Fascinating stories from Sutton’s past are revealed as the borough turns 50 years old

Sutton Carew, Carwalton, Fairlands, Wandletowns, South Wall-Car, Treeswater.

Sutton High Street in the early 60s.

These are just some of the names proposed for London’s borough 21, before it became known as Sutton.

The naming of the new borough, when it broke away from Surrey and became part of Greater London in 1965, was a hot and widely debated topic.

Naturally, people in Carshalton wanted the new borough to be named just that, while residents in Wallington were equally proud of their part of town.

Arguments were made that Sutton was too common a name – more than 111 places by the name already existed in Britain.

Jim McMahon, the Chairman of Carshalton Council, said: “I doubt very much that the council will take this lying down. We want the name Carshalton because it is the only place of that name in the country.”

Alderman Taylor, of Sutton and Cheam, commented: “I personally have no objection to Sutton Carew because it would be rather nice to have some agreement with the other authorities, though I must say it sounds a bit like ‘Dangerous Dan McGrew’. It just doesn’t sound right.”

Meanwhile, a mayor of the time had a different view about the difficult decision: “I think more people are upset at the loss of snob value in coming out of the county of Surrey into Greater London.”

With representatives from the three authorities unable to decide among themselves, eventually Sir Keith Joseph, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, opted for Sutton.


The LBS coat of arms. Click to download.

What exactly is the Coat of Arms?

The London Borough of Sutton’s three predecessor authorities – Borough of Beddington & Wallington, Carshalton Urban District and Borough of Sutton & Cheam – all had their own coat of arms.

But in 1965, it was decided to combine all three to create a re-designed London Borough of Sutton coat of arms…

The Sutton & Cheam Upper Third

The keys are from the arms of Chertsey Abby, described in the Domesday Book as holders of the lands of ‘Sudtone’.

The Carshalton Centre (or ‘chevron’)

The red chevron is from the arms of the Gaynesford family of Carshalton. Nicholas Gaynesford was lord of the sub-manor of Stone Court. The sprigs of oak refer to the Oaks estate and also appears on the county arms.

The Beddington and Wallington base

The blue and white roundel represents the River Wandle. The chevron in heraldry symbolises a settlement or home.

The small blue shield in the bottom third represents the connection with the former Croydon Airport in Beddington and Wallington, the first commercial aerodrome in the country. The rising sun reflects the airport’s location in the east of the borough.

To find out more about the LBS coat of arms, go to the Civic Heraldry website.


Celebrating the borough’s birthday at the Europa Gallery

All this and more will be explained in a display in the Europa Gallery, Sutton Central Library from tomorrow to 30 April. Visitors can see the original charters of the predecessor authorities and LBS.

Kath Shawcross, Borough Archivist and Local Studies Manager, said:

“Our local studies staff and volunteers work hard to preserve and celebrate the borough’s fascinating history, so I delighted to get involved in these London wide celebrations.

“I would encourage any resident interested in the history of our wonderful borough to come along to the library, see the display and find out what else our archives can reveal.”


What else is happening in Sutton to celebrate 50 years of London boroughs?

Sutton Council is asking local schools to take part in a logo competition.

We are inviting students in years 6, 7 and 8 to design Sutton’s Golden Jubilee logo.

Entries, produced on A3 paper, should be colourful and reflect the borough’s diversity. The number ‘50’ should be included on the logo.

The winning entry will be used to celebrate Sutton’s 50 years in local government and will feature on council emails and banners for the remainder of the year.

For more information, email


Sutton on film

A short video recording Sutton’s past for future generations will also be made by the council.

It will feature the recollections of long-time residents.

Find out more in this previous press release.


Join the conversation on Twitter using #boroughs50

 @SuttonCouncil @londoncouncils


The Carshalton coat of arms.


The Sutton and Cheam coat of arms.


The Beddington and Wallington coat of arms.


The first LBS meeting in 1965.