• Cooper at Chesham & Brackley Brewery in the 1950s

    a biography of Barry Wilkins

    Barry grew up in Penn Street, where his father, John Henry Wilkins, was an upholsterer. In 1952, at the age of 15, he was ready to leave Holmer Green School. A neighbour, who was architect at Chesham & Brackley Brewery, told him that there was a cooper’s apprenticeship available there. The family had connections to […]

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  • Boyhood in Chesham and Howard Brothers woodware factory

    a biography of Joe Baker, born 1933.

    Joe was brought up in George Street and attended Newtown Infants School, then White Hill Junior Boys, lastly Germain Street. While at Germain Street he remembers collecting rosehips. These were used to make rosehip syrup, an important source of Vitamin C, in the school’s kitchens. Here they cooked the meals for all the Chesham schools. […]

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  • Edith ‘Edie’ Hailey (née Bates)

    Edie Hailey

    Edie was born in Berkhampstead Road. She moved into the house next door when she married and still lives there to this day. She went to work at Shillakers handbag factory when she was 14 years old. It was just around the corner from her house, in Alma Road. She spent most of her working […]

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  • The Broad family in brush making

    a biography of Alex Broad

    W.L.Broad, “Lawson”, followed his father into the Brush Trade. Alfred Carter Broad, “AC”, born 1851 in Diss, Norfolk, apprenticed into brushmaking, in London. After meeting and marring in 1876, Martha, nee Osbourn, of Eye, they set up home above his fathers hard ware shop in Bury St Edmunds, making brushware for local farmers. Not finding […]

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  • The factory

    Kathleen Flory

    Father (Albert Ewart Webb) was a partner in the long-established brush factory with his cousin Harry (Henry George). Senior partner was Harry’s father George. George, and Albert’s father William, were sons of Robert Webb, who founded the brush factory in 1829. [*see ‘Chesham at Work in the 20th Century’ for more information]. What better wonderland […]

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