Tag Archives: Ravensbury Arms

1958 Tatler recommends Ravensbury Arms

From an article in The Tatler, entitled Dining Out

when my clutch suddenly failed completely on the slope of the Blue House Bridge Croydon Road, Mitcham, I was within one hundred and fifty yards of the Ravensbury Arms.

I must have passed it a thousand times in my life, but as it has always been so close to the start of a journey, south or south-east, I had never given it a thought.

There I found John Dawson and his wife, Stella, and announced my plight. In a couple of seconds they had summoned two bar staff and two of their customers. Between them they pushed me from the bridge, round the roundabout, and into the space in front of their pub.

The Dawsons, I discovered, have built up a great reputation for their cuisine, John Dawson having be come by sheer enthusiasm a sort of self-taught maitre chef, and nothing goes out of the kitchen unless it has his blessing. The menu for this type of pub is remarkable and includes such things as scampi at 7s. 6d., caviare at 12s. 6d., and asparagus 5s. There is a choice of six omelets (including Spanish); a considerable cold buffet, a large range of grills (including a porterhouse steak garni for 12s. 6d.), and so on.

There are red and white wines at 2s. per glass and a short, simple, but quite adequate wine list – Burgundies from 14s. per bottle, Bordeaux from 12s. 6d.

When John and Stella Dawson took over the Ravensbury in 1952 they were possibly the youngest innkeepers in the country, being 24 and 22 years old respectively. John learnt his pub-keeping from his wife’s father, a great cricketing enthusiast, “Burn” Bullock, who played for the Surrey Seconds in the early ‘twenties and then turned professional. Later he took the King’s Head which looks out over the famous cricket green at Mitcham. This is now being run by his widow, Mrs. Lillian Bullock.

Source: The Tatler – Wednesday 12 November 1958 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1936/7 Nalder & Collyer’s sale to Ind Coope

Brewery Distribution

An unusual linking of brewery interest is brought to notice by an announcement to-day from Nalder & Collyer’s Brewery Co. (Ltd.) This Company has a capital of £660,000 in £130,000 Ordinary and £530,000 Preference shares. Practically all the Ordinary and 90 per cent, of the Preference are held by the City of London Brewery and Investment Trust (Ltd.) This latter, now mainly an investment trust, has a considerable holding in Ind Coope & Allsopp (Ltd.) and also an indirect interest in Ind Coope through Nalder & Collyer, which in March last year sold a number of its properties to Ind Coope & Allsopp (Ltd.) for a total consideration of £2,200,353, paid partly in cash and partly in Ind Coope Debentures, Preference, and Ordinary stocks.

The directors of Nalder & Collyer are now going to distribute part of the Ind Coope Ordinary to the Company’s Ordinary shareholders and the bulk of these shares will of course go to the City of London Brewery and Investment Trust (Ltd.) For every £10 Nalder & Collyer Ordinary will be given £2 of Ind Coope Ordinary, making the total distribution £26,000 nominal, worth at the current market price £162,500. Accompanying this announcement is a final dividend of 20 per cent plus a 10 per cent cash bonus, making, with the interim of 25 per cent., a total of 55 per cent, as before, which of course also goes mainly to the controlling company. There is a free market in City of London Brewery 5s Deferred Ordinary units now standing around 20s. a price which indicates long-standing hopes of a capital bonus. Last year’s dividend was only 6 per cent. The next accounts are to June 30 next and are due in July.

Source: The Scotsman – Friday 07 May 1937 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Nalder & Collyer owned the Horse and Groom, Kings Head (later Burn Bullock), Ravensbury Arms, Three Kings, Swan, Windmill.

Blue Houses

Cottages, originally painted blue, near the Ravensbury Arms pub, on land between Croydon and Carshalton roads.

From a Percy Mayhew postcard. The Ravensbury Arms is on the left.

From a Percy Mayhew postcard. The Ravensbury Arms is on the left.

History

Eric Montague, in his book Mitcham Common, says, on page 63, that this area was called Sheldon’s Corner, the earliest mention of which was in 1738. Montague also said that the theory the cottages were painted blue was to match the stables of the Surrey Iron Railway. He agrees though with early railway history expert, the late Charles E. Lee, who dismissed it.

Merton Memories photos

1870
1890
1910 colourised

6 buildings can be seen on this 1866 OS map.

9 houses according to this 1874 auction.

In the booklet 50 Years at Grove Mills, Mitcham by Mr E.B. Hedger, fireman Charlie JORDAN, employed by John S Deed & Sons, lived in one of these cottages in 1907. See page 87 of Mitcham Histories : 6.

Occupants in Electoral Registers
1910

James HOOKER
John JORDAN

4 houses on this 1910 OS map and 1952 OS map.

The Land

Although surrounded by Mitcham Common, Land Registry title SGL704178, it is not part of it.

Mitcham Common - registered land map

Mitcham Common – registered land map

London Borough of Merton own two plots of land, shown on this map in red:

LBM Owned land

LBM Owned land

Part of this land, title number SY258367, showing houses numbered 3 and 4 on the 1952 map, was bought by T.R. City of London Trust PLC (company registration number 34871) in 1984 and sold at Savills auction in February 2015 for £36,000 and again in June 2015 for £96,000.

Plan showing title SY2583677

Plan showing title SY2583677


The houses are presumed to have been demolished in 1963, as they are mentioned as a Clearance Area in these Mitcham Borough Council minutes:

From the Public Health Committee
27th June 1963

6. Housing Act, 1957: Blue House Cottages, Croydon Road, Clearance Area

Further to paragraph 5 of the report of this Committee of 28th February, 1963 (Volume 29, page 747), the Town Clerk reported that the Minister of Housing and Local Government had confirmed the Blue House Cottages, Croydon Road, Clearance Order, 1963, without modification.

Source: Proceedings of the Council and committees, Mitcham Borough Council, Volume 30 1963-4, page 111


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