Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Chappell and Son

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of Broad Lane, Leeds

1868 James Chappell and Son was established, as a fine decorating and painting contracting business

1930 Marsh, Jones and Cribb bought the name and goodwill of the company from its owner, Mr. Sixsmith, who transferred his business activities to London.

Mr. Chappell realised that the gradual increase in taxation and death duties had struck a death blow to the once enormous business of furnishing and decorating the big country residences and steps were taken to establish a new Contracts department.

The premises in Broad lane, Leeds, were then closed and new offices and showrooms taken in Park Square, later to be transferred to Cookridge Street, where the business was carried on until 1940 and the days of the blitz.

During the early days of the war the firm's records going back to foundation of the business in 1760 were among the irreplaceable casualties.

From that time it was necessary to carry on from the firm's storage works at Beeston Road.

Furnishing houses suffered a severe blow as a result of the war, but, fortunately, the firm had always maintained the contracts side, and it was to this department that the company turned its efforts when it reorganised to meet war conditions.

After the war, the contracts department was extensively developed and extended until now it constitutes a large section of the Company's turnover. Specialist executives were employed to deal with this branch of the business which handles contracts for Government and Local Government Bodies, Industrial Concerns, Banks, Insurance Companies and similar institutions. The Company is also approved Contractors to the Admiralty, the War Office, the Ministry, of Works, the National Coal Board, the North Eastern Gas Board, the West Riding County Council, Lancashire County Council and numerous Municipal Authorities.

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