Tag Archives: Swains Road

Rifleman Cyril E. King

Born 8th October 1919, Cyril E. King was living with his mother Ellen at 9 Swains Road, Mitcham, according to the 1939 Register. She was born 26th September 1898. With them was his sister Winifred E., born 6th March 1921.

In an article from the Mitcham News & Mercury from 13th October, 1944, he is referred to as possibly being a P.O.W.

No military records have been found on Ancestry/Find My Past.

1944 : A War Prisoner’s Story

From the Mitcham News & Mercury from 13th October, 1944

GIVES COMFORT TO FRIENDS

You have Nothing to
Worry About

UNIQUE MEETING AT TOWN HALL

Mothers and wives of Mitcham men who have been Prisoners of War in Germany, some of them for over five years, crowded round Sergeant Maurice Malfin, Commonside East, Mitcham, when he attended a meeting of the Borough’s Prisoner-of-War Relatives’ Association at the Town Hall, on Saturday. They were eager to get news of life in the prison camps and were glad of the opportunity of talking to a man who had so recently been an inmate of one.

The story of how Sergeant Malfin returned to this country after being in German prison camps for five years has already been told in the “News and Mercury.” Then he sent a message to cheer the relatives of men who are still out there. on Saturday he repeated it.

“If you have relatives in Germany or Poland, you have nothing to worry about. They are all doing reasonably well,” he told the Association.

He had to answer many questions about the food in the camps. That the men were well fed was due entirely to the Red Cross, he said.

“Since January, 1941, with the exception of three weeks, I have received a Red Cross food parcel every week,” he said. “In addition, we got plenty of potatoes by fair means or foul, mostly foul. The Germans did not give us much food, and without the Red Cross we should have been sunk.”

He compared his own camp, 21D, which is still the home of several Mitcham men, with Mitcham Common. It housed 15,000, and took an hour to walk round it. It was a good camp and had a first-class library containing thousands of books.

Replying to a question about examinations, Sergeant Malfin said the men could sit for any examination they like, and a number had qualified for various professions while in the camp. Sports, games and theatricals were organised.

“You should see some of the Tommy girls on the stage out yonder. You could not tell the difference between them and West-End chorus beauties except that they are a bit skinny around the back,” he said.

He paid tribute to the Poles, who, he said, had often risked their lives to give them food.

The chairman (Alderman J. R. Beaumont) received a cheque for £27 and 3s. from Mr H. A. Penny, raised by a competition at the “Three Kings” Hotel. Mrs Walls handed him £1 15s.

After the meeting women whose menfolk are still in Stalag 21 D showed photographs of their sons and husbands and asked if he could identify them. Sergeant Malfin recognised Private Harry Powell, whose home is in Langdale Avenue, Mitcham, and who had been a prisoner for over four years. Although he did not know Rifleman Cyril E. King, Swains Road, Tooting Junction, he picked out another man on the photograph, who turned out to be one of Cyril’s chums.

Robinson Lane

Described in the 1891 street directory as in Tooting Graveney and being from Robinson Road to Mitcham Road.

The London Road south of Tooting railway station was called Mitcham Road possibly as far south as Tamworth Farm. Although not shown as Robinson Lane on this 1894 OS map, the road to the east of the railway line that leads to Swain’s Lane may be it.

1894 OS map

1894 OS map

There are 10 houses, arranged as two terraces of five houses each, on the south side with one house on the north side, as described in the 1891 street directory:

NORTH SIDE

Henry Taylor, cowkeeper

SOUTH SIDE

10, Daniel Quinton
9, Mrs Brockwell
8, John Richard Smith
7, Thomas Henry Parsons
6, Mrs Bentley
5, Alfred Nunn, grocer
4, Richard Pocock
2, Thomas Burge
H. Nicholls, market gardener

The 1896 Kelly’s London Suburban Directory lists Harry Nicholls as a market gardener in Robinson Lane.

Occupants in 1901 Kelly’s London Suburban Directory (Vol. II: Southern. Part 1: Street & Commercial Directories), listed as Robinson Lane, Mitcham Road:

Harry Nickolls, market gardener
5, Alfred Nunn, shopkeeper

The 1915 street directory no longer has a Robinson Lane, and the occupants of Swain’s Lane, from London Road, were:

SOUTH SIDE

Frederick Nicholls, market gardener (Swain’s Farm)
Reginald Rainger, poultry farmer (Rose Cottage)
5 George Green, laundry

It is possible then that, between 1901 and 1915:

a) the Mitcham Road south of Tooting railway station to Tamworth Farm was renamed London Road; and
b) Robinson Lane was renamed part of Swain’s Lane and the house numbers were changed to suit.

Swains Lane was later renamed Swains Road.


Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Stewart & Gray, Ltd.

Paisley Works
Swains Road

Vitreous Enamellers. Part of Escol Group according to 1964 ad, see below. Possibly changed name to Escol Panels Ltd., see 1967 ad.

1949 OS map

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 27th January 1961:

New Mirror building

SPECIALISTS in vitreous enamelled steel panels, Stewart and Gray Ltd., Paisley Works, Swains Road, have their work featured in the vast new Daily Mirror-Sunday Pictorial building at Holborn. Their panels are in many new buildings in London and the rest of the country.

About 40 young children of employees attended a New Years party given by the firm at the White Hart, Mitcham. Each was given a present.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 10th February 1961:

LONDON’S tallest building, the 33-storey office block being
built at Millbank, will embody enamelled architectural steel panels made by Stewart and Gray, Swains Road, Tooting Junction.

The factory has now geared its works mainly to the production enamelled architectural panels.

A recent project was the new quarter-mile long Ilford factory at Basildon which incorporates 35,000 square feet of yellow porcelain enamelled panels.

Among customers of their large export business are Scandinavia, India, Jamaica, Persia, and Hong Kong.

1964 ad

1967 ad


Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Listed in the 1963 Borough of Mitcham List of Factories. Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT