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Pascall's Fire Guard Teams

Pascall's Fire Guard Teams

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Date Photo Taken 1st January 0001
Partial / Incomplete Date c.1945
Area Mitcham
Picture Reference Mit_​War_​4-2
Original Format Photo
Notes / History This photo, taken in 1945, shows workers from Pascall’s Sweet Factory in Mitcham who volunteered to act as Fire Wardens in the second world war.

In the late 1930s the government had set up the Air Raid Precautions Service (ARP) to prepare the civilian population for war. ‘German bombers usually dropped a combination of high explosive and incendiary bombs. Incendiaries would quickly start fierce fires unless they were extinguished immediately. Fire Wardens were responsible for reporting incidents, reassuring the public and providing air raid precautions advice. They were also expected to extinguish small fires, administer first aid and investigate reports of unexploded bombs’ (iwm.org.uk). Although these teams were initially made up of volunteers, fire watching was made compulsory from the end of 1940.

Mitcham historian, E.N. Montagu, records that James Pascall and Co. Ltd. was incorporated on June 11th, 1898, to acquire and take over as a going concern the business of a Manufacturer of Confectionery and Chocolates, founded by Mr James Pascall in the year 1866. He had set up a small shop off Oxford Street, after having worked for Cadbury. The ‘Furzedown Works’ on the Streatham Road, was gradually built up on a site, bought in 1888, that had been part of James Bridger’s Manor Farm. (Mitcham Histories : 2 North Mitcham, by E.N. Montague, pages 110-112)

The Mitcham factory closed in 1970 and the building was pulled down in 1972. By 1973 the site had become the Mitcham Industrial Estate

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