Tag Archives: Lock’s Lane

St Marks Church Vicarage House

Vicarage for St Marks church, on the corner of Carew Road and Locks Lane,
although address is Locks Lane, CR4 2JX.

1952 os map

Planning application number 1586 was submitted by the Diocese of Southwark to build a vicarage in Carew Road. Source: Mitcham UDC minutes, page 196, volume XV, 1929-1930.


Progress is being made with regard to the building of the Vicarage House for St. Mark’s Church, Mitcham. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have £2,404 in hand for this purpose, and £40 17s. 5d. lies in Barclay’s Bank.

In order to meet expenses, £2,000 is required. Mr. Stanley Dale, of Mitcham, has been selected as the building contractor. The plans of the Vicarage House are at present with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for their final approval.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 12th July, 1929, page 1.

The website for St Marks church gives the vicars address here.

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

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

Home Radio

Shop that was established at 187 London Road (opposite Eagle House), in 1946 by brothers Alan and Colin Sproxton, using their service gratuities. The name “Home Radio” was suggested by their father.

September 1947 – the shop at 187 London Road, and their van. From Murphy News.

In 1959 Colin Sproxton took part in the Monte Carlo Rally.

Colin Sproxton in 1959 at the Monte Carlo Rally. Clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_​People_​124-1, copyright London Borough of Merton.

Home Radio initially sold electrical appliances, as shown in these adverts from 1960.

The business grew with selling components by mail order. According to an article in The Radio Constructor magazine (pdf), Home Radio and Mitcham became known all over the world.

Colin Sproxton retired in 1964, the year of this catalogue cover:

1964 Home Radio catalogue

The back cover of this catalogue showed how to get to their shop by public transport. The map also showed their service shop in Locks Lane.

Their 1968 components catalogue, was advertised in Practical Wireless magazine, and said that it was:

Used and acclaimed by scientists, engineers, technicians, teachers & students

1968 Practical Wireless magazine ad

In 1969 they moved to larger premises to cope with the need to store large amounts of components for the mail order business. They went to the top floor of a new office block at 234 – 240 London Road, which gave them 2,400 square feet of space. The business was being run by Alan Sproxton and Ernest Layton at this time.

The Radio Constructor magazine described the dinner that was held at The Grange on 23rd April 1969 to celebrate the expansion of the business. A guest at the dinner was an old friend of the Sproxton family, Mr B. Mund Hopen from Bergen in Norway, who was in charge of the Norwegian Shipping Mission during World War 2. Mr Sproxton, in his after-lunch speech said that it was his opinion that three things saved Britain from defeat: radar, the tenacity and courage of the RAF, and the Norwegian tanker fleet which came over to Britain.

The company was wound up in 1982, as recorded in the London Gazette:


“That it has been proved to the satisfaction of the Company that this Company cannot, by reason of its liabilities, continue its business and that it is advisable that the same should be wound up; and that the Company be wound up and that Keith John Chapman of 1-2 Pudding Lane, London EC3R 8AB, be and is hereby appointed as Liquidator of the Company for the purpose of such voluntary winding-up.”

A. Sproxton, Chairman

Mrs G.E. Armfield

From the Mitcham Advertiser, 28th November, 1947

Lavender Days Recalled


The funeral took place at Mitcham of Mrs. Gertrude Elizabeth Armfield, aged 82, formerly a prominent resident of Mitcham, who died at Dartford.

She was a daughter of one of the best known Lords of the Manor of Mitcham, Mr. James Bridger, celebrated in Victorian times as a lavender grower and the owner of one of the “physic gardens” by which the village of Mitcham aided the medical faculty of those days. His farm spread from behind the “Swan” public house in London Road to Tooting Junction.

Lavender Avenue and Lavender Grove on the Borough Council housing estate keep the public in mind of the rural glories and industries of the past.

The late County Councillor J. D. Drewett wrote in “Old Mitcham”: “Mitcham lavender and peppermint oils had a world-wide reputation. The largest was at Messrs. Bridger’s, next to the Swan Inn, which remained in operation till the revolution in cultivation occurred in Mitcham. Smaller distilleries were at Tamworth Farm, at Beddington Corner and Sutton . . . The Manor House (near the ‘Swan’) occupied by Mr. Bridger stood well back from the road, and was always redolent of peppermint and lavender essences emanating from the still-rooms actually inside the house. It was the stopping place for coaches to Epsom races and horses were changed there.”


Opposite the Manor House was “The Chestnuts”, the residence of the Armfield family, one of the many well-to-do families that found pleasure in living in the Mitcham of half a century and more ago. “The Chestnuts,” now a block of flats at the corner of Locks Lane, was then a mansion of Georgian type completely isolated in its own extensive grounds, and Locks Lane, a real lane, bounded the southern side of the grounds. Graham Road and all about there was a part of the estate.

Miss Bridger and Mr. Frederick Armfield fell in love and soon after their marriage they left this district. In June, 1908. Mr. Armfield died at the age of 47. He was buried in Mitcham Parish churchyard.


In 1937 Mrs. Armfield visited Mitcham to present to the vicar (then the Rev. C. Aubrey Finch) a silver communion cup and paten for use in the church. It was inscribed, “In memory of the Bridger and Armfield families, June, 1937.” Both families were ardent supporters of the Parish Church. Mr. Bridger was one of the wardens for many years. The funeral service for Mrs. Armfield was conducted by the Rev. G. Lubbock, Vicar of Mitcham.

The Chestnuts is at what became known as Renshaws Corner.

In the Index of Wills and Administrations of 26th March 1947, she left £1,905 9s. 2d. to Dorothy Kathleen Atlee, spinster. In 2015 values, this amount is around £75,000.

Source: Ancestry

Lock’s Lane

Road that runs south-eastwards from junctions with Streatham Road and London Road, twoards Eastfields Road. It was named after Lock’s Farm, at the Figges Marsh end, according to J.D. Drewett, in his ‘Memories of Old Mitcham’.

In this OS map from 1893, the part now called Eastfields Road is shown as Tamworth Lane:

1893 OS map

The 1952 OS map shows the marzipan factory of John F. Renshaw & Co., Ltd.

1952 OS Map

References in Newspapers

West London Observer – Saturday 30 April 1887

WANTED, by a Respectable Young Man, regular employment of any kind ; not with horses.— Apply, W. B., 11, Lock’s Lane, Mitcham.

World War 1 Connections
Private William Henry Tricker

Laing’s Corner

A three story block of seven shops and offices with flats above, on the corner of London Road and Locks Lane, postcode CR4 2JA.

Eric Montague, on page 5 of Mitcham Histories: 14 Upper Mitcham and Western Road, said it was named after William Frederick Laing, who founded the estate agents Seymour Laing and Co.

Mitcham Borough Council minutes, page 131, of 7th December, 1938, said that the block was given a name as there were only four numbers available in London Road, which wasn’t enough for all twelve flats.

Norwood News – Friday 18 February 1938
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. Via the British Newspaper Archive.

Text of ad:

London Road, Mitcham
For Particulars of the SHOPS and OFFICES
now being erected on

Apply Sole Agent –
Seymour E. Laing, A.V.I., F.N.A.A.
87 London Road, Mitcham

(Opposite Swan Hotel)

Telephone : MITcham 0826

1951 OS map

A clock was on the wall above number 5 until around 2009. It can be seen using the history option on Google Street View, for July 2008.

July 2008



Norwood News – Friday 19 February 1960
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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

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

John F. Renshaw & Co., Ltd.

Locks Lane

Marzipan and Confectionery

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

JF Renshaw photo

From the 50th Anniversary Booklet of 4th June 1948:

Diary of Success

1898 Commencement of this Firm in a small office and Store room in Great Portland Street, London.

1906 Move to slightly larger premises in Fenchurch Street in
the City of London

1912 Moved to an old, disused but larger factory in Battersea.

1920 A Strip of land, an old laundry, a few sheds and we had
arrived at Mitcham.

1922 New offices and Despatch Department were being built.

1923 25th Anniversary – Connaught Rooms.

1926 The new three storey building was being erected and we
had started to plan and build our new automatic Almond Plant.

1931 Slump years … But progress and expansion
1932 continued at Mitcham.

1934 Demonstration Hall and New Canteens were being built.
1935 Aged 59, he died.

As a young man, he commenced his business life without any money but with a great capacity for hard work. He brimmed over with keenness and enthusiasm and maintained his sense of humour, even in difficult times. He was blessed with a great degree of human understanding. Although his leadership and guidance provided the driving force, he was constantly supported and backed up by the loyalty and diligence of his friends, the members of this Factory who worked with him.

On our Fiftieth Anniversary – we salute the memory of our Founder.


Lansdell Road

Possibly named after Reverend F. J. Lansdell who was the mission clergyman at the ‘School Church’, in St Marks Road, in 1891 – according to Eric Montague in his Mitcham Histories : 7 The Upper or Fair Green, page 110.

Alfred Lansdell Mizen was born in Mitcham in July 1904, according to a family tree webpage.

The road runs from the junction with Locks Lane and Eastfields Road, southward to St Marks Road.

1952 OS Map

In the 1891 street directory, described as heading north from St Marks Road to Locks Lane, the occupants were:

from St Mark’s road to Lock’s lane


Alexandra Terrace:
1, Walter William SMITH
2, William STANLEY
3, James Dundas HILL
4, Edwin COX
5, George William LAWRENCE
6, Samuel COUSINS


Walgrave Terrace:
1, Arthur EVERETT
2, Jacob NORRIS
3, William HOPKINS
4, Charles NEWING
6, Miss MIZEN
7, Thomas BAKER
9, Thomas BELBIN
10, Edward ARTHUR
13, Charles SCHNEIDER
14, Arthur MORRIS
15, Arthur CLINCH
16, Thomas TURNER

— here is Feltham road

Victoria Terrace:
1, Edward SALMON
2, Alfred STENNING
3, Edward GARDENER
5, Albert HARRISON
6, John TILLEY

World War 1 Connections

From the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 7th December 1917

KILLED IN ACTION. – The sad news came to Mr and Mrs Morris, of Walgrave-terrace, Lansdell Road, Mitcham, on Tuesday night, that their son, Ben Morris, had fallen on the Western Front. He was one of the bellringers of the old Parish Church.

Private Benjamin Arthur Morris

Lance Corporal Frederick James Seach