June 2019 – Bulletin 210
Jane Atterbury 1650–1685: At Peace in Bedlam – Robert Atteberry
My Life in Mitcham 1939–1966 part 1 – Michael Pollock
The Berkeley Grill – David Haunton
and much more
Programme June 2019 – February 2020 2
‘Women’s Suffrage in Merton: an A-Z ‘ 3
‘History by Bus’ 4
Hot Off the Press: A Priory Founded and Growing Up on the St Helier Estate 1930-1950 5
Other Books of Interest: We Woz Robbed In ’59, The Hamilton Bitch and Life After Nelson 5
Local History Workshops:
25 January 2019: 1974 Mitcham Grove excavation; owners of site of St Saviour; Lodge Farm
boundaries; W Rock Bakeries; NT Priory wall dig; collating Roman finds; Merton obituaries 6
15 March 2019: ‘Layers of London’ project; website experiment; local listing;
Mitcham’s first municipal housing 8
Jane Atterbury 1650-1685: At Peace in Bedlam – Robert Atteberry 9
My Life in Mitcham 1939-1966 part 1 – Michael Pollock 13
The Berkeley Grill – David Haunton 16
VICE PRESIDENT: Judith Goodman
Chair: Keith Penny
BULLETIN No. 210 JUNE 2019
(see pp.14, 15)MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 2
PROGRAMME JUNE 2019 – FEBRUARY 2020
Thursday 6 June 11am A Visit to Merton Priory Chapter House
led by John Hawks
Thursday 18 July 11am Secret Rivers Exhibition at Museum of London Docklands
Hertsmere Road E14 4AL. This is a free exhibition
No need to pre-book, but let Bea know if you are coming
Meet at the museum so that we can go round together
Dockland Light Railway to West India Quay
Thursday 15 August 11am A Walk in Morden Park
Led by Arboricultural Manager Dave Lofthouse looking at the trees and biodiversity
of the Park and Peter Hopkins looking at historic aspects of the area
Meet at the Register Office (Morden Park House)
Thursday 12 September 11am Visit to Post Office Museum
Our group must pre-book at £13.50 each, including the Mail Rail ride, with no refunds.
Please pay Bea when you book with her
Meet at the museum at Phoenix Place, London WC1X 0DA.
Travel via Northern Line to Farringdon; or Piccadilly line to Russell Square
or Chancery Lane; or Kings Cross on Thameslink and Northern line.
Saturday 12 October 2.30pm St James’ Church Hall, Merton
An illustrated talk by art historian Thomas Ardill, of the Museum of London
Saturday 9 November 2.30pm St James’ Church Hall, Merton
Annual General Meeting, followed by
‘Merton Park Film Studios’
An illustrated talk by well-known local historian Clive Whichelow
Saturday 14 December 2.30pm St James’ Church Hall, Merton
‘The Story of the Huguenots’
An illustrated talk by historian and author Joyce Hampton
Saturday 11 January 2020 2.30pm St James’ Church Hall, Merton
Short talks by various members
Saturday 8 February 2.30pm St James’ Church Hall, Merton
‘History of Croydon Airport’
An illustrated talk by local historian Graeme Roy
Note also our Local History Workshops at Wandle Industrial Museum, London Road
2.30pm on Fridays 21 June, 2 August 2019. All Members are welcome
If the Museum is still closed, Workshops will probably be held in the ground-floor
Meeting Room in Vestry Hall. A notice will be placed on the Museum door on the day.
BBC Antiques Roadshow will be visiting Morden Hall Park for a valuation
day on Sunday 2 June 2019. There is no entry fee – just turn up.MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 3
‘women’s Suffrage in merton : an A-Z’
On Saturday 9 February we were delighted to welcome Sarah Gould, our Borough’s Heritage Officer, to speak
to us once again. Our Chair, Keith Penny, took the opportunity to congratulate Sarah on being awarded the
McCulla Award for Local Studies Librarian of the Year. Sarah led us through an impressive array of facts in
celebration of the 2018 centenary of some women – those aged over 30 and having the necessary property
qualification – getting the vote, though suffrage for all women over the age of 21 was not achieved until 1928.
Sarah followed a favourite alphabetical format:
A was for Anti-suffrage, reminding us that the early campaigners faced opposition ranging from ridicule, through
misunderstanding, to violence – not only from men but also from other women.
B was for Banners used by local and national groups to rally their supporters and make their presence known,
particularly on Wimbledon Common, where weekly rallies were held, in spite of a ban.
Dorset Hall, in Kingston Road, Merton, was the home of Rose Lamartine Yates, organising secretary of
Wimbledon Women’s Social and Political Union, and a centre for the women’s suffrage movement in our area.
Exhibitions and sales of work were key to raising awareness of the issues, as well as raising funds.
Force-feeding was one of the more gruesome ways the authorities attempted to deal with the hunger strikes
that were increasingly adopted from 1909.
On the brighter side were the Garden parties, at Dorset Hall and elsewhere, to spread the word.
Holloway prison was increasingly the fate of many between 1908 and 1914, including Rose in 1910. Up to
200 a day were imprisoned for a week or more, being treated as heroines on their release and given medals.
I was for Indian support – from a goddaughter of Queen Victoria, Sophia, daughter of Maharaja Sir Duleep Singh,
who had been brought up at Cannizarro and who was later granted a grace and favour home at Hampton Court.
A less exalted supporter was local baker Adam Lawston Johnston, at 6 The Broadway (now Café Nero), who
allowed the suffragettes the use of an upper room.
Irish suffragette, Agnes Kelly, spoke at Wimbledon and Southfields in 1912, and Birmingham suffragette Mary
Leigh – the first to be force-fed – led a drum and fife band in a march in Wimbledon in August 1910.
Men were also among the suffrage campaigners, the founding meeting of the Wimbledon WSPU being held
at the house of Dr Francis Arthur Baker, a scientist who designed many of the banners. Other male supporters
were Rose’s husband, Thomas Yates, and George Stegman Gibb, both solicitors.
The local Newspaper, the Wimbledon & District Advertiser (later Wimbledon Boro’ News), featured pro-suffrage
articles, often reporting word for word speeches by Rose and others. Mitcham newspapers seem to have been
less supportive. The movement also published its own newspaper, Votes for Women.
There were two Organisations, the non-militant suffragists, associated with the National Union of Women’s
Suffrage Societies founded in 1897 by Millicent Fawcett, and the increasingly militant suffragettes in the WSPU,
founded by Emily Pankhurst in 1903. The Wimbledon branch of WSPU was founded in 1908.
Many People famous in the women’s movement had links with Merton and Wimbledon – from the late-Victorian
reformer Josephine Baker, who lived at North View, Wimbledon Common, 1890-93, to the Brackenbury sisters.
Queens Hall and Queens Road, Wimbledon, were also represented, Mrs Threlfall, wife of the headmaster of
Queens Road School, being a leading supporter.
The first WSPU candidate for Wimbledon was Bertrand Russell, who stood in 1907 and 1908, without success.
Wimbledon WSPU had a Shop at 6 (later 9) Victoria Crescent, with a distress kitchen which, together with
another in Merton High Street, served thousands of hot meals to those in need.
Teresa Billington-Greig, a WSPU travelling speaker, and the first to be sent to Holloway, lived in Dora Road,
Wimbledon, in 1960. After differences with the Pankhursts, she founded the Women’s Freedom League, and
Una Dugdale, niece of the Speaker of the House of Commons, and famous for refusing to say ‘I do’ at her
wedding, visited Wimbledon in 1913.
Venues for local meetings included Latimer Road Baths, Wimbledon Theatre, the Village Club, Bay Tree
Temperance Hotel, and Compton Hall. Wimbledon Common was the venue in 1910 for Women’s Sunday, an
annual event which drew people from all over the country.
X was the final goal – the cross on the ballot paper, following the Representation of the People Act of 1918.
Y must stand for Yates, both Rose and husband Thomas, while Z is for Edith Zangwill, who formed the Jewish
League for Women’s Suffrage in 1912, and who visited Wimbledon.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 4
‘HISTORY BY BUS’
The speaker promised for the meeting on 9 March 2019 was obliged to withdraw, and so our chair, Keith Penny,
provided a lecture that drew on material he had previously used for the Society in 2015 and for the West Barnes
group. Many of the slides came from the Society’s Photographic Project collection and from the Eric Montague
archive, with the rest taken by Keith himself. The bus route selected was the 152, sometime Mitcham-Feltham,
but now New Malden-Pollards Hill, a route that has much of interest along the roads traversed, or at least not
far away from them, besides passing through areas of different degrees of wealth. Keith’s presentation had to
be delivered in a slight hurry, because of an unfortunate and unforeseeable failure in the projector lead, and
everyone present was grateful to David Roe, who went home and brought his own projector, so that the bus
doors could close and the journey begin.
From Raynes Park station we went past the distinguished
buildings along Kingston Road that were designed by
the architects of the John Innes estate, and saw the
controversial changes being made to Merton Hall and
to the working men’s club (right). The level crossing
at Merton Park showed the changing colours of trams
and the White Hart, a public house probably soon to
become a site for development. Merton bus garage, of
narrow frontage but great depth, was a 1913 building
for the London General company (and the speaker’s
father worked there).
The changing colours and names of the tower at Colliers
Wood took us past our old home at Christ Church, where
Keith showed by maps the industrial past, and also the
watercress beds that lasted long enough to be known
by the mother of one of the members present. Western
Road in 1971 was still dingy, and Keith talked about the
varnish industry and the gas works, whose gasholder
survives and is looking smart. Off the bus route lay
Mount Road (left), the first street of council housing in
Mitcham, with buildings in the garden city tradition of
the pre-war years.
The Holborn Union Workhouse buildings (site now
partly occupied by Asda) survived to be photographed
by Eric Montague, and a member recalled the Pye
The route had been recently diverted to run through the
Upper Green again, illustrated by several then-and-now
pictures. Along London Road Keith drew attention to
two examples of 1930s municipal pride, the nowdemolished
Baths and Baths Hall (slipper baths for
those from houses without baths, and school Gilbert and
Sullivan for Mitcham audiences), and the library (right),
whose portal spoke of architectural tradition and of the
knowledge to be found within.
Fairly well-known places followed on: the Mizen nurseries, Pain’s factory, and the cemetery and crematorium,
whose Secretary was at one time E J D Field, prominent in local government in the inter-war years, and a
promoter of private housing; a Merton Memories picture showed him in full mayoral pomp (unusually, he held
the post twice). Just off the route were the Byzantine-style St Olave’s church of 1930 and the radically altered St
Michael, Pollards Hill. Past a recently rebuilt public library, the route ended near to another example, from the
1960s, of the struggle to provide decent housing without excessive land costs, known as high density/low rise.
Members present offered their memories of some of the places passed, and generously applauded the speaker.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 5
OTHER BOOKS OF INTEREST
NEW: We Woz Robbed In ’59 by Jeff Brooks (privately published, 2018, £10.00 plus £4.90p&p)
Order from the author..
Society member Jeff Brooks was born in Tooting and lived and went to school in
Mitcham. He has now written the tale of the epic FA 1958/59 season of amateur Tooting
& Mitcham United Football Club. However, the book is about more than just football
and includes much social history of Mitcham and Tooting, including Mitcham Fair, the
Cricket Green, the 630 trolleybus, the Tooting Granada, Teddy Boys, racial tensions,
politics, and much more.
LBM Heritage Manager Sarah Gould applauds it on the cover, as do a number of
football enthusiasts. A reviewer elsewhere remarks that it is ‘crammed full of joy and
nostalgia in equal measure, bringing to life a period in football history so vividly that
you can almost smell the Bovril’.
On the other hand, JANE SMITH has mixed feelings about:
The Hamilton Bitch (2013) and Life After Nelson (2014), by Vanda Cain, Amazon, £8.99 each
‘Paradise Merton’ plays an important role in these two books, besides serving as an apt analogy for the life of
Emma herself. The home of Lord Nelson and Emma from 1801 to 1805 and then Emma alone until 1808, it
begins full of promise as a happy family home. Following Nelson’s death, it ends up as a ghost house.
Merton Place was essentially Emma’s creation, as a fitting residence for England’s greatest naval hero, and
we see it though her eyes. I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the estate as I could envisage it myself, having
attended the re-enactment of Nelson’s ‘Farewell to Merton’ on 13 September 2005, with Morden Hall Park
standing in for Merton Place.
Unfortunately the voice of ‘Emma’ comes over as false for my liking, whereas the re-enacting did ring more
true. There is an odd mixture of ‘downstairs’ and ‘upstairs’, and at times Emma sounds like a tourist brochure:
‘Worthing is a pleasant little town … [grown] to a rather smart sea-bathing resort.’ The continual paraphrasing
of well-known incidents and dialogue from the Nelson literature gets a bit tedious. Emma was resented by
many of her contemporaries, one commenting that she was artful, malicious, envious and detracting. Even as
late as 1806, Earl St Vincent could write to his sister ‘…that infernal Bitch Lady Hamilton would have made
him (Nelson) poison his Wife, and stab me, his best friend…’ Even so, I disliked the use of ‘bitch’ in the title
of the first book: as it is not repeated in the text, it seems merely a publisher’s publicity stunt.
[Editor’s Note: Society member Jane Smith is familiar with the problems of authorship, having herself published
The Story of Nelson’s Portsmouth in 2005 (Halsgrove), to good reviews.]
HOT OFF THE PRESS
A PRIORY FOUNDED: Sheriff Gilbert at Merton
This long-awaited translation of four medieval Latin documents dealing with the earliest
days of Merton Priory and its founder, Gilbert, sheriff of Surrey, reveals information
previously known only to those who consulted the Latin text. This edition, the first full
translation of these important records, includes a wide-ranging introductory essay. At 44
A5 pages, illustrated with five images from the original manuscript, three of them in colour,
this is a bargain at £4.00, members: £3.20 (+£0.60 p&p)
GROWING UP ON THE ST HELIER ESTATE 1930-1950: School, Wartime and First
Jobs by Albert A J Smith is the latest in our series of Local History Notes. Albert recalls
his life at Dorchester Road and Dore Gardens, Morden, schooldays at the Canterbury Road
schools, and work at Hawes Bros in Morden and Hope Brothers in the City, much of it
under wartime conditions – including ARP messenger service in neighbouring Sutton. At
36 A4 pages, and 20 monochrome photos and a map, this booklet is available at £2.50,
members: £2.00 (+£1.35 p&p).
Both publications can be obtained from our Publications Secretary, 57 Templecombe Way,
Morden, Surrey SM4 4JF.
A Priory Founded
Sheriff Gilbert at Merton
Translated from original documents
MerTon HiSToriCAL SoCieTy 2019
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 6
LOCAL HISTORY WORKSHOPS
Friday 25 January 2019; 10 present – David Haunton in the Chair
. Peter Hopkins had received appeals for information about
• Rosenhain & Lipmann of Church Road, Mitcham, Australian makers of plastic toys for cereal packets;
• the opening date of Joseph Hood Primary School, and whether there were any photos of Mr Hood at the
opening ceremony (the date was 1909, for Raynes Park Council School, Botsford Road);
• the ladies’ section of Mitcham Athletics Club;
• a concrete play structure shaped like a large boat in an area fronting Charlwood Square, Phipps Bridge
Road in the 1970s.
He had also received an expert report on the stonework of the East window of St Lawrence, Morden; it did
not rule out the survival of some medieval stonework.
Peter had been in correspondence with Dr David Bird about finds from his 1974 Mitcham Grove excavation
that had been kept in our store. These were to be passed to SyAS Medieval Pottery Group for analysis,
so that David could produce a full report. David had pointed out that 12th-century pottery was found at
Mitcham Grove, so that might have been the home of the de Wicford family in the 12th century, rather than
the moated site at Mitcham Hall that Eric Montague had suggested. By the late 13th to mid 14th century the
Mareys family held the former Bayeux manor of Wicford. William Mareys occupied a house enclosed by
water near Bennetsfield – the later Watermeads – probably the 14th-century building discovered at Mitcham
Grove. Mareys’ father sold a house and 17 acres to Arnold de Wykeford at the end of the 13th century, which
Peter had guessed might be the Wykeford family mansion being returned after sale of the estate. Had the de
Wykefords been living on the Mitcham Grove site all along, or had they built a new moated home on the
Mitcham Hall site?
Peter has done some more research on the location of the two Wicford manors of Domesday Book (article
. Keith Penny had read through the Ecclesiastical Commissioners’ files concerning St Saviour, Grand Drive,
left-over research for Our Convict Son. One contained a 1988 report from the Council for the Care of
Churches that repeated statements about the foundation of the church made in the Short History produced
by the parish: Sir Frederick Wigan, hop merchant, offered £2,000 to purchase a site, and through ‘a John
Innes’ the site was purchased for £600. Keith observed that these statements might be at least partly true,
but that neither Sir Frederick nor John Innes were mentioned in the substantial files of legal documents he
had seen. There, the church site was in 1901 owned by Revd W A Birkbeck (the first Vicar), who resided at
Penningham, the large house next to the site, until on 25 July of that year he conveyed the site for no charge
to what became the Rochester and Southwark Diocesan Trust, having previously bought it for £600 from
Charles Eyre, RC Archbishop of Glasgow. Since Revd Birkbeck married Sir Frederick’s daughter in the
June quarter of 1900, his purchase may have been in the nature of a wedding gift from his father-in-law; Sir
Frederick was indeed a benefactor to the church in other ways. Keith noted that in 1880 the whole Raynes
Park estate was sold by Sir Richard Garth’s attorneys to Israel Abrahams for £12,500, Sir Richard being (at
least in 1878) the Chief Justice of Fort William in Bengal.
. Rosemary Turner showed a photograph taken by Bill Rudd of Morden Recreation Ground. She had been
trying to relate the trees to field boundaries on the Lodge Farm estate. She had found a footpath on the first
edition six-inch OS map that went from Central Road to the farmyard and could have been used by the farm
workers. It did not appear in later OS maps of the area. This could line up with a path in the park. The main
footpath from Central Road followed the line of the carriage way to the house and then on to Sutton Road/
Bishopsford Road. It later became Farm Road. Some of the fields on the Lodge Farm estate were a strange
shape, possibly to allow access to the pond.
Rosemary had recently heard Mick Taylor’s talk on the mills of the Wandle and was reminded that she had
once worked in the mill owner’s house in Restmor Way at Hackbridge. It was then the offices of W Rock’s
Bakeries, which became (after takeovers) Clark’s Bakeries, then Rank Hovis McDougall. Rosemary had
received some information about the house from CADHAS (Carshalton Archaeology) some years ago, and
had recently found online a history of the bakery written by Brian Bloice of the Streatham Society. W Rock
had shops in Manor Road and London Road, both in Mitcham, as well as in Streatham Vale and Streatham
High Road. The firm became noted pastry-cooks and cake-icers for special occasions. The Streatham article
said that Rock’s was at Hackbridge in the 1950s, having moved Head Office from Streatham. When Rosemary
started working for the bakery in the 1960s she was based in Worple Mews, Wimbledon, opposite Elys. The
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 7
article did not mention this site, so Rosemary had written to the Wimbledon and the Streatham Societies to
see if they had any further information. It was not known at present if the two sites ran concurrently.
. Norma Cox said that she had had several helpful conversations after her talk on Shannon Corner. She
mentioned the important role of Decca, who had four factories in Merton, including one that used the former
cinema at Shannon Corner. She wondered if MHS had any facility for recording oral history, such as the
recollections of those who had worked in the factories.
. David Luff had seen people excavating on behalf of the National Trust near the Priory wall, and thought they
were careless, since they had no idea of what modern services might lie beneath. There were sink-holes six
feet deep by parts of the wall, deep enough to show the foundations. The Trust owned land three feet wide
on the ‘other’ side of the wall, and he commented on the improved relations between himself, the Trust and
Sainsbury’s. Near Phipps Bridge David had found and photographed a WW2 box of machine gun bullets
(!), some of which he showed us – having earlier reported his discovery to the police.
. Judith Goodman had received thanks from Mr P Hodgin for identifying the location of a picture of Epsom
Derby buses. He had now sent a photocopy of an article by Alan Cross about the special services that used
to run from Morden to the racecourse, along with a map and timetable.
. Christine Pittman had begun her work on collating references to Roman finds in Merton for Dr Bird. He
hoped that plotting them all on a map might be informative. She was looking for records of finds and for
more detailed recorded research, and had begun with evaluation reports kept at the Heritage Centre. Records
of digs usually mentioned earlier ones. She had found that written statements were not always reliable [see
Keith’s report above]. Rosemary Turner suggested that Clive Orton might be able to help in connection with
finds of pottery, and Peter Hopkins offered some 1980s maps for Christine’s use.
. Dave Haunton noted obituaries for some people with Merton connections:
• Ray Galton, who died last year, was born in Paddington in 1930, but the family soon moved to Morden,
where Ray attended Garth School in Lilleshall Road, Morden. He left school at 14, to be employed by
the Transport and General Workers’
Union. He developed tuberculosis
(TB) when he was 18. Alan Simpson
(1929-2017) was born in Brixton, and
his family soon moved to Mitcham,
where they lived in a two-up two-down
terraced house. Alan attended Mitcham
Grammar School but left early to
work as a shipping clerk. At age 17 he
contracted TB and spent two years at the
Surrey County Sanatorium in Milford,
near Godalming, where he and Ray
met. Galton and Simpson survived TB,
and from 1954 their story is comedy
history, notably as scriptwriters for
Hancock’s Half-hour and Steptoe &
Son. The treatment of TB in the 1940s
and 1950s was not exactly pleasant, and pages 56-70 of Local History Note 30: Memories of a Morden
Lad 1932-1957 by Ronald Read contain an extensive patient’s-eye view of it.
• Bob Wells (policeman and mudlark, 1937-2018) Three years ago Bob gave us a fascinating talk on his
archaeological finds from the Thames foreshore. He left us with the impression that he was a relatively lowranking
officer, but he had retired as a Chief Superintendent. He was awarded the Queen’s Commendation
for Bravery in 1977, and the Queen’s Police Medal on his retirement in 1989.
• Leonard Pearcey (presenter and broadcaster, 1938-2018) (Times obituary) During the 1970s, Pearcey
spent four years as artistic director of the Merton Festival, putting on a range of musical and theatrical
events. One of its great champions was Vera Bonner, a local councillor who served as the borough’s first
female mayor in 1973-4. Newly widowed at the time, Bonner invited Pearcey to be her ‘mayoress’, a
title he used with pride and included in his Debrett’s entry.
Morden & Mitcham, alias Galton & Simpson
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 8
Dates of next Workshops: Fridays 21 June, 2 August 2019.
2.30pm at Wandle Industrial Museum (but see note on p.2). All are welcome.
Friday 15 March 2019. Seven present – Judith Goodman in the Chair
. Dick Bower had attended a demonstration of the HLF-funded ‘Layers of London’ project that was managed
by the University of London’s Institute of Historical Research; maps from different eras were superimposed
so that the same place could be examined during different centuries. At present most of the maps, including
RAF photographs from WW2, only showed central and east London, and those with wider range only started
in 1890 – and stopped short around Kingston Road – although it was intended to extend the coverage.
Anyone could go to the maps and add information, words or pictures, so that the contributions so far had
been of varying quality and interest; nevertheless, this was a way of engaging public interest.
. Peter Hopkins, who had accompanied Dick, pointed out that at present there was no way of captioning
photographs, which needs to be addressed. He wondered if Bill Rudd’s photographs of the changing face
of shops in Morden might be an appropriate contribution to the project. Peter had since been inspired to
experiment with our own website by overlaying the outline of Merton priory’s West Barnes estate onto a
modern map. A user could click on the map and thereby retrieve information about the estate at different
periods Other forms of information could be added to the base map to eventually cover our whole area.
Peter had also produced a 64-page biographical register of Medieval Morden.
. Christine Pittman had noticed that Mark Goldby, the artist-in-residence at the Heritage Centre, had begun
his work by exploring the history and connections of a house in the Gorringe Park area of North Mitcham.
. David Luff had been searching for surviving members of the Cliveden Road Association. Dick Bower
thought he could put David in touch with one of them.
David circulated photographs where the chief subject was a bus, but invited those present to identify the
location. Several were correctly recognised, including a view of the site of today’s junction of Morden Road
and Merantun Way.
. Joyce Bellamy reported that the
Living Wandle Landscape Partnership
had produced views and profiles of
the whole Wandle basin, not just the
course of the river, and the publication
had won an award from the Landscape
Institute. [Downloadable from https://
uploads/2018/06/Wandle-Vistas-Guide-online.pdf] It was always worth putting up projects for awards, and
she suggested that the completed Canons project might be of interest to the Georgian Society, even if the
house’s origins were not Georgian. Signs that marked Public Rights of Way (PROW) statutory footpaths
needed preserving. Mitcham’s war memorial had gained Grade II listing, as a specially designed one, but the
one at Mitcham Parish Church, not specially designed, accordingly gained local listing. She suggested that
the monument at Figges Marsh that denoted the space’s status as a Queen Elizabeth field should be locally
listed. Even now the Wandle Trail was not shown on Ordnance Survey maps.
. Keith Penny had continued research in the minutes of Mitcham Urban District Council, noting that £500
was voted for use in the Peace Day celebrations of 1919, and that in 1919 it was expected that Mitcham’s
‘souvenir’ of the Great War would be an artillery piece, to be positioned on a corner of the Cricket Green
opposite the bank building. His main search was for material concerning the beginnings of municipal housing
after the 1919 Act, when the government offered 75% of follow-on costs over seven years for housing schemes.
Mitcham’s housing stock was numerically adequate for the residents employed in local businesses, but the
area was becoming more occupied by people who worked outside the UDC area, and there were houses
that were not fit for habitation and/or overcrowded. The Council identified sites off Western Road and off
London Road on which to build 168 houses with parlour, living room, scullery and three bedrooms, and 32
four-bedroom houses. There was much friction between the Council and the Ministry of Health, which was
keen to reduce costs, even suggesting economies such as not having picture rails. The Council held out to
maintain room sizes. With over 1,800 applications, some selection had to be made, so priority was given to
ex-servicemen and to large families. The two schemes were finished in 1922.
St. Marks Road
5 6 5
Raynes Park Wimbledon Chase
to Elephant & Castle
to London to Kings Cross
Capital Ring Section 6
to Richmond Bridge
to Tower Bridge
to Hampton Court
A Guide to Views in
the wAndle VAlley
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 9
ROBERT ATTEBERRY has done some more detective work, finding
JANE ATTERBURY 1650-1686, AT PEACE IN BEDLAM
A Morden ancestor of William, ‘the Immigrant’ to the American Colonies
On a Spring day in 1686 Jane Atterbury, aged 35 or 36, the wife of William Atterbury, was laid to rest among the
more than 15,000 bodies already interred on a one-acre plot adjacent to Bethlem Royal Hospital [or ‘Bedlam’] off
the west side of Bishopgate Street in north London. This small plot, first established as the ‘New Churchyard’ in
1569, continued in use until ordered closed on 1 March 1739, and ultimately received more than 25,000 burials.1
The approximate location of Bethlem Churchyard
is shown in the excerpt from Ralph Agas’ map
of London2, c.1561 (right), and was situated on
a tract owned by the City as part of the Hospital
[alias Asylum]. The New Churchyard was intended
mainly as a non-parochial burial ground to provide
‘overflow’ capacity from other parochial burying
sites around the City, which had become severely
stressed in the wake of the 1563 plague outbreak.
No single historical register exists of the persons
interred in Bedlam Churchyard, but a database3
containing the records of almost 8,300 persons
believed buried at Bedlam has been compiled
by volunteers, who scoured historic parish burial
registers from across the city for notations of
persons from their respective parishes referred for
burial at Bedlam.4 These volunteers worked under the supervision of Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA),
which had been brought in to conduct archaeological excavations at the future Liverpool Street Station of the
Crossrail Underground project. On compiling this interment database it was discovered that burials ranged
across the full spectrum of London society, but the majority of burials were for persons near the bottom of
the socio-economic scale. Likewise, there appears to have been a significant number of persons whose beliefs
were at odds with the Established church, ie. dissenters, nonconformists and separatists. According to Vanessa
Harding ‘suicides and nonconformists, who in different ways excluded themselves from the moral community,
were often buried there…’5
Robert Hartle, Senior Archaeologist, MOLA, contacted the author in June 2016 with the following inquiry
‘We’ve recently been excavating what remains of the New Churchyard (1569-1739, aka Bedlam or Bethlem
Churchyard) at modern day Liverpool Street, London.6 I have information that Jane Atterbury, the grandmother
of William Atterbury the immigrant, was buried there in 1686 at the age of 36.’ Mr. Hartle expressed interest
in consulting with an Atterbury researcher in hopes of confirming the identity of the Jane Atterbury presumed
buried at Bedlam. The MOLA team had unearthed a grave marker at the Liverpool Street Station site which
exhibited the following inscription: ‘ HERE LYeTH Y BODY OF (IANe) ATTeRBVRY WF(e OF)
WILLIAM ATT(eRBVRY) WHO DYeD Y 21 [or 24?] OF MA(R)1686 IN Y (36 YEARE OF)’.7 This marker
was not found in situ, but rather amongst the scattered rubble near the centre of the site, apparently disturbed
by redevelopments over the centuries. Given that the marker was located within the perimeter of the burial
ground, it was concluded by the archaeologists that it had once marked the burial site of Jane Atterbury, situated
somewhere within Bedlam. Mr. Hartle has graciously provided a digital image of that grave marker, which was
catalogued as artefact no.2267 during the dig. This marker was carved from sandstone and has been severely
eroded. Kudos to the archaeologists for having been able to decipher its marginally indiscernible inscription!
Mr. Hartle was initially of the belief that this Jane Atterbury was the wife of William Atterbury, variously
blacksmith, weaver and milkman, of St. Giles Cripplegate. He further expressed the belief that this Jane and
William Atterbury were the grandparents of William Atterbury, the American immigrant, transported as a
convict from Newgate Prison to Annapolis, Maryland, in 1733. After conducting a cursory investigation of
church records available at Ancestry.com, the author advised Mr. Hartle that his initial identification of this
Jane Atterbury might not be correct. This opinion was predicated on a series of records from the register of St.
Giles Cripplegate, abstracted in chronological order and analyzed hereinafter.8
First, it should be recognized that there were only two marriage records found for a William and Jane Atterbury
during the subject time period:
On a Spring day in 1686 Jane Atterbury, the wife of William Atterbury, aged 35/6, was laid to rest among the more
than 15,000 bodies already interred on a one-acre plot adjacent to Bethlem Royal Hospital [aka Bedlam] off the west
side of Bishopgate Street in north London. This small plot, first established as the ‘New Churchyard’ in 1569,
continued in use until ordered closed on 1Mar1739, and ultimately received more than 25,000 burials1. The
approximate location of Bethlem Churchyard is shaded red in Figure 1, an excerpt from Ralph Agas’2 map of
London (circa 1561), and was situated on a tract owned by the City as part of the Bethlem Royal Hospital [Asylum].
The New Churchyard was intended mainly as a non-parochial burial ground to provide ‘overflow’ capacity from
other parochial burying sites around the City, which had become severely stressed in the wake of the 1563 plague
No single historical register exists of the persons
interred in Bedlam Churchyard, but a database 3
containing the records of almost 8,300 persons believed
buried at Bedlam has been compiled by volunteers,
who scoured historic parish burial registers from across
the city for notations of persons from their respective
parishes referred for burial at Bedlam. 4 These
volunteers worked under the supervision of the
Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), which had
been brought in to conduct archaeological excavations
at the future Liverpool Street Station of the Crossrail
Underground project. On compiling this interment
database it was discovered that burials ranged across
the full spectrum of London society, but the majority of
burials were for persons near the bottom of the socioeconomic
scale. Likewise, there appears to have been
a significant number of persons whose beliefs were at
odds with the mother church, i.e., dissenters,
nonconformists and separatists. According to Vanessa
Harding ‘suicides and nonconformists, who in different
ways excluded themselves from the moral community,
were often buried there…’5
Robert Hartle, Senior Archaeologist, MOLA, contacted the author in Jun2016 with the following inquiry: ‘I am an
archaeologist with Museum of London Archaeology (http://www.mola.org.uk/). We’ve recently been excavating
what remains of the New Churchyard (1569-1739, aka Bedlam or Bethlem Churchyard) at modern day Liverpool
Street, London (http://www.crossrail. co.uk/sustainability/archaeology/liverpool-street/) I have information that
Jane Atterbury, the grandmother of William Atterbury the immigrant, was buried there in 1686 at the age of 36.’
Mr. Hartle expressed interest in consulting with an Atterbury researcher in hopes of confirming the identity the Jane
Atterbury, presumed buried at Bedlam. After exchanging several e-mail communications, it was learned that the
MOLA team had unearthed a grave marker at the Liverpool Street Station site which exhibited the following
inscription: ‘HERE LYeTH Y BODY OF (IANe) ATTeRBVRY WF(e OF) WILLIAM ATT(eRBVRY) WHO
DYeD Y 21 [or 24?] OF MA(R)1686 IN Y (36 YEARE OF)’.6 This marker was not found in situ, but rather
amongst the scattered rubble near the center of the site, apparently disturbed by redevelopments at the site over the
1 The New Churchyard: from Moorfields marsh to Bethlem burial ground, Brokers Row and Liverpool Street, Robert Hartle with
Niamh Carty, Michael Henderson, Elizabeth L Knox and Don Walker, 2017, p. 44.
2 Attribution to Ralph Agas is unverified, but possible.
3 Download at http://www.crossrail.co.uk/sustainability/archaeology/bedlam-burial-ground-register, accessed 10Sep2018.
4 https://www.livescience.com/50104-archaeologists-excavate-bedlam-graveyard.html, accessed 10Sep2018.
5 The Dead and the Living in Paris and London, 1500-1670, Vanessa Harding, 2002, p. 96.
6 Robert Hartle, Senior Archaeologist, MOLA, 13Sep2018.
Figure 1 – Agas Map of Bethlem Hospital Area – 1561
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 10
1. William Arterbury, Male, Marriage Date: 21 June 1676, Marriage Place: All Hallows London Wall, City of
London, Spouse: Jane Wilkinson.
Given the surname spelling of ‘Arterbury’ and the date of this marriage, the author believes this to have been
William Arthurbury, son of William Arthurbury of Morden Parish, Surrey, baptized 9 June 1650. There were no
other candidate William Atterburys, born in or around Middlesex County, who fit the required demographics.
2. William Attleberry, Male, Marriage Date: 19 May 1684, Marriage Place: All Hallows London Wall, City of
London, Spouse: Jane Ratcliffe.
This William Atterbury was presumed by the author to have been the same person later described in St. Giles
Cripplegate as a blacksmith, weaver and/or milkman. The basis for this determination is predicated on much
the same criteria as utilized to identify William Arthurbury, of Morden Parish, plus the added information
provided in birth and burial records of children presumed associated with this person. Also, this could have
been the William, born to John and Susan Atterbury, christened at St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, on 25 March 1653.
However, that William would have been 31 years old in 1684, which seems unlikely.
So, there appears to have been only two persons named William Atterbury, married to women named Jane,
living in London around the time that Jane Atterbury was interred at Bedlam. Now for a presentation of the
other parish church records believed associated with these two separate William Atterburys:
1. 24 July 1679 – Samuel Atterbury, son of William Atterbury, mason, was buried at St Giles, Cripplegate,
City of London.
There were only seven records of either births or burials of children of a William Atterbury in London between
1676 (when William married Jane Wilkinson) and 1690 (four years after the burial of Jane Atterbury at Bedlam),
and all of those records were in the St. Giles Cripplegate register. This record and the following record are
clearly distinguishable from the other five records, given the father’s occupation of ‘mason’. The other five
records are clearly associated with William Atterbury, blacksmith, weaver and/or milkman. Unless another
William Atterbury had moved into London during this time period, William Atterbury, mason, almost certainly
was the same person that married Jane Wilkinson on 21 June 1676. These were the only two records believed
to have been associated with William Atterbury and Jane Wilkinson. Since no christening records were found
for either of these children, the name of the mother could not be determined with certainty, but is believed by
the author to have been Jane Wilkinson. According to Robert Hartle, the burial record for Samuel Atterbury
indicates his place of burial as Tinsdale’s, aka Bunhill. If correct, it should be noted that Bunhill, like Bedlam,
was a non- parochial burying ground, ie. not affiliated with an Anglican church.
2. 5 August 1682 – Unnamed child of William Artherbury, Mason, [indexed as Antherbury] was buried at St.
Giles Cripplegate, City of London.
This is a particularly important record for establishing the true identity of the person described as William the
Mason. Given the continuity of the occupation, these two burial records were almost certainly for children
born to the same father. The surname spelling of Artherbury is so unique as to almost certainly connect this
William Artherbury as the son, born to William Arthurbury and Anne Olliver of Morden Parish, Surrey, on 9
June 1650. According to Robert Hartle, this record for the unnamed child of William Artherbury indicates his
place of burial to have been at Bedlam Churchyard.
The other five records found for children of a William Atterbury in London between 1676 and 1690 are abstracted
1. 5 April 1685 – William Atterberry [indexed as Allerberry], son of William Atterberry, Smith, and his wife,
Jane, was born at St. Giles Cripplegate, City of London.
It was this William Atterbury, born to William Atterbury, blacksmith, who most Atterbury researchers identify
as the father of William Atterbury, the American immigrant. This William Atterbury was apprenticed to John
Wight, Butcher, on 6 April 1699, father identified as William Atterbury, blacksmith. Given the date of this birth
so closely following the marriage of William Atterbury and Jane Ratcliffe, this William Atterbury is believed
to have been their child.
2. 30 January 1686 [Old Style] [Editor’s note: ie.1687 New Style] – Thomas Atterberry, son of William Atterbury,
Blacksmith, and his wife, Jane, was born at St. Giles Cripplegate, City of London.
This is believed to have been the second child born to William Atterbury, blacksmith, and Jane Ratcliffe.
3. 31 March 1689 – Ann Atterbury, daughter of William Atterbury, Weaver, and his wife, Jane, was born at
St. Giles Cripplegate, City of London.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 11
This christening was for a daughter born to William Atterbury, weaver, and his wife, Jane, more than four years
after the burial of Jane Atterbury at Bedlam.
4. 20 August 1690 – Ann Aterbury, daughter of William Aterbury, Smith, was buried at St. Giles Cripplegate,
City of London.
This almost certainly was the burial record for the child christened in the preceding record. Note the father’s
occupation was recorded initially as Weaver, and then as Smith. Given the continuity of names, dates and
occupations, it is a virtual certainty that the fathers in each of the records for Ann Atterbury were one and the
5. 18 January 1690 – Unnamed Atherbury, son of William Atterbury, Blacksmith, and his wife, Jane, was born
at St. Giles Cripplegate, City of London.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 12
Although other records for children of William Atterbury, variously blacksmith, weaver and/or milkman, are
to be found in the St. Giles Cripplegate register after the date of this record, presentation of those records is
unnecessary to the purpose of identifying the Jane Atterbury, buried at Bedlam.
In the preceding five records it has been established that Jane Ratcliffe, wife of William Atterbury, blacksmith,
lived for several more years beyond the interment of Jane Atterbury at Bedlam in 1686. Consequently, it is
possible to state with a fair degree of certainty, that the Jane Atterbury interred at Bedlam was not Jane Ratcliffe,
assumed wife of William Atterbury, blacksmith. Given the absence of evidence of the existence of any other
Jane Atterbury, wife of William Atterbury, in London during this time period, it is reasonable to conclude that
the Jane Atterbury interred at Bedlam was Jane Wilkinson, wife of William Arthurbury, mason, presumed son
of William Arthurbury and Anne Olliver of Morden Parish. Having reached this conclusion on the weight of
solid documentation and sound reason, it must be acknowledged that the ancestry of Jane Wilkinson herself
could not be established with any degree of certainty.
However, as for the identity of Jane’s husband, William Arthurbury, the author believes his identity as a son
of William Arthurbury and Anne Olliver of Morden Parish, Surrey, has been established with a fairly high
level of certainty. Moreover, the research of this writer has established with a fairly high level of certainty that
William Arthurbury and Anne Olliver of Morden were the paternal great-grandparents of William Atterbury, the
American immigrant. The line of descent of William, the Immigrant, from his great-grandparents is summarized
in the pedigree chart.
In addition to the matching given name, unique surname spelling, dates, and general geographic locations, there
is one other, slightly more subtle, factor which would seem to connect William Atterbury and Jane Wilkinson
to William Arthurbury of Morden. This factor is the appearance of a connection to religious dissension. The
fact that Jane Atterbury was buried in Bedlam Churchyard, and that no record was found of her burial in any
other London church register suggests that she may have been associated with a nonconforming religious sect.
Another factor that would seemingly support this connection is the absence of any christening records for her
two presumed children. Similarly, the burials of these two children, according to Robert Hartle, were also in
non-parochial facilities. Members of most nonconforming religious groups of that period did not subscribe to
the child baptismal practices as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. Consequently, it was not unusual that
christening records for children born into a nonconforming family would be absent from the parish register.
Burial services, on the other hand, although not strictly in accordance with the nonconformist’s beliefs, were
more difficult to avoid. These seeming evidences of a nonconforming bent within the William Arthurbury and
Jane Wilkinson household may be relevant to establishing the ancestral identity of William Arthurbury, mason.
For further documentation of such possible connection, the reader is referred to another article by this author,
entitled William Arthurbury, Brownist and Seditious Publisher.9
1 Robert Hartle with Niamh Carty, Michael Henderson, Elizabeth L Knox and Don Walker The New Churchyard: from Moorfields
marsh to Bethlem
burial ground, Brokers Row and Liverpool Street (2017) p.44
2 Attribution to Ralph Agas is unverified, but possible
3 http://www.crossrail.co.uk/sustainability/archaeology/bedlam-burial-ground-register, accessed 10 September 2018
4 https://www.livescience.com/50104-archaeologists-excavate-bedlam-graveyard.html, accessed 10 September 2018
5 Vanessa Harding The Dead and the Living in Paris and London, 1500-1670 (2002) p.96
7 Robert Hartle, Senior Archaeologist, MOLA, pers comm 13 September 2018 (Note: letters in brackets are severely eroded.)
8 Ancestry.com London, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, accessed 12 September 2018
9 Merton Historical Society, Bulletin 199, September 2016, pp.12-13
LONDON’S SCREEN ARCHIVES – A USEFUL RESOURCE
This is a website – londonsscreenarchives.org.uk – set up by a network of over 70 organisations combining to
preserve and share London’s history on film. It encompasses organisations that hold heritage film collections,
including local and borough archives, museums, galleries, public sector bodies, community groups, and national
charities. Contents are fully searchable, both amateur and professional, and very varied in subject (1918 political
address, Croydon underpass construction, etc.). At present, there are 19 films listed on or about Merton, 13 for
Wandsworth, 26 for Croydon and 31 for ‘Ealing+Kingston’.
Films about Merton include Liberty fabrics (1933, 3 mins), a fair at Mitcham (1930, 51 secs), Bond First
School (1993, 43 mins), the Wrate brothers film of the wartime Auxiliary Fire Service (1940-41, 8 mins), and
the Mitcham and Merton Park reels of the Bruce Robertson collection (1944, 12 and 13 mins). Some films are
listed but not yet available to view (eg. Copse Hill Fete and Christmas) but the site is well worth exploring.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 13
MICHAEL POLLOCK wanders down Memory Lane
MY LIFE IN MITCHAM – 1939 to 1966 (PART 1)
Pictured here (left) are my Grandfather and ‘Nan’ who lived at 22 Gorringe Park
Avenue, Mitcham, and had six children. My mother, the younger of the two girls,
often mentioned my Nan sending her along the road to the corner shop at the end of
Bruce Road to get the remains of the ice cream that had been made during that day.
My mother met my father while working at Newnes the printers in London. They
got married in 1932 and moved into a house they had bought at 13 Island Road,
Mitcham. They seem to have had a great time going out with their friends and family.
War broke out with Germany on 3 September 1939. It was just a month later that
I was born in Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital, in Marylebone Road, North
London, an only child.
I do not remember much of my younger life, except being in the kitchen area with
red quarry tiles on the floor, my mother preparing meals, and a tin of Dried Milk
Powder. There was an Anderson Shelter at the bottom of our garden and on one
occasion I was down inside it with my mother after the air raid siren went off, when my father entered and
mentioned shrapnel coming down and that he had got hit by a piece of it. At other times I recall being out in our
back garden and watching searchlights and barrage balloons, which seemed to be located nearby at Figges Marsh.
However one day in 1944 I do remember very well: my mother, who was cleaning the upstairs bathroom, saying
to me ‘Listen out for any doodlebugs and come and let me know if you hear one’. I then went into the bedroom
next door and played with one of my toys. While looking out of the back-bedroom window I saw a doodlebug
heading straight over our house, and ran into the bathroom to tell my mother. It was at this moment the raspy
sound of the doodlebug suddenly stopped, and my mother pushed me down on the floor of the landing and
protected me by laying over me. There was then a very loud explosion, with the house shaking violently, then
it all went very quiet indeed. I was only 4¾ at the time, and did not actually know what was really going on,
but I realise now how frightening it must have been for my mother!
A glass fanlight above us had broken but luckily missed us both. We were certainly very lucky that day! My
mother then led me down the stairs and I saw the broken glass from the windows embedded in the net curtains
of the front room. This room was facing north, where the doodlebug had exploded only 120 yards away in the
back garden of 80 Fleming Mead, the next road to us. It killed three people and demolished 13 houses, I have
since learnt. It was the first of three doodlebugs (or V-1s as they were also called), that landed in Mitcham that
day, 11 July 1944. Our road was littered with slates from the houses, and other debris, but a neighbour called my
mother over, and I was sent into an Anderson shelter a couple of doors away with several other local children.
I cannot remember who was in the shelter, possibly being in shock from what I had just gone through.
The next few months were very vague indeed, and I only remember snippets, such as black curtains over the
windows, a truck parked outside our house serving tea to all the workers putting up tarpaulins over some of
the roofs, or repairing them, and men in our house repairing the ceilings that had come down during the blast.
At some time, I stayed with a family that lived next to the river Avon in Bath in Somerset; I do remember
playing in the back yard overlooking the river. I don’t think they were any members of our family. Who took me
down there or how I got down there remains a mystery. This is where I regret not asking my mother about these
things several years later. I can
only suggest to readers of this
memoir that they get talking
to their parents and ask them
questions about the family
and other events before it is
After the war ended, on VE
day, 8 May 1945, celebrations
started with street parties. Our
house, 13 Island Road, being
half way along the road, was
where all the main events
happened (right: © Phox-Photos).
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 14
We children went to Wakefield Hall in Taylor Road where there were tables for us to sit and have a meal. I was
5½ years old at this time.
My father had built a large ‘V’ sign which was painted red, white and blue, with coloured lights, hung up outside
our house, just visible in the photo of residents of Island Road. I am seventh from the left in the front row in
this photo, in a dark woolly jumper, standing next to a girl in a white dress. My father supplied the music for
dancing that evening. A large bonfire was built in the middle of the road, which left the top of the concrete
slightly pitted for several years! Then we had fireworks later in the evening.
I am not sure when I started at Bond Road Infants’ School, but the war was still on, so possibly late 1944. It
was a ¾-mile walk from home, all along back streets, passing a margarine factory in Mortimer Road which one
could smell as one passed it. At the end of the road, just before the school, we passed the last house which had
a small shed built at the side of it, where we could buy sweets and drinks before getting into school. Sherbet
dips were my favourites.
I remember the outside school toilets that seemed to be normal in those days at schools. They were very, very
cold during the winter and I did not like going out to them. We had our gas masks with us and had the occasional
rehearsal to get under our desks in the event of bombing. Not sure how safe we were if something had happened!
It was while I was at this school that I received a card from King George of England, along with every other
child in the United Kingdom, thanking us for sharing the hardships and dangers of total war (see page 1). On
the back it gave important dates of World War Two. (My mother possibly kept it safe for me).
My father, who had a well-equipped workshop, started making toys for the Waifs and Strays [a Church of England
Society providing children’s homes] with the help of a dozen or so scouts. Over 100 wooden toys were made
and put on display at St Barnabas Hall in Gorringe Park Avenue.
Top: My father with the scouts in the workshop he built in our back
Middle: I’m in the centre of this photo helping too!
Bottom: St Barnabas Hall with all the toys that were made or renovated.
My father is in scout uniform at the back on the left and my mother in the
centre; I am in front of my father. (all photos © Phox-Studio)
I then progressed up to the Bond Road Junior School. I started
to go to Cubs at Wakefield Hall, Taylor Road, and went on
several camping weekends in the Surrey area which I really
enjoyed. Another place we camped was Knowle Park near
Sevenoaks in Kent. It sometimes rained very heavily at these
places, but we managed to keep dry somehow, most times!
We also went on local walks around the camp site to get
some knowledge of the area with the scout master pointing
out things of interest.
Saturday morning pictures was also somewhere that I went
with my mates. This was at the Granada in Tooting, which
was a short walk away, so we could see cowboy films with
Roy Rogers etc.
Around the time I attended this school, my father bought
a model train set for me, and over the next couple of years
made up a complete layout fixed to a large platform in my
bedroom. It had three trains on it, and each train was able to
run separately. Sometimes when near Fair Green, I would
walk up London Road towards the town hall where there
was a toy shop, very near Raleigh Gardens. There was a slot
to put a penny through and see a model train in the window
In August 1950, during my last few days at this school, a
class photo was taken (opposite), which I later put up on the
‘Friends Reunited’ website. Two of the boys contacted me,
and I still keep in contact with one, John Bundfuss, who now
lives in Devon. Our class teacher was Miss Baker; I used to sit
in a desk made for two people, with Suzanne Epps. Suzanne is in the school photo, second row, fourth from the
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 15
left, while I am in the same row,
second from the right. Also, in
our class were Barbara Dumford,
Valerie Slater, Stanley Cullen,
William Wilde, Eddie Blackall
and Philip Locke.
John recently mentioned playing
outside my house in Island Road
after school. One of the things
we did was to ‘crab’ up the sides
of two terrace houses separated
by a small narrow alleyway, with
arms and legs spread out, working
our way up the walls. Going up
was OK, but coming down was
very hard, with a big drop if you
missed your footing! Island Road was a quiet road with hardly any traffic at all, and we used to play games in
the street, such as ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf’, football and generally riding our bikes.
In September 1950 I moved to my new school, Gorringe Park County Secondary School, in Sandy Lane, walking
there over Figges Marsh. On the first day at the school I realised that half the hall and a couple of class rooms
were missing. A corrugated metal wall had been put up near the far end of the hall. This damage had been due
to nearby bomb explosions during the war. There were many trees alongside the path on Figges Marsh that
we used to climb up, usually at lunchtime. There was a good view from the top of the trees of the outline of
London, some seven miles away. One day our PE teacher took us over to Figges Marsh to play football, but
then a Council person came over and told the teacher that organised ball games were not allowed there! We
subsequently went to Sherwood Park School to use their football field, a twenty minutes walk away. Occasionally
I would be able to climb up and look over the brick wall between the school and the Co-op factory next door
and wave to my Uncle George who worked there. On the way home from school, I remember once going into
one of the Figges Marsh shelters, as the door had been broken down. It was situated at the north end of Figges
Marsh near London Road and Gorringe Park Avenue. At times on the way home, if the weather was nice, I
would go over to the allotments next to Mitcham cemetery, in London Road opposite Figges Marsh, to see my
Uncle Percy attending his allotment, and then go to the nearby recreation ground with friends.
Further down Sandy Lane from the school was a football
ground where my cousin used to go every Saturday to
support the Tooting & Mitcham amateur football team
(see p.5). On the other side of the road was Mitcham
Stadium, where during the Coronation Celebrations in
1953, I saw a large model aircraft with about a 10-ft
wingspan going around tethered by wires to a pole so it
could be controlled to fly up and down.
Mitcham Stadium with the football ground behind it, with Sandy Lane
between the two, and my school at the top on the left with a dark roof.
© Wimbledon Boro’ News
We cycled and played on the various bomb sites that still existed in our area, including the one in Fleming Mead
that was a very near miss to our house, my mother and me!
When I wanted to go up to London with one of my classmates, we collected newspapers, glass milk bottles
and glass lemonade bottles in a wheel-barrow and returned them to shops to get money back on them, which
I think was one penny in those days. Most homes were pleased to get rid of them as they sometimes were just
in a pile in their front gardens. That’s called re-cycling! This money was used to go up to London by bus to
Tooting Broadway and then get the underground from there to visit the Science Museum and other nearby
museums. The wheel-barrow was also put to good use as my mother often sent me round to the gas works in
Western Road to get coke for our fireplace.
The Eagle comic came out about this time [April 1950], and I always remember going to the paper shop near the
bridge of Tooting railway station to buy a copy each week. What I liked was the cut-away drawing in the centre
pages of subjects like ships, planes and nuclear power stations, as I was always interested in how things worked.
© School Photo
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 210 – JUNE 2019 – PAGE 16
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Please see the MHS website regarding how this concerns your personal data.
DAVID HAUNTON needs help over
‘THE BERKELEY GRILL’
Following an email to the Society,
I purchased on eBay the painted artwork
for several covers of The Berkeley Grill, a
humorous monthly magazine apparently
written and produced by members of
Merton Auxiliary Fire Service during
1941. It appears that only one copy
was produced each month, so they are
the actual covers, some of which are
reproduced here. Only one is dated (no.7
July 1941) and only one other (no.3)
bears a number, though we can guess the
‘Xmas Number’ is for December. None
are signed. They are on file covers of
variously-coloured card, measuring 9in
by 12in, to hold paper sheets of quarto
size (8in by 10in).
Included in the purchase were several
typed articles, with specially drawn
titles, some coloured. Cartoons and a
poem were published. All items were
undated, and most were unsigned.
However, authors include Reg Morris
(? of 27 Merton Hall Gardens, SW20),
Chas Norman (? of 36 Durnsford
Road, SW19) and R Buckland (? the
Robert of 49 Dupont Road, SW20).
‘Walter Owe’ signed one article, as
did bashful ‘The Long ‘Un’. One
of the articles tells us a few more
names, mentioning Firemen Nicholas,
Dewidar and Les Morris.
There is a reference to someone known as ‘Mountie’: is this Mr Mountifield, clerk to Merton and Morden Urban
District Council, 1914-18, and still in harness?
A long article includes the information that the firemen’s off-duty accommodation was originally a dustcart garage
(in Garth Road?), but it now held a clock, a billiard table and a piano, and had space for 17 mattresses besides.
Bedsteads are not mentioned. It was known to the firemen as The Berkeley. This is presumably a reference to
the grand Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, a sardonic comment to contrast their very basic quarters with those
‘Further information’ was promised by the eBay vendor, but when this arrived it proved to be a copy of an item
in a Workshop Report, in MHS Bulletin 149, March 2004! But we know no more.
So if anyone knows (of) any of these people, or the artist, or the accommodation, please tell the Editor.