Tag Archives: Robertson

Robertson’s Pickle and Sauce Works Ltd

“Zalmo” Pickle Works
22 Lewis Road

1937 ad

1937 ad

In 2013, a long lost recipe for piccalilli was discovered.

Its closure in March 1969 was reported in the local newspaper, which referred to it as having been started 44 years previously, i.e. 1925.

Another small firm closes

Rising rates, inability to compete with giant supermarket and manufacturing concerns and wholesale business methods have driven another small firm to the wall.

A 44-year-old Mitcham factory, Robertson’s Pickle and Sauce Works Ltd., Lewis Road, have closed down and the owners have put the property up for sale.

A director, Mr Cyril Robertson, said this week:

“Most of my customers were small grocers – and with the advent of the supermarket they have been forced out of business. So I go down the drain too.

“Rates have risen over the past 12 years, from £56 a year to over £700.

“I can no longer get bottles for my produce – all the glass manufacturing is in the hands of four large concerns and they are only interested in mass production.”

Staff have reduced over the years, and when Robertson’s finally closed its doors in March only nine were declared redundant.

From a lifetime of working for himself in a £50,000 a year business Mr Robertson is now looking for a job.

“I’m too young to retire,” he said. “I’m only 62.”

People from the south coast and up as far as Reading will remember Robertson’s pickles, he added.

“They were the finest in the country – but then I suppose eating habits have changed too. People go out and eat more often – or just buy fish fingers to cook at home.”

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th June, 1969, page 1.

This 1952 OS map shows the pickle factory.

This aerial photo shows the factory in relation to nearby factories and houses.



After closure, a planning application was filed to use the site for the production of plastics. This gives the size of the single-storey works at 7,000 square feet.

From the minutes of the
Town Planning and Development Committee
31st July 1969

497. LEWIS ROAD, MITCHAM — MER. 595/69 — Robertson’s Pickle and Sauce Works Limited — (Section 43 Determination)

— The Borough Surveyor submitted an application for a determination under Section 43 of the Town Country Planning Act, 1962, as to whether the proposed use of Robertson’s Pickle and Sauce Works for the moulding of reinforced plastics involving the use of polyester resins and fibreglass would constitute or involve development requiring planning permission. He explained that the premises (of single-storey construction comprising approximately 7,000 square feet floor area) were situated at the rear of Nos. 12-20, Lewis Road, fronting an access road leading to the Lewis Road recreation ground; stated that they had been used for a considerable number of years for the pickling of vegetables and the making of sauces; and reported that, since the proposed use and the last use both fell within Class IV of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, 1963, it was clear that express planning permission would not be required.

Resolved — That the Council determine and the applicant be informed that the use, as described, would not constitute or involve development requiring planning permission.

Source: Minutes of Proceedings of the Council and committees, London Borough of Merton, Volume 6 1969-70, page 355

1944 film footage by Bruce Robertson of V1 bomb damage in nearby Glebe Avenue.

Minutes of meetings held by the London Borough of Merton 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.

Renaming of Lower Green East to Cricket Green

Road name sign at the southern end of the odd-numbered road called Cricket Green. Photo taken June 2019.

From the Corporation of Mitcham Minutes & Reports, Volume 10, 1943 to 1944
Highways Committee
18th February 1944
pages 181 to 182

Read letter from Lady Robertson suggesting that in order to avoid confusion between Lower Green East and Lower Green West, the former should be renamed “The Cricket Green” a name generally used in respect of this part of Mitcham by a large number of people.

Resolved, That the Council be recommended to agree to this proposal and to rename the highways as suggested by Lady Robertson.

Lady Robertson was the wife of Sir Malcolm Robertson, the MP for Mitcham from 1940 to 1945.

1938 OS Map

1938 OS Map

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.