Tag Archives: Western Road

Walpole’s Stores

General stores that was on the north side of Western Road, as it met Upper Green West and the Nag’s Head pub.

The name Walpole’s Stores can be seen twice on the front of the building and on its right hand side wall.

Walpole’s Stores

older view of the stores when in use

In the 1896 and 1901 directories, Walpole Brothers is listed at Upper Mitcham. In the 1904 street directory, George Walpole is listed as grocer, but not in the 1911 directory.

Referred to as The Broadway Stores by Eric Montague in the book Old Mitcham.

The newspaper articles below are via the British Newspaper Archive

News Articles

Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 09 June 1906


— George Walpole, of Walpole Stores, The Broadway, Upper Mitcham was summoned by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company, at Tower Bridge Court, for railway fraud. He pleaded gullty.

— Mr. Austen, who represented the railway company, said that there was a special examination of tickets at London Bridge, and defendant tendered the fare from Queens-road Station, Peckham. After he had been questioned, he said to Mr. Sumner, the chief ticket inspector, ” I can see you are determined to find out. I joined the train at Mitcham Junction without a ticket, and on arriving here and seeing you were examining all tickets, I tendered the fare from Queens-road, thinking it would be all right.’

Defendant expressed sorrow, and was fined 20s. and 23s. costs.

From this news article, it would seem that the Western Road/Upper Green West was known as the Broadway, Upper Mitcham, whereas the Broadway, Lower Mitcham was that part of London Road south of the White Hart.

Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 10 March 1906


George Walpole, of the Broadway, Upper Mitcham, was summoned for driving a cart without a light at London road on Feb. 16th.

— P.S. 26 W gave evidence, and defendant, who admitted the offence, was fined 2s. and 4s. 6d. costs.

Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 27 December 1902

WANTED (after Christmas) a strong, respectable GENERAL; age 20 to 25; clean and willing; knowledge of cooking required; good references. Apply, Mrs. Walpole, Broadway, Upper Mitcham.

Gunner Douglas Harold Allaway

In the 1939 Register, Douglas Harold Allaway, born 4th December 1918, was a sign fixer’s mate and lived at 67 Fleming Mead in Mitcham. Living with him was his mother Florence, born in 1893, and his sisters Margaret, born 6th February 1938; Winifred, born 25th January 1916, confectionary packer; Ellen, born 28th May 1920, a novelty cardboard box maker Joan, born 16th January 1925, a cardboard box maker.

Douglas Harold Allaway served as a gunner with the Royal Artillery, service number 1524793, with the Anti-Tank Regiment.

In 1940, as part of the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) he was wounded and captured. He was a Prisoner of War at Stalag 20A. This camp, also called Stalag XX-A, was in Torun, Poland.

British film actor Sam Kydd was also captured while in the B.E.F. and also was a POW at this camp.

His daughter said in October 2019:

My dad was captured 3 months into WW2, and was POW in Torun, Poland, Stalag XXA. He survived the war and had a shrapnel wound in shoulder.

He lived in Western Road with his mum and sisters & brothers.

He passed away 1981 in Chichester.

1945 : Kempat Ltd fined for overcharging for bras

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 19th January 1945, page 1.

£3,435 in Fines
for Overcharging
for Brassieres

Fines amounting to £3,435 were imposed at Mitcham Court, on Monday, when Kempat, Ltd., James’s Estate, Western-road, Mitcham, a firm manufacturing women’s underclothes, and three directors of the firm, were summonsed for overcharging on 15 sales of brassieres involving a sum of £14 5s. 5 1/2d. The case, which opened last week, and involved 47 summonses, took over five hours to hear.

Describing the case as “flagrant,” the Chairman of the Bench (Ald. S.L. Gaston) said the Bench accepted the firm’s plea of guilty, and the firm would be fined £200 on each of the 15 summonses. The Bench found the case against the three directors proved, and Mr Vivian Fitch-Kemp, managing director, All Saints-road, Sutton, would be fined £20 on each of the 15 summonses against him; Major Walter Maxwell Henderson-Scott, Burley Beacon, Burley, Hampshire, £10 on each of nine summonses; and Mrs Ruby Olive Knobel, Gibsons Hill, Norbury, £5 on each of nine summonses. Fifty guineas costs were given against the firm.

At the opening hearing last week it was stated that the proceedings were brought by the Board of Trade under an order limiting profits to 7.5 per cent, on the manufacturers’ costs of production. It was alleged that the firm’s accounts at one time showed a profit of 63 per cent.

Major Henderson-Scott told the Bench that he was a qualified mining engineer, and director of a group of companies engaged in mining industries, which in 1939 acquired shares in Kempat, Ltd.. He had no technical knowledge of the brassiere trade, and took no part in the costing of the company’s goods. When in March, 1944, he saw the accounts for the year ending November, 1943, he had no idea that the firm was overcharging. He did not realise that the figure 34.6 per cent had any bearing on the margin of profut allowed on utility goods. He held no shares in the company apart from his qualifying shares as a director.

Questioned by prosecuting counsel, he said he had been director of companies for about 22 years. He had looked after his own part of the business, and denied that he had any intention of “screwing money out of the public.”

Mrs Knobel, who, it was stated at the previous hearing, had become director simply for the convenience of signing cheques, told the Bench she was no longer a director since Mr Fitch-Kemp’s return. During her directorship she continued to receive her salary of £5 15s., but had nothing extra. She had sent the production figures to Mr Fitch-Kemp nat intervals, but had not understood the costings, nor could she read a balance sheet. The turn-over figures from 1940 to 1942 had dropped from £37,000 to £24,000. Asked for the figures for 1943, she admitted they had risen to £29,000. She was accustomed to send the bank balance to Mr Fitch-Kemp.

The Chairman asked if Mrs Knobel hadhad prepared a monthly financial statement; had she not some knowledge of figures and of balance sheets. “There is evidence of some knowldge of figures. There is little use of her pleading ignorance when she is in a position to prepare statements of this kind,” he said.

Mrs Knobel said she knew the prices the company was charging and that retailers added a percentage, but she insisted that she did not know the firm was overcharging.

At this point defending counsel submitted that proof of the regulations should be before the court. The prosecuting counsel replying that the suggestion was “fantastic,” said that in five years of this kind of work he had never met the point before. The documents were produced.

For the defence it was said that although much had been said about culpable and gross neglect, there was no suggestion of fraud. The firm had carried on under difficulties. When Mr Fitch-Kemp went into the R.A.F. managing directors were difficult to get, and were not as plentiful as gooseberries on bushes. If the company had had the proper staff, they would have made the discovery that the costs were wrong.

Adjusted for inflation, £3,435 in 1945 is equivalent to £150,000 in 2019.

Kempat Ltd.

Listed in the 1954 phone book as Kempat Ltd., Brassieres, Girdles, 1 Block James Estate, Western Road, telephone Mitcham 1664.

Presumably named after its managing director Vivian Fitch-Kemp, who named in a 1945 court case involving overcharging on the sale of bras. Mr Fitch-Kemp patented in 1934 a bra with bust support:

U.S. Patent No. 2,104,867
Vivian Fitch Kemp. London, England
Application August 19, 1935, Serial No. 36,909
In Great Britain August 30, 1934.

A bust support comprising two separate breast pockets; a single pivotal connection between said pockets situated above the line corresponding with the maximum chest expansion; a resilient coupling between said pockets situated
below said line so that said pockets can move relatively about said pivotal connection to permit the girth measurement below the pivotal point to vary; shoulder straps respectively secured at one end to the upper edges of said breast pockets and at the other end to the back of said bust support and means for securing said bust support on the wearer.

Mr Vivian Fitch-Kemp, born 13 Jul 1899, served in the Grenadier Guards at aged 17 in 1917. He died in 1958.

The newspaper articles below are via the British Newspaper Archive


Norwood News – Friday 02 January 1953

Kempat Ltd. have a few vacancies for school-leavers and teen-agers who wish to become sewing machinists; frequent rises, and when fully trained (approx. 2 years) over £6 p.w. can be earned. no Saturdays, music, canteen, also ex-employees welcomed. Apply Kempat Ltd. James Estate. Western-rd.. Mitcham.

Norwood News – Friday 22 February 1946

EXPERIENCED machinists reqd.; good wages; our best machinists earn up to £3 12s. 6d., 44 hours, no Saturdays; music while you work; willing to train inexperienced applicants. Apply Kempat Ltd., “M” Block, James Estate (opposite Gas Works), Western-rd., Mitcham.

Company ceased trading in 1962, as stated in the
London Gazette, Publication date:20 August 1965 Issue:43743 Page: 8015

Name of Company: KEMPAT LIMITED.
Nature of Business: Ceased trading on 27th March 1962 as LINGERIE MANUFACTURERS.
Address of Registered Office: Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff.
Liquidator’s Name and Address: Paul Francis Spurway, of Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff.
Date of Appointment: 7th August 196S.

1962 Slum Clearance Scheme

from the Mitcham News & Mercury, 25th May, 1962, page 1:

Mitcham’s ambitious slum clearance scheme


It may start next year, say council

Hundreds of Mitcham people are likely to have to leave their homes soon when Mitcham Council go ahead with a large scale slum clearance scheme.

About 140 dwellings, scattered in many parts of the town, are included in the scheme, which will possibly get under way early next year.

Split into five groups the dwellings included in the scheme are in Phipps Bridge Road, Blue House Cottages, Fountain Place, Prussia Place, Nursery Road, Gladstone Road, Sibthorp Road, Fountain Road and Western Road.


Compulsory purchase of many of the properties is inevitable. Thousands of pounds will be involved in the acquisition.

Some of the dwellings, however, are at present vacant.

The Borough Engineer, Mr J.W. Turner, has advised the council’s housing committee to split the slum clearance scheme into two phases.

He thinks that the Gladstone Road, Sibthorp Road, Fountain Road and Western Road areas – forming part of an area which should, he feels, be considered with the council’s redevelopment of the Town Centre – should be deferred until further progress has been made on the the town centre proposals.

If the housing committee do leave these areas it would mean that only 54 dwellings would be immediately affected.


It is not possible to say yet the date the scheme will start. Various legal channels have to be gone through and there is also a possibility that many local residents, affected by the scheme, will object to the Minister of Housing and Local Government. This may mean a series of local inquiries.

The sites in Fountain Place, Prussia Place and Nursery Road are the only ones included in the scheme which will be re-developed for residential use.

The other sites will be used for roads, redevelopment of the town centre and one for a school site.

J.H. Peters, Optician

c. 1962 clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Streets_P_Will_77-2

Addresses taken from phone books:

1959 : 4A Western Road, MIT 7114
1966 : 4 Western Road, 01-648 7114
1981 : 6 Fair Green Parade, 01-648 7114.

J.H. Peters was James Henry Peters, the marathon runner known as Jim Peters.

From the Liverpool Echo – Wednesday 13 January 1999

Marathon hero Peters dies

MARATHON legend Jim Peters, who caught the imagination of the public at the 1954 Empire Games in Canada when he staggered around the last lap, has died aged 80.

Peters entered the Vancouver stadium around three miles ahead of the next competitor but dehydration had taken its toll and as the crowd rose to acclaim him he faltered and began to stagger.

He fell six times and his anguished English team-mates at trackside could not help for fear that he would be disqualified if he received any assistance.

They were finally able to go to his aid when it was clear he was not going to cross the finishing line of the race eventually won by Scotland’s Joe McGhee.

But his courageous efforts over the final few yards made an unforgettable sight which was etched in the minds of millions by Movietone News.

He ran a world’s best time in the marathon each year from 1952 to 1954 but he was more celebrated in that glorious defeat than in his victories during the fifties.

Peters quit athletics after the Games – “It cost me my killer instinct” he said – but the image of his heroic bid for a gold medal 45 years ago still lives on.

David Bedford, the international race director of the London Marathon, said: “Jim was a class runner when marathon running, unlike today, was unfahsionable.


“He trained harder than most – often 100 miles a week – and believed in the work ethic with his thousands of miles run in plimsoles.

“My first memories of him were from newspaper pictures showing him collapsing when in sight of the finish.”

Bedford, the former 10,000 metres world record holder, added: “Few athletes push themselves to such exhaustion as Jim did at those Games. He was unique.”

Ludlow Brothers Ltd.

Birmingham based company that was listed in the 1930 and 1938 commercial directories as Ludlow Bros (1913) Ltd., galvanized holloware manufacturers, Western Road, telephone number MITcham 0848. Listed as Ludlow Bros. Ltd. in the 1954 telephone book.

Note that ‘Hollow-ware’ refers to buckets etc.

A credit note offered for sale on eBay, dated 1943, shows its address as 132 Western Road, which was part of the former Holborn Union workhouse at the corner of Bond Road. The site in 2019 is occupied by Asda.

credit note extract Ludlow Bros dated February 1943

According to Graces Guide to British Industrial History, the company was founded privately in 1868 and became public in 1913, hence that year in its name in the directories. At the time of the credit note, the ‘1913’ was typed over, suggesting that the company name had changed but stationery hadn’t yet been changed.