Bulletin 199

Download Bulletin 199

September 2016 – Bulletin 199
Sindy and her Family Tree – David Luff
William Arthurbury, Brownist and Seditious Publisher – Robert Atteberry
George C Wood, Master Builder of Merton – Paul Featherstone
and much more

VICE PRESIDENTS: Eric Montague, Judith Goodman
CHAIR: Keith Penny


Sindy in her
‘Weekender’ outfit, and


Programme September – December 2016 2
From the Chairman 2
Sindy and her Family Tree – David Luff 3
A Walk round Old Malden 4
Merton Heritage and Local Studies Events 5
Visit to Fulham Palace 6
Visit to Frederick W Paine Ltd, Funeral Directors 7
Local History Workshops – 27 May:
The Canons, Conscientious Ruffs and Mounts, Lines Bros, Liberty’s, House names, Tudor wills 8
8 July:

Teetotal Soc, Phipps Bridge, Plantings, 152 Bus, ‘Tudor’ Building Estates, Good Shepherd Mission 10
Book Reviews 9, 13
William Arthurbury, Brownist and Seditious Publisher – Robert Atteberry 12
George C Wood, Master Builder of Merton – Paul Featherstone 14
Merton Heritage Discovery Day 16

Memberswhowishtojoinavisit,andwhohavenotyetbookedtheirplace,pleasecontactBeaOliverThursday 15 September 10.45 for 11.00am Visit to Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A2LL
Cost £10 per person. Other people may join us for the tour.
Please note photography is not allowed within the precincts.
Travel: District or Circle Line to Temple Underground Station
Saturday 8 October 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Brief History of the Crystal Palace’
An illustrated talk by the well-known enthusiast and author Michael Gilbert
Saturday 12 November 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
AGM, followedby ‘The Lavender Industries of Mitcham’
AnillustratedtalkbyAlisonCousins,ChairofWandleIndustrialMuseumSaturday 10 December 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Vanished People of the Wandle – the Pre-history of South West London’
AnillustratedtalkbyJonCotton,formerCuratorattheMuseumofLondonVisitors are welcome to attend our talks. Entry £2.
Memberswhowishtojoinavisit,andwhohavenotyetbookedtheirplace,pleasecontactBeaOliverThursday 15 September 10.45 for 11.00am Visit to Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A2LL
Cost £10 per person. Other people may join us for the tour.
Please note photography is not allowed within the precincts.
Travel: District or Circle Line to Temple Underground Station
Saturday 8 October 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Brief History of the Crystal Palace’
An illustrated talk by the well-known enthusiast and author Michael Gilbert
Saturday 12 November 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
AGM, followed by ‘The Lavender Industries of Mitcham’
AnillustratedtalkbyAlisonCousins,ChairofWandleIndustrialMuseumSaturday 10 December 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Vanished People of the Wandle – the Pre-history of South West London’
AnillustratedtalkbyJonCotton,formerCuratorattheMuseumofLondonVisitors are welcome to attend our talks. Entry £2.

A membership renewal form is included with this Bulletin. Only paid-up members may vote at the AGM.
Membership fees remain at £10 for one person, £3 for each further person at the same address, £1 for students
in full-time education, £15 for overseas members.

Please note that we accept standing orders to pay subscriptions, as an alternative to cheques or cash. If you
already pay by standing order, you should only complete the enclosed standing order form if making changes.


During the summer small groups of members have assembled for tours and outings at varied locations, outdoors
and indoors, all organised by Bea Oliver. Soon we shall be back indoors at Colliers Wood, and I hope our good

attendances will continue; our speakers are usually pleasantly surprised to find 30–40 people listening on a Saturday

afternoon. During my time in the Society I have always found that a talk’s title isn’t a clue to how interesting it

will turn out to be, so come to them all, even if you think such and such a talk won’t be your cup of tea!
Our problem with storage caused by Merton Borough Council has been solved for the time being by offers of
space in garages and lofts, but I invite you all to look back to the appeal for volunteers in the last Bulletin; there
are also cataloguing jobs that can be done indoors as the autumn leads on to winter.

Lastly: you have two months in which to think about offering to bring a new face and point of view to Committee
meetings. Keith Penny


National Maritime Museum: opens 4 November 2016
From humble origins, Emma Hamilton rose to national and international fame as a model, performer and interpreter
of neo-classical fashion. Within the public mind, however, she is often remembered simply as the mistress of
Admiral Lord Nelson. This landmark exhibition recovers Emma from myth and misrepresentation, and reveals

her to be an active and influential historical actor in her own right: one of the greatest female lives of her era.


DAVID LUFF’s talk at the ‘Recent Researches’ meeting in January discussed

Sindy was born during the early 1960s in the Lines Brothers Pedigree Doll factory in Morden Road, Merton.
She was Pedigree’s second doll in the style of the new very adult-faced doll Bild Lilli that had been created by
Reinhard Beuthein in 1955.

Bild Lilli had originally been a cartoon character drawn by Reinhard for the daily German newspaper Bild-
She had made her first appearance on 24 June 1952 and became an overnight
success, especially with the newspaper’s male readers. With there being no real possibility of memorabilia,
Reinhard decided to create a three-dimensional photograph, this being in the form of a very adult-looking doll
which came in two sizes, one at 7½ inches and the other at 11½ inches. The 7½-inch doll does not appear to
have been a big seller, unlike the 11½-inch one, which has gone on to become the set-in-stone standard size for
these adult fashion dolls, that is still relevant today, in 2016.

Lilli was made of plastic with moulded eyelashes, ear-rings and shoes. Her skin was a pale colour, with a
painted face, high narrow eyebrows and red lips. She wore her hair in a pony tail with one kiss curl touching her

forehead. Her eyes were side-glancing and her limbs were attached by coated rubber bands. The first dolls had

blonde hair and each Lilli was sold in a clear plastic tube with a miniature copy of the Bild-Zeitung newspaper

under her arm.
Lilli had originally been intended for men only, as a novelty sexy adult doll, and not for ladies. But very soon
after going on sale, every lady, be they very young, elderly or anywhere in between, wanted one.

The dolls were regarded as totally unsuitable for children and were banned from being sold in toy shops.
Production started in 1955. Bild Lilli became so popular that the German factory that was manufacturing them
could not cope with the demand. This led over the following years to at least 16 licences being issued for the

manufacture of Lilli in other factories. Very few of these dolls have any factory identification on them. This was
not seen as a problem at the time, but makes difficulties for collectors today. Although Reinhard most likely did
not know this, he had created the first doll appealing to both sexes.

Barbie is as every one knows the most famous adult-fashion doll of them all, even though she is in reality a

clone of Bild Lilli.
Her fame and success were due to Ruth Handler of Matell Toys, an American company. Ruth had noticed that
her own daughter, as well as those of her friends, stopped playing with baby-style dolls around the age of six
or seven, whereas they continued to play with cut-out paper dolls into their teens.

Ruth decided to create a three-dimensional doll in the form of the adult-looking paper dolls. The problem of
how was solved while she was on holiday in Italy, where she bought two Bild Lilli dolls. Once back in America
she handed them over to her chief designer. He made some alterations, especially to the body, making it thinner
so as to be much easier to dress and undress.

At Barbie’s first trade fair in March 1959 she failed to make any impression on the buyers. Then suddenly in late

summer of 1959 (for which no one can give any explanation) everybody wanted one, and bought themselves a

Barbie. The superstar of the past 57 years, still going strong today, was born.
Sindy must be one of the most famous of
all the toys that were made in the Lines
Bros factory here in Merton. Over one
hundred million Sindy dolls have been
made over the years since 1963, but most
of these were made in Hong Kong.

Sindy began life back in the early 1960s
when Pedigree Dolls chief designer
Valerie Sanders was given the task
of developing a new fashion doll to
replace Little Miss Vogue in their
11½-inch range. Little Miss Vogue
had been launched in 1961 and like
most Pedigree dolls would have been
replaced or revamped after around three
years, a process sometimes referred to
as ‘growing up’. A


Before Sindy went into production a great deal of research work took place. Young ladies, parents and retailers
were all consulted and the data very carefully analysed. The young ladies picked Cindy as their favourite name
from a list of possibles. The spelling of Cindy was changed to Sindy by Richard Lines at one of the development

Sindy was launched to the trade in September 1963 but failed to make any impression on the buyers. Then over
the six weeks run-up to Christmas 1963 Pedigree Dolls advertised her on television. The result was electric
and everyone wanted a Sindy doll from Father Christmas. It was these young ladies who would put Sindy on
the road to becoming a superstar.

The original body and face were sculpted by Dennis Arkinstall, and Eric Griffiths with Valerie designed all of

Sindy’s wardrobe; that includes the classic ‘Weekender’ denim jeans and the matelot top. Sindy had now become
a teenager, unlike the Pedigree dolls before her. This, along with Sindy being spelt with an ‘S’, I personally
think were her two best selling points. In 1968 Sindy grew up a little to make her look older and she also lost
about an inch in height. It certainly worked, as in the same year Sindy became the biggest selling toy in the
UK, a feat she also achieved in 1970.

By the mid-1960s Lines Bros were having financial difficulties and Sindy production moved to Canterbury and

then to Hong Kong. In 1971 Lines Bros went into receivership and Sindy became part of Marx Toys. In 1980
Marx also went into receivership, and Hasbro purchased the licences for Sindy. It was during the Hasbro years

that she finally became a real adult-looking doll. This was only after a year-long legal battle with Ruth Handler

of Matell Toys, who claimed Sindy now looked far too much like Barbie. Once this was settled Sindy went on

to be 80% of Hasbro doll’s sales.
Toys, like all consumer products, only stay in vogue so long as they are ordered by the buyers at the trade fairs
and shows. Sindy found herself on the shelf in the 1990s, and again after her 40th birthday revival. But she has
returned for her 50th anniversary, now with Tonner Dolls of Kingston, New York.

Merton is the home of the world-famous Sindy superstar and at one period had the largest toy factory in the
world. But no blue plaque celebrates one or the other, nor is there a road or path named after Sindy or Lines
Bros. You need to be more than rich and famous to impress the folks down here in SW19.


On Thursday 16 June 2016, local historian David Rymill led our party on a walk round the heart of Old Malden.
We started at St John the Baptist church, situated at the top of a small but steep hill, south of Malden Manor

station, where the vicar, Rev Kevin Scott, welcomed us and gave us a brief history of the church. The name
Malden derives from two Anglo-Saxon words meaning ‘Cross on the Hill’: who the missionaries were, and when
they came, are both unknown, but there was certainly a church here when Domesday Book was compiled in

1086. Over the next five centuries the building suffered collapses and patching up, until it was almost completely

rebuilt in 1610-11. Subsequently extended, it was further extended in 1875, and now comprises a large Victorian

nave and chancel, on the north side of the Jacobean tower and narrow nave, which itself incorporates medieval
(or earlier?) flint and stone walling at the east end. The stained glass is a notable feature, some dating from

1610. There is a Merton connection, in that Walter de Merton endowed his college at Oxford with his Malden
estate; Merton College still possess the lordship of the manor (and still own the small lane leading to the church).
David then took us outside, where he explained that archaeology has shown this hill-top to have been occupied
more or less continually since the early Iron Age. Medieval settlement clustered around the church, with a
few small houses scattered elsewhere in the parish. Fairly detailed maps of 1623 and 1627 show the medieval
pattern unchanged, with a manor house and its formal garden close to the church, while named agricultural

fields cover the bulk of the parish.

As with so many places, population began to rise with the coming of the railway, which arrived here in 1859.
This encouraged house-building, which in turn encouraged more people to arrive, resulting during the 1920s and
1930s in an explosion of population and considerable housing development. Much of this was built by large or,

at least, enterprising firms (including M J Gleeson, H & G Jackson, E & L Berg, Lavender & Farrell) who tended
to lay out whole streets, each with its individual mix of the developers’ own designs, frequently modified in detail

by customers’ requests, thus giving a different scenic character to every road. The ‘semi’ may be ubiquitous, but
not all semis are equal – the ones in Church Road are particularly grand and set in large garden plots. Individual

developers had different personal preferences; the Jackson brothers each built themselves a detached house,


Note the classic Art Deco front door

George’s in grand ‘Tudorbethan’ style, Henry’s in a
dramatic Art Deco design (left), not entirely consonant
with the surrounding properties. Later building, mostly

infill of the 1960s, is not so attractive.

With all this development, quite a lot of historical interest
has been lost. The manor house became the Manor Farm
house, and was then extended in the 1930s and re-named
the Manor House; Pond Farm, alias Malden House, was
demolished and its farmyard became Yew Tree Close,

filled with prefabs after the war, superseded now by

rather boring council development; the village school,
originally established by Merton College and providing
the only education for boys of some nearby parishes,
later the Malden Parochial School, has been rebuilt
several times and was recently extended.

Some early features remain: Church Road itself, with

its defining bends south of the church, and a straight run

eastwards from the church to the Plough inn, still traces
the course visible on the 1627 map (and probably did so
much earlier); several footpaths, including one with an
ancient dogleg still leading south from the school; the horse-washing pond of Pond Farm is still there (though

with added goldfish!). Tucked behind the library there is a short terrace of cottages which may date from the
16th century, and may indeed once have been a large single house, subsequently divided. Some field names are
remembered by being reused as road names, such as Downfield, Hollands, Marlfield and Fullbrooks. This latter

was adopted as the name of a housing estate, now covering the site of the mansion and grounds of the Weeding
family of local worthies, founded by a wealthy London merchant; their monument is one of the notable features
of the churchyard. The estate includes a street called Perry How (an old name meaning ‘Pear Orchard’), where
Ian Messiter, the BBC radio producer responsible for Just
Minute, lived at no.1.

The small remaining area of village green (still owned by Merton College) is surrounded by cottages, mostly
built in the 19th century, with the ancient Plough inn along one side. A mystery is that the inn has some structural
features which seem to date from the 15th century, though the building itself does not appear on the 1627 map.

After a short break in one of the church meeting rooms for tea and biscuits (home-cooked by David’s mother,
and much appreciated), David took us down the hill to the Hogsmill River, to view the site where Millais painted
his famous Ophelia in 1851-2. David was enthusiastically thanked for a most interesting morning, and for the
many handouts he had prepared for us illustrating vanished features of Old Malden.



Saturday 17 September, Mitcham Heritage Day : Merton Heritage Centre will be displaying a shortened
version of its recent Mitcham
War exhibition at Mitcham Parish Church on Church Road, 10am–4pm;
photographs of Vestry Hall and The Canons at The Canons, 10am–1pm; and a display of Tom Francis’ ‘Old
Mitcham’ photos at SS Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church, Cranmer Road, 11.30am–4pm.

Saturday 24 September, 2 – 4.30pm, Merton Heritage Centre, 2nd floor, Morden Library : A free film
screening of Meeting
showing the fascinating meeting of descendants of British and German
WW1 combatants, including the exchange of family war stories.
Booking required: Tel. 020 8545 3239/4038. Email: local.studies@merton.gov.uk

Saturday 29 October, 11am – 4pm, Morden Library : Merton

Day. As part of the Carved
in Stone project, we would like to talk to Merton residents whose ancestors contributed to the war effort or
fought in the First World War (on either side), particularly those who travelled from overseas. There will be

talks, displays, archive film and the chance to handle genuine wartime objects.

Friday 11 November, 7.30 – 9.30pm, Merton Arts Space, Wimbledon Library, 35 Wimbledon Hill Road,
London SW19 7NB : A free screening of The
the historic WW1 film. Booking required:
Tel. 020 8545 3239/4038. Email: local.studies@merton.gov.uk



The bishops of London had a country estate at Fulham from about 704, along with twenty or so more estates in
south-east England, in keeping with their political and ecclesiastical eminence. By 1973, though, the Church
Commissioners had decided that the palace was too expensive to maintain as a diocesan centre, and leased the
estate to the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Since 2011 the Fulham Palace Trust has administered the site.

In earlier times, entrance to the palace was from

the river, but on 13 July 2016 our party of eleven

members entered through the gatehouse of 1495 and
assembled in the courtyard of 1515–25, reminiscent,
with its patterned brickwork, of Hampton Court (right).
Theresa, our guide, led us into the grounds past a dead
cedar tree decorated with carvings of bishops: Bonner,

a fierce and violent enemy of Protestants in the reign

of Mary; Compton, who imported exotic plants from
the colonies; Porteous, who campaigned against the
slave trade and declined to speak a eulogy at Nelson’s
funeral; and Creighton, a historian who brought the
mitre back into use by bishops. From the lawns we
viewed the varied Georgian additions to the Tudor
beginnings, indicative of the changes of taste expressed
by successive bishops.

(left) showed the extensive lawns (which were being

happily used by schoolchildren) and some of the

collection of remarkable trees and shrubs: holm oak,

cork oak, tamarisk, magnolia and so forth.

We went inside the palace via bishop Tait’s mid-Victorian

chapel, with its mosaic by Salviati (below) and windows

by Clayton and Bell. It had once been a fine example of
the polychromatic style of William Butterfield, but this

was erased in the 1950s when Brian Thomas and his
students covered much of the wall surface with insipid

Then into the Great Hall, now rather bare, which bishop
Howley, earlier in the century, used as his chapel; this
room was also at various times the venue for banquets
and for the bishop’s courts, and the beams of 1495 are
still in place above the ceiling.

Rooms now used for museum and refreshment purposes
had been designed for bishops Sherlock, Terrick and
Howley from 1750 onwards, and another room contained
the Porteous library. All these have been restored by the
Trust with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund; bishop
Sherlock’s room had been reconstructed after use as a
kitchen and a computer server room. In the museum are
portraits of several of the bishops who had resided at
Fulham, including Arthur Winnington-Ingram in First
World War military uniform.

After refreshments some of us took the opportunity to visit adjacent All Saints, Fulham, designed by Sir Arthur

Blomfield, the son of bishop Blomfield. Several bishops are buried in its churchyard. It had been a pleasure to
be shown Fulham Palace, a building of several styles and set in widespread gardens that testified to the botanical

interests of more than one bishop, and it was a reminder of the extraordinary riches of our capital city.

Keith Penny
Photos by Katharina Mayer Haunton

A brief visit to the walled garden via its Tudor gateway

Original in Raynes Park (above)
Modern in Morden(right)


On Thursday 4 August, no fewer than 21 members visited F W Paine’s premises at 24 Old London Road,
Kingston. The late 19th-century building is Grade II listed. It contains a maze of small rooms, many of them

oak-panelled to five feet above the floor, little changed in appearance since 1908, apart from the computers.

We were welcomed by archivist Brian Parsons and business manager Dawn Trigg, with tea and biscuits. Brian

gave us a most interesting talk on the history of the firm, illustrated with photographs of funerals, the firm’s
branches and advertisements from their ‘first 125 years’.
Frederick Paine was born in 1870 in Norbiton, the oldest of 11 children. His father had founded a firm of

house furnishers, estate agents and undertakers, and in 1884 Frederick took over the family business at Station
Terrace, Coombe Road, New Malden. He started to carry out funerals from premises at Fountain Roundabout,

New Malden, which challenged the up-market Kingston firm of Farebrother, who shortly opened a branch a

few yards away from Paine’s. In 1908 Frederick opened a branch immediately opposite Farebrother’s in Old

London Road, from where the firms competed for the next 92 years.
Frederick was self-confident and enterprising: a total of 15

branches were established by 1939, offering not just funeral

ceremonies and chapels of rest, but woodworking for coffins and
caskets, and monumental masonry. At first a number of ‘Belgian

Black’ horses were kept, but in the 1920s they were supplanted

by motor vehicles – in 1913 Frederick acquired the first motor

hearse (with glass sides) in the district – and their stable became

a garage. Head Office was always 24 Old London Road, with

central direction of all matters, including the design of shop
frontages and furnishings. Advertising was very important,

each branch displaying the firm’s name both in very large white

lettering on the fascia and also on a blue glass lantern. Local
papers and church magazines carried regular adverts, while
billboards were in use at railway stations. After Frederick died
in 1945, Paine’s was sold to the London Necropolis Company,
and following various take-overs and mergers is now part of the
Dignity Caring Funeral Service, with its 15 branches still trading
as Frederick W Paine.

Brian discussed the changing face of the
funeral: in 1908 most were ‘walking funerals’
to a cemetery or churchyard, with people
lining the route to pay their respects and only
a small family gathering for the service and
burial. Nowadays there is typically a motor
cortège with a relatively large attendance at
the service, and cremation rather than burial.
In 1938 only 8% of funerals were cremations,
rising to 36% in 1948, 45% in 1958 and 75%

After Brian’s talk we inspected the firm’s small museum (open Tuesdays 10:00 – 4:00), and their archive of all

funeral records since 1908. This now includes the records of Farebrother’s and various other, smaller, funeral
businesses. Enquiries are welcomed – this is a resource that should be much more widely known, as it can be
very useful for family and social historians. Brian and Dawn answered what must have seemed a never-ending
stream of questions, which lasted for well over an hour. They were most heartily thanked for their patience and

NB Brian Parsons will talk about ‘The Cemeteries of South London’ at 7 pm on 20 September 2016 atFrederick
W Paine, 24 Old London Road, KT2 6QG, while Mr John Clarke will repeat his talk on the ‘Brookwood
Necropolis Railway’ at 7 pm on 29 September 2016 at the same place.

The talks are free, but booking is essential. Please contact Sue on 020 8547 1556. DH



Friday 27 May 2016: Six present – David Haunton in the Chair.

Keith Penny had looked up the entry for The Canons in the 1910 Inland Revenue survey and passed it on
to the landscape engineers who were preparing plans for the refurbishment of the house and grounds. The
house was described as ‘Built of brick part cement faced tiled roof old fashioned designed abt 500 years
Billiard Rm brick & slate modern’. There were five attic bedrooms on the second floor, six bedrooms, with
two bathrooms and a WC, on the first floor, and a hall, cloakroom, WC, four reception rooms and a billiard
room on the ground floor. Included in the domestic rooms in the basement was an ‘electric light factory’.

In response to a family history inquiry from Australia concerning the Ruff family of Mitcham, from which
came the Tom Ruff who was Mayor of Mitcham, Keith had found that a Tom and Harry Ruff had both been
conscientious objectors during the First World War and had served prison sentences.

While collecting biographical material relating to the Mitcham Military Tribunal Keith had come across
two articles of reminiscences written in 1939 by Mr Harry Mount. He worked for many years in the varnish

business, became a member of the Parish Council in 1910 and a JP in 1925. He was a leading figure in the

Mitcham Lodge of the Order of Oddfellows, and was the chairman of the Wilson Hospital Sports Association.
Extracts from Mr Mount’s memories will appear in a later Bulletin.

David Luff had bought a new book by Peggy Lines about Tri-ang. In the 1930s they produced substantial
pedal cars. Lines Bros were offered a warrant from the Queen for toys and sports, but preferred to have
it awarded to Hamleys rather than to the Merton factory. After armament production had ceased after the
Second World War, the company was directed to keep the relevant tooling for 20 years. There was not much
examination of why the company declined.
David had found out that Liberty’s only leased its building from 1904 and then bought it in 1923. He was
working on a book about the buildings at Merton Abbey Mills, since errors created in the 1960s were
still current. He then produced laminated versions of artwork posters produced in 1964–5 to celebrate the
individual boroughs of Wimbledon and Mitcham, before the amalgamation of 1965. He had also made
an A1-size illustrated map of the sections of the Priory wall still extant, with indications of the structural
problems (see
p.16). The digitising of his films was in progress.

Judith Goodman had been inspired by a ‘Word of Mouth’
programme to investigate house names in Merton Park. The
usual set of rural names – Dene, Holme, Villa, Hurst, Belmont
(right) – could be found. West Country and Lake District names
were common, as well as Scottish ones. Broadwater House was
named after a place or after an area of water across the road. Some
houses were named after the owner’s birthplaces, as in the case
of Henry Quartermain, architect, born in Abingdon. Some lesser buildings were named after their building
materials: concrete, iron and even mud. Seven houses in The Path were originally called after woods. Part
of Branksome Road [now Bournemouth Road] had a Bridge View – presumably the railway bridge – and
literary names in Oceania and Ivanhoe, as did Church Path with its Wendy Cottage, which could only have
received the name after its first appearance in Peter
Pan of 1904. Discussion followed about the gradual
change to house numbering.
Joyce Bellamy mentioned that Mitcham Horticultural Society was still going strong and had a historical
facet in some of its events and lectures. She was pressing for the whole Wandle basin to be included in talk
or discussion about the river: springs and spa sites needed to be noticed, as well as the immediate vicinity
of the river. It was hoped that the Mitcham War Memorial would receive Heritage England listing. The cart
dip at Three Kings pond had been added to the local List.
Peter Hopkins had received an email enquiry from Stephen Nelson, a Surrey archaeologist, asking about
medieval Cheam potters named in Morden documents for an article he is doing for Surrey Archaeological
Society. Peter had given him the references together with the links to the images and translations of the
relevant documents on our website. Our website had also led to contact with a family historian in the USA,
researching William Atterbury / Arthurbury who is recorded in Morden documents in the 17th century. He
has quoted extensively from our website in a 128-page chapter on William and his likely ancestors, which
will be for private circulation only (so no problem with copyright). William is probably the publisher of a
treatise by a member of the banned religious separatist/nonconformist Brownist movement, a forerunner of
the Congregational Church. (See

Peter had continued his studies of local Tudor wills and downloaded the 1597/98 will of the first Richard

Garth of Morden, though in it he described himself as of St Dunstan’s in the West. He left to his widow

‘Johan my welbeloved wief all her Apparell braselletes ringes and Jewelles, And also my will and meaninge

is that my said wief shall have the use and occupacon of all such my goodes Beddinge Lynnen brasse pewter
and all other my householde stuffe and ymplementes of householde whatsoever which nowe remayne and
be at my howse called groutes within the parishe of Mordon aforesayde duringe her naturall lief and after
her decease I will that the same shall wholy come remayne and be unto such person and persons to whom I
have geven the Inheretaunce of the same my house at Growtes aforesaide, Except neverthelesse and out of
this bequest always foreprised all the wainscott Seelinge glasse Barres of Iron and other yron and Ironworke
in or aboute the same house which neverthelesse my will and meaninge is that the saim waynescott Seelinge
yron and yronworke should remayne and be in the saide house at Growtes to be used and imployed there by

the said Johan my wief duringe her lieff without wastinge or spoylinge the same, soe as after her decease the

same wainscott Seelinge Glasse and yron shall remayne come and be to such person and persons to whom
I have geven the Inheritaunce of the same my house at Groutes aforesaide.’

The reference to wainscot fits the description of Philip Selby’s house in Morden in a 1753 insurance policy

which almost certainly relates to Growtes, where eight rooms were wainscotted and another half-wainscotted.
It is interesting that wainscot, ceiling, window glass and ironwork were considered as movables, so that
Garth had to specify they were to remain in
situ. Growtes had been part of Jane’s marriage settlement in
1567, which Richard refers to in his will.

Richard’s landed estates were not included in his will as they had already been settled upon his eldest son,
Robert, with arrangements should he die without heirs (which he did). Entries in the court rolls seem to
indicate that Robert was living in Growtes in 1594, during his father’s lifetime, and it is clear that Richard

spent much of his time in London. A 1588 lease of what was to become Morden Hall Farm specifies that

the tenant should supply a boar to his house in Chancery Lane each year in the week before Christmas, the
same lease reserving to Richard ‘all the new Parlor behynde the hall and the Chamber on the same, with
free ingress, egress and regress unto the same when and as often as need shall require’, referring to the old
farm house on the Morden Hall site.

Dave Haunton had received from Mr Paul Featherstone biographical material about George C Wood, builder,
of 120 Kingston Road, concurrent with the offer to the John Innes Society of the board that used to hang
outside the premises (see

Keith Penny



by members of the Medieval Pottery Group of Surrey Archaeological Society

This new guide, with text by Surrey archaeologist Phil Jones, is illustrated by

photographs of examples of pottery from the type series of Saxon and medieval
pottery in historic Surrey, which he has developed over a number of years. His
work will help researchers of medieval sites gain a better understanding of the
pottery used in the historic county. The guide is intended for use in conjunction
with the pottery samples held at the society’s Abinger Research Centre. There are
detailed section photographs that show the composition of the fabrics, and tables
of information that provide further details about them. The guide also explains
the key features that help identify and date sherds of Saxon or medieval pottery.

The guide is available to SyAS members at a cost of £4. (MHS is an institutional
member of Surrey Archaeological Society.)

INJURED PARTIES: Solving the Murder of Dr Helen Davidson

by Monica Weller, published by The History Press, 2016 Price £9-99
Not the sort of book we would normally notice, but this investigation of a real-life crime, written in a repetitious
and rather self-congratulatory style, contains information on some Wimbledon people, and thanks MHS on the

fourth page (of five) of Acknowledgements. We cannot discover who was consulted. They may well wish to

lay low, as the author places Wimbledon Ridgway in the ‘historic parish of Merton’.


Friday 8 July 2016: Eight present – Keith Penny in the Chair.

Rosemary Turner had come across a photocopy of the June 1898
Directory of the Berkeley Teetotal Society (BTS) of Mitcham,
which her late husband Steve had used to produce a publication
for East Surrey FHS, including an index of the names. There is a
copy on the ESFHS website in the ‘members access’ section, but
the whereabouts of the original is unknown.

The directory gives vague addresses of members (‘Ivy Cottage’,
‘Figgs Marsh’, ‘Cricket Green’, ‘Upper Mitcham Green left side’,
etc.) and ‘Belgravia’ as an area. Two members live in Mitcham

Station. The book notes that ‘The Secretary [John Marsh Pitt] …

has recently visited with the respective Committee almost every
family in the 20 districts to verify particulars and see if they are still
keeping their pledge. The large majority have, but some confessed
they had broken “by doctors orders or because they had to nurse a
baby” or gave some other exploded excuse’. He then reports there
were ‘483 members that belong to man-kind and 467 to the other
kind’, with an average age of 29. From their Secretary’s comments
it sounds as if the BTS drew members from all sections of society.

The directory contains a photo of the Committee in 1898, while

there is a photo of the first 100 members in the book of Tom

Francis’ photos Old
Mitcham (ed. E N Montague, 1993). Monty
mentions in Mitcham
that George Pitt had said that if the Society could find 99

people willing to be teetotal he would be the hundredth.
Rosemary brought some of Steve’s photos from an MHS book
launch at The Canons in 2001, including one of Lionel Green
presenting a copy of Monty’s just-published Mitcham

to the mayor, who was also photographed
congratulating Monty (right).
David Luff brought some photographs, including one of a worker at Liberty’s, which could be dated by the
headline in his newspaper, and several developer’s ones of the Savacentre site in 1988, showing the priory
wall intact, thus proving the damage visible today to be entirely recent. His postcard of Wimbledon Town
Hall prompted Judy Goodman to recall that, to mark the formal opening of the Hall in November 1931,
W H Lefevre Ltd, a general draper on the Broadway, had displayed a model of the Hall made entirely of
David showed us the preliminary layouts of two display panels, of photographs and text, about the movement
of the MHS store over the years (and its demise), that he is producing for our AGM.

Cyril Maidment had asked Merton Council about
repairing the present Phipps Bridge (right) and
had been assured that repairs would be complete
within three or four months. There has been a
bridge at this point since at least the 1260s. Cyril
also showed us several photographs of paintings
by Harry Bush, the artist who lived in Queensland
Avenue for thirty-odd years.
Joyce Bellamy had met a judge for London in
Bloom, showing her, inter
alia, social housing in
Mitcham Garden Village and Mitcham Almshouses,
and prompting the thought that ‘planning blight’
could sometimes be a preserver as well as a
destroyer of local landscape, eg. by halting road
widening. Joyce has begun compiling a list of memorial plantings in our area, such as the Dunblane (school
shooting) Memorial Tree on Upper Green West, and the QE II Golden Jubilee roses on Jubilee Corner.

Photo: David Luff


Judith Goodman has been sent some
photocopies of photos of buses in our area,
’50-60 years ago’, including this one (right).
Can anyone identify the point on the old 152
route from Mitcham to Feltham? The black
and white kerbstones must be a good clue.
Judy has a file on the multiple spy and con

man known as ‘Henry Alexander’, ‘Colonel

Lopez’, etc. who lived in Springfield Avenue

and then The Green. She passed it to Dave
Haunton, hoping he will produce a future
article. Photo: via Mr P Hotchin, Stanmore

David Haunton entertained with tales of a
German tram route run using historic vehicles, and was told that there are Friends of Tramlink [it turns out
that they are Friends of London Transport Museum – join them on www.ltmuseumfriends.co.uk].
Peter Hopkins has been in email correspondence with a resident of the
Tudor estate in Kingston built by Crouch in the 1930s. It is very similar
to their development in Lower Morden, though the Kingston Tudor Drive
has wide verges instead of the dual carriageways of Morden’s road of that
name. Peter showed copies of the builders’ prospectuses for the Crouch
estate and for Selleys’ so-called Merton Park estate in and around Hillcross
Avenue, Morden. Do other members have similar documents for other
local developments that we could copy for our archives?
Peter wondered why the Ravensbury Estate is split between Mitcham and
Morden parishes, when it had been in single ownership, and leased to a
single person, for a century before Surrey parish boundaries were formalised
in the 1180s. Some suggestions were made for him to ponder further.

. Keith Penny added to the previous Workshop’s discussion of the
numbering of houses: streets in industrial Mitcham were still being
numbered for the first time in 1917, and Merton Council was renumbering
Watery Lane in 1910.
Keith brought along the picture of the Good Shepherd Mission church in
Lonesome that featured in Bulletin
193. The picture, when closely examined, showed the ‘gridded windows’
remembered in 1931, whereas the second building, after the fire of March 1916, had windows that could be
opened, so the picture was likely to be of the original 1906 building. Keith had a feeling, too, that moustaches
became less luxuriant during wartime. He thought that the building told a positive, if brief, story of community
improvement: it was created by the first vicar of St Mark’s church, James Orlando Gooch, who wanted a base
in the isolated area of Lonesome; by the bishop of Southwark, who gained funding from the Ecclesiastical
Commissioners for the site; and by a wealthy private patron, Mrs Emily Pearson, of Kingston Hill, who
paid for the building. Apart from its Sunday worship, the church had Sunday schools, a club, temperance
societies and a brass band. Although the Mission was supported by its parent parish, it drew affection from
the community, such that 11 shillings were subscribed even before the ashes of the fire were cold. During
1917 £12 (about £600 now) was given locally, all in pennies. The church was a focal point during the war:
there were 200 names on a roll of honour of those who served. Two members of the church gained medals,
and ten, at least, died; only three men of forty-five remained in the Men’s School. The Church Army captain,
James Crook, who was supported by a Sister who visited the sick, said that his chief work was writing letters
to soldiers on behalf of their wives (which says something of literacy levels). His reputation was such that
doctors would not go to Lonesome unless he vouched for the patients, presumably to give the doctors some
assurance of payment, and his work was valued highly enough by the Military Tribunal to bring exemption
from military service. Perhaps the war proved the high point: from 1927–8 the building was little used, and
although a new club began in 1931 in refurbished premises, demolition came in 1936–7.

Dates of next Workshops: Fridays 30 September, 11 November 2016, and 13 January 2017
2.30pm at Wandle Industrial Museum. All are welcome.


ROBERT ATTEBERRY shows his detective skills while investigating

William Arthurburie may have been the longest-lived citizen of Morden Parish in the 17th century, having attained
the remarkable age of 97 years. According to historian Daniel Lysons, the tombstone of William Atterbury stood
in St Lawrence churchyard, Morden, indicating he died in 1690 [recte 1697] aged 97. However, longevity is
not the most remarkable aspect of William’s extraordinarily long life, as he very likely could also claim the
distinction of having been the great-grandfather of William Arterbury, the progenitor of most Atteberrys living
in America, as well as having been a member of a small, seldom heard-of religious sect known as ‘Brownists’.

William first appeared in the vicinity of Morden when his marriage to Anne Olliver was recorded in the parish

register of St Peter and St Paul, Mitcham, in 1638. From the register of St Lawrence’s church, William and
Anne Arthurburie continued to reside in Morden parish from before 1650 until their burials in 1697 and 1683,

William probably farmed a small tenancy in Lower Morden, where he was several times recorded as a juror,
and once as the parish tithingman. William was reported in the 1664 Hearth Tax roll occupying a home with two
hearths, placing him in the upper lower-classes of the community. His two sons appear to have been afforded
apprenticeships, with William as a stone mason and Richard as a chandler. During his relatively long life our
William would have witnessed the death of the Tudor monarchy, and the turbulent reigns of the Stuarts, interrupted
by the English Civil War and Interregnum. The latter half of William’s life is known with some certainty, but

the first half of his existence prior to his marriage to Anne Olliver is less certain. The following history of

William’s early years and ancestry is based on extensive research and the author’s best reasoning and analysis.
Prior to his marriage to Anne Olliver, William is believed to have lived at Mortlake between about 1613 and

1635, where he lived with his first wife, working as a Thames waterman and fathering six daughters (Katherine,
Anne, Elizabeth, Hannah, Jane and Alice) and one son named William, who died young. He is believed to

have been a son of William Atterbury, porter and ‘obstinate Brownist’, and his wife Katherine. William’s
grandparents are believed to have been William Addersbury, basket-maker, and Alice Lyon. The families of both
his parents and grandparents are believed to have resided in St Giles Cripplegate, northwest London, probably
on Grub Street. It is further believed that through protracted exposure to dissident and non-conformist religious

influences widely existing within St Giles, William’s family would have been persuaded to join the separatist

church founded in part by Robert Brown and Robert Harrison. It also seems possible that William Addersbury,
basket-maker, may have been introduced in his youth to the Mennonite faith through the Dutch basket-makers
residing in the City parish of St Andrew Hubbard, where he likely served his apprenticeship. Regardless of
its origins, it is clear from court records that William
Atterbury, porter, of St Giles Cripplegate, was active
in the separatist church when he was arraigned in 1613
as an ‘obstinate Brownist’, and again in 1617 for not
attending his parish church.

What, might you ask, does this have to do with William
Arthurbury of Morden? The answer to this question
may be found in the publication in November 1646
by a William Arthurburie of a seditious religious tract
entitled The
Fountaine, ostensibly written by

John Wilkinson while a prisoner at Colchester in 1613.

It is the author’s belief that the William Arthurburie
that published the Wilkinson tract was the same person
as William Arthurburie of Morden parish. This belief
is predicated on numerous factors, including the
matching given name and surname, the rarity of the
Arthurburie surname, the doctrinal connection between
the subject matter contained in the Wilkinson tract and
the Brownist separatist movement, and the historical
timing of the seditious publication.

Surname Rarity – The author was able to find only

two other instances of the ‘Arthurbury’ surname, both
having been in the late 16th / early 17th century in

Emblemata Nova by

Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, neither carried

The Sealed Fountaine


beyond a single generation, and none including the given name of William. Only the Arthurbury family of Morden
was an exact match of both given name and surname, was contemporaneous with the Wilkinson tract publication,
and survived for multiple generations, all the way to the late-18th century in Chester County, South Carolina.

Doctrinal Connection – John Wilkinson appears to have been a lay minister, trained as a weaver, who was
connected with the ‘ancient church’ of London founded by John Greenwood and Henry Barrowes. The
was intended to confute the beliefs of John Merton, Thomas Helwys, et
al., regarding the practice of
infant baptism. While Merton and Helwys believed all infant baptisms to be invalid as infants were too young
to understand, Wilkinson’s treatise argues that children born of true believers have inherited their parents’ state

of grace and, therefore, may be baptised. While this distinction alone is not sufficient to tie John Wilkinson

to the Brownists, other factors such as Wilkinson’s reported possession of a ‘Barrowe’s book’ would show a
clear association between Wilkinson and the London separatist church of which William Atterbury, obstinate
Brownist, would have been an active member.

Historical Timing – It seems probable that William Atterbury, porter and obstinate Brownist, would have been
the person to whom the Wilkinson tract had been entrusted. William Atterbury probably visited Wilkinson in
prison at Colchester. Wilkinson (late of London, a ‘so-called Brownist’) had been arrested and arraigned in
1611 at Stepney for non-attendance at his parish church, resulting in his being ordered to be banished in March
1612 for transport to Amsterdam. Publication of the Wilkinson tract prior to the arrest of King Charles I in

June 1646 would have been considered an act of sedition, punishable by death. It is the author’s belief that the

Wilkinson tract remained in the Atterbury family’s possession until it was published in November 1646. The
author further believes that the publication of this tract in November 1646 was not coincidental, but timed to
folow the King’s arrest, after which the printing could be done with impunity. Further, it seems likely that the
‘Arthurbury’ surname was adopted as an alias as a further protection against detection and persecution. After
all, William Arthurbury had been recorded in Mortlake and Mitcham with the surname of Atterbury. Why else
would he have suddenly adopted the surname of Arthurbury when he moved into Morden parish?

Admittedly, the conclusions presented in this article are based primarily on circumstantial evidence, but not

without fairly exhaustive research and rational analysis. Anyone interested in the more finite details of this work

may contact the author at battebe@yahoo.com.


WIMBLEDON VILLAGE: A history told through its street names

by Neal Ransome, published by Wimbledon Society Museum Press, 2016
Price £7-99 from the Museum.
This diverting book does what it says on the cover – after a brief history

of Wimbledon, the 141 streets in the Village ward of Merton Borough are
investigated in alphabetical order, to establish who developed them, when, and
why they were given their particular names. In many cases the name derives
from a past resident, and portraits and short descriptions of these people are
interspersed with local views, ancient and more modern. An analysis of the
types of street names yields the fascinating insights that all 47 ‘Roads’ were
named before 1932, while only one of the 18 ‘Closes’ dates from before 1940.

The Village has only one ‘Lane’, one ‘Square’, and, fittingly, only one (High)

‘Street’. One third of the streets are named for individuals, a quarter for houses
or other buildings, and a further quarter for trees or other geographical features

such as fields, parks and lakes.

Neal Ransome has been successful in his search for the origins of 139 street names, but cannot as yet explain
the rationale for the names of Alfreton Close and Welford Place. He has tried very hard – the splendidly-named
Admiral the Honourable Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax actually named two of the
streets he developed in the 1920s (Barham and Hood Roads) after ships (in Wimbledon!), while I enjoyed the
developer’s confession that Kinsella Gardens was intended to be named Kinellan after a 19th-century house
on the site, but ‘We just got the spelling wrong!’

The book is well indexed, and has some nice clear maps: I particularly appreciated the convention adopted to
show demolished houses vs. those still standing. Overall, we have an unusual, ingenious and successful way
of presenting local history – and a book to dip into and enjoy.



PAUL FEATHERSTONE profiles his great-grandfather and a family business


George was born in Redhill on 19 August 1854 to Sarah, the wife of William Wood, a shoemaker. He was

not baptised until 17 September 1854 in the church of St John, Redhill, Parish of Reigate. He had three older

siblings, remembered as ‘Bill, Sadie and Polly’, and a younger sister, Sarah, always known as Sally.

George was an outside plumber, working on flat lead roofs, lead pipes and working joints when he started. He
evidently pursued work wherever he could find it, moving continually over his early working years. He married
Elizabeth Rapley, who was the same age as himself, in late 1875, near her birthplace in Ifield, Sussex. We can

then trace his movements by the Census records, which show the birthplaces of his children as well as his current

address. Thus the family were in Horley, Surrey, (only three miles from Ifield) in 1877 and 1880; at 37 Cochrane
Street, St Marylebone, Middlesex, for the April 1881 Census, and not far away in St John’s Wood, London, the

next year. They had moved to Merton by 1887, and here they stayed. In April 1891 the Census shows the family
to be living at 6 St Mary’s Cottages, Church Lane, Merton. The Cottages had been built in 1889, intended for
the ‘respectable artisan classes’; no.6 is now 36 Church Lane. The 1892 voters list for Merton shows George
still living at 6 St Mary’s Cottages, but in Kelly’s Directory for 1899 ‘George Charles Wood, plumber’ is trading
at The Rush, possibly from a rented room in one of the properties – several such businesses are known – or
perhaps using it as an accommodation address.

George’s wife Elizabeth died in November 1892, and

on 1 June 1895 he married Susanna Matilda Mount

(née Martin), a widow, at Queen’s Road Baptist Chapel
in Wimbledon.1 The 1901 Census shows that George
(now 46) with his new wife and the combined families
had moved a short distance, to 12 St Mary’s Cottages
(‘four rooms inhabited’), now 42 Church Lane. George’s

plumbing business must have been flourishing, as it now
apparently included his stepson John Mount, aged 20,

working as a plumber, and his younger son William, aged
14, who had left school and was employed as a ‘plumber’s
labourer’. (The elder son, Norman, was a solicitor’s clerk,
while the eldest daughter, Nellie, had moved away, having
married Walter Featherstone in 1898.)2

In 1902, Trim’s Directory shows George still at St Mary’s Cottages, but in 1903 he had moved to ‘The Manor
House’ (previously ‘Merton Farm’, later 122, and nowadays 120, Kingston Road) as a tenant of the local
council.3 He remained here for the rest of his life, where his younger sister Sarah kept house for him after
Susanna Matilda died in September 1910.

According to his obituary, ‘It was largely owing to the encouragement of the late Mr. John Innes, “Squire of

Merton”, that Mr Wood embarked on his career as a master builder.’4 We can follow this change in career in

Directory entries, as ‘G C Wood, plumber’ in 1903-1908/9 becomes ‘G C Wood & Sons, builder’ in 1909/10
and thereafter. Details on what houses he built are scarce, though an early commission was from J S Brocklesby

for the Merton Park estate. This was for:
‘… a caretaker’s cottage to be erected on a tight plot adjoining the Quartermain-designed Masonic Hall in
Kingston Road, Merton. The cottage was built in November 1906 by G. C. Wood whose tender of £300 had
been accepted by the Estate Company. Other tenders were:- Gospel and Hayell £350, Parsons £337, Burges
£325, Roberts of Croydon £317. In the event Wood used a predominance of yellow stocks rather than “selected

dark stocks” as specified by the architect and in doing so saved a few pounds. Brocklesby was not pleased!’5
Enterprisingly early, in 1908 the firm acquired a telephone apparatus, number WIMbledon 179, retaining the same

number until 1936, when it became LIBerty 3115. Another, LIBerty 3465, was installed shortly afterwards. The

firm evidently prospered, so much so that in 1927 it was thought worthwhile to incur the expenditure required





for the formation and registration of ‘Geo C Wood and Son Limited’. This included the conveyance from Mr G C
Wood to the company of the freehold property known as 126 Kingston Road.6 George was obviously flourishing,
as in 1936 he not only rented 120 Kingston Road, rateable value £52, but owned garages 1-7, between 126 and
128 Kingston Road, rated at £4 each.7 The firm’s continuing prosperity is indicated by the opening of a branch at
71 Ridgway, Wimbledon, late in 1938, in premises purchased outright.8 This also showed considerable optimism
for the future, as the country was only just emerging from the 1930s slump.

By 1945, when he died, George’s firm employed more than

50 workmen (who attended his funeral) and owned at least
two lorries. These latter must have been bought before the
war, as vehicles for non-military purposes were not available
for purchase during hostilities. Thereafter the business
was carried on by his two grandsons, Charles Gordon
Featherstone (son of Walter and Nellie) at Wimbledon, and
Reginald Norman Wood (son of Norman) at Merton. In 1954
the businesses separated and the Wimbledon branch became
Ridgway Builders (Wimbledon) Limited. G C Wood and

Sons Ltd finally ceased trading in 1968.

One lady remembered George’s rosy cheeks and
bright blue eyes. He was evidently a man of many
skills, as Alf Grant, who started working for Ridgway
Builders in 1940, remembered him pottering around
the back of the yard (in his eighties!) and making

the firm’s last builders barrow. This was a heavy

duty iron wheelbarrow, usually weighing more than
a hundredweight (50kg). He once won a bet for
pushing a man in such a barrow up Wimbledon Hill
(usually they had a horse to help them).

In March 1896 George became a member of Queens
Road Baptist Church. ‘His name stood eighth on our
Church Roll. … baptised by Rev. Charles Ingrem
… He served as an Elder for many years, then as
a Deacon, and some years ago was appointed as a Life Deacon as the highest honour that the Church could
give.’9 In later years, once a month he would have people back on a Sunday night after church for ‘coffee and
cakes and a good rousing sing-song’.

George died on Saturday 18 August 1945, just one day short of his 91st birthday, and was buried in St Mary’s
churchyard. ‘One of the oldest and most respected residents of Merton’ said the Wimbledon
News, but, though
the paper referred to him as a ‘master builder’, I am not sure he built many properties. I think that, like Ridgway
Builders, the emphasis was on alterations, improvements and repairs.

The will of George Charles Wood was proved in May 1946, the executors being two of his daughters, Daisy

Minnie Bungard (who had been ‘assisting in the business’ in 1911) and Edith May Johnson (who, with her

husband, was living with him in 1945). His estate was valued at £12862 (perhaps £500,000 today).
Help Wanted: Can anyone identify any of the properties built by George Charles Wood ?

1 Now the Everyday Church, Wimbledon
2 Another daughter, Edith May Wood, married Thomas Reginald Johnson a chemist. They lived at 23 Melbourne Road,
Merton Park. I was once told his shop later became Seaman’s The Chemist in Kingston Road.
3 Judith Goodman Merton
History (1995, Phillimore) Picture no.17
4 Wimbledon
News 24 August 1945, p.4
5 Christopher Spencer Elbow
Brocklesby (1984, Ainsworth and Nelson)
6 Invoice from Mr A J Briant relating to professional services, dated 2nd May 1927. Document formerly in the safe at
Ridgway Builders (Wimbledon) Limited, 71 Ridgway, Wimbledon
7 Merton and Morden Council Rate Book, for year ending 31 March 1936
8 Agreement dated 16 December 1938 between J L N Myddleton and Geo C Wood and Son Ltd for ‘sale of freehold
and leasehold properties known as 71 Ridgway Wimbledon and land at rear and of the business carried on thereat.’
Document formerly in the safe at Ridgway Builders
9 Roadmaker September 1945 (the magazine of Wimbledon Baptist Church, Queens Road)

It was not all work in the yard



This event on 28 May went well; Sarah Gould reported no fewer than 1100 visitors during the four hours it was
open to the public. Among other activities, it publicised the launch of Merton’s Carved
Stone website, about
the local effects of the First World War. One of the short talks in the afternoon was given by Keith Penny, on
WW1 military tribunals, which was particularly well-received.
The MHS stand
featured our
publications (we
sold 11!), old copies
of the Bulletin (they
were free, so all
disappeared), our
video screen, and
David Luff’s panel
(right) illustrating the
areas of damage to
the priory wall.

For the screen show,
Keith had put together
a series of some 80
pictures. Many of
these were then-
and-now pairs from
our Photographic
Project, with a
few requests for
memories, cunningly
interspersed with
subtle adverts for
recent publications.

Many people stood
watching this for the
complete cycle, but
most interest was
generated by David’s
panel. He hardly had
time for a cup of tea
between questions
and comments.

The panel is available
for responsible
persons to borrow.


Letters and contributions for the Bulletin should be sent to the Hon. Editor by email to
editor@mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk. The views expressed in this Bulletin are those

of the contributors concerned and not necessarily those of the Society or its Officers.

website: www.mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk email: mhs@mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk

Printed by Peter Hopkins