London Road, P & O Motors, Mitcham

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Date Photo Taken 1st January 0001
Area Mitcham
Copyright 1 Mitcham Public Library
Picture Reference Mit_​War_​2-9
Original Format Photo
Notes / History This image shows the premises of P. & O. Motors, Motor Engineers, Mitcham which were badly damaged during World War 2. An undamaged Anderson Shelter can be seen bottom left. The business was located at 66 London Road which is between Swains Road and Arnold Road just north of Figge’s Marsh.

No bombs are shown to have fallen in this exact location on the WW2 census of bombs that fell on Mitcham during the Blitz from 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941. However, records do show that during this period a high explosive bomb fell on the corner of nearby Crusoe Road and another fell on Inglemere Road which is opposite Arnold Road (Bombsight.org: Mapping the WW2 bomb census).

Alternatively, the damage may have been caused by a V1 flying bomb (or ‘doodlebug) in 1944. The Ordnance Survey Mitcham Bomb Map 1944 shows that a V1 fell on Pitcairn Road which is adjacent to Swains Road. According to local historian Eric Montagu ‘No fewer than 49 V1s fell on Mitcham in the closing years of the war. Very few houses escaped damage and many hundreds were either destroyed outright or had to be demolished’.

There is no record of P & O Motors operating in Mitcham after the war. However, the site is now occupied by a Halfords Autocentre.

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