Sunday, May 29, 2011


Friday 3rd October 1890 saw the registration, under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1876, of The Poor Law and Local Government Officers' Mutual Guarantee Association, Limited-- the predecessor of NALGO.

The organisation takes root when the National Association of Local Government Officers (NALGO) introduces a Benevolent and Orphans fund for members, and then a Provident Society in 1914 to provide sickness benefits and life assurance. The name is changed to 'The National and Local Government Officers' Mutual Insurance Association, Limited'.

NALGO merges with the National Poor Law Officers Association. The latter had already launched the Local Government Mutual Insurance Association (known as Logomia) in 1890. By 1930 Logomia has a share capital of circa £100,000 with all shares held by members.

The name of the union is changed to 'National & Local Government Officers Association'. Logomia remains as the insurance division of the Association.

Logomia becomes the NALGO Insurance Association Ltd. In the early 1980s, the name is simplified to NIA.

NALGO merges with NUPE and COHSE to form UNISON. Although all three unions have their own insurance providers, NIA wins the right to provide insurance to all the members of the newly formed union. NIA is renamed 'UIA (Insurance) Ltd.'

By Paul Green


Cluttons traces its roots back to 1765, when William Clutton took over his father-in-law’s surveying business in Sussex and began trading under his own name. William developed a prosperous country and land agency business, into which he was followed by his son, then by three of his grandsons. One of those grandsons, John Clutton, moved to London in 1837 to found the London business. John’s brothers remained in Sussex to concentrate on the land agency business, which continues today as RH & RW Clutton, an entirely separate firm.

John Clutton, born in 1809, was destined to become the most eminent surveyor of his generation, building firm foundations and an enviable client base for the London business from which the present day Cluttons has grown, as well as being a joint founder and the first president of the Surveyors’ Association (later the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). John Clutton died in 1896, leaving a thriving business to his successors, including four further generations of the Clutton family.

Cluttons grew steadily in the first half of the 20th century, capitalizing on the surge of development activity that followed building restrictions during the First World War, and increasing urban and rural property and estate management activity, in particular.

Growth continued after the Second World War, still with the emphasis on management and general practice instructions, but with increasing diversification as the years passed. New teams evolved, devoted to commercial investment, occupational agency, planning and development, and the firm opened a commercial office in Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, to accommodate them.

In 1997 Cluttons merged with Daniel Smith, another long-established (1775) traditional management and general practice partnership. Daniel Smith’s approximately 100 partners and staff brought the total complement of the combined firm to over 500 people and the similar professional backgrounds to the two businesses gave the firm renewed strength and depth in the core areas of management and consultancy. Similar businesses and cultures made this a highly successful merger.

Today, Cluttons remains a private, independent business, wholly owned by the partners and therefore entirely free of any external shareholding or control. The firm became a Limited Liability Partnership on 1st April 2005.

By Paul Green


Bupa is a large British healthcare organization, with bases on three continents and more than ten million customers in over 200 countries.

Bupa (originally, the British United Provident Association) was established in 1947 when 17 British provident associations joined together to provide healthcare for the general public. The original services offered by Bupa included private medical insurance. Bupa had an initial registration of 38,000 when founded, but currently has over four million members, and is currently the largest independent health insurance provider in the UK.

It was originally founded as a not for profit provident organization and was intended to provide more services than the National Health Service (NHS) system in Britain offered. It has promoted itself as having no shareholders and existing only for its members. Initially, Bupa was purely a UK health insurance provider, offering policies to individuals, companies and other organizations. This continues to be the largest business within the company and around half of Britain's top companies are presently Bupa customers.

Over the years, it has diversified away from its core health insurance business and is now an internationally established health insurance and care company with services that include Travel insurance, health insurance, care homes, health assessments, occupational health services and childcare. Bupa is a private company limited by guarantee; it has no shareholders, and any profits (after tax) are reinvested in the business.

The company has its head office in central London, with main UK contact centres in Staines and Salford Quays. Bupa has offices into many foreign markets including Australia, Hong Kong, Egypt etc.

It also owns several healthcare companies overseas including Spain's largest healthcare company, Sanitas, and acquired IHI Danmark (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Amedex (Miami, US) in September 2005. In November 2006, Bupa acquired Clinovia, the UK's home healthcare specialist, in a move that gave BUPA new opportunities in the expanding out of hospital care market.

By Paul Green

C. & E. Morton Ltd.

John Thomas Morton went into business as a provision merchant in Aberdeen in 1849, subsequently building up a large trade in the export of canned and other preserved foods. The Millwall factory was opened about 1872 at the former oil works of Price &; Company; later expansion included the opening of a herring cannery at Lowestoft and a depot in Cubitt Town.

After Morton's death in 1897, the business was run by his sons. C. & E. Morton Ltd, as the firm became, was for many years among the largest local employers. Millwall Football Club originated with a team formed by workers at Mortons in 1885. The company's main trade was overseas. It supplied food to the Polar expeditions led by Shackleton and Scott, and was one of the principal suppliers of canned food to the armed forces during the First World War. After the war Mortons lost ground to foreign and colonial competitors and had to turn to the home market.

Best known for jam, the factory also produced a variety of processed foods and confections, including jelly, caramel, chocolate, custard, marsh mallow, liquorice and fondants, as well as Seidlitz powder, magnesia and Epsom salts. In 1945 the company was taken over by the Beecham Group and the Mortons business was concentrated at Lowestoft, producing canned vegetables and fruit fillings. The Millwall works were gradually run down.

By Paul Green

Sunday, May 22, 2011

W. D. & H. O. Wills Ltd.

W. D. & H. O. Wills was a British tobacco importer and cigarette manufacturer formed in Bristol, England. It was one of the founding companies of Imperial Tobacco.

The company was founded as Wills, Watkins & Co. by Henry Overton Wills I and his partner Watkins, who opened a shop in Castle Street, Bristol in 1786. After the retirement of his partner in 1789 it became "Wills & Co.". In 1826 his two sons, William Day Wills and Henry Overton Wills took over the company and in 1830 the company took the above name.

The company pioneered canteens for the workers, free medical care, sports facilities and paid holidays. Their first brand was "Bristol", made at the London factory from 1871 to 1974. "Three Castles" and "Gold Flake" followed in 1878 and "Woodbine" ten years later. "Embassy" was introduced in 1914 and relaunched in 1962 with coupons.

In 1887, Wills were one of the first UK tobacco companies to include advertising cards in their packs of cigarettes, but it wasn't until 1895 did they produce their first general interest set of cards ('Ships and Sailors'). Other Wills sets include 'Aviation' (1910), 'British Butterflies' (1927), 'Garden Flowers' (1933) and 'Air Raid Precautions' (1938).

The company had factories and offices not only in Bristol, but also in Swindon, Dublin, Newcastle and Glasgow. The largest cigarette factory in Europe was opened at Hartcliffe Bristol, and was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in 1974, but closed in 1990. Now called Lake Shore, it is currently undergoing a transformation into residential apartments. The large factory and warehouse buildings remain prominent buildings in Bristol, although much of the existing land and buildings have been converted to other uses, such as The Tobacco Factory Theatre. The Newcastle factory closed in 1986 and stood derelict for over a decade, before the front of the Art Deco building - which was preserved by being Grade II listed - reopened as a block of luxury apartments in 1998.

In 1901 Sir William Henry Wills formed the Imperial Tobacco company from a merger of W.D. & H.O. Wills with seven other British tobacco companies. Imperial remains one of the world's largest tobacco companies.

The last member of the Wills family to serve the company was Christopher, the great-great-grandson of H. O. Wills I. He retired as sales research manager in 1969.

In 1988 Imperial Tobacco withdrew the Wills brand in the United Kingdom (except for the popular Woodbine and Capstan Full Strength brands, which still carry the name).

By Paul Green

National Bank of New Zealand

The National Bank of New Zealand (NBNZ) often referred to as The National Bank, is one of New Zealand's largest banks.

NBNZ was founded in London in 1872 as an overseas bank and shared many directors with Lloyds Bank. During 1919, Lloyds Bank acquired a small interest in NBNZ but it took until 1966 for Lloyds to purchase NBNZ outright. National Bank and the Bank of New Zealand established joint data processing services, which they combined as Databank Systems Limited in 1967.

Throughout much of its history, the National Bank has provided banking services to mainly rural, personal, and small business customers. Its owner is ANZ National Bank Limited, the New Zealand subsidiary of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group. ANZ purchased it in 2003 from Lloyds TSB.

The National Bank's distinctive Black Horse logo dates back to 1677 London when Humphrey Stockes adopted it as sign for his shop. Stokes was a goldsmith and 'keeper of the running cashes', an early term for banker. When Lloyds Bank took over the site in 1884, it retained the horse as its symbol. The Black Horse became the symbol of the National Bank of New Zealand in 1978 when the bank transferred its Head Office from London to New Zealand. When ANZ bought NBNZ, it also bought the right to continue to use the Black Horse logo for seven years.

By Paul Green

Samuel Barrow & Brothers

Bermondsey's industries were centered on two activities: leather working and food processing. A plentiful supply of water aided the former, along with much cheap labor.

Tanning pits containing hides and a variety of often unpleasant substances were a characteristic feature of the area for many centuries.

The Grange Tannery in Bermondsey was originally run by Samuel Barrow & Brothers, a former monastery, it was badly damaged during the blitz of the Second World War, at which time it was owned by Barrow, Hepburn and Gale Ltd., one of the largest firms in the area.
The tannery closed down in the 1970’s bringing to an end 100 years off tanning in this area.

By Paul Green

United Kingdom Provident Institution

The UK Total Abstinence Life was formed in London in 1840 and, as the name suggests, its products were aimed initially at teetotalers. The group grew and expanded gradually, changing its name to the United Kingdom Temperance & General Provident Institution in 1849. Later this was shortened to the United Kingdom Provident Institution, with the head office moving out of London to Salisbury in 1975.

The operational merger with Friends’ Provident Life Office came in 1986, with the funds of the two organizations formally merged in 1993.

By Paul Green

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Law Society

By the mid-16th century, there were two branches of the legal profession: barristers, and attorneys and solicitors. Traditionally, solicitors dealt with landed estates and attorneys advised parties in lawsuits. Gradually, these two roles combined and the name 'solicitors' was adopted.

Although there were many eminent solicitors, there were also 'pettifoggers and vipers' disgracing the profession.

In 1823, several prominent attorneys met to call for the formation of 'The London Law Institution' to raise the reputation of the profession by setting standards and ensuring good practice. This would be housed near the Inns of Court. By 1825 the term 'London' was dropped from the title to reflect the Institution's national aspirations.

The Society was founded on 2 June 1825, when a committee of management was appointed. The Society acquired its first royal charter in 1831, and opened a new building in Chancery Lane, in 1832. A new Charter in 1845 defined the Society as an independent, private body servicing the affairs of the profession like other professional, literary and scientific bodies.

The organization became known colloquially as the Law Society although its first formal title was 'The Society of Attorneys, Solicitors, Proctors and others not being Barristers, practicing in the Courts of Law and Equity of the United Kingdom'. In 1903 the Society changed its official name to 'The Law Society'.

Women were first admitted as solicitors in 1922 and today account for over half the admissions to the profession.

Over the years, the ruling Council of elected office holders and members has grown in size. Seats have been created to reflect the composition and interests of the members. Originally 25, today there are 105 Council members.

By Paul Green

A. Sanderson & Sons, Ltd.

In 1860 Arthur Sanderson establishes himself in Islington, London, as an importer of French wallpapers. Merchandise features expensive, luxurious wallpapers, such as the panoramic and imitation-leather papers manufactured by Paul Balin of Paris, for whom Sanderson is the sole agent in England. Two years later Arthur moves the company to Soho Square, the company company is soon becoming known as one of the largest dealers in foreign goods in England.

1865 sees Sanderson moving to nearby 52 Berners Street. The firm continues to lease and develop showroom space along the street, remaining there until 1992. Sets of wallpaper for use below dado rail, as filling above it, with a frieze at the top become one of the eras key decorating aesthetics.

During 1879 Sanderson acquires land at Chiswick and builds a wallpaper factory, thireteen years later its significantly enlarged in height to four stories.

1881: Three of Arthur Sanderson’s sons – John, Arthur Bengough and Harold – are involved in the business, now named Arthur Sanderson & Sons.

1886 Japanese papers begin to be imported; within a few years papers are also being imported from Germany. The building boom in Britain greatly increases the demand for affordable wallpapers.

By 1895 Sanderson has the largest wallpaper show room in the country.

1899 sees Sanderson’s Chiswick factory join the Wall Paper Manufacturers Ltd (WPM), a joint stock combination intended to achieve a monopoly on wallpaper production. The WPM soon controls 98 per cent of the trade. By this period Sanderson is exporting to the British colonies and the USA.

1900: A. Sanderson & Sons becomes a limited company.

1915: John Sanderson dies.

1924: Arthur Bengough Sanderson becomes the holder of a Royal Warrant as Purveyor of Wallpapers and Paints to King George V. This is said to be the first Warrant granted for the supply of these products.

1930: A new wallpaper factory is completed at Perivale. On a site covering eighty acres and with extensive facilities for sporting and social events, it is said to be the finest in the world and remains in company hands until 1973.

1951: Sanderson products appear in the Festival of Britain on London’s South Bank, where the Royal Festival Hall is decorated exclusively with the company’s papers. Imported textiles are introduced; among the fabrics are those with designs by Picasso and Gio Ponti. Royal Warrants are granted to the firm in 1951 and 1955.

1985: The company celebrates its 125th anniversary with a revamped showroom and an exhibition. WestPoint Pepperell, Inc. of Georgia, USA, purchases Sanderson from Reed International.

1989: WestPoint Pepperell is aggressively acquired by Farley Industries: in the following year Sanderson is sold to the largest textile manufacturer in the Netherlands, Gamma Holdings NV.

The company establishes the Sanderson Gallery, a collection of home accessories, gifts, decorative products, travel goods, china and toys.

2000: In August, Sanderson’s new headquarters are established in Denham; seven months later, in March 2001, there is a management buyout.

2003: In August, Sanderson goes into receivership; three weeks later it is purchased by Walker Greenbank Plc.

2004: Walker Greenbank invests heavily in product development and almost two years’ worth of collections are launched in the second half of that year, culminating in the return of new Options collections in January 2005.

2010: In March Sanderson celebrates its 150th anniversary with a special collection of fabrics and wallpapers inspired by its archive, a three month-long exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London and a coffee table book written by Mary Schoeser and published by Thames & Hudson.

Sanderson is the oldest surviving English brand name in its field.

By Paul Green

Bevington & Morris

From The London Gazette, 4 January, 1924

NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us, the undersigned, Frederic Holl Morris, Herbert Shelley Bevington, and Reginald Herbert Shelley Bevington, carrying on business as Leather and Fur Merchants, at 28, Cannon-street, in the city of London, under the style or firm of BEVINGTON MORRIS, has been dissolved, by mutual consent, as from the thirty-first day of December, 1922. All debts due and owing to or by 'the said late firm will be received or paid by the said Herbert Shelley Bevington, and such business will be carried on in the future by the said Herbert Shelley Bevington in conjunction with Reginald Herbert Shelley Bevington under the style of Bevington and Morris—As witness our hands this 1st day of January, 1924.


By Paul Green