Tag Archives: Phipps Bridge

2,000th post-war council home built in 1955

Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser
Thursday, 7th July 1955

TWO THOUSAND HOUSES – AND NOBODY NOTICED

Housing chairman unable to give Phipps Bridge date

‘Impossible to say when work will start’

Mitcham Council have built their 2,000th post-war permanent home – but no one realised it at the time.

It happened a few weeks ago. Calculations show that the 2,000th home is a flat on the Ravensbury Estate.

When the town’s 1,000th post-war home was opend at Pollards Hill several years ago, there was a special celebration to mark the event.

Up to date, 2,128 permanent houses have been provided by the council since 1945. In addition, 345 temporary Arcon bungalows were erected shortly after the war, as well as 107 short-term hutments.

Now, the council are waiting to go ahead with their big Phipps Bridge redevelopment programme. They plan to build 636 new flats and houses at a cost of more than £1.75 million on land at present occupied by the closed-down dust destructor and old property.

Planning problems

Ald. Fido said it was impossible to say when work would start. There had been delays because of planning problems. It had been hoped to obtain the Mitcham Stadium site for building to fill in the gap until the Phipps Bridge scheme could go ahead.

The eight-acre stadium site has been bought by Wates Ltd., the local building firms, who intended to build blocks of flats there.

Because of shortage of land the council’s future building plans – apart from Phipps Bridge – are restricted to one or two small sites such as Pitcairn Road where 17 flats and houses are to be built, and Inglemere Road where a dozen flats are to go up.

Work in progress

A number of old people’s bungalows and flats are being, or will be, built on existing estates. These include 17 cottage flats on the Short Bolstead Estate, where work should start soon. The Elm Nursery Estate will be completed when 20 homes for old people have been erected, and work is in progress on 36 more at the Glebe Estate.

In addition Mitcham has 184 flats under construction at the Banstead joint housing estate.

The 2,500th home was celebrated in 1956, see Completion of 2,500th Post-War Dwelling

See also this Engineering website about the Arcon design, and this website for details about Nissen huts, or ‘hutments’.

Dust Destructor Chimney

From the Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser, 15th September, 1955.

A LANDMARK familiar to thousands of Mitcham residents disappeared last Thursday with the felling of the 125 ft. high refuse destructor chimney at Phipps Bridge.

This was the first major step in clearing the area adjoining Homewood Road for Mitcham Corporation’s proposed £1,750,000 redevelopment scheme to house 636 families.

During the previous week-end, two steeplejack brothers Mr. Arthur Collard and Mr. John Collard. began work on what was for them the end of another chimney. By Thursday they had cut away half the 18-ft. wide base, leaving timber props in place of the 3-ft. 6-in. think brickwork.

At 2.26 p.m. the props, soaked in 20 gallons of paraffin, were set alight. As flames leapt high, the 21 year old chimney belched smoke for the last time. Nine minutes later, it heeled over with a muffled roar 460 tons of brickwork fell to the ground beneath a vast cloud of dust.

The deputy borough engineer, Mr. W. B. W. Wignall, and a number of Mitcham councillors, including the chairman of the Housing Committee, Ald. D. W. Chalkley, watched the chimney crash down a few yards from their feet.

“PERFECT DROP”

And from his New Close home which overlooks the site Mr. Tom Good, now in his seventies, saw the end of the chimney he had helped to build.

“It was a perfect drop.” said Mr. Arthur Collard. With him was Alec, his 13 year old son, “who always comes to watch the interesting jobs.”

Built in 1934, in the last year of the old Mitcham Urban District Council, the chimney and destructor cost £9,869. A council spokesman told “The Advertiser” afterwards: “It would probably cost three times that sum to build at present-day
costs.”

The destructor was last used at the beginning of 1953. The amount of refuse handled by the corporation had grown so much that it was decided to tip all refuse on Mitcham Common.