Tag Archives: workhouse

Mitcham Workhouse Wall

The last part of the crenellated wall from the Mitcham Workhouse on Mitcham Common has been demolished. This clip from the Tom Francis collection, available on Merton Memories, is from 1895 and shows the wall when the site was occupied by the Woodite company.

Clip from Merton Memories photo 33222, copyright London Borough of Merton.

These photos were taken on 5th July 2017, in Windmill Road, near the corner with Commonside East:

The Manager of Mitcham Common said in July 2017:

It’s my understanding that the remaining wall is unstable and will shortly be demolished and replaced by a wall and fence design very similar to the one that exists along the southern and eastern boundaries of The Meadows estate.

As far as I’m aware there was no condition placed on the planning consent which required the developer to maintain the extant crenellated wall.

The new wall was photographed on 6th September, 2017:

Oscar Berridge Shelswell

Listed in the 1915 Kelly’s Directory as

Shelswell, Oscar Berridge M.R.C.S.Eng., L.R.C.P.Lond. surgeon & medical officer to the Holborn Union, Mitcham workshouse, Sibford, Lower Green west

which meant that he lived at Sibford, and was employed at the workhouse.

He was married in 1892.

From the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required) :
Banbury Guardian – Thursday 09 June 1892

MARRIAGE OF MISS A. E. L. WILKINSON AND MR. O. B. SHELSWELL.

The picturesque village of Stainton-in-Cleveland Yorkshire, was en fete on the 1st inst., the occasion being the marriage of Mr. Oscar Berridge Shelswell L.R.C.P. (Lond.), M.R.C.S. (England), of Mitcham, Surrey, to Miss Annie Elizabeth Lucy Wilkinson, second daughter of the Rev. T. H. Wilkinson, Vicar of the parish, and until recently Vicar of Ratley, Banbury. The ceremony was performed by the bride’s father, assisted by her brothers, the Rev H A Wilkinson, B.A., and the Rev. C. T. B. Wilkinson B.A.

The service was fully choral. The bride who was given away by her eldest brother, Mr. C. J. Wilkinson, M.R.C.S., of Bolton, was attired in a dress of rich ivory corded silk trimmed with lace and natural orange blossoms, coronet of the same, and long tulle veil secured by pearl pins. Her bouquet, the gift the bridegroom, was composed of white lilac and lilies of the valley.

She was attended by four bridesmaids Miss Agnes Wilkinson (sister of the bride), Miss Augusta Berridge (cousin of the bridegroom), Miss Emily Rayner, and Miss Mary Hobson, who wore costumes of maize crepon, with fichus of white chiffon, fancy Leg-horn hats trimmed with white chiffon and Marguerites. The bridegroom presented each with a dainty pearl and diamond spray brooch, and they carried bouquets of Marguerites and lillies of the valley.

Mr. Burton Luxmore, of London, acted as best man. The bride’s mother was attired in myrtle green silk trimmed with blue and silver brocade, handsome white China silk shawl, and lace bonnet to match.

The path by which the bridal procession returned to the vicarage was spanned by floral arches, and strewn with flowers by the school children, the return of the party being greeted with a feu de joie in the vicarage grounds.

Later in the afternoon the newly-wedded couple left en route for the Continent. The bride’s travelling dress was of fawn corduroy, trimmed with jewelled passementerie.

In the evening to celebrate the happy event, the school children, Sunday School teachers, and members of the Girl’s Friendly Society were entertained to tea in the vicarage garden, after which an adjournment was made to a field, kindly lent by Mr, John Jackson, where various sports and races were indulged in. Prizes were subsequently distributed by Mrs. Wilkinson, and the proceedings were brought to conclusion by dance in the village school-room. The wedding presents were numerous and valuable.

1907 : Piggeries at the Holborn Union Workhouse

Shoreditch Observer – Saturday 12 October 1907

The Mitcham Piggeries.

The Mitcham Workhouse Visiting Committee reported that they had carefully considered the question of keeping pigs at that establishment, and having regard to the profits made during the past three years, and the useful employment provided for inmates of the house, they were of opinion that it was desirable to continue to keep pigs, and recommended “That the committee he authorised to re-stock the piggeries forthwith.”

The Rev. G. Smith asked what had become of the pigs which had been destroyed. He was told that they had been buried in the ground under cultivation.

The Chairman said he had been informed that they were buried on the farm and covered with lime.

The Rev. G. Smith considered it very wrong thing to do. They would probably be dug up, and the disease was likely to spread again.

The Chairman said the pigs were unlikely to dug with one or two spade’s deep, and they were covered with lime.

Mr. Herbert-Burns, Chairman of the committee, said the hole was not kept open to put the whole of the pigs in.

Mr. Walmer understood that if a person died from small-pox and was put under the earth the body would he purified, and it would surely purify pigs.

The Clerk ascertained the gross profit, from which they had deducted the amount received outside for the sale of wash. For the year ending Lady-day, 1905, there was loss of £2 6s. 5 1/4d. In 1906 there was profit of £130 15s. 6d. in 1907, the profit received was £194 16s. 10d., making a total of £323 5s. 11d. The actual cost for wash was £82 12s., leaving net profit of £240 13s. 11d. on the three years’ trading.

Mr. Bolton was still the opinion that they ought to discontinue the keeping of the pigs. They should know whether it was intended to rebuild the piggeries and what was to spent re-stocking. For the sake of £6O per year to in for expenditure of £300 to re-build and re-stock was in his opinion not wise course. He was of the opinion that the old pigs did die of swine fever, and did not like the idea of re-stocking the piggeries that had housed the deceased animals.

Mr. Bassett moved that the report should referred back in order that an estimate of the expenditure might prepared. He did not think they should he such had managers as to keep pigs without a profit.

Mr. Warmer considered they ought to get £200 or £250 profit out of the pigs. If he were ten years younger he would get something out of it.

Mr. King seconded the amendment, but considered that special committee should be appointed to deal with the farm.

Alderman Enos Howes said they had the facts that the pigs did not pay. It was an instance of municipal trading. They could not produce the results of private enterprise.

Mr Garrity said he had to confess he went down to Mitcham supporting the abolition of the piggeries. They were told that they ought to be making £200 out of the pigs ; last year they made £194 and the year before that £120 15s. 6 1/4d. Even in their bad year they only lost £2 5s. 6 3/4d. The farthings came before the Committee and were discussed with all solemnity. (Laughter.) Prior the committee meeting he discussed the matter with Ald. Miller, and he learned that a man only a stone’s throw from the workhouse had made a fortune out of pig-keeping. The question of the proper management was not against the piggeries. The cost of new piggeries was of vital importance.

Mr. Walton said it came as surprise to him after what their friends had said about the loss, to hear the report from the clerk. He was in sympathy with the statement that the management needed re-organisation. They were impressed with the cleanliness and good condition of the piggeries, and he doubted if they would have to spend a five pound note to improve them.

Mr. BOUTON said there was a general expression of opinion to pull down the present piggeries and build fresh places with every sanitary convenience. It would he a failure to put fresh pigs into the old stys.

Mr. Berther thought it would be well if they appointed a special committee to consider the whole question.

The amendment was then put and carried. A notice of motion for the appointment of a special committee has been handed in by Mr. Bolton.

26/11/1870 Mitcham School

Holborn Journal – Saturday 26 November 1870

MITCHAM SCHOOL. A report was presented from the committee of this school stating that the present number of inmates was follows: Boys, 303; girls, 186; officers and servants, 29; total 518. In the infirmary there were 50 boys and 37 girls; of these about 50 were ophthalmic cases, and nearly all the remainder were bad heads. The boys and girls were mustered in their respective playgrounds, and drilled in the presence of the committee the drillmaster and schoolmistress. They went through their exercises in a very creditable manner. The committee unanimously resolved “That Mr. George Brooke be the chairman, and Mr. John Hayes the vicechairman of the committee.” — Agreed to.