Plaque

Thomas Wall - Blythewood

Inscription

Thomas Wall (1846 - 1930)
Trading in sausages, pork-pies and ice-cream, Wall built the family business into a national one. He was a benefactor of the town, founding Sutton Adult School and encouraging education. In 1935, the council purchased land from the school. This became the ground of Sutton United Football Club. Wall lived in Blythewood from 1897 to 1930.
Heritage in Sutton
Sutton Leisure Services

The plaque made us think initially that the land used for the football club was adjacent to the Sutton Adult School (now the Thomas Wall Centre) but Google maps shows a walking distance between the two sites (Gander Green Lane and Benhill Avenue) of almost 1 mile. So we think the school must have had off-site playing fields.

Site: Thomas Wall - Blythewood (1 memorial)

SM2, Worcester Road, 12

On our visit the height of the hedge made a photograph impossible so we are grateful that this website beat the hedge to it, just.

Local Guardian has a photo of the house from its garden. The 2017 Croydon Advertiser quotes the current owners: “Thomas went on a trip to Australia and we know that he stayed for some time on a farmstead called ‘Blythewood’. 12 Worcester Road shares the same name and we like to think he named the house after happy memories of his holidays.”

When it was for sale in 2008 it was listed as having "been modernised into an upmarket three-bedroom property".  Even allowing for the conversion of, say two, bedrooms into modern-day bathrooms, that would still have been a relatively modest home for the sausage and ice-cream magnate.  But, see below, in Wall's time it was described as having 12 rooms. We find this two descriptions difficult to reconcile.

This plaque is one of two for Thomas Wall in the same road. The other is at Russettings. We found the information from Sutton's heritage people puzzling, suggesting that Wall lived the last 30 years of his life at Russettings (then apparently named Blythwood) while the plaque on this house no 12, which in 2022 is called Blythewood, claims that he lived here. So our colleague Andrew Behan had a delve into the archives. We think the confusion may arise from Wall having had a sister living in each of these houses. Sister Mary and her husband George Smith lived at Russettings, but Andrew found no record that Wall ever lived there. Nor is there any suggestion that either house ever changed its name. Blythewood is described as having 12 rooms, while Russettings has 17 so is significantly the larger of the two.

Wall is recorded as living at Blythewood, with his other sister, Louisa, and it was here their mother died in 1900. That was a bad year for the family since Louisa's short marriage also ended after just 2 years with the death of her husband, Charles Harrington Harris. From that time on it looks as if Thomas Wall, his sister Louisa and a sick nurse, Mary Rosetta Jocelyn, formed a household which was based at Blythewood. There are records of them in Bournemouth together, with other family members, presumably on holiday. In 1927 and in the following year, Wall (aged 81) and Jocelyn (57) are recorded as passengers on cruise ships. After Wall's death Jocelyn and Louisa are recorded as living at yet another house in Worcester Road, number 12.

Credit for this entry to: Alan Patient of plaquesoflondon.co.uk

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Thomas Wall - Blythewood

Subjects commemorated i

Sutton United Football Club

Football team who currently (2023-2024) play in the English Football League T...

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Thomas Wall

Sausage entrepreneur and philanthropist. Born at 113 Jermyn Street (2022 this...

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Sutton Adult School

Founded by Thomas Wall. It is now called the Thomas Wall Centre.

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Thomas Wall - Blythewood

Created by i

Sutton Council

London borough formed by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Sutton and Ch...

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