Explosion at Chemical Works of Messrs Bush & Co

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Date Photo Taken 30th March 1933
Area Mitcham
Copyright 1 Keystone View Company
Picture Reference Mit_​Org_​Events_​8-19
Original Format Photo
Notes / History Relief measures after the chemical explosion which destroyed most of
Belgrave Road and surrounding streets, including Bath Road and Queens Road. Twenty three people were injured including four of the seven men in the factory at the time, who were severely burnt trying to put the fire out. One 12 year old boy was killed.

The factory was at the rear of the road and suffered most of the damage. 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. 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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