Tag Archives: Mitcham Park

Clarendon Preparatory School, Mitcham Park

Private school that was at 17 Mitcham Park until 1973.

From the Official Guide to Mitcham in 1938:

Clarendon Preparatory School with Kindergarten is situated in the particularly healthy suburb at 17 Mitcham Park, Mitcham, within easy reach of railway stations and buses.

The house is large, bright and airy and has a nice garden. The School
provides a modern, thorough education for girls and boys from 4 to 16 years, with preparation for Higher Examinations. The health capabilities of every pupil are carefully studied. The School Staff are child lovers and keen pyschologists.

Curriculum of the School includes Religious Knowledge, English Language,
Literature and Composition, History, Geography, Arithmetic, Drawing, Physical Training and Tennis.

One of the features of the School has been the Dramatic, Art and Elocution Tuition open to girls and boys from 4 to 16 years at a very moderate fee. The pupils of the School derive great pleasure from these courses and public concerts are given during the year.

There is also a very successful Dancing Class, Ballroom and Musical Comedy being given.

ad from the 1938 Official Guide to Mitcham

The school closed at the end of 1973 due to the ill health of the headmistress, as told in this article from the 21st December 1973 issue of the Mitcham News & Mercury:

Goodbye Mrs Chips –
head retires and her
school closes too

It’s goodbye Mrs Chips and the end of an educational era with going home time for good at Clarendon, Mitcham’s only private school.

Mrs Nellie Barker, who has reigned for 37 years as headmistress, closed the school last week. She is retiring and selling the building in Mitcham Park.

“I honestly think it would be very difficult to sell it as a school. I am very sad about it but times have changed. I have been ill and my husband has wanted me to give it up for a long time. But I couldn’t, it had become part of my life, but now I really mist,: she said.

Mrs Barker took over Clarendon in 1936 after first helping out and then being asked to become its headmistress. But it was a private school for the education of the children of Mitcham’s business and professional families long before then.

And now, as the surrounding villas in Mitcham Park have become slightly less exclusive and slightly more converted into flats, Clarendon too has fallen to the onslaught of progress.

The school’s 70 children have now gone to other private schools or local state schools.

“Many of our parents are very upset about this. There are still many parents who value our way of teaching where the emphasis is on learning and which is not afraid of discipline when necessary, she said.

“I don’t think any of my children could have held my belief in discipline against me because when they have left and grown up they often come and see me. And many have sent their own children along.

“At times I have had school inspectors here who have told me that there should be allowed more time for play. But I believe in learning – the children were allowed time for play but if modern day educationalists had their way they would be playing all day!”

Mrs Barker is to go and live in Cheam and is to spend more time on her hobby – writing children’s plays.

389, 391 and 393 London Road

1953 OS map

Number 389 was a detached house, and numbers 391/393 was a pair of semi-detached houses, that were on the east side of London Road, north of the corner with Mitcham Park. They were constructed between 1890 and 1895 and were examples of the Domestic Revival or Queen Anne style. As they followed the same pattern they were thought to have been designed by the same architect as a group.

They were demolished in 2005/6 and the site was redeveloped by Croudace as a block of 28 flats, which then was given the address of 59 Mitcham Park.


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

Mitcham Park

Mitcham Park is a road that runs from off the south side of Cricket Green by the Mitcham Police station, and connects to the east side of the London Road, north of the former Mitcham railway station.

As of 2018, Royal Mail lists four postcodes for this road:

CR4 4EN : odd numbers 1 to 31
CR4 4EG : even numbers 2 to 32 and East Lodge
CR4 4EP : odd numbers 29 to 59
CR4 4EJ : even numbers 34 to 106.

The block of flats on the corner with London Road, was built on the site of 389, 391 and 393 London Road in 2005/6. The block consist of 28 flats, and it was given the address of 59 Mitcham Park. See planning permission 04/P2012.

1953 OS map

Other OS maps below show the development of the road.
1894
1910
1933

An auction in 1902 describes the two semi-detached houses on the west side of Mitcham park: from the South London Press – Saturday 09 August 1902, via the British Newspaper Archives.

Close to Mitcham Common – TWO PAIRS of semi-detached ViLLAS, known as Nos. 1, 3, 5, and 7, Mitcham Park. Each house contains five bed rooms, two reception rooms, kitchen, and usual offices. No. 1 let at £60 per annum. Nos. 5 and 7 let at £55 per annum each. No. 9 will be sold with the advantage of vacant possession, but of the estimated rental value of £60 per annum, at which rental it now Iet. Lease about 90 years; ground rent £8 each.

Douglas Young & co. will sell the above by AUCTION, at the Mart, E.C., on Wednesday, September 10, 1902, at 2 o’clock precisely. Particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained at the Mart. E.C : of the Solicitors, Messrs. GEDGE, KIRBY, & MILLETT. 11, Great George-street. Westminster: or of the Auctioneers, 51, Coleman-street. K.C., and 213, Clapham-road. S.W.

These aerial photos of the houses show their single, high pitch roof which differs from the other houses that have double-pitched roofs.

Semis 1 & 3, and 5 & 7, Mitcham Park

West side of Mitcham park, from number 1 at the top to number 19 and the bottom

Occupants

1904
West Side
1, Miss COLES
5, John Marsh PITT
7, George BRIDGE
15, Rev. John EDGELL
19, William W. THOMSON
33, Hugh Knight
37, Reginald Pocock BARROW
39, Charles OGDEN
43, Evans FAWCUS
47, Joseph BEARDMORE
53, James W. BOWDING
55, Col. Ernest GRATTAN

East Side

East Lodge, James JOHNSON
2, Felix Andre Jules MOYSE
6, Francis Ringler THOMSON
10, P.A. LEON
12, Mrs HARVIE
14, A.I. SUCKLING-BARON
16, Arthur Ernest ANWYL
22, Miss ANDERSON
26, Arthur Henry BALFOUR
28, Alfred MILLER
32, Wilson ALDWINCKLE

Note that all of these houses, from 15 to 55, and 2 to 32, are of the same design, namely double-pitched roofs with square-U layout to rear.

1953 OS map

This map of 1894 shows the land around Mitcham Hall where Mitcham Park was built, up to Jeppos Lane.

1894 OS map

The land was auctioned in the same year, as listed in the Willesden Chronicle – Saturday 12 May 1894, via the British Newspaper Archive.

In a marquee on the Estate, on MONDAY, June 1, 40 Plots, first portion of the Mitcham Park Estate, adjoining the railway station, and in the centre of the town, fronting on the main road from London to Epsom.

Also, in one lot, the Freehold family Mansion, known as Mitcham Hall, with its beautifully-timbered pleasure grounds and gardens of five acres, and two excellent semi-detached villas.

Vender’s Solicitors. Messrs. Gedge, Kirby, and Millett, 1, Old Palace-yard, S.W.; Architect and Surveyor, W. Mac Thompson, Esq., Holly – cottage, Mitcham

This 1910 map shows the square U-shaped houses that were built:

1910 OS map

The 1933 map shows further development of smaller houses along the south side of the road, and between the gaps on the north / west side.

1933 OS map

News Articles

From the Western Daily Press – Friday 16 August 1935:

The birth of a son at Mitcham Park, Mitcham, to Mrs Winifred Freeman — Miss Polly Ward, the revue actress and dancer is announced.

Mrs Freeman is the only daughter of Miss Winifred Ward, the principal boy, and granddaughter of the late Will Poluski, the Victorian comedian. She was married in 1928 to Mr Robert Sydney Freeman, ” the hero of her schooldays.”

Advert from Norwood News – Friday 20 February 1953

WANTED. Teacher, preparatory school for boys and girls. 6 to 7 1/2

Clarendon Preparatory School, 17 Mitcham Park, Mitcham. Tel. Mitcham. 1444

The widow of the Reverend Lipshytz lived at number 6.


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

Veteran Car : Benz Ideal 4.5 hp reg P3518

This car was bought by Mr F.E. Manning, Mitcham Park, in the mid 1950s. He was a director of Allen Bros garage. It had a fairly good engine, which he stripped down and rebuilt. He and his son worked on rebuilding the rest of the car. They took drawings from another Benz and made components as near as possible to the original.

clip from Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_Transport_26-2 showing Mr Fenning working on the car

They entered the London to Brighton Veteran Car Rally in 1957.

clip from Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_​Transport_​26-2, copyright London Borough of Merton

In this article from 1959, his son didn’t go with him on the rally.

Veteran run

For the third year running Mr F.E. Manning has driven his 1900 Benz over the finishing line in the annual veteran car run to Brighton. And this year he got back to his home in Mitcham Park in time to see himself on the television newsreel.

Although breaking no records for the run, Mr Manning bowled along merrily in his black and primrose car (with solid tyres), crossing the finishing line at 2.30 p.m. with plenty of time to spare.

“Traffic was very heavy,” Mr Manning told me, “so we could not record any spectacular time. But we only stopped once en route and that was for lunch, The car behave perfectly all the way.”

Mr Manning’s 17-year-old son Butch did not go with him this year. “I think he got fed up with getting soaked through on the two previous runs. But we were very lucky as the weather was good this year,” Mr Manning added.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury 6th November, 1959

Restored again in 2006/7 the car was sold at Bonhams auction in February 2017 for around £105,000.

Mitcham Police Station

The current police station was opened on Saturday 18th June 1966. The previous building it replaced opened in 1855.

It was announced in 1964, that the building was to be demolished, eighty years after it was built.

POLICE STATION IS COMING DOWN

Work on Mitcham’s new police station has started. For this week a demolition squad moved in to knock down the old station, which dates from 1884.

The squad were expected in October but they didn’t arrive and it looked as though local police would have to put up with their present building for some time to come.

A temporary police station was erected but no signs of the old one coming down were to be seen.

The present station, which overlooks the Cricket Green, will be replaced by a modern building, probably with several storeys.

Work is expected to take 18 months.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 5th June, 1964, page 1.


Mayor opens new police station

Mitcham’s new £98,000 police station was officially opened on Saturday by the Mayor of Merton, Sir Cyril Black. And over 3,000 members of the public toured the station and visited a special exhibition in the car park throughout the day.

“The open day was very successful, far better than we anticipated,” commented Inspector S.W. Brunger, who organised the day with Supt. H.W. Gibson.

He added: “Open days are usually held for particular occasions like an opening. But because the public showed a great deal of interest it is quite possible they will be held more often.”

The opening ceremony was held on the top floor in the canteen. Members from all walks of life were present and Mr Robert Carr, M.P., arrived later.

Sir Cyril Black said he hoped the police would have no work to do in their new station, but if they did it would have a satisfactory completion.

He emphasised the need for the public to see what goes on in a police station and to understand the policeman’s work.

He said: “The police are anxious that their work is fully understood by the public. We must realise the task in which the police are engaged.”

He added: “The public have got to be educated in their duty to co-operate with the police. The task of policemen would be easier if full co-operation from the public was always forthcoming.”

Commander G.C.F. Duncan said the ambition of the police was to show the people of Mitcham what they are paying for and what goes on in the station. He said they wanted to knock down the idea that the police were working behind closed doors. The police had nothing to hide from the public.

“This is the newest police building in South London,” he said, “and it took many years to achieve it, but it has got to last a long time and we hope the public will think the money was well spent.”

Plans for the new station were first under way in 1962 and building started in 1964. It stands on the site of the old station which was built in 1884.

Before the public started to arrive the guests were taken on a tour of the station. They saw the various offices, detention rooms and the cells.

Then in the car park at the rear they saw an exhibition that included a mobile police unit, police dogs and horses, police sports car and a car that was involved in a fatal accident.

The most important exhibition was a special van and equipment used when accidents have occurred and to warn other motorists of the accident and dangers ahead.

Then from lunchtime to well into the evening the public were shown round.

One little girl was so pleased with her visit that she presented the sergeant on duty at the front reception desk with a flower.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 24th June 1966, page 1.


Aerial view showing front of building.

Aerial view showing front of building.

Aerial view showing rear of building. The road on the right is Mitcham Park.

Aerial view showing rear of building. The road on the right is Mitcham Park.

The Red Lodge, London Road

The Red Lodge was a house on the east side of London Road, north of the junction with Mitcham Park. Its location is described in the 1915 street directory, heading south:

— here is Berkeley place
William Jackson (Lorne villa)
Frederick Saxon (Hall villa)
Sydney Gedge (Mitcham hall)
Mrs Chapman (Campfield)
Charles Tibbitts (Oakleigh)
Arthur Horsley (The Red lodge)

Baron Cottages:
1, George William Thompson
2, Mrs Martin

— here is Mitcham Park

1910 OS map

1910 OS map

It can be seen on this map that the Red Lodge was the house before the Baron Cottages at the corner with Mitcham Park, where the “.877” is shown. This number, 0.877, is the size of field number 230, of which this house was a part of.

This 1953 OS map shows the house now numbered as 389 London Road.

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

World War 1 Connections
Private Lawrence John Horsley

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

Leyens Carboard Box Co. Ltd.

Factory that was at 9 Western Road, which made cardboard boxes. The building was originally the Zion Congregational Chapel.

It was listed in the 1963 Borough of Mitcham List of Factories.

In the 1954 telephone directory, listed as 7 Western Road : MIT 4681 and 131 Love Lane : MIT 2016.

The company was started by Max Leyens probably in 1939, as there isn’t an entry of it in the 1938 directory.

He was born in 1906 in Schwanenberg, Germany. At the start of World War 2 he was living at 21 Mitcham Park, and he was interned in the Isle of Man. He was released from internment on 4th December 1940 as category 12. His Home Office release card showed his previous and present occupation as cardboard manufacturer.

He was naturalised in 1947 as recorded in the London Gazette:

Leyens, Max; Germany; Cardboard Box Manufacturer;
21, Mitcham Park, Mitcham, Surrey.
22 September, 1947.

In 1953, Max Leyens patented an improvement for cardboard boxes, registered as GB28753A.

The company went into voluntary liquidation in 1981 as recorded in the London Gazette:

LEYENS CARDBOARD BOX CO. (1971) LIMITED

At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the above-named Company, duly convened, and held at 7-13 Western Road, Mitcham, Surrey, on 24th April 1981, the following Resolution was duly passed:

“That the Company be wound up voluntarily, and that S. Guthrie-Brown, of 1 West Smithfield, London EC1A 9LA. be and he is hereby appointed Liquidator for the purposes of such winding-up.”

R. V. Machin, Chairman.

Max Leyens died in December, 1984, as reported in the journal of the Association of Jewish Refugees (pdf). He had been living in Bournemouth, and left £78,750 in his will, according to Ancestry.

News Articles

Mitcham News & Mercury, 7th June, 1957

Factory blazed – but workers did not know

HOUSEWIVES raised the alarm when fire broke out at the Leyens Cardboard Box factory in Western Road, Mitcham, on Thursday last week.

They saw smoke billowing from the factory window. Minutes
later there was a loud crash as part of the factory roof caved in.

But the staff, who were having lunch in the canteen, did not
realise the building was on fire.

“The canteen is at the front of the factory. We were listening to the radio and didn’t hear the noise,”- said an employee.

Over 200 tons of raw materials — reels of paper and cardboard
sheets — were severely burnt. Damage to the budding and loss
of materials is estimated at between £3.000 and £5.000.

SALVAGE ATTEMPT

Two fire engines went to the factory. Using hoses the firemen
managed to confine the blare to the laminating room. They
stayed two hours with one of the machines.

“The fire brigade took control very quickly. If they had not acted so promptly it could have easily spread to the rest of the building,” commented Mr M. Leyens, the managing director.

Before the fire brigade arrived, some of the men tried to salvage boasrding and paper, but the heat became too intense.

Expensive machinery and other equipment were only slightly damaged. Production was held up only until fresh supplies of raw materials arrived.

Note: Almost a year ago – on June 7, 1956, fire broke at the factory and materials worth £300 were destroyed.