, namely, on March 13th, 1776, on which date an entry occurs in his journal the effect that he went to Mitcham and found a little company just started up. The house being too small, preached the front of house adjoining the high road, where the earnestness of the people made up for the keenness of the east wind. The place where Mr. Wesley preached on this occasion was opposite the King’s Head inn, Lower Green. The next notice under the date of Nov. 6th, 1787, and records the fact that Mr. Wesley again preached at Mitcham. Steps were then taken build chapel. A piece of ground was taken on the Causeway on lease for 71 years, and the chapel was opened in November, 1789 Mr. Wesley preached in the new chapel December 1st, 1789, and Mitcham continued part of the London circuit until the year 1811, the pulpit being mostly supplied from London. After this it formed what was called the Brentford circuit, still more recently the Hammersmith circuit, and since the year 1838 part of the Croydon circuit. The lease of the old chapel having expired, a fresh site was obtained on the opposite side of Mitcham Green, near the old chapel, for years, and on this site the present new chapel has been erected at cost of about £1,100.

1863 : Fatality at Pudding-fields

Fatal Railway Accident

— An inquest was held at the King’s Head Inn, Mitcham, before T. Carter, Esq., coroner, on the body of Harriet Collins, aged 72, who was killed whilst passing over a crossing, on the Wimbledon and Croydon Railway.

It appeared from the evidence that the deceased, with her husband and daughter, were on their way home by a regular footpath through Pudding-fields, and, on arriving at the railway crossing, they observed a train approaching. The daughter ran across the line, leaving her mother to follow; and on the poor creature attempting to do so, the engine caught her and literally tore her to pieces. The driver of the engine was called on evidence, but said he did not see anything of the occurrence. The stoker, however, stated that he saw the deceased attempt to cross the line, but not until the engine was within 12 or 15 yards of her; he then told the driver to sound the whistle, which he did, but the engine was too near to allow of her escape. The jury returned the following verdict:—

“That, in returning a verdict of accidental death, the jury are anxious to express their wish that the Brighton Railway Company will substitute bridges for footways at the various crossings on the Wimbledon and Croydon Branch, all of which are, in their opinion, more or less dangerous to the public.”

Source: Thame Gazette – Tuesday 13 January 1863, via the British Newspaper Archive.

The area called Pudding Fields was referred to in the Mitcham Memories of Ben Slater.

The name might be related to ‘pudding grass’, a former name of the mint pennyroyal, see Peppermint in 1875.

1958 Tatler recommends Ravensbury Arms

From an article in The Tatler, entitled Dining Out

when my clutch suddenly failed completely on the slope of the Blue House Bridge Croydon Road, Mitcham, I was within one hundred and fifty yards of the Ravensbury Arms.

I must have passed it a thousand times in my life, but as it has always been so close to the start of a journey, south or south-east, I had never given it a thought.

There I found John Dawson and his wife, Stella, and announced my plight. In a couple of seconds they had summoned two bar staff and two of their customers. Between them they pushed me from the bridge, round the roundabout, and into the space in front of their pub.

The Dawsons, I discovered, have built up a great reputation for their cuisine, John Dawson having be come by sheer enthusiasm a sort of self-taught maitre chef, and nothing goes out of the kitchen unless it has his blessing. The menu for this type of pub is remarkable and includes such things as scampi at 7s. 6d., caviare at 12s. 6d., and asparagus 5s. There is a choice of six omelets (including Spanish); a considerable cold buffet, a large range of grills (including a porterhouse steak garni for 12s. 6d.), and so on.

There are red and white wines at 2s. per glass and a short, simple, but quite adequate wine list – Burgundies from 14s. per bottle, Bordeaux from 12s. 6d.

When John and Stella Dawson took over the Ravensbury in 1952 they were possibly the youngest innkeepers in the country, being 24 and 22 years old respectively. John learnt his pub-keeping from his wife’s father, a great cricketing enthusiast, “Burn” Bullock, who played for the Surrey Seconds in the early ‘twenties and then turned professional. Later he took the King’s Head which looks out over the famous cricket green at Mitcham. This is now being run by his widow, Mrs. Lillian Bullock.

Source: The Tatler – Wednesday 12 November 1958 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1880 : The funeral of the cricketer Southerton

FUNERAL OF SOUTHERTON

On Monday afternoon the remains of poor James Southerton, the well-known Surrey bowler, were borne to their last place of rest in Mitcham Churchyard, the funeral attracting a large number of persons, who were well acquainted with the sterling qualities of deceased, to the little village green in front of the inn which Southerton tenanted during his life.

The Surrey County Cricket Club was represented by Messre C. W. Alcock, J. Wood, F. Gale, Dr Parrott, E. Garland, G. Wells, C. A. Stein, T. Mossendew, and others. The only one of the county eleven, as now constituted, present was Richard Humphrey, who acted one the pall-bearers, but there were several old players connected with Surrey to show respect to the memory their former comrade, among them J. Swann, W. Shepherd, and W. Mortlock.

The Mitcham Cricket Club, which Southerton was an active member, sent a strong detachment, including Dr Marshall, the president; Messrs Harbor, Compton, Harvey, and about 30 others; and old cricketers unconnected with Surrey, there were also present Edgar Willshier, K. Thoms, T. Mantle, and many others.

Half-past 4 o’€™clock was the hour appointed for departure of the funeral cortege from the house of the deceased, and very soon after that time the procession made a start. The lane dawn which the coffin passed to the parish church was lined throughout with residents of Mitcham, and the churchyard was already well filled before the service over the body had been completed. There could not have been less than 300 round the grave while the last part of the mournful ceremony was taking place, and doubt whether the pretty little burying-ground has ever held a larger gathering or formed the scene of more impressive picture. The following were told off to act as pall-bearers – €”R. Humphrey, R. Knight, E. Willsher, T. Sewell, R. Thome, F. Gale, T. A. Mantle, and F. Harwood. The service was conducted by vicar of Mitcham, the Rev. D. F. Wilson. M.A., and will be some little time before the village so closely identified with Surrey cricket will forget the imposing ceremonial witnessed on the occasion of Southerton’€™s funeral.

A meeting held subsequently at the King€’s Head, Mitcham, to consider the advisability of establishing some memorial in remembrance of Southerton as a cricketer. Dr Marshall, the President of Mitcham CC, was the chair and there were in all about thirty present. It was resolved that a local committee be formed for the purpose of providing some memorial to the late James Southerton, and that the committee should communicate with the committee of Surrey County Club to ascertain its views of the character of such memorial.

Source: Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle – Saturday 26 June 1880 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1936/7 Nalder & Collyer’s sale to Ind Coope

Brewery Distribution

An unusual linking of brewery interest is brought to notice by an announcement to-day from Nalder & Collyer’s Brewery Co. (Ltd.) This Company has a capital of £660,000 in £130,000 Ordinary and £530,000 Preference shares. Practically all the Ordinary and 90 per cent, of the Preference are held by the City of London Brewery and Investment Trust (Ltd.) This latter, now mainly an investment trust, has a considerable holding in Ind Coope & Allsopp (Ltd.) and also an indirect interest in Ind Coope through Nalder & Collyer, which in March last year sold a number of its properties to Ind Coope & Allsopp (Ltd.) for a total consideration of £2,200,353, paid partly in cash and partly in Ind Coope Debentures, Preference, and Ordinary stocks.

The directors of Nalder & Collyer are now going to distribute part of the Ind Coope Ordinary to the Company’s Ordinary shareholders and the bulk of these shares will of course go to the City of London Brewery and Investment Trust (Ltd.) For every £10 Nalder & Collyer Ordinary will be given £2 of Ind Coope Ordinary, making the total distribution £26,000 nominal, worth at the current market price £162,500. Accompanying this announcement is a final dividend of 20 per cent plus a 10 per cent cash bonus, making, with the interim of 25 per cent., a total of 55 per cent, as before, which of course also goes mainly to the controlling company. There is a free market in City of London Brewery 5s Deferred Ordinary units now standing around 20s. a price which indicates long-standing hopes of a capital bonus. Last year’s dividend was only 6 per cent. The next accounts are to June 30 next and are due in July.

Source: The Scotsman – Friday 07 May 1937 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Nalder & Collyer owned the Horse and Groom, Kings Head (later Burn Bullock), Ravensbury Arms, Three Kings, Swan, Windmill.

Lilian Bullock – obituary

From the Mitcham Cricket Club Yearbook for 1977 :

Mrs Lilian Bullock who died last November in her seventy ninth year – just eighteen months after retiring from the Kings Head, had been in poor health for some little time.

By her death the Club has lost its only lady Vice-president and a very good friend over many years, as Lil took a great interest in the catering side of the Club affairs and really enjoyed supervising the formidable array of helpers in her earlier days.

Lil and her late husband Burn came to the Kings Head in 1941. When he died in 1954 she carried on managing and created a wonderful “crickety” atmosphere about the place which showed particularly during the Club’s Cricket Weeks, the frequent visits by many County players undoubtably added to that feeling.

Thanks to Lil’s kindness the Club had come to regard the “Head” as its second headquarters especially during the close season when the Pavilion was not too inviting.

Lil was very pleased when the brewers decided to rename The Head to the “Burn Bullock” in memory of her late husband. She leaves one daughter Stella and one grandson Nicholas.

The Association of Cricket Umpires

The Association of Cricket Umpires was formed in the Kings Head Hotel (later called the Burn Bullock) in 1953, by Tom Smith. Below is an article he wrote for the Mitcham Cricket Club Yearbook of 1954.

By Tom E. Smith, Hon. Gen. Secretary of The Association of Cricket Umpires.

It is a very great pleasure to me to be invited to contribute to the Mitcham Cricket Club Year Book a review of the work that is being done by my Association.

The Association has very strong links with Mitcham because apart from the fact that I, as founder, am a Mitcham man, the inaugural meeting was convened at the King’s Head Hotel, at the Cricket Green, last March. This was by no means an accident, but by way of careful design. At the beginning when I contacted about 20 umpires with a plan of forming an association on somewhat different lines I felt that a better start could not be made than by organising the formation at one of the most famous cricket greens in the world. There could surely not be a better omen for the inauguration of an association for umpires than at the very place where cricket has been played for over 250 years.

The Association has the blessing of the parent body, the M.C.C., The Club Cricket Conference, the National Association of Cricket Clubs, and other controlling bodies. From that start there are now over 200 names on the books. From all over the country the membership ranges through First Class County umpires, Minor County, M.C.C., C.C.C., the Leagues, the three Services and Club, to potential and trainee umpires. Such has been borne out in fact!

Besides an overseas membership in N. Ireland, North Borneo, British Guiana and Gold Coast and a very strong contingent in B.A.O.R., Germany, the Association works in close cooperation and liaison with the South African Umpire Associations, Jamaica U.A., Madras U.A., and many other bodies. Joint functions are held with the Cricket Society, whose Chairman is Ayton Whitaker, the B.B.C. producer. One of our active members is John Arlott, the well-known cricket journalist and commentator, and who is a keen vice-president of the Association.

To what can be attributed this tremendous growth from such a very small beginning ? The predominant object of the Association at all times is, “To improve the standard of umpiring.” The serving committees have created a powerful organisation with this theme always in mind.

For many years there has been grumbling in this country about the standard of umpiring and inefficient umpires but nothing has been done about it seriously. No attempt has been made to train and test umpires to bring them up to a standard for examination or grading.

The Association conducts its affairs and policy along the lines of a professional body. Members are elected as Associates on the understanding that they are willing to study and work to take the examination in theory and oral for “Full” status. These examinations are difficult and the standard is high. Perfect answers to theoretical questions do not necessarily make a perfect umpire. His interpretation of the laws on the field must finally count.

The Training Committee consisting of senior umpires, all experienced in teaching and coaching, has prepared training schedules with a standard system of training and grading. The first examinations were held in London in January, and the examiners were Frank Chester and K. McCanlis, the county umpires. It is difficult to imagine anyone better qualified for the job.

Lectures, discussions and demonstrations in theory and practice are proceeding. Welfare arrangements include legal advice and insurance against accident on the field and whilst travelling. An appointment bureau is available and a news bulletin is circulated. Refresher and other courses are planned.

Douglas Jardine, the famous England captain, became first President in October and publicly expressed his enthusiasm for the work of the Association. The National Press and a B.B.C. news bulletin followed with the announcements that Frank Chester, H. M. Garland Wells, K. McCanlis and John Arlott had become vice-presidents.

We now have to live up to a tremendous standard set by the leadership of a great England captain and the technical advice of the best-known umpire in the world today. In this book Frank pointed out last year that an umpire may know the laws inside out but the test is putting them into practice. We believe that is very true. He must have confidence in his bearing and personality. An efficient, well trained umpire will have quiet confidence in himself on the field. This leads in turn to the players having confidence in him and this to the greater enjoyment of our wonderful game by the players, officials, and spectators alike.