Tag Archives: Lactagol

The Beeches

The Beeches Estate is on London Road, Mitcham, just south of the new Mitcham Fire Station. It was built in 1959/60 on the site of E.T. Pearson, makers of Lactagol, which was bought by Mitcham Borough Council in 1959.

From the Norwood News, 15th July 1960:

The Beeches

A block of maisonettes and flats being built at 417-45, London Road, Mitcham, will be called “The Beeches.”

1953 OS map shows houses no. 417 and 419, and Pharmaceutical Products company, numbered 421 to 445. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Photo taken April 2022

The Royal Mail website lists 32 flats on this estate, all with the postcode CR4 4BH.

The building is a slightly offset T-shape, with the the top of the ‘T’ facing the road, which has a ground floor of flats, and two upper floors of maisonettes. The vertical part of the ‘T’ to the rear has two floors of maisonettes.

Note the arrangement of the windows in the lower floor of each maisonette. All have French windows and a window to its side. The road facing block has six flats. The three flats to the left of the stairs have the French windows on the right of the main window, whereas the three flats on the right have the French windows to the left of the main window. The rear block has an alternating pattern of these windows.

Also of note are the brick-enclosed drain pipes.

Photo taken October 2018

A report in May 1959 said that the cost to Mitcham Borough Council was around £82,000.

As part of the Mitcham Bridge reconstruction, a cycle lane has been built that runs in front of the block. It goes around the back of the bus stop, requiring it to have a crossing which is flanked by raised bobbles that tells a blind person they are at a crossing, and ‘do not overtake marks’ for cyclists.

Photo taken 19th October, 2021.

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


E.T. Pearson Ltd., who was at 417-445 London Road, made Lactagol, a powdered extract of cotton seed and calcium, which they described as

a valuable preparation for increasing the supply of milk when taken by the expectant mother

Nottingham Evening Post – Tuesday 13 December 1949
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

The earliest ad for Lactagol on the British Newspaper Archive found so is from 1915:

Western Times – Thursday 21 October 1915
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

ad from 22nd March 1918 issue of the Church Times

Science Museum Group. Carton of ‘Lactagol’, London, England, 1920-1955. A627904. Science Museum Group Collection Online. Accessed August 29, 2018.

The site acquired by Mitcham Borough Council in 1959.