W.J.Bush perfume distillery, off Church Road, Mitcham.

W.J.Bush perfume distillery, off Church Road, Mitcham.

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Partial / Incomplete Date c.1933
Area Mitcham
Picture Reference Mit_​17_​1-8
Original Format Photo
Notes / History Distributing relief .

Crowds gathered around the butcher's shop at 11 Belgrave Road following the large explosion in the chemical works of Messrs Bush & Co on 30th March 1933.

Belgrave Road was the most badly damaged, the butcher's being one of several businesses that suffered blown in windows and other damage. It is not clear how many of the people were residents or sightseers as the event attracted crowds and the press from all over London.

The explosion was due to a tank of methylated spirits boiling over and igniting and injured twenty three people while one twelve year old resident of Belgrave Road was killed. The chemical works was distilling peppermint and lavender following a long Mitcham tradition of distilling perfumes from lavender and other plants.

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