Posted by: kbenoy | June 7, 2012

How I Researched the Company of Henry Willcock & Co

This blog post has been written by one of the project volunteers regarding her work to research a business represented in the collection. I hope it will give you an insight into the type of research being carried out on the project.  

Relevant papers in the Smith, Son & Wilkie Collection provided names of people with connections to the firm. These were supplemented by names obtained from newspaper funeral reports and obituaries at Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies, Free BMD and the census. Family trees were constructed to provide a more comprehensive picture of relationships.

Death Notice for Mr H Willcock in the Wolverhampton Chronicle 15 April 1925

The company address was revealed in Trade Directories whilst the phone book confirmed this and also listed site office numbers providing a picture of work in progress at specific times.

As research widened, books held at Wolverhampton Archives containing information on buildings constructed by the firm were consulted, whilst other sources, including The Black Country History website, usefully identified accessible documents and pictures to view.   

Search results on the Black Country History Website for “Henry Willcock”

A visit to Staffordshire Archives yielded invaluable information concerning partnership details and a map clarifying the actual location of the firm.

The husband of an Archives ‘Friend’ was apprenticed to the firm in the 1950s, as was my brother-in-law.  Both were happy to reminisce providing me with more names, details and pictures for that era.

The Companies House website verified the Registration Number of the firm and enabled me to obtain documents concerning the dissolution of the business.

The work was fascinating – each discovery adding a little more to the overall picture.  A bookHenry Willcock & Co Ltd, builders & contractors, Wolverhampton and Bristol is available to view at the British Library and would, I am sure, provide even more information.…….

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