Tag Archives: Whitford Gardens

Cumberland House

Cumberland Hospital was paid for by Isaac Wilson, and built on land he owned, at the rear of his house The Birches. Its entrance was at the end of Whitford Gardens at Cold Blows.

Opened in 1939, it was demolished in 1992. Its perimeter wall along Cold Blows remains.

1953 OS map

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 21st July, 1939, page 1.

LEFT THE GOLD KEY AT HOME

But Sir Isaac’s Splendid Gift is Duly Inaugurated

CUMBERLAND HOUSE OPENED

An amusing hitch occurred at the formal opening of Cumberland House, Mitcham, on Friday afternoon. Sir Isaac Wilson, as the munificent donor of the place, was about to present the key to Sir Richard Meller, M.P., with which to unlock the door, when he discovered that he had left it at home.

A messenger was dispatched post-haste, and in ten minutes’ time he arrived with the gold key.

The ceremony then proceeded smoothly. It was a semi-private affair, arranged by the Surrey County Council officials. Among the guests present were Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson, Sir Richard and Lady Meller, the Mayor and Mayoress of Mitcham (Ald. and Mrs. Field), Mr. R. M. Chart, the 89-years-old Charter Mayor of Mitcham, Mr. Stephen Chart, the vicar of Mitcham (the Rev. C. A. Finch) and Mrs. Finch, Col. W. F. Johnson, Mr. Christopher Chart, Dr and Mrs. A. T. Till, Ald. E. H. Rickards (Croydon), County Councillor Mrs. C. Randall, Mr. and Mrs. G. S. Alderman, Mr. H. H. Dance, staff, officials, and inmates of the House.

COSTS £60,000.

The building was erected at the cost approximately of £60,000 by Sir Isaac Wilson, on land belonging to him, and adjoining his own residence at The Birches, almost overlooking the famous Mitcham Cricket Green. The foundation stone was laid on March 1, 1937, by Sir Kingsley Wood, then Minister of Health. The place was originally to be used as a home for poor disabled persons, and it was vested in trustees for that purpose. Subsequently, however Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson, with the approval of their co-trustees, offered the building as a gift to the Surrey County Council for use as a convalescent home in connection with the Council’s hospitals. The munificent and public-spirited offer was gratefully accepted in May, 1938. Under the scheme, Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson are life members of the committee of management, with seven other members appointed by the County authority. The hospital has been furnished and equipped by the Council, who have also appointed the necessary staff. The first patient was admitted on March 29 last. The hospital has accommodation for 110 patients and 24 staff. The patients are mainly transferred from hospitals as requiring from two to eight weeks’ further treatment in order to firmly reestablish their health.

UP-TO-DATE.

On the ground floor there are the administrative offices, kitchens, a dispensary, and two units. The first floor comprises two ward units, an electrical treatment room, the doctor’s flat, and dining-rooms for the nursing and domestic staff. The second floor contains bed- and other rooms for the matron, assistant matron, and 22 members of the nursing and domestic staffs, including two staff common rooms. The lay-out of the Home is magnificent, with sunshine balconies, and spacious grounds for recreation.

Sir Isaac paid tribute to the architects, Messrs. Chart, Son and Reading; the builder, Mr. C. Higginson; his confidential friends, Mr. R. M. Chart, and his son, Mr. Stephen Chart (Town Clerk of Mitcham), Sir Richard Meller, and the Rev. C. A. Finch, chaplain of the home. He declared that every one of these gentlemen had helped him by good advice during the building of the Home. He went on to say that the Surrey County Councii were now trying to do the very best they could with the building, and “I shall be fully recompensed to know that the institution will be carried an efficiently in the future for the benefit and use of convalescent cases,” he added.

DEPUTISING FOR MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Sir Richard Meller humorously suggested that a record of the ceremony should be “the safe arrival of the key.” He greatly appreciated the honour and privilege conferred upon him, he said. He was really deputising for the Minister of Health, who was unable to attend. “This is a succession of noble acts of benefaction by Sir Isaac Wilson,” commented Sir Richard. The building of Wilson Hospital, and the Garden Village, are other worthy examples of his generosity. There is nothing which adds to human happiness so much as the enjoyment of good health, and Sir Isaac and Lady Wislon have been so charity-minded as to build these institutions to try to confer the greatest blessing on mankind by providing them with means of achieveing the greatest human happiness.”

In handing over the Home to County authority, Sir Richard thought the donors had paid tribute to the efficient administration of that body. It came at an opportune moment for the County Council in providing them with the necessary accommodation to relieve their present hospitals, and particularly as an outlet for the large institution being built on St Helier Estate. Sir Richard gave the assurance that the intentions of the trustees would be carried out as far as possible.

“The opening of this home, concluded Sir Richard, “confers a very valuable asset upon the County, and it should be duly recorded among the great historic events of Mitcham.”

“By taking over this building, the County Authority have enabled Sir Isaac to confirm two benefits on community, provision of an institution for the sick, relief for the ratepayers. It is a second example of the dual benefit that Sir Isaac has conferred upon the ratepaying community through Wilson hospital and now Cumberland Home. “Where I am ye shall dwell,” seems to have animated the donor, for he has built both institutions close to his own private residence, equivalent to saying what is good enough for me I hope is good enough for you. In your name as residents of Mitcham, and on behalf of the County of Surrey, I express to Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson our whole-hearted gratitude for their generosity and kindness. Before their eyes they will have the satisfaction and knowledge that those who came here sick went away rejoicing in good health.” (Cheers).

The company then proceeded to the main entrance of the budiling, and Sir Richard unlocked the door with a gold key, declaring the Home open for the succour of mankind.”

Photos on Merton Memories:
Laying of the Foundation Stone
Foundation Stone
1958 : Chest hospital building


The hospital, originally under the Surrey County Council, became part of the NHS in 1947. This ad for nurses in 1949 shows it was part of the St Helier hospital group:

16th July 1949

In 1979, the Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth Area Health Authority announced it was to close. The buildings were demolished in 1992. Redevelopment of the site by the health authority has included day care centres, and is the site of the Merton Dementia Hub.

For more information about the hospital, see the website Lost Hospitals of London.


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

Leonard Davey and Hart

Estate agents that were at 17/19 Upper Green East from around 1938 to 1990s?
The firm was listed in the 1971 telephone directory as 01-648 6101.

A planning application from 2001, number 01/2690, submitted by Ladbrokes Ltd show it had become a betting shop:

erection of ground floor rear extension, new shop front, disabled access, 2 air conditioning units, satellite dish and railings at rear of building.

In 1984, estate agency Dixon Hind & Company submitted a planning application, number MER1149/84, for an illuminated sign at 19 Upper Green East. On Merton Memories there is a photo dated c.1987 which shows that estate agent Dixon Hind was the occupant, whose sign said ‘in association with Leonard Davey & Hart’.

Clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_​11_​1-50, copyright London Borough of Merton.

ad from 1938

Text of ad:

Mitcham and District

Leonard
Davey & Hart

Herbert E. Hart, P.A.S.I
Leslie O. Hart, B.Sc., P.A.S.I, A.A.I.

Chartered Surveyors, Auctioneers
House, Land and Estate Agents

Rents collected. Mortgagaes
arranged.
Valuations for all purposes.

UPPER GREEN, MITCHAM
And at 781 London Rd., Thornton Heath
telephone : MITcham 0808 THOrnton Heath 1361

According to the 1938 Official Guide to Mitcham, the firms was established around 1903:

Messrs. Leonard Davey & Hart, Chartered Surveyors, Auctioneers, Estate Agents, of Upper Green, Mitcham, have been established for about thirty-five years. The firm was founded by Mr Leonard T. Davey and originally had its offices in the Parade, London Road, moving to its present address nearly twenty years ago.

During the years immediately following the war, when there was much building development in the district, Messrs Leonard Davey & Hart were appointed agents for several of the new estates then laid out. It is perhaps a matter of interest that they acted on behalf of the owners from whom the London County Council purchased the first section of land to the south of Mitcham, since developed as the St Helier Estate.

The business to-day is conducted by Mr H.E. Hart, P.A.S.I., and his son, Mr L.O. Hart, B.Sc., P.A.S.I, A.A.I., who joined him shortly after the retirement of Mr Davey in 1928. The firm’s premises at Upper Green, Mitcham, have recently been rebuilt at considerable expense, and form one of the most modern and well-equipped offices in the district.

Many Mitcham properties including the well-known Ravensbury Manor House, have passed through the hands of this firm and it is not surprising that they, as the oldest firm of Auctioneers in the district, should have an extensive register of properties for sale and to be let.

Apart from this, they have an increasing business in rent collection and Estate management, the properties under their control being situated not only throughout the Borough, but in many surrounding districts. Among those for whom they conduct surveys and valuations are certain Banks and Building Societies, besides private Clients; but the principals seek to give the same personal attention to all who consult them on the varied matters which come within their professional expertise.


News Articles

A COSY COTTAGE CLAIM.

James Henry Scurr, an ironmonger, of 170, Lambeth-walk, London, brought a claim against George Samuel McDo??ugh, of 17, Langdale-avenue, Mitcham, for £13 rent.

There was a counterclaim for £10 10s. for damages due to trespass.

Mr. W. Hood appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. C .E. Graveley for defendant.

Plaintiff said that defendant was the tenant of Cosy Cottage, Whitford-gardens, Mitcham. He had it on a three years lease. Early this year the defendant said that he wished to be relieved of the tenancy. Witness did not object to this providing that defendant found a suitable tenant. He had never found a tenant, and still had the key. He borrowed the key and inspected the premises, after which he had the door varnished and a plate. “Cosy Cottage,” put on the house, in order to facilitate the letting.

Cross-examined defendant objected to the house being changed to “Cosy Cottage.” He preferred – Cosy Lodge. Witness got the key on May 28th. Mr. Davey did not point out to witness that he was not entitled to the premises. He did not know who removed the announcement pointing out that defendant had moved. Witness thought that he had a right to enter, as there was a clause in the agreement to that effect. Defendant had never had a copy of the tenancy agreement. By Mr. Hood—Mr. Davey was never witness’s agent. Witness bought the property when defendant was the existing tenant. He never touched any rubbish on the premises. Defendant said that he took the house in June, 1906, when it was quite new. He removed to Langdale-avenue in March, and when plaintiff suggested the change witness objected, and also sent a letter to that effect. Witness put up a notice that he was moving, as he had a lot of people calling on him. When he moved he gave the key to Mr. Davey, and asked bum to find a tenant. Later witness found that the notice was gone, and that the door had been varnished. He left some frames, vases, tools, and other articles in the house, and he found they were gone. Plaintiff said that he saw defendant about the door, and plaintiff said that he would release defendant of the un-expired time if he informed Mr. Davey to give up the key. Witness asked him to write him to this effect, but plaintiff did not do so.

Cross-examined he did not think he should pay the July quarter, as plaintiff had practically taken possession. He could have let the house.

Leonard Thomas Davey, an estate agent, said that plaintiff’s daughter called for the key on May 27th. No reason was given why the key was wanted. He had numerous enquiries respecting the house until defendant said that he was not responsible for the rent.

Harry Frank Joynes, who had done jobbing work for the plaintiff, deposed to varnishing the door for the plaintiff. He saw the notice in the window to the effect that defendant had moved.

Mr. Graveley submitted that damage had been done by the premises being thrown open, and the articles were thus lust, and the notice removed. His Honor gave judgment for plaintiff on the claim and counterclaim.

Source: Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 15 August 1908 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1926 auction of Mrs Lipshytz property at Mitcham Park.


A member of the Facebook Mitcham History Group remembers Mrs & Mrs Hart when he was a child in the 1960s. They lived next door, in Preshaw Crescent, and was also their landlord. He said:

They were a lovely couple of real gentlefolk of the old school. She was one of the Sunday School teachers in the parish rooms, across the green, and he owned and ran Hart’s estate agency, with the office at the Fair Green (next door to the Nat West Bank, or thereabouts). He always wore a trilby hat, and would doff it whenever he passed a lady.


ad from 1925