Tag Archives: Liberty Avenue

Private Henry James Charles Warner

Born 26th August 1910.

In the 1911 Census, he was living with his parents Harry, aged 23, a clerk in the Army and Navy Stores in Westminster, London, and Alice, also 23, a sewer in a silk printing works, presumably the nearby Merton Abbey works. They lived in Littler’s Cottages, at the corner of Phipps Bridge Road (the part now called Liberty Avenue) and Church Road.

In the 1925 street directory, Harry Warner was living at 10 Shore Street, off of Phipps Bridge Road.

On 30th June 1934, when he was living at 10 Shore Street with his parents, he married Lilian Violet Ward of 75 Church Road, at the Mitcham parish church in Church Road. They were both 23 years old.

Marriage Banns

In the 1939 Register he was living at 75 Church Road, Mitcham, with his wife Lilian Violet. He was listed as a central heating fitter’s labourer.

He was originally in the Royal Artillery and was then transferred to the Somerset Light Infantry, 7th Battalion, service number 1741114.

Died 1st October 1944, when his battalion was part of the 214th Infantry Brigade in Operation Market Garden. He was killed by a mortar.


Banns – Surrey History Centre; Woking, Surrey, England; Reference Number: 3477/4
Commonwealth War Grave Commission casualty details
Wikipedia – Operation Market Garden Order of Battle

Shore Street

No longer exists. It was a cul-de-sac off the south side of Phipps Bridge Road (the part of which is now Liberty Avenue), and west of Willow View.

1952 OS map

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 2nd February, 1968:

Shore Street residents lose fight against demolition
Colliers Wood redevelopment plan confirmed

A GROUP of Colliers Wood residents have lost their fight to prevent their homes being
demolished in a housing redevelopment scheme.

The Ministry of Housing this week approval Merton Council’s controversial compulsory purchase order for 34 properties in the Shore Street area.

But some of the residents have gained a partial victory, for while their homes will still be demolished, they are not now considered unfit for human habitation.

Nine properties have been transferred from this category and their owners will get compensation at the higher market value instead of site value.\

‘The best solution’

And another 12 owners are to receive good maintenance payments for keeping properties, confirmed as unfit, in good condition.

At a public inquiry in October, the council claimed all but one of the houses were unfit and sought approval to remodel the whole area.

Residents claimed many of the properties were quite habitable and others could easily be improved. Demolition, they said, would not be the answer.

But the Minister has accepted his inspector’s recommendations that the demolition of all the buildings is the best solution, and has confirmed the order.

Town Clerk, Mr Sydney Astin, said this week : “In accordance with the Minister’s instructions, market value and good maintenance payments will be made, where applicable.”

The houses were described by the Medical Officer in an inspection in January, 1939:

January 28, 1939

To the Chairman and members of the Public Health Committee,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


As requested by the Committee I have made a detailed inspection of the houses on Shore Street.

There are fourteen houses, eight (1-8) situated on one side of the road and six (9-14) on the opposite side. The houses are between sixty and seventy years old. All the houses are of fairly sound construction and the outside walls have been built with a hard brick. The roofs are made of slate and are fairly sound.

The rents vary from 9s. to 10s. per week.

The front room of each house opens directly on to the pavement. There is no bad arrangement of the street, and each house has plenty of air space both front and back.

As far as the inernal arrangement is concerned there is on the ground floor a front living room, with a scullery behind, and on the first floor, a front and back bedroom. The height of the rooms varies from 7 ft. 9 ins. to 7 ft. 11 ins. In some cases the floor of the front room ground floor is of concrete, in others it is wood. The staircase in all the houses is extremely dark.

Although the houses are old they are not unfit for human habitation, and the defects which found can be remedied at a reasonable cost.

As far as I have been able to ascertain there has been only one recent occasion in which the street was flooded, and this was due to the gulleys being blocked by rubbish. In heavy storms the rain beats in under the doors of some of the houses and causes the floors to become very damp. This state of affairs could probably be remedied by raising the height of the door steps and attention to the fit of the doors. Some of the houses have back additions which make the scullery very dark, and cause a certain amount of dampness.

Two of the houses are overcrowded, and two showed the presence of vermin infestation.

The owner has always complied with any sanitary notices that have been served.

A. T. Till
Medical Officer of Health

By house number

1. Three adults, seven children. Small fractures in brick work of back wall. Slight dampness round chimney breast in back bedroom.

2. Two adults, two children. Flooring of front room ground floor requires repairing. Cracked chimney pot on front chimney stack.

3. Two adults. Rainwater pipe front of house leaking. Small repair required to pointing of brickwork of front wall.

4. Two adults, three children. Slight ground dampness in living room. Small repair required to pointing of brickwork of front wall.

5. Two adults, two children. Joint forming the interspace between the window frame and brickwork of living room defective.

6. Four adults. Flooring by door defective. Rainwater gutter and pipe at rear defective. Stone window sill of back bedroom defective. Dampness around chimney breast in back bedroom.

7. Two adults, two children. Flooring week in living room.

8. Two adults. Dampness in corner of front bedroom by parapet wall.

9. Two adults, one child. Good condition.

10. Three adults. Dampness around chimney breast back room first floor.

11. Two adults, five children over 10 years of age. Good condition.

12. One adult. Joints forming interspace between window frame and brickwork living room defective. Defective stair tread. Countless round chimney breast in back bedroom. Slight dampness above matchboarding in front room ground floor.

13. Two adults. Week flooring of front room ground floor. Stone window sill back bedroom first floor. Woodwork of windows back bedroom first floor defective.

14. Four adults. Week flooring front room ground floor. Flooring defective by cover. Rainwater gutter and pipe at rear defective. Stone window sill of back bedroom defective. Woodwork of back bedroom window defective. Dampness around chimney breast of back bedroom.

Source: Minutes of the Mitcham Borough Council, volume 5, pages 315-6.

Occupants in 1925 street directory

North Side
1 Alfred BULL
3 Charles Jesse COLES
4 Thomas ROSUM
5 Geogre NOVELL
7 Walter READ
8 Frederick John PAYNE

South Side
14 George CODD
13 Ernest Garrat REEKS
11 Arthur Cecil POULTON
10 Harry WARNER

Occupants in the 1933 Electoral Register

1, Harry, Elizabeth and Eleanor BULL
2, William Henry and Marian Maud CHADWICK
3, Charles Jesse and William Henry COLES
4, Charles and Adelaide Violet CARTWRIGHT
5, Harriett, Edith May and Florence Ethel NOVELL
6, James, Louisa and Richard SEAGROVE
7, Walter and Ada Alice READ
8, Frederick and Lilian Maud PAYNE; George Frederick DUMSDAY
9, Jane IVES; Violet SINEY; Arthur and Beatrice THOMAS
10, Harry, Alice and Henry James WARNER
11, Arthur Cecil and Rose POULTON
12, george, Florence and Kathleen Susan PROCTOR
13, Ernest Garrett and Margaret REEKS
14, George Francis, Bertha Eleanor, Harry and Esther Emily CODD

clip from Merton Memories photo, copyright London Borough of Merton

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

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Palestine Grove

Road that runs south-westerly off the west side of Church Road, south of, and parallel with, Liberty Avenue.

The land, described as a grove of trees, was offered for sale as freehold building plots in 1848.

Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle – Sunday 13th August 1848, via the British Newspaper Archive


Plots of 20ft frontage, by a depth of from 80 to 100 ft. for £20 per plot.

The land is planted with trees to form a grove, to be called Palestine Grove. The soil is very rich, and situation healthy. It is situated opposite the Prince of Wales, near Phips Bridge, leading from Merton Gate to Mitcham Church. This is a good opportunity for those who wish to live in their own freehold, or for builders, as houses would readily let. In order to give the labouring man a vote for the county of Surrey, and to be his own landlord without having to resort to the expensive mode of borrowing from building societies. The purchase money would be received by instalments, or twelve months’ credit would be given.

See board on ground, or for further particulars apply to Mr Engleburtt, 4 Elizabeth-street, Hacknev-road. Also two acres of freehold land for £100 at Frimley, two miles from the Farnborough Station.

An auction in 1890 referred to a terrace of five cottages.

Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 11th October 1890, via the British Newspaper Archive

By Order of Mortgagees.

Merton Abbey, near Mitcham, Surrey.

Compact Freehold Cottage Property worth £64 10s. per annum and piece of Building Land.

Robt FULLER, MOON and PULLER Have received instructions to Sell by Auction, at the Greyhound Hotel Croydon, on Thursday, October 16th, at Five for Six o’clock, a FREEHOLD PROPERTY, consisting of a terrace of five cottages (brick built and tiled), situate in Palestine Grove, within a few minutes walk of Merton Abbey Station, four of them are let at 5s. a week thus producing £52 0s., also an adjoining piece of building land having a frontage of eighty feet to Palestine Grove (in which there is a sewer), available for the erection of five more cottages.

May be viewed and printed particulars with conditions of sale, obtained of G. Carter Morrison. Esq., Solicitor, Reigate; at the “Prince of Wales,” Merton Abby; at the White Hart Hotel, Mitcham and at the Auctioneers’ offices, Croydon, Reigate, and Epsom.

Allotments on the north side and two rows of houses on the south side, with a row on the west can be seen in this OS map of 1894:

1894 OS map

This 1911 OS map shows the original name of Liberty Avenue, which was Phipps Bridge Road.

1911 OS map

Before being renumbered, the houses were grouped into named terraces, as shown in the 1925 street directory, described as from Church Road:


Willow View:

1, Charles O’CONNOR
2, William TANNER
3, John MARTIN
6, Frank SIMPSON
7, Alfred ADAMS
8, Thomas Phipp BROWN
9, Albert Ernest BULL


Albert Terrace:

6, William HOUGHTON
5, Sidney STONE
3, John EVANS
2, Arthur Charles PAYNE
1, Geogre Henry BLACKALL


1, Alfred BULL
3, Charles BULL
5, Stephen BLAKE
7, Henry William EVANS
9, James NORTON
11, Arthur HYDE (carman)
17, Charkes E. HOLMES
19, Mrs L. RUSSELL
21, Martin FERRIDGE
23, William PRIDDY
25, Albert WHITE
39, Henry James SHEPPARD
41, Alfred TILLER
43, Alfred BULLEN
45, Harry BULL


Drayton Villas:

9, Joseph HOLGATE
8, Charles IVES
7, Arthur DENFORD
6, Frederick George HOWES
5, Charles L. BOWEN
4, George KINZETT
3, William KINZETT
2, John MILLER

Henry W. BUTLER (sack manufacturer)

Mitcham Urban District Council minutes of 6th November 1928, page 464, noted that the residents of the road were asked if they found the current numbering scheme a problem. Eighteen replied that there were inconveniences, ten said there were no inconveniences and eleven didn’t reply.

This 1952 OS map shows the houses renumbered, starting from the Church Road end. Even numbers are on the north, or right side as seen from Church Road, and odd on the other side.

1952 OS map

Minutes of meetings held by the Croydon Rural District Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.