Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,095 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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June 1923.
August 1926.
October 1929.
October 1931.
November 1932.
November 1932.
October 1933.
January 1934.
March 1934.
May 1934.
February 1935.
February 1935.
September 1937.
October 1937.
November 1937.
April 1939.
July 1939.
February 1952.
October 1962.
October 1962.

Motor vehicle distributors, of Henly House, London

1923 London agents for Alvis (see advert)

1933 Concessonaires for Avro Avian and Spartan Aircraft for the United Kingdom. Aviation Manager: B. S. Allen. Branch: Heston Air Port, Hounslow, Middlesex. Head Office: Henly House, Euston Road, London, N.W.1. Branches: Bournemouth, Bristol and Manchester.[1]

WWII Work included making 250,000 tank and aircraft assemblies, repairing 1000 aircraft, handling 80,000 tanks as well as assembling 25,000 army vehicles of all types, as well as repairing and maintaining many service vehicles. Acquired Arthur Mulliner Ltd, coachbuilders, of Northampton. Also owned Cater Motor Co in Bristol, David Rosenfield in Manchester, and Pass and Joyce in London, and J. H. Plater and Co in Streatham [2]

1946 Acquired Sandhurst Motors in Camberley, as part of the strategy to enhance the company's position as "England's leading motor agents".

1953 Also owned Paragon Motor Co. (Oldham) Ltd., Studebaker Distributors, Ltd., Auto-Union (Sales) Ltd., Cooks Car Mart Ltd.

1968 Acquired Stewart and Ardern

1984 Canadian group Midepsa, controlled by Michael Ashcroft and David Wickins, owned almost 30 percent of the company and bid for the rest[3]

1986 Midepsa assumed the Henlys Group name[4]

1986 Henlys owned 43 percent of Cope Allman and Co. Hawley Group, run by Michael Ashrcoft who was also chairman of Cope Allman, owned 49 percent of Henlys.[5]

1989 Acquired by Plaxton's, builders of buses and coaches

1992 Plaxton's was renamed Henlys Group PLC[6].

1997 Sold the motor dealerships to a new company HMG to concentrate on bus building; HMG could use the Henlys name for the dealerships but not in the company name[7]

1999 Acquired Blue Bird, the US school bus maker

2000 Mayflower and Henlys combined their UK bus and coach manufacturing interests in TransBus International.

TransBus International inherited a number of factories around the United Kingdom from all three merged companies: the former Alexander factories in Falkirk and Belfast, the former Plaxton's factories in Anston and Scarborough, the former Northern Counties factory in Wigan, and the Dennis factory in Guildford.

2004 Mayflower collapsed due to heavy debts; TransBus International was put into administration. A consortium of Scottish investors rescued the Guildford, Falkirk and Larbert operations under the new combined name Alexander Dennis. In place of the Plaxton factory in Wigan, a new aftermarket headquarter and parts warehouse was established in neighbouring Skelmersdale. The Plaxton activities at Scarborough and Anston were the subject of a management buy-out.

2004 Creditors assumed control of the company[8]

2004 The former Plaxton activities at Scarborough and Anston were subject to a management buy-out.

2007 Alexander Dennis acquired the Scarborough and Anston operations that had been sold to their management.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1933 Who's Who in British Aviation
  2. The Times, Jan 10, 1946
  3. The Times Jul 24, 1984
  4. The Times, April 19, 1986
  5. The Times, March 12, 1986
  6. The Times, March 11, 1992
  7. The Times August 06, 1997
  8. The Times, October 19, 2004