Tag Archives: Mitcham Park

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:


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.


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.

Laburnum Road Estate

Council housing estate built 1954+ on land south and west of the level crossing at Tamworth Lane.

The architects were Collcutt & Hamp, J. Liversedge & Co. were the consulting construction engineers, Mr. H.A. Sandford, M.A. was the consulting electrical engineer and E.C. Harris and Partners the quantity surveyors. Source: Borough Engineer’s Report, 8th September, 1952, as publsihed in Mitcham Borough Council minutes, page 223, volume 19.

Merton Memories Photos

c. 1954 Being built – as seen from railway line
c.1956 Block being built – roof section carried by crane
A completed block seen from railway line
A completed block front view
Two completed blocks
Old peoples’ cottages and a completed block

The land was bought by Mitcham Borough Council using a compulsory purchase order. These council minutes describe the land plots bought, and from whom.

From the minutes of the
Housing Committee
Thursday 2nd July 1953

Laburnum Road Site: Acquisition of Land

The Town Clerk submitted the District Valuer’s reports of the terms of compensation provisionally agreed, subject to the approval of the Council and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, for the acquisition, under the terms of the Mitcham (Laburnum Road) Compulsory Purchase Order, 1952, of the freehold interest in the undermentioned land required for the development for housing purposes of the Laburnum Road site.

Land owned by Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd.

5.030 acres approx. of land at Laburnum Road, together with the house known as “Nursery Cottage” and the derelict house adjoining, and also 0.105 acre of land at Laburnum Road, including the building and timber yard known as “The Garage.”

Land Owned by The Misses L.L. and N.A. Allen, as Executors and Trustees of Rebecca Allen, deceased.

0.084 acre approx. of land at Laburnum Road, including the four cottages known as 1,2,3 and 4, Railway Cottages.

Land Owned by Mizen Bros.

0.138 acre approx. of land at the rear of No.s 1-4, Railway Cottages, Laburnum Road, with a frontage to Eastfields Road.

Resolved, That the terms of compensation provisionally agreed be approved by the Council; that authority be given for the acquisition of the land in accordance with these terms; and that the Common Seal of the Corporation be affixed to any necessary documents.

Railway Cottages and Nursery Cottage can be seen on the 1952 OS Map:

The largest plot, roughly triangular, and owned by the Co-Op, had Nissen Huts on it at the time of the purchase. They can be seen in this aerial photo from 1952

Railway Cottages and Nursery Cottage can be seen top left of this photo



The names of the blocks of flats, and old peoples’ cottages, were suggested in January 1954.

From the minutes of the
Housing Committee
7th January 1954

Laburnum Road Estate

The following is a suggested name for the four blocks of flats on the Laburnum Road Estate: –

Laburnum Court
Hardcastle Court
Penfold Court
Guyatt Court

Addition, names are required for the four blocks of aged persons’ dwellings and it is recommended the following names be given to them: –

Lea Cottages
Ryves Cottages
Campbell Cottages
Overhill Cottages

Source: Proceedings of the Council and committees, Mitcham Borough Council, Volume 20 1953-54, page 535.


(i) That the following names be given to the four blocks of flats in the Laburnum Road Estate:

Laburnum Court
Penfold Court
Fitch Court
Beaumont Court

(ii) That the names recommended for the four blocks of aged persons’ dwellings be approved.

Source: Proceedings of the Council and committees, Mitcham Borough Council, Volume 20 1953-54, pages 538.

From Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser
8th July 1954

First tenants move into town’s newest estate


THE first tenants moved to Mitcham’s newest estate — Laburnum Road — over the week-end. About a dozen families went into the top-floor flats and maisonnettes of Laburnum Court which is the first block to be completed.

Many had spent years in one and two-room flatlets. Then, after three years or more on the waiting list, they were told by Mitcham Council: ” We have a home for you.” Over the week-end they moved into their bright new flats and maisonnettes, where there are built-in cupboards, large rooms, water heaters, and other amenities they have not known during their married lives.

Eventually the estate, due to be completed by March, will consist of 54 three-bedroom, 84 two-bedroom, and 12 one bedroom flats and maisonnettes, as well as 18 two-storey cottages for old people.

This week the lifts operating from the yellow-tiled entrances to the block were not operating, but the new tenants did not mind climbing four flights of stairs to their homes.

One was Mrs M. L. Gaterall who, with her husband and three children aged from six years to 18 months, had been living in a two-room flat in Kennington, three storeys up. Their chance to move into a decent home came after three years on Mitcham Council’s housing list.


On Monday. Mr R. W. Hayward, a printer’s assistant, moved into one of the maisonnettes with his wife and baby. They had been living in one room in Colliers Wood and they too had been on the waiting list for three years.

Their new home has a living room, modern kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms. From their back windows they can look out across the roofs of houses in Lammas Avenue and Barnard Road to Commonside East and the common.

Mrs. Hayward had one objection to her new home — in the maisonnettes there are no balconies on which children can be left to play in the open air. They will have to be taken by their mothers down to the lawns which will be laid between the blocks of flats when the estate is finished.

Her husband was pleased with the kitchen. “With all the built-in cupboards, there has been no need to buy any furniture for that room, at least,” he commented.


Another family who have moved into one of the three-bedroom flats are Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Came and their son and daughter. Another son is still in the Army. They lived in Fortescue Road, but the owner wanted the house. After a year on the waiting list they have been able to move. “It costs us a little more, but it is worth it,” declared Mrs. Came. “The rooms are much larger so that we can lay them out properly and make them look nice. And,” she added, “there is a bathroom.”

In the blue and cream kitchen there is a built-in dresser, larder, broom cupboard, airing cupboard, and an electric immersion heater. In the hall is a gas-heated drying cupboard.

All the new flats and malsonnettes have composition tiled floors width can be polished.

At present, about 180 men are working on the estate, building the remaining blocks of flats, maisonnettes, and old people’s cottages. Their work has not been easy.

While digging the drains, workmen found pieces of old cars, tins, bed-steads and dustbins deep below the surface. At one spot they had to cut a trench through a large area of broken glass. In another place they found a 15-ft. wide stretch of sleepers lying across the path of a deep trench, three feet below the surface. They had to saw, hack and tear their way through the tough wood.

From Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser
4th February 1954

Their names will not be forgotten

Names noted in national and local affairs are honoured by Mitcham Council in the names given to the new blocks of flats on the Laburnum Road Estate and the Baron House Estate in London Road, Lower Mitcham.

The late Mr. Sydney Gedge, of Mitcham Hall, a one-time Member of Parliament and constructor of Mitcham Park, is remembered in Gedge Court on the Baron House Estate opposite his old home. Mitcham’s first Mayor, then Ald. Jack Fitch, and Mr. J. R. Beaumont, also a former Mayor and alderman, are commemorated in Fitch and Beaumont Courts on the Laburnum Road Estate.

The other blocks of flats are named Laburnum Court and Penfold Court (on the Laburnum Estate), Fenning Court and Baron Court (on the Baron House Estate).

The Housing Committee and council also approved the names recommended for the four blocks of dwellings for old people on the Laburnum Road Estate. They will be called Lea Cottages, Ryves Cottages, Campbell Cottages and Overhill Cottages.

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

Reverend Lipshytz

Christlieb Traugott Lipshytz, born in Warsaw, in around 1859. His nationality and naturalisation papers held at the National Archives say he was from Russia.

In 1911, he lived at Gorringe Park House. According to his gravestone, see below, he was director and superintendent missionary since 1889 of the Barbican Mission for the Jews.

Clip from Merton Memories photo 49939 (c) London Borough of Merton

Clip from Merton Memories photo 49939 ‘Barbican Mission To The Jews’ (c) London Borough of Merton


LIPSHYTZ the reverend Christlieb Traugott of Gorringe Park House Mitcham Surrey Clark died 6 November 1922. Probate London 9 December to Henry Charles Hogan and Herbert Thomas Hogan journalists. Effects £4905 17s.

(Adjusted for inflation, £4905 17s. is about £220,000 in 2017 values.)




LEONARD DAVEY & HART Have been instructed by Mrs. Lipshytz to Sell by Auction WEDNESDAY NEXT, MAY 12th, at Two.

FURNITURE AND EFFECTS, comprising bedsteads and bedding, wardrobes, dressing chests, washstands, carpets, dining room suites, bookcases, and tables, harmonium, couches, easy and other chairs, hall stand, gas fires, books, china, glass etc. On view previous AFTERNOON and morning of sale. Catalogues at Auction Offices, Upper Green. Mitcham and 351, London Road, Thornton Heath.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 08 May 1926 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Gravestone in parish burial ground, Church Road