Explosion at Chemical Works of Messrs Bush & Co

Explosion at Chemical Works of Messrs Bush & Co

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Date Photo Taken 30th March 1933
Area Mitcham
Copyright 1 London News Agency Photos Ltd
Picture Reference Mit_​Org_​Events_​8-12
Original Format Photo
Notes / History Backs of houses in Belgrave Road which were extensively damaged by the explosion at the manufacturing chemists Messrs W. Bush & Co which lay to the rear of the road. The 7am explosion on the 30th March 1933 sent local residents running into the streets as their houses started collapsing and their windows shattered. Many of the residents of Belgrave Road were left homeless as their houses were eventually demolished.

Sightseers arrived from surrounding districts as the 7am explosion had been heard and felt over much of South London and was reported by the national as well as the local press.

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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