Tag Archives: St Marks Road

1962 Bank Raid at Fair Green

Daily Express 6th September, 1962

High-street Incident

A fight starts and one by one a whole street joins in …

“IT WAS wonderful the way the public piled in to help,” said a detective at Mitcham, Surrey, last night.

And there are indeed a lot of ordinary people who can be very proud of the way in which they piled in to aid two security guards carrying payroll to their armoured van yesterday.

It was just after 10 am. The two guards were carrying a tin box containing several thousand pounds from Lloyds Bank in Upper Green East.

Suddenly there was a struggle with a group of men.

Guard Derek Clarke, 32, of Halley-road, Manor Park, fell back, his arm injured; his colleague Norman Negus, 54, who had the box chained to his waist, was seen, his head injured, being lifted into a van.

Mitcham then blew up.

Greengrocer Tom Norris hit a man on the head with his window-blind pole. Passers-by hurled fruit boxes at the van.

Police Constables George Nazer and Stanley Black joined in the struggle. Private Investigator Mark Scott jumped from his car and hurled a crate at the van. Lorry driver John Taylor, 34, from Cambridgeshire, stopped his lorry.

“I saw there was trouble and leaped out,” he said. “I managed to hit two men before they got to the van.”

The third member of the armoured van team, 50-year-old Mr. Edward Yaxley, of Lancaster Court, Fulham, waiting locked In the armoured van, radioed his headquarters and Scotland Yard.

There was a puff of white vapour and dye as guard Clarke fired a dye-gun. Then the smaller van began to move off.

At the corner of St. Mark’s-road and Lansdell-road, near by, Mr. Douglas Gardner, at the wheel of his London Electricity Board van, pulled in and halted a van with a number of men inside. Police arrived and another struggle developed.

Kenneth Hall, 21, of Norbury-crescent, Norbury, saw a Ford Zephyr drive away. “I drove my cab straight into it but my car was forced on to the pavement,” he said.

Last night three men were charged with the robbery of a tin box containing £10,981 in cash. They will appear at Wallington court today.

Daily Express, 6th November 1962


A PRIVATE posse who chased a gang of armed bank bandits were praised by a judge at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Three members of the gang were jailed for a total of 34 years, and Judge Rogers said:

“It is often said after these cases that the public have stood by and watched and done nothing about it.

It is certainly not so in this case. I hope you will pass on to these people our appreciation of the public-spirited assistance they gave which required considerable courage.”

Only a few of the people who took part in the chase were mentioned in court.


Judge Rogers added: “It may be that there were other members of the public not mentioned: and I hope you will make it quite clear that I would like to thank all who took part.”

He jailed Harry Gowen, 40, dealer of West Green Way, Wandsworth, for fourteen years; Leslie Hornet, 40, builder, of Franciscan-road, Tooting, for twelve years; and Harvey James Mason, dealer, of no fixed abode, for eight years.

All pleaded guilty to taking part in the robbery of £10,671 from a security guard outside Lloyds Bank, Upper Green East, Mitcham, last September.

After the raid a civilian posse of cars and vans chased the gang as they drove away with one of the security men in the back of their stolen van.


The van was trapped a few streets away and three of the gang were held after a struggle.

Four escaped in another car. All the money was recovered.

Last night it was announced that the owners of the security van had given £100 to the Mayor of Mitcham in recognition of the civilians’ actions.

The money is to be divided between two local charities.

Lansdell Road

Possibly named after Reverend F. J. Lansdell who was the mission clergyman at the ‘School Church’, in St Marks Road, in 1891 – according to Eric Montague in his Mitcham Histories : 7 The Upper or Fair Green, page 110.

Alfred Lansdell Mizen was born in Mitcham in July 1904, according to a family tree webpage.

The road runs from the junction with Locks Lane and Eastfields Road, southward to St Marks Road.

1952 OS Map

The houses are number even on the west side of the road, starting at 2 near the St marks Road end. Between numbers 32 and 34 is Feltham Road. A terrace of six houses numbered 34 to 44 is followed by a detached building which has a datestone on which is ‘Lansdell House 1901’. This building is currently divided into four dwellings numbered 46 to 52. Then there are two terraces of five houses each numbered 54 to 62 and 64 to 72.

On the east side of the road, the houses are numbered odd, starting at no. 15 which is in a block of four houses to number 21. The next block is also four houses numbered from 23 to 29, followed by a block of six houses numbered 31 to 41. This is followed by a block of five houses, 43 to 51, then a block of four from 53 to 59, then two houses 61 and 63. Then a block of four from 65 to 71, and a block of two houses 73 and 74, followed by Tonstall Road. The even numbered houses all have the postcode CR4 2JE and the odd have CR4 2JF.

In the 1891 street directory, described as heading north from St Marks Road to Locks Lane, the occupants were:

from St Mark’s road to Lock’s lane


Alexandra Terrace:
1, Walter William SMITH
2, William STANLEY
3, James Dundas HILL
4, Edwin COX
5, George William LAWRENCE
6, Samuel COUSINS


Walgrave Terrace:
1, Arthur EVERETT
2, Jacob NORRIS
3, William HOPKINS
4, Charles NEWING
6, Miss MIZEN
7, Thomas BAKER
9, Thomas BELBIN
10, Edward ARTHUR
13, Charles SCHNEIDER
14, Arthur MORRIS
15, Arthur CLINCH
16, Thomas TURNER

— here is Feltham road

Victoria Terrace:
1, Edward SALMON
2, Alfred STENNING
3, Edward GARDENER
5, Albert HARRISON
6, John TILLEY

The 1904 street directory has James WHITE and John BLACKMAN living at Lansdell House, and the 1922 electoral register shows four dwellings, the occupants were:

1, Edith and Thomas BURFOOT; John Rumbold SHERMAN
2, Harry SIMS; John BLACKMAN
3, William CRAMP
4, Stephen and Rose ACKERMAN

World War 1 Connections

From the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 7th December 1917

KILLED IN ACTION. – The sad news came to Mr and Mrs Morris, of Walgrave-terrace, Lansdell Road, Mitcham, on Tuesday night, that their son, Ben Morris, had fallen on the Western Front. He was one of the bellringers of the old Parish Church.

Private Benjamin Arthur Morris

The 1891 street directory shows a William MORRIS at no. 14, as does the directory from 1915.

Lance Corporal Frederick James Seach