Posted by: kbenoy | October 5, 2011

Benjamin Walters and Co Ltd – Locksmiths

Benjamin Walters and Co Ltd were Locksmiths based in North Street, Wolverhampton. The company is believed to have started in around 1767 and continued trading until the early 1970s.

The location of Benjamin Walters Locksmiths in North Street, 1886

The map above shows the location of the Lock Works in North Street in 1886. The company also owned three houses in St Peters Square, behind the Lock Works. This map is available for viewing in the Map Room at Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies. It is in Map Cabinet A with the reference 24A, 1:500 scale.

The location of Benjamin Walters and Co Ltd Locksmiths in North Street, 1919

This map shows the position of the Lock Works in North Street in 1919. This site no longer exists as it was redeveloped in the early 1970s as part of the Ring Road and Civic Centre construction. This map is available to view in the Map Room at Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies with the reference LX11.6, 1:2500 scale in Map Cabinet A.

The Smith, Son & Wilkie collection includes a range of records for Benjamin Walters and Co Ltd including Minute Books, Register of Members, records of Shares and Debentures, Wage Books, Cash Books, Ledgers and correspondence. The majority of these records date from 1900 or later as this was the year Benjamin Walters was incorporated.

Some of the most interesting records I have found so far for Benjamin Walters and Co Ltd are the insurance policies for the premises. A policy with The British General in 1922 contains a description of the premises and the value the buildings, machinery and stock were insured for.

The British General Insurance Policy for Benjamin Walters and Co Ltd

 

“Packing, Cardboard Box Making, Locksmiths’ Shops, Despatch Place, Oil Store, Warehouses (containing 1 gas-heated lacquer table) Rough & Scrap Stores, Stock Rooms & Offices. £11,290

Cabinet Locksmiths’, Blacksmiths’ & Casting Shops and Metal Stores. £820

Mortice, Toolmakers’, Lathe, Plating and Polishing Shops, Swarf & Metal Stores. £4,230

Japan Drying Ovens & Cycle Shed. £240

Underground Lavatories. –

Lock Surfacing & Finishing Shop. £230

Cabinet Locksmiths’ Shops & Stores. £1,260

Locksmiths’ Shops & Timekeeper’s Office. £150

Coal, Sand & Ash Stores, Dipping & Barrelling Place. £110

Power Press Shop, Brass & Rough Stores – small part timber & iron built. £2,270″

This description refers to a plan of the premises but unfortunately this does not seem to have survived with the policy documents.

Details of the area covered by the Insurance Policy

To see some photos of the workers at Benjamin Walters and Co Ltd at the North Street premises around the time of this description please see here and here. These images are from the Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies Local Studies Photograph Collection and that can be searched using our catalogues on the Black Country History website.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Now I have catalogued the Insurance policies I have been able to explain why Benjamin Walters and Co Ltd had three Fire Policies for the year 1922. The policy I have mentioned in the post, from The British General Insurance Company Ltd only covered 40% of the value of the building, machinery and goods. A further two Fire Policies covered an additional 30% each to make the total coverage up to the required value. That is hardly surprising when you think that £20,600 in 1920 was equivalent to about £436,926 in modern money. I made this calculation using the National Archives Currency converter available at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency/default0.asp#mid


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: