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Then & Now Photos


 This view from the Green shows the entrance to a section of London Road, sometimes known as the high street, This popular little shopping thoroughfare housed everything from a draper's store and butcher's shop, to a grocer's and newsagent's. The road was flanked by two pubs - the King's Arms and the distinctive striped Buck's Head. By 1907, pedestrians, horse drawn delivery wagons and cyclists were having to compete with the newly extended tram network.

To the right of the picture you can see Mitcham clock tower in its original location. Unveiled to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1898, this area became a rallying point during the war for recruitment, fundraising and events such as the inspection of Red Cross nurses by visiting Royalty.


 This recent photograph, taken from a slightly different angle, shows Fair Green undergoing alterations to its layout. The two pubs are still in regular use – the Buck's Head is now better known as the White Lion of Mortimer. The former high street has been pedestrianised since the 1980s, although planners have been considering a return to vehicular access. The local shopping precinct (partly obscured by hoardings) now contains a range of popular high street chains and discount stores, rather than the small family-owned retailers of yesteryear. The clock tower has also been relocated twice since the 1990s to allow for the creation of a more central seating area and market space. For many years, poppy wreaths have been lain at the base of the clock on Remembrance Day. This was not possible during recent redevelopment work, so an adjacent site was chosen to honour the dead of two World wars. The circle of wreaths is just visible around the tree at the centre of this photo.

For previous Then & Now photos .