Scrap metal and former rag-and-bone site at 159 Commonside East, on the corner with Hallowwell Close.
1953 OS map of 159 Commonside East
In 1979 the childrens’ television programme Magpie did a piece on a rag-n-bone man who stabled his horse and cart at the Sparrowhawk yard:
Google Street View history has a view of the site in July 2009:
These photos were taken in December 2007, when the building of the adjacent former Beehive pub was being redeveloped.
Photo taken 16th December 2007
Photo taken 16th December 2007
These photos were taken from Beehive bridge on 15th August 2021, after the house and buildings had been demolished.
Photo taken 15th August 2021
Photo taken 15th August 2021. The spire of St Marks church can be seen in the background.
Planning application 20/P1060 says that the plan is to build 25 flats on the site. The site history in the Design & access Statement said that the site had been in the same ownership since 1926 as a scrap metal facility by Jack Sparrowhawk & Sons, which had ceased trading.
Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.
From the Mitcham and Colliers Wood Gazette, 28th March, 1973
“THE derelict cafe – more an eyesore than a joy”
HEALTH HAZARD PROTEST
JOY’S “PLACE” was once a popular transport cafe. But now it’s got a new use — as one of the dirtiest unofficial public conveniences in Mitcham, claim angry local residents.
The cafe is on a site at the corner of Christchurch-road and Phipps Bridge-road. It closed 18 months ago, but so far there’s no sign of the building being demolished and the site cleared.
“They should put a match to the place. It’s disgusting. It’s a loo for all and sundry and a rubbish dump. The place has become an eyesore and the sooner it goes the better. Everyone round here has become fed up with it” said Mrs Doreen Sparrowhawk, who runs a greengrocers shop opposite the site.
“By now it must be full of disease and germs — but because there is no door on the place children go and play in it” she added.
Mr Michael Tuhill, who runs a newsagents in Christchurch-road, said: “It’s an unofficial public convenience. People pull up in cars and use it and it’s getting a bad name. The council don’t seem to be interested in doing anything about it but its a health hazard as children play in and out of it as well. Heaven knows what they could pick up by playing in it.”
Mrs Shelly Condron, who runs a hairdressers opposite the cafe, said that lorry drivers who used to eat at the cafe when it was open now use it as a lavatory.
“We’ve spoken to them about it but you just get a lot of lip back. Its a filthy place and everyone round here would like to see something done about it.” she said.
The door of the cafe was torn off soon after it was closed. Now, it is full of rubbish with chairs and tables left inside broken.
“No-one knows what happened to the people who ran it. I think the proprietress died and one day it shut up and has been closed and like that ever since” said Mrs Sparrowhawk.
A spokesman for Merton’s surveyors department said that they were aware that there were problems arising from the derelict cafe. But there are redevelopment problems on this site and consequently there has had to be a delay on a development decision. But as soon as we are able to do so the site will be cleared” he said.