Tag Archives: Morden Road

Private Lawrence Douglas Hawkins

Born 24th March 1924.

He was a messenger for the 57th Surrey (Mitcham) Home Guards, then at 18 he joined up and became a machine gunner in the 7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, service number 14415852.

Reported as missing believed to be a Prisoner of War on 1st June 1944, during the Allied Invasion of Italy.

He was a Prisoner Of War at Stalag VIIIB, later renumbered Stalag 344, Lamsdorf. For more details on this camp, see the website www.lamsdorf.com. He was part of “The Long March” – the movement of POWs westward as Soviet forces approached. He marched for four months from Poland through Southern Germany, around a thousand miles through the coldest continental winter of the 20th century in the clothes they were standing in.

His story is told in an Amazon Kindle e-Book Lambeth to Lamsdorf : Doug Hawkins’ War

Robin Green, the book’s author, wrote that Doug Hawkins spent his early life in Lambeth and Mitcham. Doug’s son said in a review of the book:

Doug was my dad.

He never really spoke of his war experiences until my mum died in 2001.

He played bowls with the author and one day when my dad was recalling some of his war time memories and especially the Long March.

Robin offered to write it down. Over many weeks they met at Dad’s home and I know Robin’s research was extensive, including talking to Dad’s regiment who were able to corroborate where necessary.

Robin finished his work before Dad’s memories were lost due to dementia.

In the 1960s, Lawrence D. Hawkins lived with his wife Mavis at 193 Morden Road, Mitcham.

He died in 2016 in Basingstoke.

1962 : 250 year old find in Ravensbury Park

From the Norwood News – Friday 5th October 1962

250-year-old Ravensbury Park find

WHILE reinforcing the banks of a backwater in Ravensbury Park, Mitcham, Mr. William Bloodforth, parks foreman, came across a large wooden pipe, which he believes is over 250 years old.

The section of the pipe which he uncovered is clamped together with six iron bands.

One theory is that the pipe, about two feet in diameter, was used to drain dye or bleach from a silk factory that might have been on the site where the rubber factory now stands, facing Morden Road.

If the pipe did carry dye it may have drained into the River Wandle about 600 yards away.

Mr. Bloodforth thinks this is unlikely as the backwater is higher than the Wandle bed.

A huge plane tree, ai least 250 years old, is growing in the path of the pipe which is only inches beneath the bed of the backwater.

“I shouldn’t think that the pipe was put there after the tree had been planted.” said Mr. Bloodforth.

It was while he was “riveting” the banks that his spade came across the wooden pine.

“I thought it was a coffin at first and was looking for the bones,” he said.

°It must have been here before the backwater. The mud, of course, has preserved it beautifully.” he went on.

The pipe may never have been discovered if Mr Bloodforth had not taken the opportunity to do the banks while the water is cut off due to the road works in Morden Road.

Morden Gardens

Road off south side of Morden Road, on east side of Ravensbury Park.

Built in 1929/30 by Hadnutt & Robinson, of 157 Cecil Road, Thornton Heath, whose planning application, number 1561, said: 64 new villas and new road called Morden Gardens, off Morden Road. Source: page 124, volume XV of Mitcham Urban District Council minutes, 1929-1930.

1952 OS map

The 1952 OS map shows houses numbered odd on east side from 1 to 39, and even on the west side from 2 to 40. Bungalows at the southern end of the road, numbered 41 and 42, were built around 1961. All the properties in this road have the postcode CR4 4DH.


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

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.

Tea Cosy coffee shop

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, April 17th, 1936

‘Tea Cosy’ coffee shop, at corner of London Road & Morden road, to disappear for reconstruction of railway bridge at Mitcham station.

Mrs M. Cottle, 87, owned the shop for 27 years. “When I came here the place was just a village and business was remarkably good. I used to serve many lorry drivers here but now they can’t pull up here, so I don’t get their custom so much.”

“Some people say I should retire, but I should be thoroughly miserable with nothing to do. I have the best of health, and while I feel as I do at present I want to keep busy.”

120 to 154 Morden Road

120 to 154 Morden Road, Mitcham CR4 4DB, is a terrace of shops with flats above. It is on the north side of Morden Road, at the right hand side of the entrance to Deer Park Gardens. To its right is Ravensbury Path, which crosses the tram line and connects to Church Path.

Photo taken December 2017.

The tower is on the west end of the block. It houses the stairwell leading to the first and second floors. Photo taken December 2017.

Locally listed June 1994, Merton council says:

This is a terrace of inter war shops with flats over, which is built of brick. It is a three storey building, in which the top floor is contained within a mansard roof. The main frontage contains little of particular interest except for the glazed green tiles on the steeper of the slopes of the mansard roof. The end of the terrace has an unusual round tower feature surmounted by a pyramidal roof with the same green tiles. The brickwork on this tower also contains small details of interest. The chimneys at each end of the building are also of some interest, as they follow a curved line at first floor level. It should also be noted that almost all of the original details relating to the shopfronts has now been lost, and that original windows have almost all been replaced. The end elevation which is of greatest interest is disfigured by a large advertising hoarding.

Some of the original wall design is now visible due to changes in signs above the shops.

Photo taken December 2017.

1952 OS map

Stanmore Motors was at number 120. It is listed in the 1954 and 1971 telephone directories as MITcham 2796, and 01-648 2796.

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