Tag Archives: Robert Carr

Mitcham Police Station

The current police station was opened on Saturday 18th June 1966. The previous building it replaced opened in 1855.

It was announced in 1964, that the building was to be demolished, eighty years after it was built.

POLICE STATION IS COMING DOWN

Work on Mitcham’s new police station has started. For this week a demolition squad moved in to knock down the old station, which dates from 1884.

The squad were expected in October but they didn’t arrive and it looked as though local police would have to put up with their present building for some time to come.

A temporary police station was erected but no signs of the old one coming down were to be seen.

The present station, which overlooks the Cricket Green, will be replaced by a modern building, probably with several storeys.

Work is expected to take 18 months.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 5th June, 1964, page 1.


Mayor opens new police station

Mitcham’s new £98,000 police station was officially opened on Saturday by the Mayor of Merton, Sir Cyril Black. And over 3,000 members of the public toured the station and visited a special exhibition in the car park throughout the day.

“The open day was very successful, far better than we anticipated,” commented Inspector S.W. Brunger, who organised the day with Supt. H.W. Gibson.

He added: “Open days are usually held for particular occasions like an opening. But because the public showed a great deal of interest it is quite possible they will be held more often.”

The opening ceremony was held on the top floor in the canteen. Members from all walks of life were present and Mr Robert Carr, M.P., arrived later.

Sir Cyril Black said he hoped the police would have no work to do in their new station, but if they did it would have a satisfactory completion.

He emphasised the need for the public to see what goes on in a police station and to understand the policeman’s work.

He said: “The police are anxious that their work is fully understood by the public. We must realise the task in which the police are engaged.”

He added: “The public have got to be educated in their duty to co-operate with the police. The task of policemen would be easier if full co-operation from the public was always forthcoming.”

Commander G.C.F. Duncan said the ambition of the police was to show the people of Mitcham what they are paying for and what goes on in the station. He said they wanted to knock down the idea that the police were working behind closed doors. The police had nothing to hide from the public.

“This is the newest police building in South London,” he said, “and it took many years to achieve it, but it has got to last a long time and we hope the public will think the money was well spent.”

Plans for the new station were first under way in 1962 and building started in 1964. It stands on the site of the old station which was built in 1884.

Before the public started to arrive the guests were taken on a tour of the station. They saw the various offices, detention rooms and the cells.

Then in the car park at the rear they saw an exhibition that included a mobile police unit, police dogs and horses, police sports car and a car that was involved in a fatal accident.

The most important exhibition was a special van and equipment used when accidents have occurred and to warn other motorists of the accident and dangers ahead.

Then from lunchtime to well into the evening the public were shown round.

One little girl was so pleased with her visit that she presented the sergeant on duty at the front reception desk with a flower.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 24th June 1966, page 1.


Aerial view showing front of building.

Aerial view showing front of building.

Aerial view showing rear of building. The road on the right is Mitcham Park.

Aerial view showing rear of building. The road on the right is Mitcham Park.

Smith Meters, Ltd.

Rowan Road

Electric and Gas Meters

Source:
Borough of Mitcham List of Factories,
Town Clerk’s Department,
July 1963.
Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT


Norwood News – Friday 20 January 1961, via British Newspaper Archive

U.G.I. METERS DIVISION
(Proprietors: Smith Meters Ltd.),
Rowan-rd.,
Streatham Vale,
S W 16.
CLERICAL—FEMALE
SHORTHAND TYPISTS
CLERK TYPISTS
SUM LOCK OPIRATOR
HOLLERITH PUNCH OPERATOR
HOLLERITH VERIFIER

Hours: 8.45 am. to 5.30 p.m.
Monday to Thursday.
8.45 a.m. to 5 p m. Friday.

Please apply :
PERSONNEL OFFICER.
Tel. Pollards 2271.
(Bus Nos. 118 and 130 stop at works.)

News Articles

1968

At Smith Meters Ltd., Rowan Road, the production manager,
Mr. John Allan, said that production had come to a halt.
“The factory is completely stopped,” he said.
“ We employ 2,000 and almost every one is on strike. A very
small number have come to work, and this is insignificant.
“ There were pickets outside this morning, but there was no
bother. This is a national strike,” he added.

Source: Mitcham News and Mercury, 17th May, 1968 page 1

1962

NEW CENTRE FOR THE HAPPY FACTORY

Mr. Norman Smith, chairman of Smith Meters Ltd., Rowan Road, at the opening of the firm’s new dining and recreation centre last week, said: “This building is a sign of the great success the firm has had over its many years.”

The centre incorporates a small hostel, two dining-rooms, a central kitchen and a confectionery kiosk.

A plaque on the first floor landing was unveiled by Mr. R N. D. Bruce, Chairman of the South Eastern Gas Board, who performed the opening ceremony.

Afterwards the 50 guests toured the new block. In the kitchen much interest was shown in the modern equipment, among them automatic potato peelers and mashers, electric dish washers and the latest cooking ranges.

The party, which included Mr. Robert Carr, M P. for Mitcham. Alderman D. Chalkley, Mayor of Mitcham, Mr. T C Battersby, president of tho Institution of Gas Engineers, and members of the Board of United Gas Industries, also toured parts of the main factory.

At the luncheon held in one of the new dining-rooms Mr. Smith said the success of Smith Meters had grown from the fact there was always a happy atmosphere in the factory. “We believe in looking after our staff well, giving them good food and good working conditions.”

He reminded his audience of the early days of the company. “When it was first started,” he said, “there were only a handful of people on the staff. The week’s wages for all the staff were similar to one man’s weekly wage today.”

Mr. Smith paid tribute to those responsible for building the new block. It is a very fine building and the architect and builders should be praised.”

Smith Meters factory in Rowan Road, Mitcham, is one of a large group of factories connected with United Gas Industries Ltd.

The Rowan Road premises are the headquarters of the U.G.I. (Meters) division which controls factories in Belfast, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leicester, Manchester, Kennington and Dunblaine. There is also a factory in New Zealand.

Smith Meters was founded in 1834 and established in Snow Hill, in the City of London, moving to Kennington in 1865. In 1929 an additional factory at Mitcham was built.

The company now employs about 2,300 people, 1,750 of them at the Rowan Road factory.

Among the products made by the division are gas and electricity meters, coin switches, and food processing and catering equipment.

Source: Mitcham News and Mercury, 18th May, 1962 page 15


Maps

1950 Smith Meters maps

Smith Meters was in the Lonesome area of the Mitcham Urban District, as can be seen on this 1933 map.

Aerial photos from 1947:
1947 Smith Meters 1

1947 Smith Meters 2

1947 Smith Meters 3

1947 Smith Meters 4


Kenneth Marsh, who served in the RAF at end of WW2, worked for the Department of Energy and eventually was based at the United Gas Industries (UGI) in Rowan Road. He was responsible for certifying the accuracy of gas meters made there and at nearby Smith Meters.

1970s – Ken Marsh’s office at UGI

1970s – testing rigs at UGI