Friends of The Grove Park – Highlights of the year 2015-2016

The following was received from the chair of the Friends of the Grove Park and is reproduced by his kind permission….

The Grove House Heritage Lottery Fund 2nd stage bid by the Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector (SCVS) who hope to take it on when vacated by the Council. In the Autumn work got underway with local consultations and the appointment of a Bid Project Manager. The final HLF submission is expected in the late Spring. The Friends of the Grove (Park) have been supporting the bid throughout.

Grove Café has reopened. The new tenant Wayne Spiller currently runs his own Coffee & Sandwich Bar Sassis in North Street. The Café has been completely redecorated and has been opened since November.

The Demolition of the Wall in the Drive was opposed at the 2015 AGM, and planning application to carry this out was withdrawn. The tree behind the cracked wall section has been removed, and is hoped the wall can be stabilised and repaired in the cracked area rather than being demolished completely.

Bandstand in the Park. Although a number people had heard about the idea but it was not made public till October, at the Local Ward meeting where the Carshalton Village traders group gave some details and showed a picture of the type of bandstand being considered. Funding would be from a number sources. To date I am not aware of any formal proposal has been submitted to the Council.

Mill Lane Sports field, now forms part of the park after no longer being required by the Harris Academy. The south eastern side of the field forms an ancient boundary with the main park area, formed by the tree line, hedgerow and a ditch once forming a water channel. It is considered an ecologically important boundary forming the habitat for a variety of wildlife. After representation from a number of parks users about the heavy cutting back around this new park area I met with the leader of the council team carrying out the work and confirmed the old boundary line and the undergrowth would be preserved.


Sassis Café, The Grove Park, Carshalton opens…

Jill, Alan and Hamish received this message in our capacity as members of The Friends of The Grove Park, Carshalton.

151103 grove cafe 2Dear Friend of the Grove Park.

You will be aware that the Small Café in the Grove Park has been closed for a long time and some members have asked me when it might reopen.

I am pleased to report that last Saturday saw a special Halloween opening of the Café as “ Sassis in the Grove”.

If this name is familiar to you it is because the new Grove café proprietor is Wayne Spiller, and he has run the Sassis Coffee shop in North Street  Carshalton since 2005.

I can report that one member of the Friends Committee made a visit on the first day of operation and was very impressed, reporting,  “The coffee was excellent and reasonably priced”.

Sassis in the Park will be open daily, and we wish Wayne and his staff well in this new enterprise. 

Best regards 

John Freeman for Friends of the Grove Park.

(Photo courtesy of Mr. John Freeman)



The Grove House – Public Consultation

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAJill, Alan and Hamish received the following information from Sutton Centre for Voluntary Services…

Public Consultation

Grove House – A History of giving in Carshalton


Grove House is a Victorian mansion situated at the heart of the Carshalton Conservation Area. Built around 1840, the house is an important feature of the local landscape and is one of the only surviving Victorian country houses in the area. In recent years it has been occupied by Sutton Council, but in the past it was home to generous local philanthropists who positively contributed to the development and wellbeing of the community by supporting local charities and other organisations.

As the building is no longer required by the Council, Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector (SCVS), in partnership with Volunteer Centre Sutton and the Friends of the Grove, propose that the presence of community is maintained and the House becomes a hub for community, voluntary and heritage activities.

In March 2016, the partnership will be applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to support the project which aims to:

Restore Grove House, discover and tell its story and ensure that it has a sustainable future as a key landmark at the centre of Carshalton Conservation Area

Set up a Trust of local people to manage Grove House and provide them with the skills to look after their heritage and maintain it as a community asset

Record and celebrate a 200 year story of giving (from philanthropy to voluntary action) in a building that has been an integral part of the story

Deliver a heritage skills training and heritage volunteer programme to engage a wide range of local people in the history of Grove House and the voluntary sector.

The building, together with its residents, has always played an important part of Carshalton’s past and hopes to continue to be a significant part of its future.

What happens next?

In March 2016 Sutton CVS will submit a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund with detailed information about the project, which will include plans for future activities, exhibitions and the restoration of the house.

To inform our detailed planning, we need your help! We want to hear the views of the communities of Carshalton to ensure the work we are doing is right for local people. We want to encourage all those people who live or work in the area, and those who participate in local voluntary and community organisations, to attend one of our open days or complete our survey.

How can you participate?

We will be consulting throughout September and October in the following ways:

Drop-in open days

To find out more about the project and speak to those involved please come along to one of our open days. No booking is required, just drop in!

The next open day is on:

Wednesday 14th October 2015, 11am-2pm Honeywood Museum, SM5 3NX


You can complete the online survey at before 24th October. If you would prefer to complete this by hand a hard copy is available on request. Paper copies should be returned to Sutton CVS at Granfers Community Centre, Oakhill Road, SM1 3AA.

Other opportunities

Please send any additional comments or queries about the project to

For further information about Sutton CVS visit


The Grove Park Café and crazy golf course being marketed

Sutton Council’s Asset Management team have commenced the marketing for new lettings of Grove Park cafe together with the crazy golf course and also “Lawn View” the former Parks Police Station, currently used by the Parks service, this week. They have arranged for an advert to go in the Sutton Guardian, direct e-mailing to previous applicants on the Council’s database and published the details on the London Borough of Sutton’s website.
Sutton Council, and Alan, Jill and Hamish (as pictured by the Ponds) as local ward councillors, all of whom are Friends of The Grove Park, are keen to maintain the crazy golf use, with any successful applicant carrying out improvement works and to ensure that a vibrant cafe with an experienced operator re opens to serve the park.
“Lawn View” would be suitable for offices and ideally small craft / start up workshops. The space is not suitable for more intensive workshops and obviously has no vehicular access. The Council will look at alternative uses, but do not propose anything that would compete with the nursery next door at Grove Hall.
The premises will be available on a full repairing and insuring lease excluded from the security of tenure provisions of Part ll of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 for a term to be agreed, but anticipated to be a minimum of 5 years. The council is seeking operators who are prepared to take responsibility for all aspects of the site including the opening, closing, cleaning and maintenance of the public toilets during cafe opening hours.
All offers must be made by 9 June 2015 in writing to Asset Management, London Borough of Sutton, 24 Denmark Road, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 2JG or by e-mail to

Carshalton & Clockhouse Local Committee, 6th January 2015

Chairman Councillor Hamish Pollock says: “Do come along to our meeting of the Carshalton & Clockhouse Local Committee on Tuesday 6th January 2015 from 7.30pm. We’ll be meeting at Carshalton Beeches Baptist Church, Banstead Road, Carshalton, which is quite near the shopping parades.”

Carshalton Beeches Baptist Church
Carshalton Beeches Baptist Church

Hear about Environmental Improvements in your area

Safer Neighbourhood Team

Get updates on The Lodge abnd The Grove House.

Find out more about how the local committee spends money on Public Realm Improvements

Hear how you could access a neighbourhood grant of up to £500 for your local group, including youth groups…


The Grove, Carshalton

The Grove is a Victorian house set on the edge of the ponds in the centre of Carshalton. It is surrounded by the park which was once the gardens and grounds of the house.

It is generally believed that the house was built at the very start of Queen Victoria’s reign, probably around 1840 although it may be older.

We do know that in 1856 the Reverend A.W.B. Cator took the lease. He was the rector of Carshalton and was to live at The Grove until his death in 1879. It would be Cator who created the Victorian garden around the house, parts of which are still visible today.

The next owner was Sir Samuel Barrow, a wealthy tanner who lived at The Grove until 1923, extending the building and altering the grounds. Sir Samuel was one of many business men who benefitted financially from the First World War but we believe he was also a benefactor, like Cator before him. This photo shows wounded soldiers being entertained at The Grove in 1917.

Wounded soldiers 1917

When Barrow left, the house was put up for auction but failed to reach the reserve price. Carshalton Urban District Council bought it the following year ‘to preserve it as an open space forever’. The mansion became offices and the grounds were opened as a public park. This photo shows The Grove in 1923 just before it was bought by the Council.

Grove 1923

We know very little about the life of the building either as a Victorian and Edwardian family home or as council offices. We do know that the council converted one of the original sitting rooms into a council chamber, the panelling and a board listing the council leaders is still in the building today. We also know that The Grove was used for art and craft exhibitions.

Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector (SCVS) in partnership with Sutton Volunteer Centre and Sutton Citizen’s Advice Bureau along with the London Borough of Sutton are preparing a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to open the building to the public and voluntary organisations. We need your help to piece together the story of The Grove. Do you have any information about The Grove or the people associated with it? Do you remember working there? Visiting or attending meetings? Did you or one of your relatives exhibit art at The Grove? Do you have photos or papers which feature The Grove?

If you think you can help us, please contact Jane Allen –

Thank you

Photographs reproduced courtesy of Sutton Local Studies and Archives Centre


Carshalton Village – Focus Team’s Actions

In recent years we have been fully involved amongst many other matters with the following activities:-

1) More School Places. We successfully worked with Carshalton All Saints C of E Primary School and with local residents to bring a new form of entry.

2) Preserving and Enhancing our Heritage. We designed and obtained funding for a new Carshalton Second World War Memorial to be completed this year. We are also deep cleaning all the borough’s war memorials.

3) Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour. We worked with local police to ensure that anti-social behaviour is minimised and Carshalton High Street and local parks kept safe.

4) Heritage Centre. We refurbished the Heritage Centre at Honeywood Walk, Carshalton with improved displays, using Lottery Funding.

5) Improved Leisure Facilities. We refurbished and modernised Westcroft Centre including a new Carshalton Library.

6) Invested in our High Street. We secured funding for new Carshalton village signs which will be installed soon, introduced the Carshalton Christmas lights and brought the new Frost Fair to help local businesses thrive.

7) Listening to You. Carshalton Council buildings including The Lodge and The Grove House: We consulted extensively with local residents and Friends Groups over re-use of the redundant council buildings whose future re-use is now assured.

8) Better Transport. We successfully campaigned with Tom Brake MP and other Lib Dem councillors to save the cross London Thameslink loopline trains service.

9) Safer Roads 1. We installed safer crossing facilities at the junction of Ruskin Road and Park Lane following the All Saints School expansion nearby. We got pavement bollards installed at the junction of Ruskin Road and Woodstock Road.

10) Safer Roads 2. We successfully campigned for TfL to install new railings around Carshalton Ponds.

11) Carshalton Park. We installed marker posts to protect the air raid shelter discovered in 2012 and various brick piers to the park railings rebuilt/repaired. We have got the “Ornamental Garden” between Talbot Road/The Square junction and Ruskin Road improved.

12) The Grove Park. We install a new waste bins and a new multi-gym at the award winning park.

Friends of The Grove Walkabout – 2nd July 2013 at 730pm

Local councillors Jill Whitehead and Hamish Pollock will be attending the walkabout around the Grove Park this evening (all being well with the weather!).

We will be meeting intially at The Leoni Bridge by the Lower Pond at 730pm with the committee of the Friends of The Grove Park and Mr. Bill Wyatt from the Council’s parks department is expected to join us.

Your local FOCUS team in The Grove Park

Your local FOCUS team in The Grove Park

Upper Mill, The Grove Park – Repairs

The Upper Mill in happier times

The Upper Mill in happier times

Following concerns expressed by the Friends of The Grove Park, local residents and local councillors, here is the response from council officers on the repairs to the Upper Mill, Grove Park, Carshalton:-

Dear Councillor Pollock

The Upper Mill

Thank you for your enquiry on behalf of Jean Raffe, Hon. Secretary of the Friends of Grove Park. The Upper Mill is managed by the Museum and Heritage Service, although it has no direct budget allocation. 

The Upper Mill has been subject to vandalism, particularly since May 2011 but the Council’s insurance does not cover malicious damage as the building is unoccupied and not in use. We are very concerned about the issues raised and have investigated various solutions to this problem. 

A temporary covering was installed over the Upper Mill to protect it from the weather in late 2011 but this has deteriorated and now needs replacing. The cost of replacing with a heavy duty covering that would be less susceptible to the weather is estimated at £4500. 

The Council’s Museum and Heritage Service and the Property Services Team have discussed replacing the roof tiles with a vandal proof steel tile that has the appearance of traditional roof tiles. I am waiting for a quote to do this work. It would require Listed Building Consent but English Heritage have indicated that they would be happy with this solution. 

The Council has discussed the Upper Mill with the Heritage Lottery Fund officers but, because of the limitations of access, they were not optimistic that a financial bid would be successful to refurbish the facility. I have also spoken with the Wandle Trust to see if the Upper Mill could form part of their work in Carshalton, but again there were issues with access and funding.

A further temporary weatherproof covering is one of the items being considered for the Council’s Public Realm Funding by the Area Committee on 15th May 2013. The Heritage Service is continuing to explore ways of providing the Upper Mill with a secure future.

I will keep you informed of any opportunities that arise.

Yours sincerely

Jane Allen, Service Manager: Heritage

The Old Forge gets Planning Permission

The recent planning application for the partial rebuilding of “Old” Forge, Carshalton High Street (by the public car park) was decided by Sutton Council on Wednesday 17th October 2012. 

The Old Forge a few months' ago

Cllr. Hamish Pollock  who attended the meeting reports: “This application was for the partial rebuild and refurbishment of the dilapidated structure for motor repairs and ancillary car sales. At the meeting, I asked for extra safeguards to ensure that the original slate roofing materials were reused in the finished project and that there was a proper fencing around the site.

These extra conditions were agreed by the council’s planning committee. It was felt by the committee that the rebuilding proposal wouldn’t adversely affect the character of the Carshalton Village Conservation Area.”