Tag Archives: Mizen

Tom Francis

Mitcham News and Mercury 28th August 1953

Mr. THOMAS FRANCIS, head of a family of four generations, died at his daughter’s home at
Warlingham on Saturday.

He was 81.

Born over his father’s shop in London-road, Mr. Francis lived in Mitcham for nearly 80 years, until he retired in April, 1951. Mitcham past and present was his lifelong interest. He was a member of the old Parish Council, a former chairman of Mitcham Civic Society and a former president of the Chamber of Commerce. He was a vice-president of the Civic Society.

Mr. Francis left his own memorial — an extensive collection of historical Mitcham slides, which he presented to Mitcham Borough Libraries. The Francis collection were largely taken from his own negatives, which dated from about 1890. Of the slides, many were taken by the wet-plate process, about 1865-70 by a professional photographer named Drummond and a number made by John R. Chart. A few were gals to him by old friends and some were given by photographers.

FIRST CAMERA

The first camera Mr. Francis’ used for his hobby was of the mahogany box type with a rackwork lens —the type once in common use by beach photographers. In the old days he played regularly in the Upper Mitcham v. Lower Mitcham cricket matches, and when the Wednesday XI was revived in 1925, there were few matches he missed. Between the wars he and his son Tom both used to play.

During the last war he was injured when his house was bombed and later, as a result, he had to have an eye removed.

“He was Mitcham. He lived for Mitcham.” said Mr. Stephen Taylor, on employee of his for many’ years.

Mr. Francis was on the Committee of Wilson Hospital from its foundation and until the hospital was taken over by the State.

He received part of his education at the Mitcham Lodge College, next to London-road Schools, Dr. Smith was the principal. Later he went to the Quaker School at Saffron Walden in which he was also a member of the Society of Friends.

His memory was a treasury of local recollections, both of characters of Mitcham village days and of incidents of village life.

From his childhood he could recall being taken for drives in broughams and wagonettes. One of these ended with the vehicle being stuck in a pond in Morden-road. On other occasions a drive took him through water about a foot deep at Hackbridge.

Other memories were of Quaker meetings at the Mitcham Manor House, cycling expeditions with Alfred and Ernest Mizen, and of Mitcham Fair, when performing bears were on show.

In his youth the “Old Squirt,” the village fire engine was kept in a cage on Lower Green, where the Town Hall now stands.

The business in London-road which bears the name Francis, was started by a Mr. Fitt in 1830 and was taken over by Mr. Francis’s parents in 1870. He began in the business in 1886.

His Quaker funeral at the Cricket Green Methodist Church on Tuesday was attended by the Mayor of Mitcham (Coun. E. E. Mount), Ald. and Mrs. T. L. Ruff, Mr. S. Chart (former Town Clerk), Dr. A. H. Shelswell, Mr. C. J. Farrell (Div. Education Officer), Mr. H. J. Dorrett (Rotary Club), Mr. Dick Gifford (chairman of the Civic Society), Messrs. R. Culmer, J. Pillinger and F. Cole (Mitcham Cricket Club). Mr. S. Taylor (Horticultural Society), Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Bailey, Mr. W. Dalton and representatives of the Society of Friends School at Saffron Walden.

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

EAST SIDE

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

WEST SIDE

Walgrave Terrace:
1, Arthur EVERETT
2, Jacob NORRIS
3, William HOPKINS
4, Charles NEWING
5, Charles WILLIAMSON
6, Miss MIZEN
7, Thomas BAKER
8, Mrs EXCELL
9, Thomas BELBIN
10, Edward ARTHUR
11, George WHITTINGHAM
12, John HUMPHREYS
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
4, Avis ETHERINGTON
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

Building Plans Approved 19th Century

From Croydon Rural District Authority Minutes

4 April 1895:
– additions to Killick’s Lane Board School

16 May 1895 plans approved:
– coach house & stable, Baron Row, Mitcham Dr. Ferrier Clarke

11 July 1895:
– stable, Lock’s Lane E. Thumwood

22 August 1895:
Messrs Mizen, Eastfields, to erect two cottages at Manor Farm, Westfields

17 October 1895:
– Messrs Typke & King to build a lab at the Crowned Chemical Works, Mitcham
– Mr JD Drewett to erect two cottages in Killick’s Road

10 June 1897:
Warehouse at Phipps’ Bridge road by Harland & son

10 June 1897:
10 houses in Graham rd by Mr HJ Vile of 4 Crieff Rd, Wandsworth

8 July 1897:
– Mr G Pitt of Mitcham to erect a cottage in Church rd Mitcham
– Mr J Burges, Norman rd, Merton to erect a butler’s pantry at the “Cedars”, Mitcham

21 October 1897:
– Mr JM Pitt of Mitcham to erect four houses Gladstone rd, Mitcham

4 November 1897:
E. Pearce of 264 Brixton rd, to erect stable & coach house at Graham rd, Mitcham

6 January 1898:
Mr CF Woodward of Graham avenue to erect four cottages in Church rd., Mitcham

20 January 1898:
RA Bush, Hall Place, Mitcham to erect four pairs semi-detached villas in Church street, Mitcham

17 March 1898:
Perry & Reid of 9 John Street, Adelphi for erection of new public house “Buck’s Head”, Mitcham

20 April 1899:
Chapman, FC houses Fortescue Road
Mitcham & Cheam Brewery co. – offices, Lower Mitcham

14 May 1899
New road at Miles Road, Mitcham was approved in November 1898 at 36ft wide, but bye-laws had since changed to 40ft; committee decided not to insist on wider width as plans were approved before the change.

25 May 1899:
Taylor & Kinsett – six houses Pitcairn rd.
J. Wilson – 37 houses Gorringe Park, Mitcham

13 July 1899:
Taylor & Kinsett – 14 houses Pitcairn rd.

27 July 1899:
Chapman, FC – 2 houses Fortescue Road, Mitcham
W.M. Thompson for S Gedge – 6 houses, Mitcham Park Estate

27 September 1899:
– Dell, J – 2 cottages King’s Road, Mitcham
– Cruwys, R – shop, London Road

12 October 1899:
Geo. Pitt – new road, Century Road & 22 cottages on same
– Mr Dalton – 4 houses (8 tenements) Robinson Road

26 October 1899:
GH Stephenson – 3 shops & 12 cottages Miles Road
– J Tuckett – 11 houses (each 6 flats), Park & Robinson Road

9 November 1899:
Taylor & Kinsett – 18 houses Pitcairn rd.

14 December 1899:
– Moses & Carver – 6 houses Graham Road
– Fortescue & co. – 4 houses Marian road
– Mann, Crossman & Paulin – addition to Gladstone House, Mitcham

8 February 1900:
– G. Lawrence – 3 houses (4 tenements) Fortescue Road
– A. Dendy – 2 cottages Manor Farm, Upper Mitcham


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.