History of the business: Key facts, indentures and premises timeline
In 1816, John Holman (JH) bought an existing business in Broad Street from Rebecca Hunns, the widow of millwright John Hunns who died in December 1815 aged 41 who had previously owned the business. An announcement ran in the Kentish Chronicle of 23 January.
There is no record as to where the money came from to buy the business. It is thought that his uncle, Captain John Holman, whose will is dated 1816, may have given him the money as a legacy to start a business. John paid rates on the premises in Broad Street until 1821 and by 1824 he had moved to Dover Lane – later renamed Dover Street c.1860.
In 1822, his Freedom of the City of Canterbury enabled him to go about his business without restriction. It could only be inherited by birth, acquired by servitude (apprenticeship), bestowed as a gift or reward by the Aldermen, given through marriage with a freeman’s daughter, or purchased from the Corporation.
Very few records exist of the activities undertaken during the first years of the firm’s existence. It is assumed that they were mostly in connection with millwrighting, wheelwrighting, building carts and wagons and allied activities.
The first record of a bank account in the name of John Holman was with Hammond, Plumptree, Furley, Hilton and Furley in 1850. In 1854, John’s son, John James (JJH), joined the firm and was soon followed by his brother, Thomas Richard (TRH). Shortly after, JH, transferred the account balance of £178.5s.0d into the new account John Holman & Sons. This was initially set up the names of JJH and TRH, a good indication of the date they were both considered part of the business. By 1855, the firm’s letter heading stated that they were ‘…Engineers, Millwrights and Wheelwrights’.
After JH’s death in 1855, his sons carried on the business until JJH’s death in 1865. His widow, Catherine, owned half the business with TRH under the name ‘Holman of Canterbury’, until their partnership was dissolved on 1 January 1869. Soon after, in order to expand the business into areas other than millwrighting, and also one assumes, to inject some money into the business, TRH entered into partnership with a Canterbury engineer, Albert Collard under the firm of ‘Holman and Collard, Engineers, Millwrights, Wheelwrights, &c.’This lasted until 1885 when TRH terminated the collaboration. John Foat Cozens, a Canterbury valuer, was appointed to make up the books. He collected all debts and paid off creditors. Albert Collard was paid his share of the business over the next three years. The business then carried on with TRH and his sons Harry Branford (HBH) and William John (WJH) at the helm, having been apprenticed to the firm in the early 1880s.
In 1897, after TRH’s death, control of the business was assumed by a partnership of HBH and WJH. The character of the firm was gradually changing as wind power was being replaced by engine power and the emphasis changed towards the supply and maintenance of agricultural machinery. The firm carried on under the name Holman Bros., Engineers, Millwrights…
1920 saw HBH’s son, Frank, join the firm aged 17 and in 1931, Thomas Richard (Tom) joined the firm having served an apprenticeship with Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln building horizontal and vertical crude oil engines. WJH’s son John Angell (Jack) joined the firm for a year in 1937 before being called up for the war. He returned afterwards for three years before leaving again, but continued to have a holding interest in the business.
On 21 November 1949, Holman Bros. was sold to a Company formed for this purpose named Holman Bros., (Canterbury) Ltd. with registered offices at 12 Dover Street. It started trading under the new name on 1 January 1950. The Management remained unchanged. The bracketed Canterbury was to distinguish the firm from the Holman Bros. in Cambourne, Cornwall who were also engineers, but were involved with mining equipment. Even with this in the address both firms frequently had to forward wrongly-delivered mail.
On 5 December 1968 Holman Bros., (Canterbury) Ltd. went into liquidation because Frank and Jack had decided to retire from the business. Half of the Company was owned by Jack, and the other half split equally between Frank and Tom. In order to pay their share, and for Tom to carry on, the Dover Street premises were sold and the business moved to the Old Dover Road site.
The firm closed down in 1975 when the City Council compulsorily purchased the Old Dover Road yard to build the approach to a new car park. Tom felt that, at his age, he could not move the business elsewhere. The site was sold to the Council at a modest price because they determined it could not be used for residential development. The final auction sale of fixtures, fittings and stock took place on the 3 April 1975, marking the end of over 150 years of continuous trading. The planned car park scheme never materialised, and the Council eventually sold the site to developers who built the present Holman’s Mews apartment complex.
During their 159 years, Holmans went by seven names. Examples of business cards show their evolution:
- 1816-1854 – Holman of Canterbury
- 1854-1855 – John Holman and Sons
- 1855-1869 – Messrs. Holman of Canterbury or J.J. and T.R. Holman of Canterbury
- 1869-1885 – Holman and Collard
- 1885-1897 – T.R. Holman
- 1897-1949 – Holman Bros.
- 1949-1968 – Holman Bros., (Canterbury) Ltd.
On 1 January 1869, the partnership between T.R. Holman and his sister-in-law Catherine Holman was dissolved and the former entered in to partnership with Albert Collard on 27 May 1869.
This indenture is made in 1869 between Thomas Richard Holman of the City of Canterbury, engineer and millwright of the first part Albert Collard of the same City, engineer of the second part and Catherine Holman of the same City, widow of the third part. Whereas the said Catherine Holman and T R Holman carried on business in partnership as engineers and millwrights at the City of Canterbury for some time previously and up to the first day of January last when the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent. And on taking the accounts there was found due to ye said Catherine Holman from the said T R Holman the sum of £1100 which is still owing and whereas the said T R Holman and Albert Collard have agreed to carry on the said business in partnership upon and subject to the terms conditions and stipulations hereinafter contained, and the said Catherine Holman has agreed to receive forthwith £400 part of the said sum of £1100 so owing to her as aforesaid and to allow the balance to remain in the business for the term hereinafter provided.
The Holman/Collard partnership was dissolved in 1885. John Foat Cozens, a Canterbury valuer, was appointed to make up the books. He collected all debts and paid off creditors. Albert Collard was paid his share of the business over the next three years. Thomas Richard became sole owner on 30th June. The indentures are summarized below.
1st June 1885
Agreement made between Thomas Richard Holman of the City of Canterbury Engineer and Millwright of the one part and Albert Collard of the same City Engineer and Millwright of the other part.
Whereas the said parties hereto have for some years past carried on business in partnership and the said Richard Holman has given to the said Albert Collard Notice terminating the Partnership in pursuance of the Articles of Partnership entered into between them. And whereas in order to facilitate the winding up of the partnership the parties hereto have mutually agreed as follows.
1. That John Foat Cozens of Canterbury Valuer shall make up the books and accounts of the Partnership to a date to be determined by him.
2. That all books of account and documents relating to the partnership shall be placed in his hands for this purpose.
3. That he shall also value the Partnership property and effects both real and personal except the machinery and report upon the debts and assets of the partnership.
4. That each of the parties hereto shall render the said John Foat Cozens every aid in his power in carrying out the duties conferred upon him by these present.
5. That the parties hereto shall bear and pay all the costs and expenses of the investigation reporting and valuing of the partnership affairs and effects in equal proportion.
As witness the hands of the said parties hereto this first day of June One Thousand eight hundred and eighty five.
Thomas Richard Holman
Witness John. F. Cozens
To Mr. John Foat Cozens
We authorise and request you to collect all debts due to the late firm of Holman and Collard and to distribute the same amongst the creditors of the late firm in accordance with an agreement entered into between us and which agreement bears even date herewith dated this 2nd day of November 1885.
An agreement made this second day of November one thousand eight hundred and eighty five between Thomas Richard Holman of the City of Canterbury Engineer and Millwright of the one part and Albert Collard of the same City Engineer of the other part.
[…] an indenture dated the twenty seventh day of May One thousand eight hundred and sixty nine and made between the said Thomas Richard Holman of the first part the said Albert Collard of the second part and Catherine Holman widow of the third part the said Thomas Richard Holman and Albert Collard entered into a partnership together as engineers and millwrights and whereas the said Thomas Richard Holman and Albert Collard have mutually agreed to dissolve such partnership […]
Now these presents witness that the said Thomas Richard Holman and Albert Collard do hereby agree as follows that is to say:
1. […] partnership existing between the said Thomas Richard Holman and Albert Collard shall cease […] as from the thirtieth day of June last […] dissolution of the said partnership which notice shall be advertised as well in the London Gazette as also in one of the local papers.
2. […] the thirtieth day of June last all the partnership property and effects and all book debts due and owing to the partnership shall belong to and be the property of the said Thomas Richard Holman […]
3. […] Albert Collard shall at the expense of the said Thomas Richard Holman execute all such transfers and assignments as may be necessary for more completely vesting his share in the partnership property assets and effects […].
4. […] Albert Collard shall from the day of the date hereof cease to enter upon the business premises of the said Thomas Richard Holman but shall not be precluded from setting up in business on his own account as an engineer or millwright or in any other business in the City of Canterbury or elsewhere.
5. […] Thomas Richard Holman shall pay to the said Albert Collard or such persons as he shall appoint the sum of one hundred pounds (part payment of the said sum of one thousand one hundred pounds) […].
6. […] Thomas Richard Holman shall pay to the said Albert Collard or such persons as he shall appoint the annual sum of ninety five pounds for three years and no longer quarterly payments on the thirtieth day of September, the thirtieth day of December, the thirtieth day of March and the thirtieth day of June in each year the first payment to be deemed to be made as on the thirtieth day of September One thousand eight hundred and eighty five. […].
7. That at the expiration of three years calculated from the 30th day of September last the one thousand pounds shall be paid by annual instalments of three hundred and thirty three pounds six shillings and eight pence so that the whole sum shall be repaid at the expiration of a period of three years from that date.
8. […] Thomas Richard Holman shall pay interest at the rate of five pounds per cent per annum calculated as from the thirtieth day of September one thousand eight hundred and eighty eight upon the said sum of one thousand pounds or so much thereof […].
9. […] Thomas Richard Holman shall not be precluded from paying any sum or sums of money from time to time on account of the said sum of one thousand pounds provided that such amount shall not be less than one hundred pounds at any time and in the event of any such payment being made at any time within the first three years he shall be allowed to deduct from the ninety five pounds five pounds per cent interest on the amount so repaid by him such five pounds per cent to be calculated as from the date of payment.
10. […] Thomas Richard Holman and Albert Collard shall as from the day of the date hereof cease to collect the book debts owing to the firm but the collection of such book debts shall be placed in the hands of Mr John Foat Cozens […].
11. […] John Foat Cozens shall pay all book debts and other monies collected by him on account of the partnership into a separate account at Messrs. Hammond & Co’s bank […].
12. […] John Foat Cozens shall take such steps as may be necessary from time to time for getting in the debts due to the said partnership […].
13. […] Albert Collard shall not be liable for any debts claims or demands now due and owing from the partnership in respect of any contracts entered into by the partnership.
14. […] Thomas Richard Holman shall and he hereby does indemnify the said Albert Collard from all partnership debts liabilities contracts losses charges and expenses and from all actions claims and demands hereafter to be brought made or sustained against the partners or either of them for or on account of or incidental to the partnership business. […].
15. […] Thomas Richard Holman and Albert Collard do hereby mutually release each other from any claims or obligations cast upon them by the articles of partnership hereinbefore referred to save and except in so far as the several stipulations and agreements herein are concerned.
As witness the hands of the said parties
Thos R Holman
Witness by Walter Furley
Indenture dated 20 June 1902 between Mary Elizabeth Wilson of The Beeches, Old Dover Road, and the Holman Brothers to lease the aforementioned property and all outbuildings from the former.
This indenture made the twentieth day of June one thousand nine hundred and two between Mary Elizabeth Wilson of ‘The Beeches’ Old Dover Road […] (hereinafter called ‘the lessor’) […] and Harry Branford Holman and William John Holman of Dover Street […] (hereinafter called ‘the lessees’) […].
[…] The lessor hereby demises unto the lessees all that piece of land together with all buildings workshops and erections whatsoever thereon situate on the South West side of Old Dover Road in the Parish of Saint Mary Bredin in the City of Canterbury […]. To hold the same unto the lessees for the term of twenty one years from the sixth day of July one thousand nine hundred and […] paying […] the clear yearly rent of fifty pounds by equal quarterly payments […].
[…] will […] take due and proper care of all the buildings and erections on the land […] and keep the same in good condition and complete repair (damage by fire excepted) and […] will paint the inside of the skylight and the external woodwork (including the entrance gate) with two coats of good oil colour in the first year and in every subsequent third year […]. And will not make any structural alterations in the said buildings or erections except with the previous consent in writing of the lessor. And […] at the expiration or sooner determination of this demise yield up the said buildings and erections together with the land […].
[…] will not erect any buildings sheds or other structures on the […] premises which shall be of a greater height than the walls net the adjoining property of the lessor […] without her consent […].
[…] will not use on the […] premises […] any machinery worked by steam but will use the […] premises for hand machinery only or as an engine and machinery store.
[…] will […] limit the traction engine traffic required for the purposes of their […] business […] as to cause as little annoyance and disturbance as possible […].
[…] the lessor or the lessees may at the end of the seventh or fourteenth years […] determine the […] giving to the others or other […] six calendar months previous notice […].
[…] the lessees may […] take down and remove […] any buildings structures or erections which may hereafter be erected […] but no such building or erection shall be taken down or removed until notice […] shall have been given to the lessor and she shall […] declare her desire to purchase such building structure or erection […].
[…] lessor […] covenants with the lessees that in case the said buildings […] shall be damaged or destroyed by fire […] the lessor will within four calendar months […] rebuild or reinstate […] the said buildings so damaged or destroyed so as to make them fit for use […].
And it is hereby declared that where the context allows the expressions ‘the lessor’ and ‘the lessees’ used in these presents shall include besides the said Mary Elizabeth Wilson her heirs executors administrators and assigns and besides the said William John Holman and Harry Branford Holman their executors administrators and assigns are witness whereof the said parties to these presents have herewith set their hands and seals the day and year first above written
Signed sealed and delivered by the above named Mary Elizabeth Wilson in the presence of F L Thomas, Cromwell House, Oldham, Lancashire.
Signed by M E Wilson
On 21 November 1949, Holman Bros. was sold to a Company formed for this purpose named Holman Bros., (Canterbury) Ltd. with registered offices at 12 Dover Street.
The objects for which the Company was established were:-
To acquire and take over as a going concern the business of Engineers carried on by Holman Bros at Dover Street, Canterbury and all or any of the assets and liabilities thereof and for that purpose to enter into and carry into effect with such modifications whether before or after execution as may be agreed upon an Agreement with Holman Bros in the terms of the draft Agreement which for the purpose of identification has been subscribed by H B Holman, W J Holman, J A Holman, F Holman and T R Holman.
To carry on business as manufacturers of and wholesale and retail dealers in agricultural machinery of every description, including binding, threshing, reaping and mowing machines, ploughs, tractors and power driven or mechanically propelled and other engines, vehicles and equipment, implements and machinery of all kinds for use in agriculture and land cultivation and in accessories, fittings, spare parts and components for all such engines, vehicles and machinery.
To carry on business as motor, mechanical, electrical, marine, aeronautical, gas, mechanical and general engineers and contractors, iron, brass and steel founders and blacksmiths, wheel and millwrights, wood, timber, metal and alloy merchants and workers, oil and petrol and accessories merchants and dealers, garage, wharf, dock and warehouse proprietors, hirers out of vehicles and machinery of every kind and carriers of goods and passengers by land, water or air, agricultural contractors and suppliers of labour, material and equipment for use in land cultivation generally.
Over the years, Holmans expanded their property portfolio by purchasing dwellings, land, and constructing workshops. The following information, taken from Geoff’s notes, gives an overview of the expansions and work undertaken over the years.
1816 – Broad Street business purchased.
A previous business on Broad Street was purchased from Widow Hunn. The location of this property is not known.
c.1821 – Moved to Dover Lane premises.
No. 12 at the end of a row of cottages was used as an implement showroom with a store over it. Extending behind it on two floors was office accommodation. A yard extended back to where JH had a workshop and a forge.
1861 – 13 and 14 Dover Street cottages.
Phoenix Assurance Co. Fire Assurance dated 24 June 1861 states that £300 was taken out on two private dwellings on Dover Street [identified as Nos 13 and 14] in the tenure of [Ethelbert] T. Kemp and [Thomas] Bax.
1863 – Upper Yard Dover Street store.
Phoenix Assurance Co. Fire Assurance dated 25 March 1863:
£150 on a building used as a store, brick timber & tiled in tenure of themselves, situate in Upper Yard Dover Street Canterbury. £250 on stock & utensils in trade, & finished, unfinished work in said store & in the yard belonging where workmen are occasionally employed subject to the conditions of coverage annexed.
1877 – Dover Street premises.
The firm had the following premises:
A dwelling house in Dover Street; An implement show room with store loft over and office in rear with frontage to 12 (13) Dover Street; Yard with large two storied workshops consisting of machine shop, wheelwrights’ shop, blacksmith’s shop with forges, engine house with brick shaft the upper story forming a large millwrights and pattern makers shop; Forming shop at side yard next the Nag’s Head with pattern loft over; Two cottages [13 and 14] in Dover Street with small yards and gardens in the rear (let to weekly tenants); Small timber yard with range of drying sheds with gateway entrance [between 15 and 16] from Dover Street.
With the advent of the Factory and Workshop Act 1878, the firm took due care to abide by its rules:
For the purpose of securing the observance of the requirements of the Act as to cleanliness in every factory, all the inside walls of the rooms of a factory, and all the ceilings or tops of such rooms (whether such walls, ceilings, or tops be plastered or not), and all the passages and staircases of a factory, if they have not been painted with oil or varnished once at least within seven years, are to be limewashed once at least within every fourteen months, to date from the period when last limewashed; and if they have been so painted or varnished, are to be washed with hot water and soap once at least within every fourteen months, to date from the period when last washed.
Records show that this requirement was undertaken ‘by our own men’. During 1879-1896 the Lathe Shop, Boiler House, large workshop, Smiths Shop, and Turners Shop were limewashed.
1885 – Sawmill constructed.
A new sawmill building was constructed with additional space for machines. An 8hp horizontal engine was installed to drive a layshaft which in turn powered a band saw, grindstone, circular saws, soke machine, lathes including one for screw cutting, a lawn mower grinding machine, and machines for planing, shearing, shaping, drilling, boring and spoke tongueing. Also there were cylinder boring and valve planing machines and plate bending gear.
1885-1890 – T.R. Holman adds to premises and plant.
c.1891 – Vernon Place.
Thomas Richard Holman was living at 9 Vernon Place renting at £35.0s.0d and, according to notes, Holmans paid £3.3s.0d [pcm] rent on a shop along the same street.
1902 – Leased Old Dover Road Yard.
The business was expanded again by renting the Old Dover Road yard behind The Beeches from Mary Elizabeth Wilson.
1911 – Old Dover Road Yard.
The census states that behind 85 Old Dover Road, inhabited by Miss Wilson, is an ‘Engineers store’ occupying two buildings.
1916 – The Elms.
Holmans lease a property, 8 Old Dover Road, known as The Elms, from Mrs Agnes Charlotte Hughes D’Aeth on 29 September 1916. Presumably this was used for staff accommodation. They also purchase 2 York Road, thought to be rented to employees.
1918 – The Elms.
Insurance policy dated 18 January 1918:
£4000 on the building only of the private dwelling house brick built and tiled or slated situate and known as ‘The Elms’ Old Dover Road Canterbury.
£500 on the building only of stable loose box coachhouse and harness room all adjoining with loft and man’s room over brick built and tiled near.
£25 on the building only of toolhouse and WC adjoining brick and timber built and tiled or slated near.
Amended 1.11.19 to say interest in policy now vested in HBH and WJH of Dover St as Owners and William Burniston as mortgagee
1920-1921 – Dover Street insurance.
Kent Fire Insurance Co. 16.6.20-midsummer 1921.
To HBH & WJH of Dover St & S H Barnwell as mortgagee.
£1000 on the building brick and lath and plaster built and slated and skylighted situate No 12 Dover Street Canterbury aforesaid occupied by the Insured as Engineers and Millwrights showrooms, offices, store for rubber belting asbestos and metal fittings containing 5 cwt [centum weight] of cotton waste, wood and metal patterns, 120 gallons each of lard, whale, gas, engine and cylinder oil and 40 gallons of paraffin.
Said building is heated by low pressure hot water apparatus securely fixed and lighted by incandescent electric light and gas securely arranged.
1922 – The Elms.
An indenture dated 22 February 1922 was made between HBH and WJH and Hetty Claudine Lucy Byng Fellows to let The Elms for £125 per year.
1923 – Old Dover Road Yard.
An insurance policy, dated 8 June 1922 – 24 June 1923, lists a saw pit in Old Dover Road Yard.
1925 – Purchase of Old Dover Road Yard.
The Old Dover Road yard was purchased from the late Miss Wilson’s estate. A letter, dated 28 October 1925, from Holmans to Miss Wilson’s solicitors records the buildings present in the yard:
We have received catalogue of sale of the late Miss Wilson’s property, for which we thank you.
For your guidance we will take this early opportunity of pointing out to you that the following are claimed as our property having been erected by us.
‘In the brick building’ the ranges of platforms and shelves on which our patterns are stored.
‘In the yard’ the large timber and iron roofed shed in the centre used for storage of timber and the crane adjoining.
The timber and iron roofed lean-to shed measuring about 40ft x 6ft reaching from brick building to saw pit lodge.
The timber and iron roofed lean-to shed at the top end of the yard.
The timber and iron roofed shed measuring about 40ft x 12ft along the wall next the entrance gates.
At the time we rented the yard the large building was absolutely empty and the only buildings in the yard were the red painted lodge and the lean-to over the saw pit. These are still there.
We have the late Miss Wilson’s permission to take away any erection at the conclusion of our tenancy.
We think the above information will make the position quite clear.
Included in an Amos & Dawton auction catalogue for sale on 4 November 1925:
Lot Nineteen (adjoining Lots 1, 17 and 18) [Lot 1 was The Beeches, Old Dover Road] (withdrawn at £2600). Lot 17 was ‘Marden’ No 102 Old Dover Road (withdrawn at £540). Lot 18 was ‘York House’ No 103 Old Dover Road (Sold for £680).
A large yard with entrance from Old Dover Road, opposite Vernon Place, and possessing some excellent buildings including a substantial brick-built and slated double-span roof structure with concrete floor, measuring about 62ft x 47ft with addition about 18ft 6ins x 12ft, having a store or workshop over a large portion at the rear. Large timber and iron-roofed shed and timber-built lean-to ditto. The rest of the buildings are claimed by the tenants. Company’s water is laid on. Total area about 15,000 feet super with 27ft frontage to Old Dover Road.
Let to Messrs. Holman Bros. at £50 per annum. Tenant paying rates. [Pencil note added – “£1500 HBH” assume this is price paid].
Lot twenty-two No 98 Old Dover Road. A brick, cement and tiled-roof villa containing on the second floor – two bedrooms with fireplaces. On the first floor – front bedroom with bay window and fireplace. Back bedroom with fireplace. Bathroom and separate WC. On the ground floor – entrance porch, passage, front sitting room with bay window and tiled register grate, folding doors to back sitting room with register grate and French window to garden. Combined kitchen and scullery with fireplace, dresser, sink and copper. WC. Large cellar with concrete floor. Small garden. Gas and water laid on. Frontage to Old Dover Road about 15ft 6ins.
Let to Mr. W J Holman on a yearly tenancy, at £25 per annum. Tenant paying rates.
[Pencil note – ‘£450 HBH’ – assumed bought by him].
Catalogue notes state ‘lots 16 &19 shall not nor shall either of them or any building now or hereafter to be erected thereon be used for any noisy, noxious, or offensive trade manufacture or purpose whatsoever or in any other manner which may at any time hereafter be or become an annoyance to the adjoining owners of the neighbourhood.’
1926 – Old Dover Road insurance.
Alliance Assurance Co. Ltd fire insurance policy 29.9.26 – 29.9.27
The insured Holman Bros. as mortgagers
Messrs Walter Furley as mortgagees
£1000 on the building, brick built and slated and skylighted, situate in Old Dover Road, aforesaid occupied by the first named Insured as lock-up store for agricultural machinery and implements and as garage for their private cars, and lettered A on a plan of the premises lodged with the Company.
It is hereby declared and agreed that no trade work be done, no petrol (other than that contained in the reservoirs of the cars) paint, oil, varnish, chemical manures or cereals be kept and no artificial light or heat be used in the aforesaid building.
1931 – Sale of The Elms. Sold for £2250.
Letter from Furley and Page to Holman Bros., dated 20 May 1931.
Sale to East Kent Club.
The Club Committee quite understand that in purchasing White Elms they are not to object to your engineering business as now carried on but they raise the question as to what the position will be if you extend your machinery to such an extent in the future that it becomes an ‘unbearable’ nuisance. Can you reassure them at all in this respect.
1935 – Manorial Tenancy on Dover Street.
The following section transcribed from an indenture of unconfirmed origin shows that Dover Street was part of the Manor of Barton and that Holmans, as tenants of the Lord of the Manor, paid rents on the buildings they owned:
Manor of Barton otherwise Longport
We hereby acknowledge to have received on behalf of John Alexander Stevenson Millar M.V.O. John Sidney Lawrence Millar and Magdalene Russell as Trustees of the late Major General J C Russell, Lords of this Manor from Messrs Henry Branford Homan and William John Holman of Dover Street in the City of Canterbury the sum of fourteen shillings and four pence being the agreed amount payable in redemption of the quit rents of four pence charged upon the premises described in the schedule hereto including reliefs and the stewards’ compensation payable in respect thereof and we hereby undertake on behalf of the trustees that the trustees will if required by and at the cost and expense of the said HBH and WJH enter into a compensation agreement for the extinguishment of the said quit rents etc.
Dated this 2nd day of December 1935
The schedule referred to:
No 43 Rent 1d.
A messuage and shop in Dover Lane situate in the Parish of Saint George the Martyr in the City of Canterbury within the jurisdiction of this Manor formerly the estate of Thomas Richard Holman.
No 44 Rent 1d
Two messuages in Dover Lane in the City of Canterbury as aforesaid formerly the estate of TRH.
No 45 Rent 1d
Two messuages in Dover Lane in the City of Canterbury aforesaid formerly the estate of TRH.
No 46 Rent 1d
Ten perches of land in Dover Lane in the City of Canterbury as aforesaid formerly the estate of TRH.
Cooper & Wacher
Stewards of the said Manor
1936 – Old Dover Road insurance.
County Fire Office Ltd.
Fire insurance policy 26.10.1936 – 25.12.1937
1. Fixtures and fittings and stock in trade as aforesaid, including agricultural implements (but exclusive of traction engines and threshing machines) vehicles (exclusive of motors) tools and utensils (exclusive of patterns and models) the insured’s own or in trust for which they are responsible, in their workshop and stores all communicating, brick and slate, situate detached in Old Dover Road, Canterbury aforesaid, and lettered A in office plan of the premises. No artificial heat or light used and no reserve stock of petrol kept therein – £2250 Addition dated 29.9.42 machinery, including electro motors, lathes and drilling machines £500
2. Patterns and models, the property of the insured therein £187.10.0
3. A motor car the property of the insured therein £187.10.0
4. Trade motor cars the property of the insured therein ££450
5. Building of a large timber shed, timber and iron, detached near, used as store. No artificial light or heat used therein £250
6. Stock of sawn and unsawn timber therein £100
7. Stock and utensils in the building, timber and felt, lettered C on said plan and used as store (hand power only used therein) £500
8. Building of lodge, timber and iron on opposite side of yard and lettered D on said plan, used as store £50
9. Stock, tools and utensils in trade as aforesaid, the property of the insured therein £75
10. Building of a lean-to shed, timber and iron, adjoining last mentioned lodge and lettered E on said plan (no artificial light or heat used therein) £75
11. Stock, tools and utensils in trade as aforesaid and on implements and vehicles (exclusive of traction engine, threshing tackle and motors) therein £100
12. Hand crane fixed in yard £37.10.0
13. Stock of timber, the property of the insured, in open yard adjoining above mentioned buildings. Subject to the condition of average aftermentioned £75
14. Stock in trade (exclusive of timber) agricultural implements, vehicles (exclusive of traction engines, threshing tackle and motor) tools and utensils in trade as aforesaid, the insured’s own or in trust for which they are responsible in said yard or in buildings lettered C, D & E on plan. Subject separately but similarly to the said condition of average £1,500
NB No one pattern or model in case of loss or damage to be deemed of greater value than £5
Warranted that no motor cars be repaired for trade purposes on the above premises
1941 – Properties owned.
2 York Road; 40 Old Dover Road; Store; 13/16 Dover Street; Factory Dover Sreet; Park Meadow Old Dover Road.
1941-1942 – Dover Street renovations.
Various works were undertaken to Nos. 13 and 14 Dover Street during December ’41 and May ‘42 – the street numbers had increased by 1 by this time – including a lavatory being installed for the female staff in the office, and the following:
13 Dover Street [Office]
[…] Remove chimney stack and chimney breast.
Remove old back door and bricking up opening inserting window in upper half. Cutting opening through wall from store to old kitchen making door.
14 Dover Street
Repairs to sash widows and folding shutters. New step and riser to cellar stairs.
Cleaning down and redecorating whole of house attic, 2 bedrooms, 2 ground floor rooms, staircase – two floors, scullery, lavatory, cleaning out cellar
1943 – Dover Street insurance.
An assurance policy highlights the buildings and machinery used by Holmans at that time:
Plan ref 1. Offices showrooms warehouse and lavatories, part brick and part lath and plaster built and roofed with tiles and small part lead, situate nos 12 & 13 Dover Street – value £2500 building and £4000 machinery
Plan 1a. Range of three cottages brick built and tiled situate nos 14, 15, and 16 Dover Street – value £1350 buildings
Plan ref 2. Engineers workshop and forge (containing various electrically driven metal working machines, securely fixed forge and portable oxy-acetylene welding plant) brick built and roofed with corrugated asbestos – value £400 for building, £600 machinery.
Plan ref 3. Store for threshing tackle, paints, boiled oils, rope, iron goods, coal, agricultural implements, timber and spare parts, brick and weatherboard built and roofed with tiles and corrugated asbestos – value £750 building, £3500 machinery.
Plan ref 5. Open fronted lean-to store (containing not more than 250 gallons of lubricating oil in sealed metal drums) roofed with corrugated iron on metal frame – value £30, machinery £300
Plan ref 6. Store for spare parts timber built and roofed with timber and felt – value £50 machinery £100
Plan ref A. Engineering workshop (containing various metal working machines, an air compressor and a wood planing machine, all driven by electro motors, various fitters benches and a Tangye fire stove) stores and pattern makers workshop (containing a double carpenters bench and a band saw, a circular saw and a woodworking lathe all driven by electro motors) brickbuilt and roofed with slates and glass situate Old Dover Road – value £2500 machinery £4100
Plan ref B. Lean to shed occupied as store, brick built and roofed with timber and corrugated iron – value £25 machinery £200
Plan ref C. Store brick built and roofed with timber and ruberoid – value £150 machinery £1200
Plan ref D. Store used partly for timber, brick built and roofed with corrugated iron – value £400 machinery £1200
Plan ref E & F. 2 Stores brick built and roofed with timber and iron – value £100 machinery £150
Plan ref G. Store brick built and roofed with timber and iron – value £20 machinery £30
Petrol pump – £75
Hand crane – £80
Private dwelling house, brick, stone or concrete built and roofed with slates, tiles or metal, situate no 40 Old Dover Road – £900
1944-1945 – Fire Insurance for Dover Street.
A letter from Holmans asking for fire insurance cover against normal fire risks on the Dover Street buildings, dated 31 March 1944:
New building at Dover Street in use as blacksmiths shop brick built with asbestos cement roof on steel principals and wood purlins – £350.0.0
Contents of above i.e. machinery, shafting, belting, gearing, electric motors and all apparatus connected therewith, trade fixtures, fittings, loose tools, benches, forges – £600.0.0
New building at Dover Street in use as store brick built and glazed with asbestos cement roof on wood principals – £350.0.0
Contents of same i.e. stock and utensils in trade including binder twine, binder and mower fittings agricultural machinery and spare parts etc. – £1500.0.0
Goods held in trust in above two buildings – £100.0.0
The Fire Insurance Policy was granted for the period 31 March 1944 – 29 September 1945:
The following buildings, all brick built and roofed with tiles, slates or metal unless otherwise stated, the numbers referring to a plan, lodged with this company, of the Insured’s premises situate Dover Street, Canterbury, Kent –
1. The engineering workshop and forge, one storey in height and roofed with corrugated asbestos, containing various metal working machines driven by electro motors and a securely fixed forge, marked no.2 on plan. – £350
2. The stores for threshing tackle, paints, boiled oils, rope, iron goods, coal, agricultural implements, and spare parts, one storey and loft in height, part weatherboard built and part roofed with corrugated iron, containing one bench for hand metal work, marked no.3 on plan – £750
3. The rack for bar iron, marked no. 4 on plan – £nil
4. The two private dwelling houses and domestic offices communicating with each, part timber built, situate nos 13 and 14 Dover Street aforesaid, in equal proportions, occupied by the insured as stores for stock and utensils in trade – £1000
A further insurance policy was taken out for the Old Dover Road premises:
Insurance Policy Phoenix Assurance 31.3.44 – 29.9.45
All in the building part of one storey and pat two storeys in height, brick built and slated and glazed, marked “a on a plan, lodged with this company, of the Insured’s premises situate Old Dover Road, and occupied as engineering workshop (containing various metal working machines driven by electro motors, four fitter’s benches and a Tangye fire stove) stand for private cars, stores, and pattern maker’s workshop (containing one double bench, and a 15” circular saw and a woodworking lathe both driven by electro motors)
1946 – Manorial Tenancy on Dover Street.
Holmans ceased to pay rent on Dover Street upon receipt of the following:
10 January 1946
Deed of release
The Mayor Aldermen and citizens of the City of Canterbury to Messrs Holman Bros
Release of fee farm rent of two shillings and one penny per annum issuing out of land at Dover Street in the City of Canterbury. Said fee farm rent or annual payment shall cease to be payable and shall forthwith merge and be extinguished in the freehold of said property.
1949 – Dover Street workshop constructed.
A large workshop was built, mainly by employees of the firm, in the Dover Street yard behind the forge. A letter to the City Surveyor, dated 3 May 1949, indicates the proposals:
Proposed workshop at Dover St
Work to be carried out chiefly repair of agricultural machinery and equipment, some general engineering and millwrighting including machine shop work, blacksmiths work, woodwork and electrical work.
Machines to be installed –
3 metal turning lathes, 2 drilling machines, 1 shaper, 1 planing machine (metal), 1 slotting machine, 2 screwing machines, 3 emery grinders, 2 power hacksaws, 1 keyseay cutter, 1 circular saw, 1 wood turning lathe, 1 bandsaw, 1 wood planing machine, 1 saw gulleting machine, 1 power hammer.
1965 – Dover Street insurance.
Insurance policy dated 29 September 1965 lists:
1. The building of the engineers workshop and forge (containing various electrically driven metal working machines on a securely fixed forge and portable oxy-acetylene welding plant), lawn mower repair shop, brick built and roofed with corrugated asbestos marked no 2 on a plan lodged with the Company of the Insured’s premises, situate in Dover Street. Heated by Valor stove £400.
2. Machinery, shafting, belting and gearing, electro motors and all appurtenances used in connection therewith, trade fixtures, fitting and utensils, including tools of every description, benches and forges, all the property of the insured therein. (Also occupied as lawn mower repair shop heated by Valor paraffin stove). £600.
3. The building of the store for threshing tackle, paints, boiled oils, rope iron goods, cola, agricultural implements, timber and spare parts brick and weatherboard built and roofed with corrugated asbestos and corrugated iron marked no 3 on plan, (now occupied as store for lawn mowers and parts plough shares agricultural implements, calcium carbide in drums and oil store) – £900
6. The building of the open fronted lean-to store (containing not more than 250 gallons of lubricating oil in sealed metal drums) roofed with corrugated iron on metal frame marked no 5 on plan – £30
8. The building of the store for spare parts, timber built and roofed with timber and felt marked no 6 on plan – £50
11.The building concrete and corrugated asbestos built and roofed with corrugated asbestos situate detached near the building marked no 2 on plan of the Insured’s premises situate Dover Street occupied as engineers workshop (now heated by pipe stove secure. Also occupied as repair workshop for agricultural plant and machinery and lawn mowers, engineers and woodworking shed) – £3500
13. The petrol pump and underground petrol tank situate Dover Street – £80
1966 – 47 Mandeville Road.
Sold to Miss P.D. Carpenter for £2800 on 4 July, having previously been used for staff accommodation.
1969 – Transfer of freeholds to J.A. and F. Holman.
A letter was sent to Tom Holman asking for cheque for £6,949.5.2 to pay the final settlement of the distribution of freeholds for premises in Old Dover Road and 2 York Road to John Angell Holman and Frank Holman.
1972 – Valuation of premises for compulsory purchase order.
A letter from Montague Evans & Son, Kingsway, London, dated 12 April 1972, reported on the inspection they carried out on 24a Old Dover Road, and is summarised as follows:
- The site had an area of 0.372 acres.
- It was zoned for residential purposes and a small North West area zoned for business purposes.
- That the development value of the property exceeds residential or existing/business purposes.
- The value of the site if offered for sale to Canturbury Corporation for commercial use was £20,000 and advised a claim figure of £27,750.
- That nine buildings occupied the site and were described as follows:
- A. Timber framed car and van garage, 12’ 9” X 48’.
- B. Timber framed lock-up hut, 5’ 10” X 24’ 3”.
- C. Open sided timber store with two floors, 21’ 8” X 62’ 6”.
- D. Open sided steel framed extension of ‘C’, 19’ X 64’ 6”.
- E. Timber framed lean-to, 5’ 9” X 31’ 6”.
- F. Steel framed lean-to used as a male lavatory, 25’ X 9’ 9”.
- G. Single storey brick-built building with double timber sliding doors and two Tangye combustion stoves, 28’ 6” X 61’ 6”.
- H. Single storey brick built building connected to ‘G’ used as office and storage, 16’ 9” X 30’ 9”.
- J. Old brick built 2 storey building connected to ‘G’ and ‘H’ used as storage below and office above, approx. 28’ X 24’.
 Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
 Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.