September 2017 – Bulletin 203
Monumental Sculpture attributed to the Crutcher Family – Katharina Mayer Haunton
Incident at Merton Park Primary School – John ‘Sandy’ Catanach
Commemorative Plantings (continued) – David Haunton
and much more
Membership: via Hon. Secretary Membership: via Hon. Secretary
VICE PRESIDENT: Judith Goodman
CHAIR: Keith Penny
BULLETIN No. 203 SEPTEMBER 2017
Trench 12 at Short Batsworth under excavation, Spring 1967 (Photo ENM). See p.15
Programme September 2017 – January 2018 2
‘The Mills of the River Wandle’ 3
Walk along the Wandle 5
Visit to LAARC 7
Local History Workshop 23 June 2017: 8
Mizen workforce pictures; ice cream; a naval mutineer; Merton Rush in Australia; constant Stavely
Monumental Sculpture attributed to the Crutcher Family – Katharina Mayer Haunton 10
Incident at Merton Park Primary School – John ‘Sandy’ Catanach 14
Hot off the Press: 15
CONSCRIPTION IN MITCHAM 1916–1918: Cases heard by the Mitcham Military Tribunal and
Cases heard by the Surrey and Croydon Appeals Tribunal by Keith Penny
JUSTICE TO MEN AND COUNTRY: The Mitcham Military Tribunal, 1916–1918 by Keith Penny
ExCAvATION Of A ROMANO-BRITISH SITE AT SHORT BATSwORTH, MITCHAM 1966-68
by Eric Montague
Our New Website 16
Commemorative Plantings (continued) 16
PROGRAMME SEPTEMBER 2017 – JANUARY 2018
Thursday 14 September 11.00am Visit to Wyvern Bindery
56-58 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1
A tour lasting about 1hr round a traditional book-binding establishment
Northern Line to Kings Cross or Moorgate then Circle or Bakerloo Line to farringdon or Barbican
OR Thameslink to farringdon
Saturday 14 October 2.30pm Christchurch Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Archaeology of Merton (mainly Merton Priory)’
An illustrated talk by David Saxby, Senior Archaeologist, Museum of London Archaeology
Saturday 11 November 2.30pm Christchurch Hall, Colliers Wood
AGM followed by
‘There’s More to Morden’
An illustrated talk by Sarah Gould, LBM Heritage
Saturday 9 December 2.30pm Christchurch Hall, Colliers Wood
‘The Coach Road to Brighton’
An illustrated talk by Geoff Hewlett, author and ‘avid walker’, he says
Saturday 13 January 2018 2.30pm Christchurch Hall, Colliers Wood
Short talks by Society members
Christ Church Hall is next to the church, in Christchurch Road, 250m from Colliers wood
Underground station. Limited parking at the hall, but plenty in nearby streets or at the Tandem
Centre, 200m south. Buses 152, 200 and 470 pass the door.
Visitors 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.
Members are reminded that new subscription rates were approved at the 2016 Annual General Meeting.
From 1 October 2017 rates are:
Single membership £12 Additional member of same household £5
Full-time student £5 Overseas members £15
If you already pay by Standing Order, and have not yet changed it, please do so by completing the enclosed
standing order form.
A NEW CONSTITUTION
Every society such as ours, especially ones that have resources in cash and other assets, needs a set of rules
for its management. Your Committee propose revising the existing MHS Constitution so that its provisions
should more nearly match the circumstances of the Society in 2017. A copy is enclosed with this mailing. The
rules regarding election to the Committee have been simplified; the obligations of the Committee in Health and
Safety matters have been acknowledged; rules concerning the conduct of meetings have been altered to suit the
smaller Committee that we now have, and to introduce a further financial safeguard. Achanged Constitution
can only come into place if members present at the Annual General Meeting accept it, and I recommend its
adoption to you all.
Keith Penny, Chairman
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 2
TALKS FOR JANUARY
Members are invited to contribute short presentations (10–20 minutes) on a local history subject to the meeting
on 13 January. Talks can be with or without slides, and don’t need to be full of facts – personal interest and
enthusiasm are just as valuable. If you have something to offer, but aren’t sure how to go about it, please get
in touch with Bea Oliver or Keith Penny. If you don’t feel up to speaking in person, you can provide the script
and ask someone else to talk for you. We should like to publish the list of talks in advance, so that members
can see the titles in the December issue of the Bulletin.
Enclosures: please note there are four enclosures: a Subscription renewal form, the proposed changed
Constitution, the AGM agenda for 11 November, and a comprehensive listing of talks of interest for our
area and surrounding districts. This last will also be available on our new website (see p.16).
‘THE MILLS OF THE RIVER WANDLE’
On Saturday 8 April a full house was much entertained by Mick Taylor of the Wandle Industrial Museum (and
of Merton Historical Society’s photographic project; and of the Merton Memories project).
He started by asking a simple question. How many mills were there on the Wandle? The answer is not simple
– it depends on what you count. Do you take the number of buildings? or the number of water wheels? or the
number of pairs of grindstones driven by those wheels? All the answers will be different, resulting in estimates
of between 49 (in 1790) and 100 mills; for one observer in 1854 there were ’38 and 5 other works’.
And how do we define the River Wandle? It has two sources, in Wandle Park, Croydon, and Carshalton Park, and
numerous contributory springs. New springs appear from time to time, as did one in Beddington Park recently;
the lake in Wimbledon Park is fed by a spring and drains into the Wandle. The river itself has seen much change:
in 1834 it was pure enough to provide drinking water for London, and was noted for trout fishing, but around
1850–60 it began to be polluted with industrial waste from synthetic dyers, leather and paper works, and later
on Morris’s printers, until in 1970 there was virtually no water. Now much recovered, with ‘good fishing’, the
flow is still only some 50% of that in 1850.
The waterwheels themselves tended to be repaired rather than replaced.
The paddles for undershot mills were normally flat planks, but the mill at
Grove Park employed ‘bent’ paddles (L-shaped in section), which were
50% more efficient (as here at Morden Hall mill (right)). Depending on its
design, the power generated at a mill could vary between 15hp and 50hp, the
75hp availableat WimbledonMill denoting unusual efficiency. The wheels
drove a variety of machines – horizontal stones with a central eye to grind
corn, drop-hammers for fulling cloth (via a cam on an axle), vertical edge
runners for snuff (as the example now at Ravensbury Park), and pestle-and-
mortars spinning for drug- and dye-makers. The various processes performed
included leather beating, gunpowder manufacture, textile processing (at one
point 20 works were engaged on this
simultaneously, of which the last closed
only in 1986), block printing and copper
plate rolling, iron and copper beating,
and parchment production. One quirk
Mick noted was that Connolly’s leather works used Scandinavian cowhides,
not British ones, because barbed wire was not used in Scandinavian fields,
thus there were no nicks in the hide.
The water of the Wandle was itself a resource, and was frequently diverted
into man made channels (eg. Connolly’s (left)) and mill ponds (eg. the priory
mills), while bleaching cuts for calico occupied as much as 40 acres. Here
the cloth was repeatedly wetted and left to dry in the sun; much later the
same cuts were used for watercress cultivation. Inevitably disputes arose
about water availability and pollution: as a result of one famous court case,
Sir Edward Smith had to pull his new mill down.
Connolly’s Cut leading to Connolly’s Mill
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 3
In a swift, but very well illustrated, overview of individual mills, descending the river, Mick mentioned Waddon
mill, with three overshot wheels and a pond, possibly one of those mentioned in Domesday Book; Carshalton’s
two mills, our oldest surviving mill buildings, nowadays housing printmakers, again possibly mentioned in
Domesday Book; Grove Mill with overshot wheels, housing three mills under one roof; Hackbridge mill that
processed brazil-wood (for dye), gunpowder and copper, as well as cloth fulling; Goat Bridge mill processing
corn, drugs and leather; and Willows calico mill, later supplanted by pig farmers and then watercress growers.
Mick warned us to distinguish Mitcham mill, at
the end of Willow Lane, from the Mitcham Bridge
mills – Grove, Crown and Glovers. Ravensbury
mill (left) has a pond, and wheels inside the
building (grinding logwood and snuff), while one
of the two surviving mills in Morden Hall Park
still retains its wheel and a kiln for drying material
before grinding it. This is a good example of real
Then there were Liberty’s textile printing; Merton priory’s former
Amery mills at Merton High Street processing corn, brazil-wood,
copper and finally paper and board; Morris’s textiles; the long-
established site at Connolly’s, where there were three mills in
1550, reducing to one by 1600; Paxton’s japanning works, with its
overshot wheel at right angles to the river, driven by water from an
artesian well; and Wimbledon mill, at Copper Mill Lane, subject
to flooding, which featured the second largest wheel in the country
and fulled cloth and processed iron, copper and chamois leather.
All the extensive Wandsworth mills are now lost, the Upper with
its 12 pairs of stones, the Middle with up to 31 pairs of stones,
much used by Watneys brewery, and the Lower – a tidal mill, only
useful for eight hours out of the 24. There were several breweries
along the Wandle, including the earliest Mitcham one mentioned
in 1370, and Young’s as well as Watney’s at Wandsworth; the area
was much used for the pure water from its artesian wells.
For further study, Mick recommended The Mills of the River
wandle by David Saxby (£3-00 from the Wandle Industrial
Museum), while Fred Braithwaite’s Rise and fall of the River
wandle (1853) is worth reading. There is much information on
the WIM website www.wandle.org (click through Exhibitions and
then Mills). After a lively question and answer session, Mick was
thanked and roundly applauded.
The quietly impressive formal façade
of Connolly’s Mill
The Morden Hall Park mills – eastern (above)
and western (below)
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 4
WALK ALONG THE WANDLE
Following Mick Taylor’s excellent talk in April on ‘Mills of the Wandle’ (see p.3), 15 members joined him for a
guided walk on Thursday 8 June. We met at Mitcham Tram Stop, itself a place of importance for our industrial
heritage, as here the tramway follows the line of the Surrey Iron Railway, which served many of the mills and
other industrial sites along the Wandle in the early 19th century.
We passed the new fire station, on the site of the former Surrey Brewery, to visit the mills above Mitcham
Bridge, almost certainly the location of the mill mentioned in Domesday Book in fitz Ansculf’s ‘Whitford’or
Wicford estate, while a ‘half-mill’ in his ‘Mitcham’ estate might also have been sited here (though possibly at
Phipps Bridge). By the 14th century the mills were described as ‘two watermills in one house’, and a third mill
was built in the late 15th or early 16th century, giving rise to the 18th-century description of a ‘millhouse and
three water corn mills therein’. In 2004 an archaeological investigation of the Grove Mill revealed evidence
for at least two sets of waterwheel housings and tailraces (see MHS Bulletin 184 pp.7–10), matching the three
separate channels issuing from the western side of the mill depicted on the 1846 Mitcham tithe map.
The Grove Mill’s current structure is a rebuild of 1907 following a disastrous fire. It ceased production in 2003
and has now been converted to residential use, with additional housing units occupying the nearby site of the
Crown Mill, which burnt down in 1964. Although the mills on these sites were originally for grinding corn,
they were later used for various purposes, the Crown Mill ending its working life in the production of felt,
the Grove Mill in the manufacture and distribution of chiropodial and surgical supplies (see Eric Montague’s
Mitcham Histories 6: Mitcham Bridge, the watermeads and the wandle Mills).
We were pleased to see that the former mill cottages still survive as dwellings, under the picturesque name
of Fisheries Cottages, one having been occupied in the 20th century by the bailiff of the Wandle Fisheries
Association. We also noted the Grade II listed Wandle Grove or Wandle House nearby, built around 1780, but
with no links to Wandle industries.
Moving on to Mitcham Bridge, we looked upstream to see the confluence of the main river with Paper Mill Cut.
This served a paper mill on the Morden side of the river, built around 1780 by Richard Glover who, between
1804 and 1889, also ran a snuff mill in Morden which was pulled down around 1950. The Glover family also
operated the Grove and Crown mills on the Mitcham bank. Sadly, we were unable to explore the site of the
Morden mills, which are within the National Trust’s Watermeads, as some of the bridges across the Cut are unsafe.
After crossing the road, we stopped on the modern pedestrian bridge above the former cart run, which ran
alongside the ford that preceded the bridges here – the ‘Wic ford’ which in Saxon times gave its name to the
settlement of Wicford extending into Mitcham, Morden and Carshalton.
As we passed the site of Mitcham Grove, once home to banker and philanthropist Henry Hoare, Mick pointed out
the various cuts that had once served the bleaching fields in the area. By 1812 there were 16 acres of bleaching
grounds in this area, serving the Ravensbury printworks, operated by the Mauvillain family by the early 18th
century, followed by John Arbuthnot. The Wandle was renowned for its calico works, with up to 20 operating
at any time during this period. Textile printing at the Ravensbury works ceased in 1862, and the premises were
later used for the production of flock, and later still for gelatine. From 1884 Gilliat Hatfeild used the former
factory building as a warehouse and workshop for his Morden Hall estate, managed in the early 20th century
by Madeline Healey’s grandfather. After bomb damage in 1941 the site was taken over by the council and
developed for housing.
As we approached Ravensbury Mills, Mick pointed out the set of edge
runners (right), once used for milling snuff. These were re-erected in a
glade, having been preserved by the Wandle Industrial Museum, which still
hopes to occupy one day part of the mill building which still contains the
waterwheels. The present building is only half of the mill complex, which
occupied both banks of the river. The buildings on the Mitcham bank were
demolished following fire damage in the late 20th century, but those on the
Morden bank, dating from around 1800, have mostly been converted to
residential use. The Ravensbury snuff mills, first noted in the 1680s, came
to international fame under the Rutter family, who operated here from 1805
to 1925, producing the celebrated ‘Mitcham Shag’ tobacco, as well as snuff.
After the Rutter years, the buildings were occupied by Whiteley Products
who produced sports goods and athletic equipment, rubber cords, and the
like until 1989 (see Eric Montague’s Mitcham Histories 10: Ravensbury).
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 5
We crossed the road into Morden Hall Park, where we viewed
another pair of snuff mill buildings originally dating from the
mid-18th century, though replacing medieval cornmills roughly
on the site of a Domesday mill. The mid-18th-century walls
of the western mill were uncovered during an archaeological
investigation in 2012, partly under and partly south of the existing
early-19th-century building, and built over an east–west ditch or
channel radiocarbon-dated from the Saxo-Norman period up to
the 12th or 13th century, possibly associated with an earlier mill
building. Manorial accounts
record the rebuilding of
the manorial mill in 1312/13, the timber frame being constructed at
Westminster abbey’s Aldenham estate in Hertfordshire, and transported
to Morden in 45 cartloads. In 1831 the mills were leased to Taddy and
Co, one of the partners being Alexander Hatfeild. His son Gilliat Hatfeild
purchased the freehold of the mills in 1867, buying the Morden Hall estate
and the lordship of the manor of Morden in 1873. His son Gilliat Edward
Hatfeild inherited the estate, bequeathing Morden Hall to the National
Trust in 1941. The works had closed in 1920. As well as the surviving
waterwheel, Mick pointed out the kiln houses used for drying the tobacco
(above), and another set of edge runners (right) erected in the grounds.
We followed the path across a new boardwalk through the wetlands, again noticing the many channels cut
over the centuries, mainly for industrial purposes, as detailed in a 1716 lease of the Morden Hall estate to the
Mauvillains of Ravensbury printworks. We then passed Deen City Farm, which occupies former bleaching
fields. John Jacob was noted as a ‘whitster’or bleacher in this area in the 1660s and 1670s.
At Phipps Bridge, Mick pointed out the confluence of two channels, one of which is still known as Rucker’s
Cut, after J A Rucker, proprietor in the 1760s of another calico works founded by George Amyand and Francis
Nixon, the latter being credited with inventing in the 1750s the use of engraved copper plates as an alternative
to wooden blocks for printing textiles.
The Pickle ditch represents the ‘natural’ course of the Wandle, but our path followed a man-made cut to Bennett’s
Ditch, which formerly ran between the two streams to serve Bennett’s Mill, though nowadays serves to drain
the wetlands. (For more on the Bennett and Leach families see Judy Goodman’s book Coal and Calico.) The
site of the medieval mill of Merton priory was archaeologically identified in this vicinity in 2001–2005. Calico
printworks had been established within the former priory precinct from the early 18th century, and from 1883
these were run by members of the Littler family. They were soon printing cloth for Liberty’s, who took over the
firm in 1904. (For more on the successive printworks here see David Luff’s book Trouble at Mill (2nd edition
2017).) After many years of dereliction following the closure of the works, a craft centre known as Merton
Abbey Mills was set up in 1989, Liberty’s having refused permission to use the Liberty name for the site – or
for the public house, which was therefore named after William Morris, whose factories were situated further to
the north adjoining Merton High Street.
At this point Mick handed over to David Luff, who had worked here during the closing years of the printworks,
and who showed us a few of his vast collection of photographs of the site. David then offered to show those who
wished the section of the old priory wall which he has been rescuing from the undergrowth in recent months.
None of us had realised how extensive this stretch of wall is, and we are all grateful for the work that David
continues to put in to preserve it.
We are most grateful to Mick for a fascinating and informative walk. The suggestion has been made that next
year he might lead a walk in the opposite direction, from Mitcham Bridge towards Carshalton, by which time
the Watermeads might be open to the public.
This walk mainly followed a part of the Wandle Trail. The full distance is well documented, mapped and
illustrated by Bob Steel and Derek Coleman’s book River wandle Companion and wandle Trail Guide (2012,
Culverhouse Books) £15-00.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 6
VISIT TO LONDON ARCHAEOLOGICAL ARCHIVE
AND RESEARCH CENTRE (LAARC)
LAARC, in Eagle Wharf Road N1, on Regent’s Canal, is one of three sites occupied by the Museum of London,
the other two being the Docklands Museum in Canary Wharf, and the main site near the Barbican. Seven members
were able to visit LAARC on 6 July, where we were shown around by Dan Nesbitt, a Curatorial Assistant in
the Archaeological Archive. After a brief introduction to the variety of collections stored at the archive, we
visited a few of the many rooms.
We started with one of the lesser-known aspects of the archive’s work, the Social and Work History collection. One
room had a complete wall of shelves filled from floor to ceiling with display cases of toys ancient and modern,
ranging from historic Punch and Judy figures to the original Andy Pandy puppet used in the TVprogrammes.
We were pleased to see Sindy halfway along one shelf! Around the corner was a telephone exchange from
Buckingham Palace, part of a large collection of telephonic items, including Gilbert Scott’s original model for
the first London red telephone box. In another row was a collection of cannon, and one corner held various
bicycles ranging from a penny-farthing to a Boris bike! The last bell to be cast at the Whitechapel foundry was
made for the Museum of London; it is hoped it will have pride of place when the Museum moves to its new
site in Smithfield in a few years time. Another room had similar shelving, but this time filled with household
gadgets, many only too familiar to some of us! The grand piano used by Gilbert and Sullivan to compose their
works was one of the larger items.
Time prevented us from investigating the many other rooms housing this vast collection, so we moved on to the
Archaeology section. Passing through the area used by MOLA – Museum of London Archaeology (formerly
MoLAS) – for storing equipment, we visited the various areas for processing archaeological finds – washing,
drying, sorting and conservation. One large table was being used to piece together a huge collection of pieces
of Roman wall painting. Several had been fitted together, but the floor of the room was covered with boxes
overflowing with more bits. Each piece of this monster jig-saw puzzle is to be photographed and placed on the
website, so that volunteers can try to match them together.
LAARC is the largest archaeological archive in the world, and we walked between tightly packed shelving units
full of boxes of material from numerous excavations, all carefully labelled and with matching card indexes
as well as computerised records. Dan explained how each small item was carefully bagged in an acid-free
transparent plastic packet with its label on one side and the item visible on the other. Placed vertically within
long cardboard boxes slightly larger in section than the bags, hundreds of items can be stored in a small space,
yet are quickly accessible if viewed from the side with their identity label, or just as quickly scanned if viewed
from the other side. We saw some students on work experience taking boxes of unsorted material and neatly
repackaging the items into this system, first photographing each one for a digital database.
Dan had placed a selection of items for us to identify: an animal bone shaped and smoothed to make a medieval
skate (quickly recognised by Rosemary Turner); a bone handle from a Tudor make-up brush found on the site
of Shakespeare’s Rose theatre, together with a bone tuning-pin from a musical instrument and the upper part of
a leather boot. We were fascinated by a polished greenstone club identified as a typical Maori artefact, found
in the well of a 16th/17th-century house in Southwark. What was the story behind that?
In another room, of larger items, Dan had displayed some items found during excavations at Merton priory,
including another tuning-pin and a bone die, together with the original tile known affectionately as the ‘dancing
ladies’, familiar to readers of Lionel Green’s book on the priory. In 2004 MHS deposited at LAARC most of
the material collected from its own forays into excavations in the 1960s and 1970s. When we were turned out
of our most recent store we discovered several boxes of items that had been omitted from this deposit. We were
pleased to be able to mention this to Dan, who will advise us how to add these to their collections. In addition,
three skeletons of probable Romano-British date, unearthed at the Short Batsworth site near Phipps Bridge in
1966 and stored in someone’s loft, were passed to us a year or so ago! These will also be donated to LAARC,
though they will probably eventually be added to the main collection of human remains in the Centre for Human
Bioarchaeology in the rotunda beneath the roundabout outside the Museum at Barbican.
Our final treat for the day was to look at the extensive ceramic and glass collection, which had display cases
full of wonderful specimens of pottery and glass from the Prehistoric, Roman, Saxo-Norman and Medieval
periods right up to modern times. We had spent over two hours at the archive, and had seen only a fraction of its
treasures. There is plenty more should we choose to make another visit! This was a most interesting experience,
far surpassing all expectations. We are most grateful to Dan for sparing us so much of his valuable time, and
to Bea for organising this trip.
Peter Hopkins et al.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 7
LOCAL HISTORY WORKSHOP
Friday 23 June 2017 – six present, Sheila Harris in the chair.
. Keith Penny had chosen as an illustration for his book on military tribunals the general view of the Mizen
brothers’ workforce before World War One that was used on the front cover of The Mizens of Mitcham by
G A Morris. Merton Memories had several pictures1 of the family market garden and nursery, probably
taken on the same day. In the main group photograph Keith had noticed two boys, each with a cycle, who
were fairly clearly not horticultural workers. Both wore the same school uniform and they were perhaps
aged about 14–15 and 10–11. The same boys appeared in other pictures: in one they appeared with a man
that Keith suggested might be the boys’ father or uncle; in a second view the boys appeared with the same
man and another, similarly dressed. Another photograph showed the two men seen before, with a third man,
tall and with a cycle, and two well dressed girls in the background. Lastly, the three men appeared together
in a view taken inside one of the greenhouses, and it seemed reasonable to assume that the men were the
three Mizen brothers who owned the market gardens. Keith provided a studio portrait of Alfred Mizen,
and suggested that the tall brother was Alfred and that the girls were his daughters. The two other brothers,
Edward Johnson and Edward Ernest, were both pictured in local newspapers when they died in the 1930s,
and Keith offered these for comparison and perhaps identification. Not everyone present was convinced!
Keith suggested that the boys’ father could be named: Edward Johnson, according to an obituary, had only
one son, and Edward Ernest had at least two sons, born in 1894 and 1896, so it was likely that the boys in
the pictures were his: Alfred’s children were all girls. Attempts to identify some more of the men in the 1909
photograph of Canon Wilson’s anniversary reception were not successful.
Keith also showed a page from the register of pupils at Merton CE boys’ school and wondered what ‘A French
Coll’ meant as the reason for leaving noted for two boys. Judith Goodman suggested the De Chastelain school
at Old Church House in Merton, but retracted the suggestion because that school had closed by 1909/10,
the date of the entries in the register.
1. To see the photographs, insert ‘Mizen’ in the Search space on the Merton Memories website: http://photoarchive.merton.gov.uk .
. Rosemary Turner had been reminiscing about ice-cream. She recalled Leo’s who used to be next to the Burn
Bullock, where the social security building now is, and Tony Bros, who she thought were also near there. She
remembered talk about an ‘ice-cream war’ when she was tiny. She emailed Tony Scott, who replied saying
that the family name of Leo’s was Damisio. They had two daughters and a son who Tony knew quite well
through church. He couldn’t recall an ice-cream war: he thought that it was probably a disagreement over
a lucrative pitch. Rosemary remembered a three-coloured lolly and another with two sticks so that it could
be shared to keep down the cost.
Rosemary had noticed that there appeared to be people in the Burn Bullock. Tony had said that as far as
he knew they were squatters, that were being allowed to live there providing they do no damage and stop
Rosemary had received an email via Ancestry from a lady who was descended from a Robert Copeland
Lewer in Australia. He was transported but thrived. Rosemary had done some research on this family in
the past for another branch of the family. It reminded her of a sad story that seems to be connected to this
family but she hasn’t made the link as yet. Years ago she had found a seaman’s will dated 20 July 1797.
Sailors made out these prior to going to sea to ensure that, should they fail to return, their wages etc., would
go to their next of kin. The Will read ‘James Lewer late supernumerary seaman on board His Majesty’s Ship
Sandwich and now prisoner on board His Majesty’s Ship Neptune.’ The Will was executed in favour of his
mother Isabella Lewer of No 1 Little Chesterfield Street in the parish of Marylebone, Middlesex.
Unfortunately it wasn’t just the Will that was executed. Looking through ADM (Admiralty) records at the
National Archives Rosemary had found various documents relating to his service. There was an entry referring
to James’ service: ‘On Sandwich 11 Mar 1797 joined via Suffolk quota. In the East Indies for 2 years went
to China on the Indostan. No 433 John [sic] Lewer mustered 19 Jun 1797 to Neptune. Discharged 28 July
to gunboat with others.’
Looking at the logbooks for the Sandwich there was a gap, which turned out to be because of a mutiny on
board. The court martial in July 1797 contained a large number of pages with everyone giving their account
of what happened. James’ account was on page 285. He had been captured by the French and escaped in a
small boat from Cherbourg to Alderney with three officers. He had only been on board the Sandwich for a
short time. He was overheard making a comment and was therefore included in with the mutineers and met
the same fate.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 8
[DH adds: This is an interesting sidelight on an historical event.
The mutiny was the very serious affair at the Nore anchorage
(Sheerness) at the mouth of the Thames, with the crews of
28 ships taking part, protesting about living conditions. The
Sandwich and the Neptune had been reduced to harbour service
after 25 or more years of active service, the latter being a
‘sheer hulk’–ie. fitted with enormous upright spars for use as
a crane to assist in inserting or removing a mast in another ship.
The 98-gun Sandwich had been Admiral Rodney’s victorious
flagship at the Battle off Cape St Vincent (January 1780), and
became the ‘flagship’of the mutineers. She was later used to
hang the leaders of the mutiny.
The other ship mentioned, the Hindostan, was an East Indiaman
launched in 1789. Her voyage to China was between October 1792
and September 1794, undertaken when she was chartered by the
government to carry Lord George Macartney on an unsuccessful
embassy to China. The Admiralty purchased her in 1795.
That James ‘joined via Suffolk quota’ probably means he had
recently been press-ganged into the Navy.]
East Indiaman Hindostan, left
Photographs of paintings from wikipedia Public
HMS Sandwich at Cape St vincent, above
. Peter Hopkins had received an email from a lady in Perth, Australia, asking about the origin of the name
of the ‘Rush’. There is a sheep station near Victoria, Australia, called Merton Rush. It was thought that it
was named by the first tenant to remind him of home. This was Henry Scott in 1846, who was followed in
1850 by William Farley. Peter said that a Thomas Scott was paying land-tax in our Merton Rush 1810-1820.
Peter also reported on a second email, from Dr Aron Sterk of Lincoln University, about the 18th-century
Emmanuel De Costa, of Baron House, Mitcham. Tony Scott had replied to the enquiry sending a family tree
and details of Eagle House. Tony had a received a reply including a large family tree.
. David Luff referred to feed back from Merton Heritage Day, showing there is a need for us to produce a
brief history of Mitcham.
He had brought in folders containing the information and photos for his book on Liberty screen printing
1935-1982. There was a vast amount of information and photos, so they would probably need to be reduced
to make the book suitable for publication.
. Sheila Harris had been recently researching her life history. During the war years aged 5-10 she lived in
Staveley in the Lake District. When she was on a coach trip in the area she got a bus to visit the house where
she had lived and the primary school. She was amazed to see that nothing had changed. The same family
still owned the mill-yard and pub. She came across people that she had known then, and the choral society
that her mother had belonged to was still in existence.
Dates of next Workshops: Fridays 27 October, 1 December 2017
2.30pm at Wandle Industrial Museum. All are welcome.
EXHIBITION – WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
John Innes Society and St. Mary’s Parish Church invite you to discover more about Merton Park
on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September from 2-5pm. Entry free.
The Church is 900 years old and Merton Park has a rich, important and fascinating history. Exhibitions of
maps, photographs, drawings, records, and historical artefacts from the archives of the John Innes Society,
St. Mary’s Church and Merton Park Film Studios will be held in the John Innes Society Coach House at 1a
Melrose Road, in St.Mary’s Church and Churchyard, and in St. Mary’s Parish Hall, Church Path. In the Hall
there will also be tea and cakes and showings of films from the Film Studios, not to mention an MHS stall.
New editions of St Mary’s Churchyard Trail and its Guide will be available.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 9
KATHARINA MAYER HAUNTON takes up the question of
MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE ATTRIBUTED TO THE CRUTCHER FAMILY
In his article ‘Morden’s Masons/Sculptors: The Crutcher Family’ in Bulletin 201, Peter Hopkins listed the only
signed monument by Richard Crutcher – that commemorating the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Robert Clayton
and Lady Clayton in St Mary’s, Bletchingley, Surrey – and two other monuments attributed to him in Rupert
Gunnis’ Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851 (revised 1968). He speculated (with photographs) whether
two wall monuments in the church of St Lawrence, Morden, (those to John Roland and family and to Elizabeth
Gardiner) might be by the same sculptor, and asked my opinion on this. It was clear to me that the heads of
putti (cherubs) at the base of the two monuments in Morden were by different hands and that the putti on the
Roland monument of c.1702 were very similar to those on the signed Clayton monument of c.1705-7. I am no
expert on English sculpture of the early 18th century but agreed to see what else I could find out.
In the early 18th century it was common for sculptors and masons not to sign or date funerary monuments,
perhaps because the patrons specified the inscriptions. This deprives us of secure knowledge of the identity of
the sculptors and frequently of the precise date of the monuments. The approximate dates can often be deduced
from the death dates of the deceased given in the inscriptions. However, this is unreliable when a monument
was started during a person’s lifetime, or its construction was delayed, or where it commemorates two people
who died years apart. Funerary monuments tended to have fairly standard iconography – skulls, funerary urns,
flaming oil lamps, heads of putti or paired mourning putti, as well as armorials and floral swags. These were
generally enclosed within or supported by a Baroque cartouche or a Classical aedicule or other architectural
surround. The grander monuments have full length sculpted portraits of the deceased.
I consulted the file of photographs of works attributed to Richard Crutcher (1659-1725) in the Conway Library in
the Courtauld Institute, Somerset House. This enabled me to add to Peter’s list a further 15 monuments attributed
to this sculptor. Apart from the Clayton monument the works are unsigned. However the Conway Library mounts
bear attributions to ‘? R. Crutcher’ or ‘? by R. Crutcher’. The majority of the monuments photographed are
in the Home Counties and London (where Crutcher’s yard was located, in Billiter Lane, now Billiter Street).
However, some are in distant churches in York, Worcester and County Derry. Many of the Conway Library
photographs were printed from Courtauld Institute negatives. The file on Richard Crutcher has been carefully
sorted and the pictures annotated by the librarian of the Conway and (among others) by Margaret D. Whinney,
author of the Pelican History of Art volume Sculpture in Britain 1530-1830 (1964) and (with co-author Oliver
Millar) English Art 1625-1714 (1937).
The Conway file also contains photographs of designs for monuments held in the British Museum and the
Victoria&AlbertMuseum, includingan imposing design for an earl. Listed as possibly byRichard Crutcher, this
resembles a design by Grinling Gibbons for a monument to Charles I. These drawings were probably samples
to be shown to prospective clients. One of them was used in a modified form for the monument to Sir William
Russell (d.1705), formerly in St Dunstan-in-the-East, London (destroyed by enemy action). (The Appendices
on p.13 list the known monuments and drawings by or attributed to Richard Crutcher and his workshop, while
for further images see the March 2017 Bulletin.)
Although only one is signed, when all the sculptural works are placed in approximate order of execution (based
on the date of death of the deceased, or the later death date in the case of double monuments), they display a
convincing stylistic development in three main phases.
(1) Early works in Baroque style with heavy architectural mouldings, 1690s.
This is represented by the Hickes and Verney monuments.
(2)Rather more sophisticated Baroque-influenced works, with figures mostly in contemporary dress, c.1705–c.1707.
I think that a good case can be made that the monument to John Roland and his family (c.1702) in St Lawrence,
Morden, is the work of Richard Crutcher. It is a violin-shaped cartouche wall monument in a later Baroque style.
Like the sculptor’s rather heavy Baroque wall monument
to Lady Verney of c.1694, it has rosebud decoration at the
sides, while the head of a putto at the base is very similar
to the two heads of putti below the Verney monument. The
handling of the scroll at the base of the Roland monument
closely resembles the scrolled shield on the monument
in Tring to Sir William and Dame Elizabeth Gore, (right,
image courtesy Conway Library, Courtauld Institute of
Art, London) who died in 1707 and 1705 respectively.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 10
The two putti at the top of the Roland monument
(left & right) with their rounded heads and fine
hair falling softly are very similar to those in the
glory of cherubim above the inscription on the
falling drape of the signed Clayton monument in
Bletchingley, (below) while the putto at the base
of the Roland monument resembles the mourning
boys at the sides of the Clayton monument.
Furthermore, all four of these monuments have
areas of dark background which throw the main
design into relief.
(3) Later works of c.1709 – 1720.
(3a) Some of these (the Crosse, Coghill, Bartholomew
and de Courcy monuments) continue to depict substantial
figures in contemporary dress. They often have additional
drapery wrapped around them, perhaps indicating a shroud,
and they are essentially later developments of the type of
design Richard Crutcher produced in the first decade of the
18th century. They are likely to have been made by Richard.
(3b) However the majority are in a more Classical style with simpler architecture and with the figures–especially
the female figures –often dressed in classicising garments. Anumber of monuments depictfigures kneeling within
architectural frames consisting of fluted pilasters or columns, or reclining before obelisks. Others include three-
quarter length putti amongst clouds or drapery, against dark backgrounds, holding up starry crowns of faith. These
last designs were inspired by the work of Grinling Gibbons, a wood carver born in
the Netherlands who was appointed Master Carver to the English Crown in 1693,
a post that he held until the accession of George I in 1714. Apart from carvings
in wood, Gibbons’ workshop also produced numerous statues and monuments
in marble, stone and bronze. It is not clear how
much he was involved in the design and execution
of these, or the extent to which he employed other
sculptors to assist him. The wall monument to Mrs
Jane Hamilton (d.1716) in Ballykelly, County Derry,
(left, image courtesy Conway Library) which is
attributed to Richard Crutcher, is largely based on
Gibbons’ monument to Mrs Mary Beaufoy (buried
Westminster Abbey 17 July 1708). (right, image by
permission Dean and Chapter of westminster) The
latter has lost its original urn and floral swags at the
top which are still present in the Irish monument.
The motif of two very similar putti crowning the
deceased may have appeared first in the monument
St Michael’s, Great Badminton, Glos. (below left,
image courtesy Conway Library). It also appears
in that to the Hon. Henry Belasyse in St Michael’s, Coxwold, again attributed to
Gibbons. The putti bear a strong similarity to those in the upper portion of the
monument to Sir Robert and Lady Squire (d.1709 & 1717) in St Michael-le-Belfry,
York, (right, image courtesy Conway
Library) which is attributed to Richard
Crutcher. The gadroon moulding below
the hassock on which Mrs Mary Beaufoy
kneels is common in monuments by
Gibbons and also appears in works
attributed to Richard Crutcher, such as
the monument to Mrs Jane Hamilton
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 11
Richard Crutcher or Michael Crutcher?
The monument to Elizabeth Gardiner (c.1719) in St Lawrence, Morden, may well be a late work by Richard
Crutcher or, perhaps, one by his son Michael, influenced by Gibbons’
designs. It is a wall monument with
an inscription on a hanging drape within an aedicule and above a gadroon moulding. The general design is
similar to that of Gibbons’ monument to Bishop Stillingford in Worcester Cathedral and to other aedicule wall
monuments attributed to him. Some elements hark back to earlier work by Richard Crutcher: the armorial (with
floral swags as in the Verney monument) is set within a broken pediment supported on composite columns with
urns above (cf. the Clayton monument). However, the skull does not have the wreath evident on the Verney
(Middle Claydon, Bucks) and the Bartholomew monuments (c.1720, West Peckham, Kent).
Some of the changes in the style of the designs from this period were probably in part due to changes in politics
and in taste, as well as to the artistic development of Richard Crutcher. However I suspect that at least some of
these later monuments currently attributed to Richard may well have been made in the family workshop by his
son Michael. The latter was apprenticed to his father in 1705 and became free of the Masons’ Company in 1712.
He may have taken over more of the sculptural work when his father became Master of that Company in 1713.
In the years 1716 to 1719 Richard was responsible for the rebuilding of Bakers’Hall after the fire of 1715 and
subsequently undertook work as a mason on a mansion in Old Bailey, so he would have been busy for nearly
a decade. Since Michael died (in 1722?) before his father’s death in 1725 he never headed the workshop and
certainly did not sign any works to give us an idea of his personal style. The influence of Grinling Gibbons on
many later works attributed to the Crutcher workshop is clearly evident. Is it too fanciful to suggest that Michael
may have spent some time as a journeyman in the workshop of Gibbons, who preferred to work in wood and
is known to have used assistants for at least some of his work in marble and stone? The Gardiner monument
appears to fall into the group that I suspect is the work of the son.
Some Further Speculations
The face of the putto at the base of the Gardiner monument, carved on a separate block, differs markedly from
the round-faced, chubby-cheeked ones on the Clayton and Roland monuments. It represents a child, not a baby,
and the near vertical fold beside the nose makes it look almost elderly, the curls are S-shaped and the framing
wings are more like leaves. S-shaped curls can be found on a number of Crutcher monuments of this period,
such as that of George Bent and his mother. (Bent died in 1714 and the monument was erected several years
before his mother’s death in 1730.) The ‘wings’ may even be intended to be leaves, since more accomplished
fleshy (acanthus?) leaves decorate the base of the monument to Lady Raymond (d. 1714/5) at Abbot’s Langley.
However at Morden they appear closer to cabbage leaves. I suspect that the Gardiner putto’s head may be
by a junior member of the Crutcher workshop, because the wings/leaves are quite clumsily carved. Possible
candidates might be William Crutcher who was apprenticed
to Michael Crutcher in 1713/4 and became free in 1722 or
Richard Wickham who joined the workshop in 1718.
In St Mary’s, Merton Park, there is an aedicular wall
monument to William Baynes (d.1717)and members of the
Baynes family (right) which is a simpler and presumably
cheaper version of the Gardiner monument design. It lacks
the flower garland, urns and skull and the inscription is
carved on a marble panel not a hanging drape. It is not
signed but it is the sort of work that one might expect from
a member of the Crutcher workshop.
The tombstone of William Crutcher in the churchyard of
St Lawrence, Morden, bears the carved coat of arms of
the Masons’ Company. (He was Richard’s nephew and
Michael’s cousin, and died on 22 February 1728/9 aged
33.) This tombstone is most likely to have been produced
by someone from the workshop – either one of the other
Crutchers who practised as masons or one of the apprentices
– Henry Mills (bound 1689), Francis Dickens (bound
1696), Richard Wickham (bound 1718) or Isaac Andrews
(bound 1723). The scooped outline of the upper portion is
somewhat reminiscent of the scooped areas at the top of the
Roland monument attributed to Richard Crutcher.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 12
APPENDIx A: MONUMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO RICHARD CRUTCHER AND HIS wORKSHOP
The monuments listed below (in approximate chronological order) are all known from photographs in the
Conway Library apart from the two in St Lawrence, Morden, one in St John the Baptist, Aldenham, and one in
St Dunstan, west Peckham, Kent. A good many images can be found on the individual church websites.
Sir William Hickes (d.1680), his son Sir William Hickes (d.1702) and the latter’s wife Lady Marthagnes (d.1623)
St Mary the Virgin, Leyton, Essex
A reredos monument erected c.1695?, with recumbent statue of Hickes senior between his son and daughter-in law.
Lady Verney (d.1694) All Saints, Middle Claydon, Buckinghamshire
A portrait bust in a niche wall monument with Baroque volutes, skulls and heads of cherubs.
John Roland (d.1702) and sons John (d.1691) and Thomas (died an infant 1680), and Roland Hemsley (d.1746 aged 33).
The latter was probably the son of John Roland’s daughter Martha, who married John Hemsley c.1705. St Lawrence, Morden
Attr. by Peter Hopkins and Katharina Mayer Haunton A cartouche monument with heads of three putti.
Sir Robert (d. 1707) and Lady Clayton (d.1705) St Mary’s, Bletchingly, Surrey
An elaborate signed reredos memorial with standing portraits, mourning children, a canopy with broken pediment on Corinthian columns,
armorials, urns and angels.
Sir William Russell (d.1705) Formerly in St Dunstan-in-the-East, London; destroyed by enemy action in WW2
monument with a recumbent effigy on a sarcophagus beneath a draped canopy held by mourning boys. Design in the Victoria &
Alderman Sir William Gore (d.1707/8) and Dame Elizabeth Gore (d.1705) St Peter & St Paul, Tring, Hertfordshire
A reredos monument with reclining figures mourning boys, drapes and an armorial.
Susan Cook (d.1707) St Mary, Goring-by-Sea, Sussex
A wall monument with a bust portrait. Surround renewed.
Sir Robert Squire (d.1709) and Lady Squire, (d.1717) St Michael-le-Belfry, York
A reredos memorial with two standing figures between urns. Armorials and cherubs holding a crown and drapery above.
Thomas Crosse (d.1712) and his Wife, Dorothy St James, Clerkenwell, London
A wall monument with bust portraits beneath a broken pediment with armorial. Erected 1722.
Philip Boteler, (d.1712) with Elisabeth Neville his sister, (d.1740) St Andrew and St Mary, Watton-at-Stone, Hertfordshire
A monument of c.1712 with the deceased kneeling beside a pillar under an arch.
John & Deborah Coghill (both d.1714) St John the Baptist, Aldenham, Hertfordshire.
Attribution on www.aldenhamchurch.com/church-history A monument with portraits of the recumbent couple on a tombchest.
George Bent (d.1714) and his mother Elizabeth Bent (d.1730) St Mary, Amersham, Buckinghamshire.
A monument with portraits of George and Elizabeth Bent beneath a curved pediment supported by fluted pilasters with
urns, drapery and an armorial above.
Dame Anne Raymond (d.1714/15) with three deceased grandchildren St Lawrence, Abbot’s Langley, Hertfordshire
An architectural niche wall monument with a seated figure. Armorial and urns above.
Lady Rouse (d.1715) St Peter, Rous Lench, Worcestershire
A reredos monument with a seated figure beside an urn and an oval portrait plaque held by putti. Erected 1719.
Mrs Jane Hamilton (d.1716) Parish Church, Tamlacht Finlagan, Ballykelly, County Derry
A wall monument with the sitter kneeling between fluted pilasters, crowned by two putti with two others below.
Lady Henrietta de Grey (d.1716/17) and separately Lord Henry de Grey (d. 1717) St John the Baptist, Flitton, Bedfordshire.
De Grey mausoleum. A pair of corner monuments with the deceased reclining in front of obelisks, with urns.
Lady Mary Fane (d.1710) and Mary King, (d.c.1717), second and third wives of Sir Francis Dashwood, Bt.
Dashwood Mausoleum beside St Lawrence, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
A monument with two kneeling figures framed by Corinthian columns bearing urns. Weeping children at sides.
Elizabeth Gardiner (d.1719) St Lawrence, Morden
Attr. by Peter Hopkins and Katharina Mayer Haunton A hanging drape monument within an aedicule with Corinthian columns.
Leonard Bartholomew and his wife (both d.1720) St Dunstan, West Peckham, Kent
Attr. by Sacheverell Sitwell A vault on which the deceased recline beneath a canopy of drapery with inscription below.
Almericus de Courcy, Baron Kinsale (d.1720) and his wife Ann (bur.1724) Westminster Abbey, London (choir, north aisle)
A reredos monument with urns and armorial. The recumbent portrait on a sarcophagus upheld by boys.
APPENDIx B: DRAwINGS
The British Museum Print Room holds a design for a monument to an earl listed as possibly by Richard Crutcher. The ‘earl’ wearing
armour stands on the upper level supported by figures of the Virtues. Beneath them threatening figures (possibly Vices) are crushed
by a block of marble carved with a heart pierced by an arrow.
In the Victoria & Albert Museum there are six designs on paper attributed to ‘? R. Crutcher’and one to ‘?? Richard Crutcher’. One of
the former (from the R. Gunnis collection) was used as the basis for the lost monument to Sir W. Russell (d.1705), formerly in St
Dunstan-in-the-East, London (listed above). Another, with a reclining figure at lower centre may perhaps have been developed into
the monument to Sir William Gore (d.1707) and Dame Elizabeth Gore (d.1705).
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 13
JOHN ‘SANDY’ CATANACH remembers an
INCIDENT AT MERTON PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL
It was late September in 1948. An air of expectation was going around Merton Park County Primary School, for
there in the playground were four chairs facing outwards and joining them together was a rope forming a square.
What was it for? Later we pupils learned that the Daily Mirror, the best selling daily newspaper of the day, was
visiting to take photographs. Miss Benham, the headmistress, called the older children into the playground and
the newspaper’s photographer stood atop a ladder with his camera at the ready.
The subject was to be one of the boy pupils taking a swing at Mr Williams who was a popular teacher. One or
two pictures were taken but the press were not satisfied. I was then selected to strip off and don the big gloves.
On the count of three I swung a right hand at Mr Williams’ head with all my might. As arranged, he moved out
of the way, the picture was taken and the pressmen were happy.
On 27 September 1948 we were told that the picture was published as a centre-spread in the Daily Mirror under
the headline ‘It’s his teacher he’s taken a smack at!’ At the time we lived at 117 Kenley Road, (which was
where I grew up: my parents had bought it in 1936 for around £700). My mother rushed me down ‘the alley’ to
Morden Underground station to buy up copies from Vansittart’s newspaper stall. We were only allowed to buy
three copies owing to paper shortages at the time: these copies alas are lost. However my father was able to buy
a copy of the original photograph, which he had framed and which now hangs on my wall at home.
Among the pupils in the picture
that I can identify (please excuse
any memory lapses, it was 70 years
ago!) are, from the extreme left
with just a nose showing, going
Jean Morgan (Stratton Road),
Julia Adams (Mostyn Road),
Colin Grindlay (Keswick Avenue)
an ex-pupil, in Rutlish uniform
who was passing by, Joy Pimm
(Circle Gardens), Brian Haresnape
(Keswick Avenue) another ex-pupil
in Rutlish uniform, Dennis Weekes
(Dorset Road), Brian Wilkinson,
Jeremy Lawrence (in spectacles),
Barbara Crisp (Keswick Avenue),
Barry Henman (Tybenham Road),
Ivy Eade (the daughter of the
school caretaker), John Taylor (Dorset Road), George Spoors (Charnwood Avenue), Jimmy Davies (Kenley
Road), Sylvia Spencer (Sandbourne Avenue, fair hair in gym kit), Janet Mills (Circle Gardens, also in gym kit),
Malcolm Creasy (Stratton Road), Gordon Nutley, Terry Carter and his brother Mickey (on the extreme right,
faces obscured), Robert Boothby (Poplar Road, on the extreme left), and me, the boxer.
It was late afternoon, as the Rutlish boys were on their way home. I suspect the older pupils were asked
(commanded!) to stay behind for the picture. We had been totally unaware of the paper’s visit, it was not
announced at ‘assembly’ or announced in any other way as far as I’m aware. I’m not sure why the girls were in
‘gym kit’, I see Sylvia is in sandals so it couldn’t have been too serious. Girls used to tuck their skirts into their
knickers in those days for playground games. Interesting to note how boys wore short trousers and long socks
then, until about 13 years of age. Jeans were not known in the UK until the 1950s.
The Mirror, I believe, was trying to illustrate how education was emerging from Victorian and Edwardian
constraints with pupil-teacher relationships being more informal. As far as I know no other pictures were taken.
I can only think Merton Park Primary was chosen as ‘someone knew someone’. From the beginning we were
told it was the Mirror so I don’t think it was a freelance activity.
I suppose it’s because it is a local school and that we all lived near to each other that I remained very close
friends with four or five of my schoolmates from ‘the Primary’through engagements, weddings, Christenings,
divorces, second marriages, grandchildren and, unfortunately, deaths. Now in our late 70s, there are four of
us remaining from our little band, none still living in SW19, but we meet regularly and long may it continue.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 14
HOT OFF THE PRESS! Two new publications in our series studies in merton History
Those who have attended our Local History Workshops over recent months have been fascinated by Keith
Penny’s accounts of his researches into the First World War military tribunals, as reported in the local newspapers
of the time. Keith has now made this excellent resource available to all on our new website. At 263 pages,
conscRiPtion in mitcHam 1916–1918: cases heard by the mitcham military tribunal and cases heard
by the surrey and croydon appeals tribunal provides fully-searchable transcripts of these newspaper reports,
together with introductory material. Visit www.mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk/ww1-conscription-in-mitcham/
In addition to this online resource, Keith has written a 56-page introductory booklet
JUsticE to mEn anD coUntRY: the mitcham military tribunal, 1916–1918,
which provides information on the ever-changing regulations regarding conscription, and
the way these were administered in Mitcham. In his introduction, Keith explains ‘I first
came across military tribunals in 1971 when reading Goodbye to All That. A J P Taylor’s
comment that “the tribunals were composed of the elderly and retired, unsympathetic to
all young men” came as no surprise. Thus, when I came across local newspaper reports of
the tribunals in Mitcham, I expected my prejudices to be confirmed, but they were not.’
The booklet sells at £3 (£2.40 to members) and is available at meetings, or by post from
our Publications Secretary (add £1.20 for postage). See next page for contact details.
Excavation of a Romano-BRitisH sitE at sHoRt BatswoRtH, mitcHam 1966-68 by Eric
Montague records the history of the site, the dig, the finds and Monty’s conclusions. This 32-page A4 booklet
has 18 illustrations (maps, plans and photographs) and sells at £2.50 (£2 to members) plus £1.20 postage.
Our front cover shows the 1967 excavation in progress, photographed by Eric Montague. We recognise Bill
Rudd, but nobody else: can any member assist? Other known diggers in 1967 include David Brooks, Werner
Buse, Maria Cheshire, Alan Gilbert, Patricia Greaves, John Hemsley, Roy MacGowan, Catherine MacLucas, Paul
Maddock, Mike Nethersole (still an MHS member – salutations!), Wilfred Prentis, Keith A Pryer, G Stannard,
Dennis Turner, Molly Turner and Kenneth Wise.
Eric Montague, late Vice-President of MHS, prepared much of this paper in the 1970s, but then laid it aside. We
have published his account as a tribute to our friend, who died in 2016. As he emphasised, this report is more
in the nature of a memoir than a formal archaeological report. As such, it gives some flavour of the amateur
approach to archaeology permitted in the 1960s. Most volunteers had jobs, and were not available during the
week, so excavation had to be done speedily at weekends. In the first season at Short Batsworth a line of 10-foot
trenches was dug, with two people working in each and several trenches being open simultaneously. The width
of baulks between trenches varied widely. Evidently the ’10-ft length’
in Monty’s text refers to the combined length of excavated trench plus
un-dug baulk. This detail should not detract from the seriousness of
the overall approach – the trenches were properly surveyed in, small
finds and the rather amorphous stratigraphy were carefully recorded
and, after digging was complete, experts were consulted. Though the
references for the measured survey – the field, footpath, allotments
Two of the Romano-British pots
and factory – have all disappeared, the excavators were sufficiently
thorough as to record the ten-metre National Grid Reference for the
dig, allowing its position to be located in future.
As far as the report itself is concerned, Eric Montague is the sole
author, responsible for the text, the general layout, most of the
photographs and plans, all sections and pottery drawings.
MIKE NETHERSOLE reminisces:
Over the years I have attended several digs and I am afraid that now they all merge into one. Though Eric
Montague may well have started the actual dig, Dennis Turner quickly assumed the role of Director and
general supervisor, wearing his Surrey Arch hat. (The chap in the blue pullover might be the young Dennis.)
The December 1966 part of the dig was cold and the trenches were damp. The finds were small and, as I
had come back from a summer holiday in Greece and Crete, I had hoped to uncover jewels and gold – but
no such luck! However, we were a cheerful bunch who worked well together as a group. Over lunchtime
sandwiches we told tales of yore, about ‘interesting’people such as Jeremy Bentham and Bess Throckmorton.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY –2017
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 15
OUR NEW WEBSITE
The Society launched its first website in 2006, and it was becoming an historical relic in its own right. Thanks
to the expertise of web-designer Andrew Claridge, we will very shortly have a brand new website with plenty
of new features, including:
shows of photographs,
postcards, engravings, and
photographs already, with many more
added. Browse through Eric Montague’s slides of Mitcham
in the 1960s and 1970s, and Bill Rudd’s Abbey Roads
collection of the monastic sites that gave their names to
the roads of the St Helier Estate.
All our Bulletins since 1995 can now be downloaded,
though copyright material and personal information have
been removed. Issues for the last five years are password
protected and can only be accessed by members. Contact
email@example.com for the password.
. ASearch option not only accesses the web pages but the
entire photo collection – plus the full text of the Bulletins.
There are more possibilities to consider in the future: clickable maps to explore the history of your locality?
video? What would you like to see included?
The launch is scheduled for 2 September. Visit www.mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk and start exploring.
COMMEMORATIVE PLANTINGS (CONTINUED):
Sapphire anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth II: At the urging of our member
Joyce Bellamy, The Worshipful, the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Brenda Fraser,
arranged to have a tree planted to celebrate this unique royal anniversary. This
is a Magnolia x Brooklynensis ‘Yellow Bird’, planted in March 2017 by Dave
Lofthouse, London Borough of Merton Parks and Gardens (right, with the Official
Merton Spade – a splendid item, gleaming with chromium plate), near the ‘natural’
end of the Fair Green, ie. the part of Three Kings Piece nearest the pond where
there are already some small trees, protected from the Canada Geese by fencing.
We believe a commemorative plaque is being considered.
Now, alas, Ted’s Trees in the John Innes Recreation Ground in Merton Park are
truly commemorative, as Ted Higgins, OBE who generously funded them, died
on 11 January, two months before his 102nd birthday.
To celebrate the launch of our new website we are running a ‘Three for the
Price of Two’ offer on any titles in Eric Montague’s Mitcham Histories series.
Ideal to give as Christmas presents – or to spend the money you receive for
Christmas! Three books for £9.60 to members (£11.90 to others) plus £2.90
So BUY TWO AT £4.80 EACH AND GET THE THIRD FREE!
All our publications are available at indoor meetings, or by post from
Letters and contributions for the Bulletin should be sent to the Hon. Editor by email to
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.com
Printed by Peter Hopkins
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 203 – SEPTEMBER 2017 – PAGE 16