Posted by: kbenoy | April 25, 2012

Wolverhampton & District Butchers Hide Skin Fat & Wool Co Ltd

This week I have been tackling the records of the Wolverhampton & District Butchers Hide Skin Fat & Wool Co Ltd, comprising of about 14 boxes. The records are extensive and begin in 1886 when the company was incorporated and continue right through to 1973 when they went into voluntary liquidation. The records are not complete and many give an example of the last in a series covering the last few years they were in operation.

In this post I am hoping to give you a tour through some of the records that have survived and use the information they contain to tell the story of the Wolverhampton & District Butchers Hide Skin Fat & Wool Co Ltd.

The first record to mention is the Memorandum and Articles of Association (D-SSW/2/WDB/1/2/1) that was created with the incorporation of the company in 1886.

This booklet was the Board Room copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association and contains a description of the nature of the business and the names of the original subscribers:

  • George Rowbotham
  • George Clifton
  • Henry Wolverson
  • James Upton
  • John Coley
  • Phineas Bullock
  • Reuben Ross
  • John Willis
  • Silas Caddick
  • William Evans
  • James Rudler
  • David Bedworth

More information on the Subscribers or Shareholders can be found in the Register of Members and Share Ledger (D-SSW/2/WDB/1/3/4) as seen below.

This volume contains the details of over 300 shareholders in the Wolverhampton & District Butchers Hide Skin Fat & Wool Co Ltd and includes names, addresses, occupation, details of shares held and sometime notes on Probate and date of death when the shares were transferred. The top entry relates to George Clifton, one of the original Subscribers and shows he lived in Darlington Street and was a Butcher with 8 shares in the company.

The Allotment Book (D-SSW/2/WDB/1/3/1) shows the original allocation of shares in 1886 and the first entry shows the allotment of 8 shares to George Clifton. The Registered Capital was £5,000 split into 1,000 £5 shares. All the 1,000 shares were sold but the issued capital was only £4,000 as £4 was paid per share with the remaining £1 effectively owed to the company. This final £1 could be called up at any point. In 1944 the Share Capital was increased to £10,000 with the creation of 1,000 new shares at £5 each.

An entry from the Dividend Book (D-SSW/2/WDB/1/3/9) can also be seen here. Starting in 1925 it gives details of all the dividends paid over the years until 1973 and lists the shareholders receiving the dividend. Dividends were fairly high with 10% being regularly paid and sometimes up to 20%.

Later records include the Register of Directors and Shareholders Meetings – Signature Book (D-SSW/2/WDB/1/1/4), which begins in 1953 and continues to 1973. This book registered the attendance at meetings of the Directors and contains their signatures as can be seen below in the first entry from 1953.

The entry from the final Annual General Meeting is shown from 29th August 1973 when the company closed.

This collection also contains some Minute Books (D-SSW/2/WDB/1/1/1-3) from 1955-1973. These give a fascinating insight into the management of the company and the various problems they faced along with the day-to-day issues such as redecorating the offices. A page can be seen here from the earliest Minute Book showing details from a Meeting of Directors in 1955.

The driving force behind the closure of the company was the redevelopment of Snow Hill, where their premises were based. The Property Valuation (D-SSW/2/WDB/6/2) by P J Starkey and Son in 1966 gives some insight into the thoughts of redevelopment. The premises were finally sold for £100,000.

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