Gorse fire, Mitcham Common

Gorse fire, Mitcham Common

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Area Mitcham
Copyright 1 London Borough of Merton
Picture Reference Mit_​TomFrancis_​Ln148
Original Format Photo
Photographer / Origin of Photo Tom Francis
Notes / History During the 1880s broom and gorse bushes spread over a wide expanse of Mitcham Common. Warm summers dried the undergrowth and fires were a frequent occurrence.
The Volunteer Fire Brigade tried to extinguish the flames but it was often simpler to let them die down naturally.

Mitcham resident Tom Francis described how considerable tracts of gorse were deliberately destroyed to make way for the Prince's Golf Club. Local bakers would also cut the furze for heating their bread ovens.

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