Tag Archives: Labour Party

Jack Fitch

Alderman and first mayor of Mitcham (RM Chart was the Charter Mayor). His name is remembered on one of the blocks of flats on the Laburnum Road Estate.

He opened the Mitcham Fair in 1935, as shown in this Pathe Neewsreel:

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 3rd February 1950:

ALD. JACK FITCH, the oldest member of Mitcham Council in years of service, has retired on grounds of health and has gone to live in Brighton. His retirement, announced at last week’s Council meeting, will almost certainly mean a by-election.

Aid. Fitch who had held a seat as a Labour member for 26 years, was chairman of the old Urban District Council and was Mitcham’s first Mayor when Mitcham became a Borough. He had been a magistrate for a number of years.

In a letter announcing his resignation. Aid. Fitch said that winter attacks of bronchial asthma had compelled him to give up Council work. It had been his great interest.

Tributes were paid by the Mayor (Ald. Mrs. J. C. Ericson), Coun.
T. Ruff, Ald. T. A. East and Coun. J H. S Bradley.

Coun. Ruff, because of a 30-year friendship with Mr Fitch, claimed
the privilege of moving the Council’s appreciation of his long
service. He had brought a solid honest integrity to the service of
Mitcham. His characteristic of conscious responsibility and application to duty had made him feel uneasy during the last two winters
when ill-health compelled him to exhibit an apparent neglect of

From the Worthing Herald – Friday 29 November 1957, via the British Newspaper Archive

He died, aged 73, in November 1957, at his home in Worthing. He was instrumental in founding the Labour Party in Mitcham. He moved to Worthing in 1946 with his second wife, Lily. Between 1901 and 1943 he was a Post Office sorting clerk, and on his retirement he was awarded the Imperial Service Medal.

Worthing Herald – Friday 29 November 1957, page 21

Merton Memories Photos

Mitcham Fair



1934 to 1935

Tom Higgs

Thomas Higgs was known as the “Sporting Mayor” of Mitcham in 1957.

1st May 1958 at Hall & Co. This clip is from Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_Work_Industry_2-12

From the Norwood News – Friday 28 June 1957, via the British Newspaper Archive

The Sporting Mayor

THE borough of Mitcham has been fortunate in recent years in having mayors who show a keen interest in local sporting activities. The present one, Coun. Tom Higgs is no exception.

He is an official of Mitcham Boxing Club, an A.B.A. judge, a keen cricketer and a soccer fan. He is a vice-president of local amateurs Tooting and Mitcham.

Now I am pleased to see that the sports-conscious Mayor and I have something in common. We both believe that something must be done to liven up amateur soccer.

At United’s club dinner on Saturday the Mayor said he was concerned about the fall of gates and growing lack of interest in the game (although, of course, this doesn’t apply to United at the moment—but it could in the future). He suggested that more importance should be attached to league games.

” Dare I suggest a promotion/ relegation system ? ” he asked.

This, of course, is not new. But surely the time has come for the amateur bodies that be to give it their EARNEST consideration

Among his sporting interests:

boxing – he was secretary of the London Amateur Boxing Association in 1960;

cricket – he wrote the history of the Mitcham Cricket Club in the booklet ‘300 Years of Mitcham Cricket’ (a reprinted paperback book is available on Amazon.co.uk);

soccer – he was vice-president of Tooting & Mitcham.

Photos on Merton Memories:

Home Guard Memorial Service in 1957

Planting a bush at Glebelands Old Peoples Home in 1957

At a Chamber of Commerce Dinner

At another Chamber of Commerce dinner

Crowning Mitcham’s May Queen, Elizabeth Holbrow in 1958

At a Labour Party social in 1958

With his wife on leaving the office of mayor