Sunday, 21 May 2017

Beddington :Lane





Beddington Lane
Beddington Nursery. In the mid 19th this very large nursery site stood to the north of the railway line and east of the Beddington Lane – and perhaps at the same time a Jolly Gardeners pub should be noted in Croydon Road
Beddington Lane Industrial Estate. Industrial area on site north of the railway line. This is light industry and warehousing locations.
Tarfroid Ltd later Thames Tar Products and Construction Ltd. They made “bituminous emulsions” but also undertook sheet metal work and welding. They originally intended to produce tar for road surfacing.  They had a siding from the Croydon bound rail line and are noted as opening in 1930 (although not shown on maps until the 1950s)
Beddington Lane Station.  Opened originally as ‘Beddington Corner’ in 1855 on the li built by George Parker Bidder between Wimbledon and Croydon following the route of the Surrey Iron Railway.  It is nearly two miles from Beddington itself and in 1887 it was renamed ‘Beddington Lane’. It was demoted in status with the introduction of push-pull services and was renamed ‘Beddington Lane Halt’. The word ‘halt’ was dropped in 1969. Until the 1990s the premises still had its old wooden building, which was painted red but kept its rural appearance.  It was then demolished and replaced by a single shelter. In 1997 the station was closed and opened as a Tramlink stop.
Beddington Lane signal box. This stood at the east end of the platform, adjoining the level crossing and dated from 1877, possibly relocated from elsewhere. In 1930 it was replaced. The box was where passengers purchased tickets. It closed in 1982, and was later demolished.
Goods Line. Immediately beyond the crossing was a sand drag which marked the western end of' a goods line, which paralleled the passenger route between Beddington Lane and West Croydon. This was used in connection with electrification, and created by joining up various sidings which lay on the north side of the line. This closed in 1976,
Beddington Lane Tram Stop. This lies at what was the west end of the old Beddington station and was opened in 2000. It is between Mitcham Junction and Therapia Lane tram stops.
Station Master’s house. This dated from 1896 and may have replaced an earlier building.
Level crossing. As a tram line crossing this is now traffic light controlled. As a railway line it was controlled by the signal box.
Townson and Mercer. Scientific instrument works. This works was on the west side of the lane on the site now covered largely by the Brookmead Industrial Estate where they had an electronic-controlled annealing gas furnace. Established in 1798 they made laboratory, scientific and medical (including lampblown) glassware and apparatus; for laboratory use, as well as for aviation and for hospitals. They invented the ‘sortationer’ which could distinguish different aluminium alloys.
58 Pullen Pumps. This firm has now closed. They were originally founded in Vauxhall London by Fredrick Pullen before the 1930s and moved here in 1968. Since 2000 they have been HoldenBrookePullen Ltd and moved to Manchester in 2003.
Townmead Foundry. Extant in the 1950s. This was an iron foundry owned by H.Hendra and Sons. They were ironfounders and patternmakers who made grey iron and castings of all descriptions.
Ebdon’s Joinery. Ebdons produced high quality joinery and woodwork for churches and other prestige locations. Their address is given as Oak Lodge, 56 Beddington Lane., Oak Lodge appears to have been at what is now 156 Beddington Lane. At 154 Beddington Lane is a very nice art deco factory, now Advance Fuels – was this also Ebdon’s?  It is known their works was rebuilt following bombing.
Energy Recovery Facility. This was commissioned by the South London Waste Partnership made up of Croydon, Kingston, Sutton and Merton Councils. Previously residual waste sent to the landfill site here but this new facility will allow it be disposed of as safely and cleanly as possible and at the same time generate electricity to be fed into the grid. It is being built and will be run by Viridor.

Brookmead Road
This road and those closely adjacent to it are now called ‘The Meads’ – hence a large sign at the entrance to this road at its Beddington Lane end.

Coomber Way
This square covers a small part of this industrial estate, which is apparently built on reclaimed land and includes sites dealing with waste of various sorts.
Tramlink Depot. This is on a site which once held a network of railway sidings, some accessing various works and other used for maintenance and storage of stock.

Croydon Road
Road which crosses Mitcham Common

Jessops Way
Brookmead Industrial Estate – this is largely a depot for a delivery and courier firm. Much of this is on the site of what was the Townson and Mercer factory.
Traq. Surrey Minimoto club. Outdoor karting, minimoto and off-road quad bike racing circuits.
Croydon Rifle & Pistol Club. This was formed in 1944 by members of the Croydon Home Guard and was known then as Croydon Rifle Club. In 1952 a pistol section was started and in 1958 a site at Beddington on Jessops Way was taken on. They moved there a hall from their previous site near Fairfield Hall – this had been an A.R.P. training centre and & a band rehearsal hall. In 1964 the Rifle Section moved into Jessops Way and it was officially opened in 1966


Mitcham Common
Described as "that dreary long-drawn expanse.  In 1801 and  1812-19 there were attempts, strongly resisted, to enclose it. Since 1891 the Common has been administered by its Conservators. It was once part of a continuous tract of pasture between Croydon to Mitcham. The original oak woodland was cleared in Neolithic times and then used for grazing – the soil is not fertile – and thus low shrubs and acid grassland as well as  heathland were predominant. In the early 19th there was some gravel extraction leaving some ponds and grazing of sheep and cattle by commoners ceased. In the Second World War some ponds were filled in between the wars, and some land was used for agriculture. Other areas were used for refuse landfill.

Mitcham Road
Jolly Gardeners. Late 19th pub which was demolished in 2003. It was commonly called The Red House.

Railway Line
Sidings north of the line near Beddington Lane Station. This was the permanent way depot for the railway. It now partly houses the Tramlinc Depot.

Red House Road
Industrial and trading area – at the present it is apparently motor industry related, with an emphasis on tyres. There were many engineering and metal industries here in the post-war years. Some are shown below:
Mitcham Driving Test Centre. This was previously the Ministry of Transport Goods Vehicle Testing Station
Royal Mail vehicle maintenance depot. This was present in the 1950s.
Red House Sheet Metal, present in the 1950s
Rometal Smelting. Present in the 1950s
Mitcham Smelters. Present in the 1950s.
Coachcraft. Van and coach body builders. Present in the 1950s

Surrey Iron  Railway Route
This early 19th horse drawn tramway ran in a straight line through this area. It was replaced by the rail line, and now by the trams.

Windmill Road
The Mill House. This is one of the few houses ever to be built on Mitcham Common. In 1806 John Blake Barker was  given permission to build a windmill on half an acre of newly enclosed land. This was in constant use until 1862 when, during a storm, it was struck by lightning and was eventually closed. It was dismantled down to its base in 1905. What remains is a single storey brick round house with a conical thatched roof. It was a hollow post mill which looked like ordinary post mill but inside the drive from the sails was taken through ae hollow main post.
House. This was built in 1860 and was called Mill Cottage or Windmill Cottage and later Mill House. It was sold in 1936 sold and used as a home for girls as well as a creamery and for packing biscuits. In 1950 it was bought by the local authority for a Youth Centre but was then divided into flats and used by the Parks Department. In 1994 it was hbought by Whitbreads and the developed into a Brewers Fayre Pub,
Ecology Centre.  This was built by Whitbread to house the Micham Common Conservators. It runs facilities for schools and environmental educaitn generally.

Sources
Closed Pubs. Web site
Croydon Rifle and Pistol Club. Web site
Disused Stations. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
London Railway Record
Mitcham Common. Web site
Retracing the First Public Railway 
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. A Survey of Industrial Monuments of Greater London

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