Gorse on fire on Mitcham Common

Gorse on fire on Mitcham Common

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Date Photo Taken 9th May 1909
Area Mitcham
Copyright 1 E.N. Pearce of PS & RS
Picture Reference Mit_​Parks_​Open_​Spaces_​1-7
Original Format Japine Plate
Notes / History For centuries, the yellow flowered shrub, Gorse, has grown in abundance on Mitcham Common.

Gorse was an important fuel, used to supplement the more costly supplies of coal. During the Victorian period, it is said that Gorse twigs were used to heat the ovens of local bakeries.

Unfortunately, the burning potential of Gorse made it susceptible to fire during hot summers. Notice the twig brooms, or besoms, pictured left. These would have been used to beat out the flames when fires broke out on the Common.

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