North Mitcham

On the map of the new London Borough of Merton, produced after the reorganisation of London Government in 1965, North Mitcham Ward was shown as an area which comprised mainly early 20th-century housing, shops and light industry. On the south-east it was bounded by what was then British Rail’s Southern Region line from Streatham to Mitcham Junction. Commonside East and the A217 London Road lay to the south and west, whilst along its northern border flowed the river Graveney, the ancient boundary between the parishes of Mitcham and Tooting. In extent this was somewhat larger than the North Mitcham Ward known since the days of the Urban District Council in the 1920s, which had ended at Renshaw’s Corner and excluded the industrial estates of Streatham Road. Sadly in 1965, merged with much of central Mitcham north and east of the old Fair Green, North Mitcham lost that special political identity which had emerged in the formative years of the Urban District after the end of the 1914-18 War. The process of boundary revision since 1965 has taken this loss of identity further, and for local electoral purposes North Mitcham has disappeared to become Figges Marsh and Graveney Wards. Physically, however, it is still identifiable as the triangle created by the London Road, the Borough boundary to the north, and the railway to the east. It is this clearly delineated area which shares with Colliers Wood the distinction of being the first part of old Mitcham to become engulfed by the expansion of London in the late 19th century. The history of North Mitcham therefore has a special interest of its own.