Catalogue description GEORGE HENRY (OLDHAM) LTD

This record is held by Oldham Local Studies & Archives

Details of D-HEN
Reference: D-HEN

The records well illustrate the transition of business activity from sole trader, through partnership, to private limited company, and the relationships within a small owner-operated family enterprise.


The records are predominantly handwritten. The financial records are generally in standard volumes. The balance sheet book contains particularly neat examples of partnership accounts, which can be related to the Deed of Partnership.

Date: 1943 - 1981



D-HEN/A. Corporate records


D-HEN/B. Financial records


D-HEN/C. Premises records


D-HEN/D. Employment and production


D-HEN/E. Insurance records


D-HEN/F. Correspondence


D-HEN/G. Letterheads


D-HEN/H. Advertising


D-HEN/I. Family records

Related material:

Oldham Archives


Ellen Meehan, Chiropodist (ref D-AAK)

Held by: Oldham Local Studies & Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

George Henry (Oldham) Ltd

Physical description: 4 Boxes
Physical condition: Many of the records received had been badly affected by damp. It has however been possible to repair most documents, and to make available all significant information, albeit through photocopies in two instances.
Restrictions on use:

Photocopying may be permissible at the discretion of a member of staff.

Access conditions:

In consultation with the depositor, access restrictions have only been applied to a very few of the most recent papers, on privacy grounds.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Accession 1997-001 donated by Margaret Meehan

Administrative / biographical background:

George Henry was a joiner, who started his career as builder, property repairer and cabinet maker at 56b Crossbank Street in 1943. In 1944, with the help of other family members, he purchased 44-52 Lees Road. Numbers 44 and 46 were let to a greengrocer, while George established a fireplace showroom in number 48. Number 50 was split, with a workshop in the back, and an office with a shop selling hardware, firewood and paraffin in the front. The shop eventually extended into number 52.


In 1947, George, his sister Ellen and her husband, John Meehan, an American serviceman, went into business together as Joiners and Builders. In the early years, the firm was kept very busy modernising houses and employed a number of staff. In 1950, the firm became a private limited liability company, George Henry (Oldham) Limited. Of the £3,000 share capital, 1,000 shares of £1 were assigned to George Henry and 500 each to Ellen and John Meehan.


In addition to her involvement with George Henry (Oldham) Ltd, Ellen ran a chiropody practice. Another sister, Margaret, a teacher, also provided financial and administrative assistance and George's brothers, Stephen and Walter were involved in the business too, although more remotely. Walter had a car respraying business, Jackson Brothers, in Cambridge, and Stephen worked for a firm which manufactured and exported material for textile production.


The greengrocer in numbers 44 and 46 did not stay long and these premises were then leased by Hawley's, a tea and tobacco wholesaler. In the 1960s, the back part of number 48 was leased to James Sykes, a coffin maker.


During the 1950s, the sale of fireplaces started to decline, and the firm diversified by selling coal bricks. This side of the business grew and the firm began to prepack and sell coal and smokeless fuel. While George worked in the shop, John travelled the country buying the coal and Ellen did most of the packing, in addition to the accounts. At busy times, John and Ellen's children, Nicholas, Margaret and Bridget were also brought in to help pack the coal.


In 1967, Oldham Borough Council compulsorily purchased the Lees Road premises to make way for the Oldham Way. New premises were found at 16-18 Glodwick Road, but George decided that he no longer wished to carry on the business. Consequently, Ellen and George's sister, Margaret Henry, and John and Ellen's daughter, Margaret Meehan, became shareholders. George resigned from the Board in 1968.


The move to Glodwick Road saw the end of the hardware business. The firm concentrated on wholesale fuel sales and were also employed by Cairn Chemicals to collect and deliver carbon black imported from Canada. Part of the premises were let to a tinsel manufacturer and another part was used by Nicholas Meehan for the production of pet food. However, by the late 1970s the firm was struggling and the decision was made to wind it up. George Henry (Oldham) Ltd ceased trading in January 1980.

Link to NRA Record:

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research