Catalogue description Records of Samuel Elliott and Sons (Reading) Ltd

This record is held by Berkshire Record Office

Details of D/EX 1263
Reference: D/EX 1263
Title: Records of Samuel Elliott and Sons (Reading) Ltd

1 ASSOCIATION : memorandum and articles of association, 1939; trust deed, 1939


2 COMPANY MINUTES AND AGENDAS : board minutes, 1902-1909, 1939-1977; general meeting minutes, 1939-1977; other minutes, 1940-1944; draft board minutes, 1914-1938; board agendas, 1914-1938, 1954-1956


3 REGISTERS OF SHAREHOLDERS AND DIRECTORS : registers of shareholders, directors and mortgages, 1914-1938


4 RETURNS UNDER THE COMPANIES ACT : 1914-1920, 1935-1946


5 ANNUAL REPORTS AND ACCOUNTS : annual reports and accounts, 1906, 1939-1971; annual statements of accounts, 1934-1964


6 CORRESPONDENCE : letters relating to Elliott's activities during World War II, 1942-1945; miscellaneous correspondence, 1906-1978


7 PROMOTIONAL AND ADVERTISING MATERIAL : illustrated catalogues for moulding, joining and shopfitting work, 1903-1950s; promotional brochures, 1930s-c1993; calendars, 1928-1936; miscellaneous, 1930s-1980s


8 RECORDS OF JOBS UNDERTAKEN : [number reserved]


9 PROPERTY : inventories of works fixtures etc, 1950 and 1960; schedule of buildings and valuation, 1960; plans of works, 1946-1961; correspondence relating to boundary fence, 1947


10 STAFF : turner's piecework books, 1908-1910; income tax return of employees, 1935-1937; service agreements, 1939-1957; list of staff employed, 1955; pension booklets, 1954-1956


11 LEISURE AND SOCIAL : souvenir programme for company show at the Palace Theatre, Reading, 1952; miscellaneous papers and photographs relating to inter alia, Elliott's football and cricket clubs, and horticultural section, 1919-1962


12 MISCELLANEOUS COMPANY RECORDS : offer for sale of stocks, 1939; catalogue of example moulding designs, 1940s; list of maintenance and expense codes, 1949; photographs of works and employees, 1930s-1976; miscellaneous, 1930s-1984


13 MATERIAL NOT CREATED BY ELLIOTT'S : miscellaneous printed material and photographs, 1949-1964

Date: 1903-c1993
Held by: Berkshire Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Physical description: 15 vols, 58 bdls, 53 docs
Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in June 1994 (acc 5452) and July 1994 (acc 5466)

Administrative / biographical background:

Two brief histories of Samuel Elliott and Sons (Reading) Ltd exist in the collection : one written by an undergraduate at Sheffield City Polytechnic in 1977 (in D/EX 1263/6/11), the other by the company secretary for a speech in the same year (D/EX 1263/12/10)


Both these quote the Newbury Weekly News of 26 February 1885 in saying that Samuel Elliott first ventured into business in 1860 in Newbury, taking over an operation previously run by his grandfather. He is listed in Dutton Allen's Directory 1863, as a builder in West Street; by the publication of the Post Office Directory 1869, the address is given as Northbrook Street. The latter name seems to have acted as the business address for Mr Elliott's Albert Steam Joinery Works (actually situated at the rear of Albert Road), and it was these premises which were to burn to the ground in the early morning of 21 February 1885


Although the works were rebuilt, the fire seems to have provoked problems for the business. In 1895 Samuel Elliott was declared bankrupt, and after creditors' hearings a new company, Elliott's Moulding and Joinery Company Ltd, was formed by other local businessmen. Samuel Elliott was kept on as works manager (see D/EX 1263/6/11,12/10)


In 1902, Samuel Elliott was offered a chance to run his own company again, by a gentleman named Mr J C Fidler. Mr Fidler gave both money and land at Gosbrook Road, Caversham to the new enterprise, and became the first chairman of the board of directors of Samuel Elliott and Sons (Reading) Ltd, joiners and moulders etc. Samuel Elliott's involvement with the Newbury company ended. [This company, Elliott's of Newbury, apparently continued until 1975; some records have been deposited by Elliott's of Reading - see D/EX 1264; others are at Newbury Museum]


Mr Fidler died in 1903, but the company was sufficiently established to survive. D/EX 1263/12/10 refers to a "reconstruction" of the company in 1914, made necessary by long term difficulties caused by Mr Fidler's death; perhaps this is solely a reference to a new owner - Mr E Dunham. Unfortunately some of the records for this first period in the company's history have gone astray - there is no company copy of the first articles of association, 1902, and the board minutes for the period 1909-1939 are missing (although draft minutes and an agenda book survive, 1914-1938 (D/EX 1263/2/2/1,2/3/1)). The agenda book refers to the "first meeting of the board January 1914", which is evidence for some change in association; it must therefore be a possibility that there were also new articles of association that year


However the company may have altered its registration with Companies House during this period, in 1939 it was converted into a public company, and its shares sold at the Stock Exchange. The articles of association in the collection (D/EX 1263/1/1) date from this event; although a prospectus would also have been published, once again no company copy seems to exist


Elliott's survived as an independent firm until 1960, when in difficulties, it canvassed a bid from Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons Ltd (D/EX 1263/6/11). The company duly became part of Development Securities Ltd, a McAlpine's holding company, and was merged with another joinery firm known as John P White (Bedford) Ltd. For five years Elliott's was known as Samuel Elliott and John P White (Reading) Ltd, until Mr White himself resigned from the board, and the company reverted to its original name


In 1977 McAlpine's sold the company to EMI, who within the same year sold it again to Trafalgar House Ltd, the present (1994) owners. In the 1980s Elliott's were incorporated into Trollope and Colls Joinery Ltd, a firm with origins in Camberwell, London, and in the 1990s they moved to a new site in Lyon House, Craddock Road, Reading, under the restyled name of Trollope Colls Elliott


So what of the Elliotts themselves? Samuel disappeared from the board of directors sometime between 1909-1914; he is still listed in the Reading borough electoral register for 1914-1915, but not for 1918-1919. One of his sons, Albert, remained on the board to become managing director, resigning in 1946; the other, Cecil, served as a director until he retired in 1954. Albert's son, Lionel, was the last Elliott to be involved with the firm; the managing director, he died in 1959 while on company business in Baghdad, Iraq. He left no children, and his widow sold his shares in the company

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