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Charles J Hill

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mikeonefour465
Cornwall
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1 of 14  Thu 11th Apr 2013 4:06pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2013  Total posts:3

Hello to Coventry ! What a great site this is, so here's a task for someone. I am researching a 19th century Coventry watchmaker Charles J Hill approx 1840-1902. He had a son Alick Sargeant Hill, born 1868, from 1911 living at Elmfield, Coventry: Alick Sargeant Hill (age 43 born Coventry), Mgr Director Machine Chain Maker (Coventry Chain Co). With his wife (married 15 years with three children) Beatrice Louise Hill (age 40 born USA) and their daughter Beatrice Eileen Hill (age 5 born Coventry). Charles J Hill apparently also had an office in London, from which he may have had dealings with the British Admiralty. Is there anyone out there who can provide any further details about this chap ? Many thanks in anticipation Piers Lawrence
Piers Lawrence

Charles J Hill
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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2 of 14  Thu 11th Apr 2013 4:27pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3887

Hello & welcome to you Piers Wave Thank you for your lovely introduction. Most of us here are very ordinary folk, who really enjoy sharing experiences of Coventry. We are fortunate in having members who are experts in their own fields. Please enjoy your time with us. Cheers Thumbs up
Charles J Hill
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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3 of 14  Thu 11th Apr 2013 7:03pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1084

Hi Piers This is an extract from a wonderful book I acquired dated 1896 called "Coventry up to date" Charles J Hill, Wholesale Watch Manufacturer Russell House, Coventry One of the oldest of Coventry's representative houses in the watchmaking industry is now controlled by Mr Charles J Hill, whose family has been associated with the trade since the early part of the present century. Originally founded in 1815 by the father of the late Mr W H Hill, that gentleman was one of the pioneers in establishing the trade in which he eventually rose to a position of eminence, and was twice honoured by his fellow citizens electing him as Mayor of the city, of which he was also justice of the peace. The firm of W H Hill and Sons, of which he was the head, continued for many years a highly successful career, and in course of time the business passed into the possession of Mr Charles J Hill, the present sole proprietor, who has also fulfilled the office of Mayor of the city for two years, and is a member of the borough and county bench. He is also one of the oldest volunteers in the county, having joined as early as 1860. He is still an active member of the headquarter companies, and ranks as Colonel. As is commonly the case with Coventry watch manufacturers, Mr Hill's factory adjoins the handsome private residence known as Russell House, pleasantly situated within convenient distance of the city, and now occupied by the manager. The premises consist of a lengthy range of three-story building constructed of red brick,with extensive window space affording ample light for the various delicate processes involved in the manufacture of high class watches of hand-made production. The workshops throughout are completely equipped with tools and appliances, embodying all the latest applications of horological science. The various stages of manufacture are well organised on the best sub-division of labour methods, each department being apportioned to a certain section of work, and the whole of the parts when completed being assembled in the finishing room, where they are put together and finally adjusted. At the entrance are well furnished offices, principal's private room and warehouse, the latter containing a large valuable stock of finished watches of every description of make, in gold and silver cases, for ladies' and gentlemen's wear. Mr Hill's manufactures bear a time-honoured reputation for the highest excellence of workmanship and reliable finish, and are supplied to a widespread connection in the home and export markets, the latter being transacted through the medium of the London shipping houses, the trade mark of the firm being registered as "Talbott and Talbott"" Prize medals have been awarded to the firm's productions at the principal International exhibitions and others during the past few years, these having been gained in open competition with the leading makers. Mr C J Hill is greatly respected in social and commercial circles, and has always taken an active interest in furthering movements tending to the well-being of his fellow citizens, and the progress of the municipal body in which he has held so distinguished a position. We may add that Mr Hill is also connected in several ways with the production of cycles, in which industry he takes a great interest. Russell House Medals I also have a book about Renold Chain which includes some information about Alick Sargeant Hill and a photograph if you are interested in that.
Charles J Hill
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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4 of 14  Thu 11th Apr 2013 7:34pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1084

Just had a quick look at the Renold Chain book. It says that Charles John Hill became chairman of Renold Chain in February 1902 but his reign was short as he died the following September.
Charles J Hill
Foxcote
Warwick
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5 of 14  Sun 14th Apr 2013 1:52pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:920

Thanks Annewiggy for supplying all this interesting information. I noticed that the Factory Manager was residing at Russell House and 'Elmfield' was mentioned, I believe it was in Radford and wondered whether anyone knew more about that particular property?
Charles J Hill
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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6 of 14  Sun 14th Apr 2013 2:32pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1084

On the 1901 census he is listed as 2 St Nicholas Street, in 1911 he is at Elmfield, Radford Road. The next building on the census is the Grapes pub but I don't know when that moved from the other side of the road. Perhaps Dutchman has one of his little plans that covers that area. It is a part of Coventry I am very familiar with as I was brought up in Radford. We still have to visit every week as my mum is in Weavers Care Home in St Nicholas Street. I also used to work in Sandy Lane at EMEB that used to be the Daimler Offices. My Mum's dad also used to work at the Chain. Just googled the house the other side which is Wesfield House. The TA recruiting centre is called Westfield House which is on the corner of Swillington Road that goes to the Rec. that is a new building now by the looks of it so Elmfield must have been between that and the Grapes.
Charles J Hill
dutchman
Spon End
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7 of 14  Sun 14th Apr 2013 2:52pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3020

Hello Anne Wave The Grapes moved some time between the wars. There was also considerable gap between Elmfield and The Grapes. Old-Maps.co.uk (1913) Old-Maps.co.uk (1936)
Charles J Hill
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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8 of 14  Sun 14th Apr 2013 3:14pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1084

Thanks for that Dutchman. There is obviously not trace of it now as there is a row of houses there now. The area of Westfield house still exists. The maps are interesting as I can see my mum and dad's house was built on allotments between the dates of the maps. That would answer why we were always finding ends off old clay pipes in the garden, broken off by old gardeners. They came in very useful to mark out hopscotch on the pavement outside!
Charles J Hill
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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9 of 14  Sun 14th Apr 2013 6:07pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1084

A little more information Elmfield was put up for sale in 1903 by orders of the trustees. It had been built about 25 years before by C J Hill for his own occupation. It was being sold by Loveitt's, the bidding did not go beyond £3,100 so it was withdrawn, so lucky Alick must have decided to live there himself.
Charles J Hill
Chaingang
Tile Hill Village
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10 of 14  Mon 15th Apr 2013 1:01am  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:59

Just in case you find find this information of interest Folder icon Draft Tenancy Agreement PA/101/12/313 1900 These documents are held at Coventry Archives Contents: Whereby John and Emma Maria Ward (described as in PA/101/12/288) let to Alick Sargeant Hill (of Coventry, cycle-chain manufacturer) PA/101/12/309's premises from Michaelmas, 1899 at £150 p.a. rent payable six-monthly; at the end of the tenancy A.S. Hill will replace wooden floors with blue bricks, repair walls damaged by shafting erected for the sake of his works, brick up any doorways which he shall have inserted, replace any damaged beams, remove skylights, and repair roofs where he shall have had to pierce them with stove-pipes; the Wards will not repair the roof and need only maintain the outside walls where the tenant shall not have breached them in the course of his trade; either side will give six calendar months' notice for the tenancy's expiry on any 29th. Sept.; power of re-entry is as in PA/101/12/309. Expand Later version of PA/101/12/313 PA/101/12/314 23rd Mar, 1900 No further details Copy of PA/101/12/314's final version. PA/101/12/315 23rd Mar, 1900 No further details Draft Quittance Notice from John and Emma Maria Ward to Charles John and Alick Sargeant Hill, effective from Michaelmas next. PA/101/12/316 Mar, 1900 No further details Memoranda about a suggested lease from the Wards to the Coventry Chain Company for seven years from Michaelmas, 1904. PA/101/12/317-319 [1904]
adopted coventry

Charles J Hill
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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11 of 14  Mon 15th Apr 2013 10:34am  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1084

I think this would have been Dale Street as the plans for the Spon End factory were not drawn up until 1907.
Charles J Hill
mikeonefour465
Cornwall
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Thread starter
12 of 14  Wed 17th Apr 2013 12:09pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2013  Total posts:3

Many thanks to all, a really friendly online community! I have a late 19th.c fusee pocket watch by Charles J Hill, silver case dated Chester 1901. The dial is intriguing, since it is signed Charles J Hill Coventry & London, and also marked with a symbol, which looks like a withered tree. Can anyone shed some light on this please, is the symbol significant in any way ? Best regards, Piers
Piers Lawrence

Charles J Hill
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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13 of 14  Wed 17th Apr 2013 3:41pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1084

There is an article on this site that explains that the tree mark is the trade mark of John Forrest and how C J Hill came to be using it.
Charles J Hill
mikeonefour465
Cornwall
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Thread starter
14 of 14  Wed 17th Apr 2013 10:13pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2013  Total posts:3

Brilliant, just what I needed to find out. You guys are fantastic! Best wishes to all. Piers
Piers Lawrence

Charles J Hill

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