Tag Archives: Pear Tree Close

Coporal Peter Pushman

Corporal Peter Pushman, service no. 1454610. Photo from the Mitcham News & Mercury, 17th November, 1944.

Peter Pushman joined the Army before the war and was a gunner in 265 Battery of the 67th Field regiment of the Royal Artillery. He was a corporal in the 2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, when he died at the Battle of Arnhem on 22nd September 1944.

He was 28, and was married to Sarah Charlotte (maiden name Todd), of Sandford-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. They lived at 17B Council Houses, Bullingdon Rural District, Oxfordshire, and were married in the first quarter of 1939. At no. 17 Council Houses was George R. Todd, born 1870, and likely Sarah’s father, a retired builder’s labourer. The Bullingdon rural district is now part of the South Oxfordshire District.

His parents were Bert and Elizabeth Pushman who lived in Love Lane, Mitcham. His father was a chimney sweep.

Sources

Casualty entry on Commonwealth War Grave Commission website.

The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register, Reference: RG 101/2

General Register Office; United Kingdom; Volume: 3a; Page: 2147.

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bullingdon in South Oxfordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.

His death as reported in a local newspaper article


His grave is in the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, reference 22. A. 19. in Holland. Photo taken 17th September, 2019.

Mitcham News & Mercury 20th October, 1944, page 1

DIED IN EPIC OF ARNHEM
Corporal Victim of Mortar Bomb

THE Arnhem epic has taken its toll of Mitcham’s gallant sons. The latest name on the Roll of Honour is that of Cpl. Peter Pushman, second son of Mr. and Mrs B. Pushman. Mr. Pushman is the old-established chimney sweep in Love-lane. Mitcham.

Cpl. Pushman, who was in the South Staffordshire Regt., was killed instantly by a mortar bomb. In a letter to his parents, the adjutant of his unit writes:—

“Cpl. Pushman died whilst giving his all, and his leadership and cheerfulness were an example to all those around him.”

Cpl. Pushman, who was in the Terriers before the war, went through Dunkirk and had returned to this country from Italy shortly before last Christmas. He was a bricklayer in civil life, and leaves a widow and one daughter. He was educated at Gorringe Park School.

Three serving brothers will mourn his death. Bert, the eldest, is serving with the Queen’s Royal Regt. in India. Frank is with the Royal Engineers on the Western Front, and Jim has recently been released from the R.A.F. to work in an aircraft factory.

From the 1939 Register on Ancestry, the occupants at 113 Love Lane were:

Bertie Pushman, married, aged 89, born 8 July 1889, chimney sweep (own account)
James A. Pushman, single, 20, born 2 Jan 1920, electric meter assembler
Daisy T. Pushman, single, 20, born 2 Jan 1920, electric meter assembler
Sidney Pushman, single, 18, born 2 Feb 1922, shop assistant
Frank Pushman, single, 23, born 31 July 1923, sheet metal driller
Joyce Pushman, single, 25, born 30 June 1925, cardboard box maker

This OS map of 1954 shows number 113 as on the west side of Love Lane, the second house north of the corner with Pear Tree Close. It was built by Mitcham Borough Council as part of the Pear Tree Close development in 1934, and still exists in 2019.

1954 OS Map showing 113 Love Lane


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

Taffy’s How

Road off of Love Lane. Council Minutes use two spellings “Taffys How” and “Taffy How”. Note no apostrophe. The OS map for 1953 shows it as Taffey’s How.

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

A strip of land 0.6 acres was bought from Messrs Mizen Brothers, market gardeners, in 1935 by the Borough of Mitcham, for £975. It was developed for social housing. Inflation adjusted this is around £63,000 in 2016.

Proceedings of the Council and Committees, Mitcham Borough Council
Volume 1 Nov-Oct 1934-45
Housing Committee
Page 884

Taffys How, Love Lane

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Accompanying this report we beg to submit for your approval a preliminary sketch lay-out for the site acquired from Messrs. Mizen at Taffys How, Love Lane, immediately adjoining the Pear Tree Close housing scheme.

The area acquired is 0.600 acres. It is outside the area of the Town Planning Scheme and consequently free from restrictions of density. Adopting the same density figure as was taken in the case of Pear Tree Close, it should afford sites for 12 houses, and this is the number which we have shown on the plan upon the assumption that is to be developed to its utmost capacity.

It is a long and very narrow strip of land, with a very short frontage to Love Lane, and the only way in which the utmost use may be made of the land is to drive a road along one side of it as shown. This will be a 24 feet road with turning space at the end. While in this position it will also be available for the development of the adjoining land, which is not your property, it is, in our view, preferable to placing it on the other side of the site, when the new houses erected upon it would look out on the backs of the Pear Tree Close houses.

As regards the type of houses to be erected, the two blocks of three in each we propose should be exactly similar to those already erected on the Pear Tree Close estate; for the remainder of the houses the shallow depth of the sites calls for wide frontages, shallow depths, and the provision of some garden space at the sides. We show in the sketch the plan we suggest, which will provide similar accommodation to the other houses included in the scheme.

we are, ladies and gentlemen,
Yours obediently,
Chart, Son and Reading.

Housing Committee
Thursday, October 10, 1935
page 980

“Taffy How,” Love Lane. – The Town Clerk reported that the District Valuer was prepared to support an application for loan for the purchase of “Taffy How” from Messrs. Mizen Bros. at the price at which the Council had acquired the same. Resolved, That the Finance Committee be recommended to submit an application to the Minister of Health to borrow the sum of £975 for the acquisition of the land known as “Taffy How,” Love Lane.


Eric Montague says the origin of the name is unknown but that it was an alternative field name for an inclosure off Love Lane called Barn Field which was part of property owned by an Andrew Feltham, as documented by Edwin Chart in 1827. The details are held at the Surrey History Centre.

Source: note 14 on page 137 ‘Mitcham Histories: 12 Church Street and Whitford Lane’ by EN Montague.


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

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

Pear Tree Close

Built by Mitcham Borough Council and completed in 1934, to rehouse some of the people made homeless by the Explosion. Due to the white rendered walls of the houses, it had the nickname ‘White City’.

The development consisted of 9 blocks of a total of 48 terraced houses, which included odd numbers 103 to 121 Love Lane and 12 to 17 inclusive in Westfield Road.

This 1932 OS map shows the area occupied by nurseries before Pear Tree Close, Taffy’s How and Walnut Tree Avenue were built.

1932 OS map

1938 OS map

The average cost per house was £36 for the land, £27 for the road and sewers and £305 for the building.


From the minutes of Housing Committee
11th December 1947
page 151

No. 20 Pear Tree Close

The w.c. pan at the above house was broken by a cat jumping through the open window and knocking over a bottle which cracked the pan. I shall be glad of the Committee’s instructions as to whether or not the tenant is to be charged.

I am, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
B. THRUPP
Housing Manager

Resolved – That the cost of repair be borne by the Council


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