Tag Archives: Marian Road

Lonesome Chemical Works

Late 19th, early 20th century chemical factory that was west of Rowan Road and south of Greyhound Terrace. It was part of the Mitcham Urban District although its address was Streatham.

Described in the Mitcham vestry minutes of 1853 as “the new factory lately erected at Lonesome Farm”

Source: Mitcham Histories: 3 Pollards Hill, Commonside East and Lonesome by E.N. Montague; pages 20 to 25.

Incorrectly listed in the 1855 Mitcham Directory as Thomas Foster instead of FORSTER, india rubber works, Lonesome.

This ad from 1883 states that the firm of Forster & Gregory was established in 1852.

ad from 1883 edition of The Druggist and Chemist

Text of ad:


Makers of all tho Hypophosphites; also of Valerianic Acid and all Valerianates, Bisulphide of Carbon, Chloride of Sulphur, Chlorate of Baryta, and Chemicals for Pyrotechnical
and all othor purposes.

All Coal Tar Products for the Manufacture of Aniline Dyes.

Refiners of Sulphur in Rock or Roll, Ground Sulphur, Washed Sulphur, Milk of
Sulphur, Precipitated Sulphur. Guaranteed Pure.


1870 OS map

Eric Montague suggested that the Gasometer shown on this map was where the coal tar was extracted in retorts for the production of naphtha, used in making the india rubber. Town gas is a result of this extraction and may well have been stored in the gasometer for local uses, such as lighting for the works.

1894 OS map

1913 OS Map Lonesome

Note that the Manor Road shown on this map north of Marian Road was later renamed Greyhound Terrace.

1933 OS Map

News Articles

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 04 February 1899

The Chemical Factory and the District Council

At the Croydon County Bench Saturday, before Ald. Barrow the chair), Col, Cetto, Capt. T. Goodson, and Mr. S. Rostron, the adjourned case came of the Croydon Rural District Council v. William George Forster, managing director of Messrs. Forster & Gregory. Lonesome Chemical Works, Mitcham, respecting a nuisance in which the District Council asked for order against the defendant under the Public Health Act of to abate the nuisance.

– Mr. Wilson, representing the District Council, said that since the case first came before the Bench the experts the defendant met those of the District Council on the spot, and the result had been letter from the defendants’ solicitors, stating that they would agree to the order the Council asked for.€

– Mr. Dees said this was so. They consented to order accordance with the terms of the summons. The Council had agreed to give them a certain amount of time, 42 days, in which to carry out the terms the order. It would mean that the firm would have to do considerable work at considerable cost. The required order was made.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 04 January 1879

— Dec. 17th, suddenly, Edwin Gregory, of Thornton Heath and Lonesome Chemical Works, aged 43 years.

Lammas Avenue

Road that runs south from Tonstall Road, past Leather Close, St Marks Road, Barnard Road to end at Gaston Road.

The road name ‘Lammas’ comes from Lammas Day, as defined in Wikipedia:

Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, “loaf-mass”), also known as Loaf Mass Day, is a Christian holiday celebrated on 1 August.

The road isn’t mentioned in the 1925 street directory, and part of it is shown on the 1932 map. Perhaps the houses were built from the end of the 1920s or 1930s.

The 1932 OS map shows the road as between Barnard Road and Gaston Road. The 1952 OS map shows the road in its extent as today.

1952 OS map

1932 OS map

1910 OS map. The footpath (F.P.), that runs to near the footbridge over the railway line, is now the boundary of the rear gardens on the east side of the road with the Laburnum housing estate.

News Articles
The newspaper articles below are via the British Newspaper Archive and are shown most recent first.

Norwood News – Friday 10 February 1961

Norwood News – Friday 10 February 1961
Image © Reach PLC. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


FAIR-HAIRED Sandra Elkins (aged 17), Lammas Avenue, Mitcham, the 1960 Mitcham Carnival Queen, was among late entries for the Crystal Palace Football Queen competition.

Gretta Roadnight, Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, and Penny Smith, Melrose Avenue, Mitcham, were other new competitors before the contest closed last week. This makes a total of 11 girls who will parade for the right to represent Palace in the area finals during a Supporters’ Club dance at Beckenham Baths tomorrow (Saturday). Judging will tale place at 9.30 p.m. by a panel of celebrities. This will include Kathleen Dale, President of the Surrey Women’s A.A.A. and a former Olympic hurdler; Cecil, her husband, president of Surrey A.A.A, and the Tooting and Mitcham F. C. P.T.I.; international boxer Tony Lewis, Streatham ice-hockey star Bob Ketcher and Ashley Deane, the Tooting model.

Croydon Times – Saturday 12 August 1939


Constable Did Not Agree

“You are like Hitler” is what a Mitcham hawker was alleged to have said to a policeman who stopped him for being drunk in charge of a barrow.

At Croydon County Police Court, on Tuesday, the Clerk asked the constable: “You do not agree, do you, that you are like Hitler?”

“No sir,” – replied the officer.

The constable, Thomas Redfern said he saw the defendant, William George Norman (59), Marian-road, Mitcham, zig-zagging about Lammas-avenue, Mitcham, on Saturday night, with a barrow. After turning into another road, he fell to the ground. He was taken into custody, and at the police station a doctor was called at defendant’s request.

Norman told the Court he was sorry, and said such a thing would not happen again. He was fined 2s. 6d. and told to pay 7s. 6d. doctor’s fee.

Birmingham Mail – Thursday 4th May 1939


Three men were burnt and a fourth gassed in an explosion at a new Surrey County Council school at Aragon Road, Morden, to-day. The four men, all employees of Wandsworth Gas Company, were connecting a three-inch main in a cellar meter room under the school. An electric light bulb burst and caused the explosion. Edward Roberts (aged 17), of Lammas Avenue, Mitcham, is in Sutton Hospital with burns to his face and arms. H. Driver and D. Morris were treated at St. Anthony’s Hospital, Cheam, for burns and then sent home. The fourth man, C. Weston, was given artificial respiration by ambulance men and also sent home. The gas supply was not connected, there was no fire and comparatively little damage was done to the building.

Shepton Mallet Journal – Friday 10th March 1939

TWO BABIES TOTAL 5 lb. 4 oz.

Two tiny babies, one a boy weighing 2 lb, 13 oz. and the other girl weighing 2 lb. 7 oz., have been born in the Longley Road Maternity Home, Tooting, London, S.W. Both babies are being kept in electrically heated cots and fed from a specially made miniature bottle. They are the smallest babies to have been born in the home, and their progress is stated to have been most satisfactory.

Mrs. Ella Seward, of Lammas Avenue, Mitcham, Surrey, mother of the boy, the wife of a window cleaner.

Mrs. Sani Coinage, of Woodbury Road, Tooting, mother of the girl, was formerly of Greek nationality. She met her husband, a non-commissioned officer in the Royal Sussex Regiment when he was stationed in Cyprus.

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