Posted by: kbenoy | June 27, 2012

More catalogue entries go online!

I’ve been busy finishing the cataloguing of the business records within the Smith, Son & Wilkie collection over the last few weeks. We have recently updated the Black County History website with more catalogue entries for businesses including:

The earliest reference to the business is in Kelly’s Directory 1928 where John Kenyon is listed as a Motor Engineer working from Wolverhampton Road. John Kenyon, who is believed to have started the business died in 1933 and the business passed to his widow Bertha Annie Kenyon. On her death in 1945 the business transferred to Joseph Edward Kenyon, likely to be her son and he ran the business with his wife Alice Evelyn Kenyon. The company was incorporated 29 March 1954 to become J Kenyon & Son (Wednesfield) Limited with the sale of 3250 shares of £1 each issued in April 1954. Joseph Edward and his wife became Directors of the company. The premises were rented from Joseph Edward Kenyon rather than being sold to th business. Capitalisation of Profits resulted in the issue of 1750 Bonus Shares of £1 each in July 1963. During the 1960s Kenyons Garage were retail dealers for Austin, Morris and Ford. In 1969 Alice Evelyn died and Joseph Edward Kenyon retired from his position of Managing Director. This position was taken over by John Kenyon, their son and his wife Patricia Mary also became a Director in 1975 following the death of Joseph Edward Kenyon. Anthony Richard Newton became a shareholder and a Director in 1977. Michael John Kenyon became a shareholder in 1977 and a Director from 1981. The company is still believed to be trading [2012].

Established in 1887 in Liverpool, John Barrington & Co were Tea Merchants involved with importing, blending, packaging and selling Tea. A main part of their trade involved packing and blending tea and distributing it to the retail trade. John Barrington & Co is listed in the 1894 Kelly’s Directory of Liverpool and Birkenhead under Tea Dealers and Grocers at 2A Spofforth Road, Wavertree Bridge, Edge Hill. In 1900 the business was listed in Gore’s Directory of Liverpool & Birkenhead as Barrington John & Co. 141 Earle Road E under the heading Grocers and Tea Dealers. By 1901 John and his family had moved to Wolverhampton and in the 1904 Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire the business can be found listed as Barrington John & Co, Tea Merchants, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton. By 1924 the business is listed as being in Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton possibly at the Royal London Buildings where they were known later.

The company was incorporated on 22 June 1938 with the initial shareholders being John Barrington, Rowland Barrington, John Kennerley Barrington and Hazel Kate Barrington. The subscribed capital was 14,997 shares of £1 each, which were all allotted and paid. John Barrington died on 31 December 1949 and his brother Rowland took over the business. An article in the Wolverhampton Chronicle (28-12-1962 and 18-08-1965) states that the firm began with four employees and by 1965 had over twenty employees and the company handled about 20 tons of tea each week. Rowland died on 1 April 1960 and his widow Gladys took his place to become a Director. By 1965 John Kennerley Barrington had become Managing Director of the business following the death of his father Rowland Barrington.

Frederick Edge M. D., F.R.C.S.
He was born about 1863 in Goos Russia and came to England aged 10 and studied at Owens College, Manchester; St Thomas’s Hospital, London; and medical schools at Munich, Vienna, Dresden and Birmingham. In 1891 he came to Wolverhampton and was appointed an honorary surgeon at Wolverhampton Women’s Hospital. In 1897 he was appointed honorary surgeon to the Birmingham and Midland Hospital for Women and stayed there until 1933 when he retired as the senior surgeon after 36 years. In 1902 he married Florence Bradley and the couple had 3 children. He was in partnership with Samuel Maslen-Jones to run a private nursing home, which was based at Granville House, Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton. He was also on the Town Council of Wolverhampton between 1897 and 1904 and served on the Free Library, Markets and Sewerage committees. He enjoyed golf and was a pioneer of the South Staffordshire Golf Club. He died on 17 May 1937 in a nursing home in Wolverhampton aged 73 .

Samuel Walter Maslen-Jones M. D., F.R.C.S., F.R.C.O.G.
He came to Wolverhampton in 1921 as obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Royal Hospital and Women’s Hospital. In 1933 he changed his surname from Jones to Maslen-Jones (The London Gazette, 22 August, p. 5584) at that time living at Glen Tower, Avenue Road, Wolverhampton. He was a member of the Wolverhampton Hospital Management Committee. For 12 years he was a governor of the Royal Wolverhampton School between 1952-1964 and he was also a Freemason. He retired in 1957 after 36 years of service at the Wolverhampton group of hospitals but remained in private practice. He was married to Kitty and had three sons Ted, Bob and Freddy. He died aged 75 on 17 July 1967 at his home 69 Mill Lane, Compton, Wolverhampton and his funeral was held at St Michael’s Church, Tettenhall on Friday 21 July with about 400 mourners in attendance followed by cremation at Bushbury.

Essington Working Mens Club is at High Hill, Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV11 2DW. During the 1970s the club had a Bowling Green and other activities included children’s outings, film shows, dances, billiards, tombola, raffles, ladies section, fisherman’s sections and football section.

Henry Willcock (Jnr) was born in Wolverhampton in 1852 to Henry and Sarah Ann Willcock. In 1871, aged 19, he was working as a civil engineer’s apprentice. He became articled to the Borough Surveyor before joining the firm of P Horsman. Henry Willcock entered into partnership with Philip Horsman in 1876 to work as Builders and Contractors known as Philip Horsman & Company. The 1881 census shows Henry Willcock as a Contractor/ Builder living at 53 Darlington Street. He married Agnes Anne Walker later in 1881and they had three sons, Harry Bertram (1882-1957), Edgar Douglas (1884-1938) and Robert Cecil (1885-1916) and a daughter Agnes (1895-). In 1885 Philip Horsman retired from the partnership, which was continued by Henry Willcock under the title of P Horsman and Co.

After Philip Horsman died in 1890 the premises at 53 Darlington Street were put up for auction by Mr Horsman’s Trustees but, owing to a clause in the partnership document of 22nd August 1883, repeated in the Deed of Dissolution, Henry had an option to purchase these premises for a cost of £6,100. The particulars state that the ‘auction lot’ comprised of a builders’ yard (including a masons’ shop, store rooms, blacksmiths shop, joiners shop, machine shop, boiler house, cottage, stabling for eight horses, newly erected offices), the convenient residence, retail shop and warehouse, timber yard and freehold property fronting Clarence street.

The firm took the name of H Willcock & Co in January 1892 and Mr John Ward became a partner at that time having previous been a builders foreman. The capital for the business was £15,000 of which Henry Willcock had a 2/3 share to the 1/3 share of John Ward. The profits of the partnership were split 2/3 to Henry Willcock and 1/3 to John Ward for the first £2250 and split equally above that. The 1901census shows the Willcock family had moved to ‘Merridale’ Compton Road. Henry Willcock died on 10th April 1925 aged 73. His funeral was held at St Jude’s Church and he was buried on 14th April 1925 in Wolverhampton (Merridale) cemetery. His obituary in the Express & Star on 15 April 1925 states he was President of the Institute of Builders in 1924-25 and President of the Master Builders’ Federation after the war. After Henry Willcock’s death, it took about three years to sort of the value of his share in the partnership and during this time John Ward continued to run Henry Willcock & Co and his sons Harry Bertram and Edgar Douglas set up an alternative firm H B Willcock & Co Ltd. This alternative firm was dissolved in 1927 when the sons made an agreement with John Ward. John Ward had taken the option to purchase his deceased partners share of the partnership but due to complex ongoing projects in Bristol it was difficult to calculate the value of the share.

A new limited company was formed in 1927 and was registered on 1st January 1927 with John Ward as director, along with the two surviving sons of Henry; Harry, who became managing director and Edgar. Robert, the third son of Henry, had died fighting in France in 1916. At the time of the incorporation Mr Frederick Stephens was company secretary, having previously been personal assistant to John Ward. He became a director in 1936 following the death of John Ward on 20th November 1935 and rose to Managing Director. Frederick Stephens died on 13th March 1954.

Edgar Willcock died on 12th February 1938 aged 54. Harry Willcock, the eldest son of Henry, died on 20th January 1957. Edgar’s sons, Michael Lucas Willcock and Douglas Brian Willcock were involved with the firm after WW2. Michael was based at the offices in Bristol but was in Wolverhampton around the time of his brother’s death in 1954. He took over the company along with Jack Stephens, son of Frederick Stephens, and George Mills was also a director. The firm continued to trade from 53 Darlington Street. The premises were still extensive and joiners, wood sawyers and machinists, stonemasons and bricklayers were employed. The property was demolished in the 1960’s to make way for the Ring Road. Information in the British Phone Books shows the firm at East Park Trading Estate, Hickman Avenue, Wolverhampton after 1968 until 1981. Lack of trade forced the firm to close these offices soon after that. The firm continued the business from the offices in Bristol until the 1990’s. The company was finally dissolved on 13th June 2000 after an existence of more than 100 years.

The company was incorporated on 4th October 1962 and the Registered Office was Falcon Garage, High Street, Claverley, Shropshire. 100 shares in the company were sold for £1 each to the Directors.

Flakefame Ltd, later known as Twenty Four Hour Erection & Maintenance Services Limited were manufacturers or dealers in stainless steel and other metals and worked as steel erectors. The share capital of the business was £100 divided into 100 shares of £1 each. Company Number: 1652372.

The South Staffordshire Ironmasters’ Association was formed between 1790 and 1800. The name was changed to the South Staffordshire Iron and Steel Association on 1st January 1945 and a new constitution was adopted on 28th November 1944. R Lowndes of N Hingley & Sons Ltd received a salary from the Association.

Penk (Holdings) Ltd had Authorised Share Capital of 100 A Shares and 31,900 B Shares. The Company Directors were  Mrs JM Monckton, Mr WB Hiscocks, AS Monckton. Penk (Holdings) Ltd owned various properties in Brewood, Stretton, Stafford and Penkridge.

Penk Ltd had Authorised Share Capital of  100 A Shares of 5p each and 19,900 B Shares of 5p each. Penk Ltd owned more land rather than property in Brewood, Coven Heath, Four Ashes etc and a property in Padstow, Cornwall.

Gemlock Ltd seem to have engineers or architects in the construction industry. Incorporated 17 March 1983, Company Number: 1707336 Share Capital of £100 divided into 100 shares of £1 each. Shareholders and Directors: Keith George Hayes, Sandra Pauline Hayes. Registered Office: Woodberry, Stockwell Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton.

The Proprietor of Caledonian Works was L A Kelsey. The business was Designers & Manufacturers, Electrical & Mechanical Engineers of Princes End, Tipton and Cottages 68, 70, 72 High Street, Princes End, Tipton. The company seems to have started in 1946 with the first wages being paid in June. The freehold land and buildings in Tipton were purchased in 1946. Caledonian Works were linked to George Partridge & Son as the business was bought by L A Kelsey. The finances of the two businesses became interlinked.

George Partridge and Son was bought by L A Kelsey (of Caledonian Works) on 2 November 1950 from the late Mr Beebee, namely Mrs Arnold of 8 Aldridge Road, Walsall. The business was removed from Smith Street, Darlaston to Princes End, Tipton possibly 52-53 High Street.
George Partridge & Son were Gauge Makers, Established in 1816 and according to their letterhead produced Slide Bar Calipers (All Sizes); Slide Merchants; Duckbill; Single, Double, Circular and Oblong Wire Gauges; Boiler Plate; Plug and Ring; Plater’s Squares and Rules; Special Gap and Form Gauges. Letter head states: On Government Lists, Contractors for gauges to the Principle Steel manufactures all over the world

Piggies and Trotters Limited were incorporated on 1 September 1989 with Miss JA Copplestone as Director and Mr NJ Webb as Secretary. Company Number 2419197. The company was dissolved on 24 November 1992.

Frank Arthur Molineux was born to Thomas and Charlotte (nee Martin) in Apr-Jun 1872 in Wrockwardine, Shropshire. He grew up living at his father’s butcher’s shop in Church Street, Wrockwardine and became a butcher’s assistant by the age of 18. Between 1895 and 1901 he had started his own Butchers Shop in Bradford Street, Shifnal, Shropshire. In 1911 he married Gertrude Pitcher and they had three children; Gertrude M (b. 1912); Frank M (b. 1915); and Ferdinand S W (b. 1918). He continued to run the Butchers shop in Bradford Street, Shifnal and an additional shop and slaughter house in Beckbury until his death. Frank A Molineux of the Laurels, Victoria Road, Shifnal died on 2 November 1942 aged 70. His executors were Gertrude Molineux (widow) and Ferdinand Sydney Wilson Molineux (Son) Farmer.
After his fathers death, Ferdinand SW Molineux took over the business as a Green Grocier rather than a Butcher.

I would like to thanks all the volunteers for their hard work and commitment to this project and the time spent researching the histories of these businesses.



  1. Barringtons were in the Royal London Buildings. The Express and Star occasionally had articles about their daughter who sang in the D’Oyly Carte Co.

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