Author Topic: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.  (Read 942 times)

Inzievar61

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Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« on: December 31, 2017, 08:56:56 AM »
Hi,
I am currently researching coach building in Belfast and particularly coach building businesses established in the City between 1800 and 1950. To my surprise, there appears to have been a large number of them, operated by various families, particularly in the City centre.  The various trades involved included, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, whitesmiths and coach painters to name just a few, often father to son tradesmen. Simple question therefore, has anyone got any specific history, personal memories, documentary evidence or best of all photographs, of any of these businesses, that you would be happy to share with me.  Anything that can expand my knowledge of Coach Building in Belfast would be gratefully accepted and I can only thank you at this stage in anticipation of a response.


sam barry

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Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 10:02:24 AM »
For information of those reading, this is possibly linked to an item yesterday on Cecil Edward Clayton/Jessie Cameron.
http://www.lennonwylie.co.uk/wyzcomplete1918.htm
York Street
74, 76. Cameron, A., coach builder

My mother was born in Belfast March 1917 and according to her birth certificate, her father was registered as Cecil Edward Clayton, his profession was given as an Engineer.  Her mother was registered as Jessie Clayton (nee Cameron) and their address was given as 74 York Street Belfast.  I have researched Cecil Edward Clayton in almost every source available on line, with no success whatsoever, it is just as if he never existed !!  Whilst I realise that is a very distinct possibility, my simple question is therefore, does anyone have any information on him you would be happy to share?


Hadley

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Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 10:21:25 PM »
My paternal grandmother, Georgina Crawford Gillespie that was, came from a family who were coach builders in Belfast.  Together with her five sisters she cam to England at the turn of the century, but it is possible her brother Tom remained in Belfast.

Inzievar61

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Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 01:32:43 PM »
Hi Hadley,
thanks for your post, what was your paternal grandmothers family name and where were they coachbuilders in the City?
She must have come from a very large family, do you know all of their names and where they lived, before leaving for England?  You mention her brother Tom may have stayed on in Belfast, do you have any further details about him that might link him to my Alexander Cameron Coach Builders family business?

Hadley

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Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 07:09:46 PM »
My paternal grandmother was from the Gillespie family of coach builders in Belfast around 1860.  She came to England with her five sisters but I think her brother Tom remained in Ulster, possi bly in the family business.  I know they were related to Johnstons, linen people, as my father had remained in touch.

angelcalm

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Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 02:10:43 AM »
For information of those reading, this is possibly linked to an item yesterday on Cecil Edward Clayton/Jessie Cameron.
Hi,
I am currently researching coach building in Belfast and particularly coach building businesses established in the City between 1800 and 1950. To my surprise, there appears to have been a large number of them, operated by various families, particularly in the City centre.  The various trades involved included, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, whitesmiths and coach painters to name just a few, often father to son tradesmen. Simple question therefore, has anyone got any specific history, personal memories, documentary evidence or best of all photographs, of any of these businesses, that you would be happy to share with me.  Anything that can expand my knowledge of Coach Building in Belfast would be gratefully accepted and I can only thank you at this stage in anticipation of a response.

Hi I'm from Ravenhill road area my father Robert Duncan was a coach painter and sprayer, worked in Donegal Pass, from what I was told he did the car that the Queen used when she came to Belfast, he was one of the best
, also worked in Consbrooke  Ave and did lots of jobs on the side for different people

http://www.lennonwylie.co.uk/wyzcomplete1918.htm
York Street
74, 76. Cameron, A., coach builder

My mother was born in Belfast March 1917 and according to her birth certificate, her father was registered as Cecil Edward Clayton, his profession was given as an Engineer.  Her mother was registered as Jessie Clayton (nee Cameron) and their address was given as 74 York Street Belfast.  I have researched Cecil Edward Clayton in almost every source available on line, with no success whatsoever, it is just as if he never existed !!  Whilst I realise that is a very distinct possibility, my simple question is therefore, does anyone have any information on him you would be happy to share?
don't worry,,,,, Be Happy.

JimG

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Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 10:53:53 AM »

depending on the strict use of how the 1901 and 1911 census use the occupation Coach Builder
in 1901 there were 94 including coach builders in the workhouse
in 1911 there were 37 unsure if any workhouse included.
As an occupation a drop of employed of ~ 60% if my maths ok

How you can organize them into self employed or limited companies etc is unknown to me
Below are those entries with thanks to http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie
expansion possible via Lennonwylie websiteof  Street Directories, and
perhaps visits to Ulster museum re McCutcheon photo collection of NI industries and Ulster Folk
Museum would add to this starter list

Surname   Forename   Townland/Street   DED   County   ....Age   Sex.    census   ...
Alexander George   Hopefield Avenue   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   67   M   1911   
Alexander George   Hopefield Avenue   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   57   M   1901   
Allen   John   Matilda Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   40   M   1901   
Anderson George   Linfield Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   58   M   1901   
Bell   Alexander Bentham Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   41   M   1901   
Bowes   Frank   Earl Street   Dock Ward (Belfast Clifton)   Antrim   41   M   1911   
Bridgett   Samuel   Teulonic Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   24   M   1901   
Bryson   George   Pitsburg Street   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   28   M   1901   
Bryson   Thomas   Dickson St   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   55   M   1911   
Campbell James Taylor Linfield Street St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   75   M   1901
Cobain   Robert   Evelyn Gardens   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   59   M   1911   
Collins   William   Elizabeth Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   31   M   1911   
Connolly   John   Raglan Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   16   M   1911   
Cowan   Robert   North Queen Place   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   36   M   1911   
Crawford Hugh   Matilda Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   13   M   1901   
Crawford Samuel   Marino Street   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   54   M   1901   
Crawford Thomas Scott Cavehill Road Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   51   M   1911
Crawford Thomas Scott Cavehill RoadClifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   38   M   1901
D   G Lisburn Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   75   M 1901 workhouse
D   G Lisburn Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   24   M 1901 workhouse
Dempsey   John   Grosvenor Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   41   M   1901   
Denby   Thomas   Cavehill Road   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   23   M   1901   
Denby   William   Cavehill Road   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   36   M   1901   
Denby   William   Cavehill Road   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   66   M   1901   
Denby   William H   Evelyn Gardens   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   19 M   1911   
Denby   William Henry   Evelyn Gardens   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   46 M   1911   
Doak   John   Wellwood Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   18   M   1901   
Dowey   John   Devonshire   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   40   M   1911   
Downey   Joseph   Cedar Avenue   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   48   M   1901   
Duncan   Joseph   Shore Road   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   18   M   1901   
Fegan   John   Keadyville Avenue   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   50   M   1901   
Freeman   Joseph   Britannic Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   47   M   1901   
Frew   Thomas   Ritchie Street   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   27   M   1901   
G   T   Lisburn Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   52   M   1901   
Gibson   William   Coolfin Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   37   M   1901   
Hammond   William   Matilda Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   31 M   1901   
Hanna   Francis   Wellwood Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   17   M   1901   
Hardy   James   Lancaster Street   Belfast East   Antrim   40   M   1911   
Haughey   Thomas   Charles Street South   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   40 M   1901   
Hill   Alfred A   College Street   St. Anne's Ward, Belfast   Antrim   20   M   1901   
Hillis   Joseph   Cedar Avenue   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   34   M   1901   
Hobson   Harold B   Hopefield Avenue   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   17   M   1901   
Hunter   Henry   Antrim Road   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   61   M   1901   
Hunter   Henry   Antrim Road   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   37   M   1901   
HutchinsonJames   Ann Street   St. Anne's Ward, Belfast   Antrim   20   M   1901   
Johnston   Charles   Old Park (part of)   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   55   M   1901   
Johnston   Mary   Old Park (part of)   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   50   F   1901   
Jones   Allan   Venice Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   26   M   1901   
Kerr   James   Moore's Place   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   28   M   1901   
Kirwan   Andrew   New Dock Street   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   18   M   1901   
Laird   William   Evelyn Gardens   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   45   M   1911   
Lappin   James   Cyprus Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   36   M   1911   
Laverty   William   Cavehill Road, Old   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   38   M   1911   
Leathem   Samuel   Grosvenor Road   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   41   M   1911   
Leech   Joseph   Hilland Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   17   M   1901   
Mannagh   William   Turin Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   60   M   1901   
Martin   William John Elizabeth Street Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   54   M   1911   
MatthewsWilliam   Cyprus Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   68   M   1911   
Mattison   Charles   Combermear Street St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   42   M   1901   
Mc Cord   Herbert   York Road   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   25   M   1901   
Mc Elroy   John   Roden Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   32   M   1901   
Mc Ferran John   Fife Street   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   23   M   1901   
Mc Kee   AlexanderBritannic Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   35   M   1901   
McAlister Consontine Whitla Street   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   21   M   1901
McAllister Constantine Pilot Street   Dock Ward (Belfast Clifton)   Antrim   29   M   1911
McCammond AlfredSomerton Road   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   16   M   1901   
McCammond Herbert Somerton RoadDuncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   21   M   1901   
McCaughtry ThomasShipboy Street   Dock Ward (Belfast Clifton)   Antrim   23   M   1911   
McCavanagh John   Leeson   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   56   M   1911   
McCloskey Danniel McCormack's Row Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   26   M   1901   
McConnell Hugh   Leeson Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   67   M   1911   
McConnell Patrick   Leeson Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   24   M   1911   
McConnell Peter   Leeson Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   24   M   1911   
McConnell William Cavehill Road   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   42   M   1901   
McElvennyJoseph   Henderson Avenue Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   41   M   1901
McKee   James Henry Charnwood Avenue Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2 Antrim 74   M   1911
McKee   James Henry Charnwood Avenue Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   63   M   1901
McKeown George   Whitla Street   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   16   M   1901   
McKeown Patrick   Whitla Street   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   40   M   1901   
McLoughlin John   Crane Court   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   50   M   1911   
McManus   James   Lady St   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   19   M   1911   
Meaney   William   Blythe Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   24   M   1901   
Mee   John   Napier Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   47   M   1901   
Meenan   Alexander Chichester Park   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   62   M   1901   
Millan   Henry   Turin Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   32   M   1901   
Mills   James   Symons Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   31   M   1901   
Miskimmin James   Old Park (part of)   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   41   M   1901   
Mitchell   William   Matilda Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   35   M   1901   
Moffett   Robert   Chichester Park   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   15   M   1901   
Moore   Thos H   Railway Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   38   M   1901   
Morrison   James   Sultan Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   66   M   1911   
Morrow   William   Rosemount Street   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   75   M   1901   
Mullan   Charles   Primitive Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   16   M   1901   
Mullan   Henry   Primitive Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   40   M   1901   
Mullan   Thomas   Primitive Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   17   M   1901   
Nesbitt   John Andrew Victoria Gardens Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2 Antrim   32   M   1911   
Nilson   Samuel   Ship Street   Duncairn Ward, Belfast   Antrim   42   M   1901   
Oneill   Fred   Cape Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   27   M   1911   
Patrick   Malone   Balkan Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   32   M   1911   
Potter   William   Inver Avenue   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   48   M   1911   
Prickett   Henry Herbert Windermere Gardens   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   60 M   1911
Quigg   William   City Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   41   M   1901   
R   T S Lisburn Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   35   M 1901   workhouse
Robinson William   Donegall Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   19   M   1901   
S   J Lisburn Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   69   M 1901   workhouse
Shannon   Robert   Kansas Avenue   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   62   M   1911   
Shannon   Robert James   Kansas Avenue   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   52   M1901   
Shaw   Joseph James   Coolfin Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   21   M1901   
Slane   James   Balkan Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   64   M   1911   
Sloan   William   Grosvenor Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   54   M   1901   
Smith   Robert   Henderson Avenue   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   65   M1901   
Smyth   Fredrick   Grosvenor Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   14   M   1901   
Smyth   James   Albion Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   39   M   1901   
Smyth   John   Durham Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   35   M   1901   
Todd   Rowan   Willowbank Street   Clifton, Belfast Urban No. 2   Antrim   25   M   1911   
Trainer   Patrick   Plevna Street   Falls (Belfast)   Antrim   15   M   1911   
Turtle   Hugh M   Hopefield Avenue   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   28   M   1901   
Vauls   Frank   Glenalpin Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   19   M   1901   
Vauls   John   Glenalpin Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   26   M   1901   
W   A Lisburn Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   29M   1901   workhouse
W   J Lisburn Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   66M   1901   workhouse
Wallace   Samuel   Britannic Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   23   M   1901   
Walsh   David   Sturgeon Street   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   47   M   1901   
White   William   Roden Street   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   22   M   1901   
Whiteside Samuel   Kansas Avenue   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   34   M   1901   
Wilkinson Henery   Rosemount Street   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   30   M   1901   
Wilson   Robert   Antrim Road   Clifton Ward, Belfast   Antrim   47   M   1901   
Wilton   Annie   Donegal Avenue   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   28   F   1901   
Wilton   W John   Donegal Avenue   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   57   M   1901   
Wilton   William   Donegal Avenue   Saint Anne's Ward Belfast   Antrim   31   M   1901   
Wright   James   Lisburn Road   St. George's Ward Belfast   Antrim   67   M   1901   
adding in the name already mentione
good luck onwards

Inzievar61

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Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 12:06:56 PM »
Hi JimG,
firstly, let me say a very big thank you for taking the time trouble and effort, to respond to my inquiry, let me assure you it is greatly appreciated. It would appear from your research, that there were a great many more Coachbuilders in the City than I ever thought possible.  That said, the decline in numbers between 1901 and 1911, seems to suggest a reducing need for Coachbuilders in the City.  However, my ancestors in Alexander Cameron Coachbuilders of 74/76 York Street, operated an apparently very successful business there, between at least 1870 and 1942 when the business was closed. I am led to believe that they built many different coaches, for many different purposes and indeed were the first business to build a glass hearse in the City.  My difficulty centres around being unable to find any detailed history of how the business was operated during those 70 years, operating from the same premises, other than an odd few adverts occasionally in the Telegraph.  I just find it impossible to believe that there appear to be no detailed records in existance on a business that operated in the City Centre for the best part of 70 years. All of that said, I am exceedingly grateful for any and all information received.

JimG

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Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 06:13:00 PM »
hi Inzievar61

thank you for the reply. Re Cameron family or business papers, I would be carefully checking the The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) under private or other similar words. I cant do that now, its website is down for adjustments at 5.36pm today. its still possible papers might exist could be there and needs staff contact, or they may have wills and who were the excecutors or family solicitors who often kept them but loads of companies didnít leave their papers and it was wartime save paper for the war effort etc fingers crossed for you.


You must have many resources known to you already, a large size booklet by Jamie Johnston that caught my attention contains brief information of the Belfast Street tramways Co.in 1872, which by laying rails for horse drawn trams by 1892 in Belfast, left the individual horse drawn carriages unable to compete with user costs eg a penny 1d .and many went out of business.
see Johnston, Jamie. Victorian Belfast. 1993 Ulster Historical Foundation.Belfast   ISBN 0 901905 57 7. Designed by Wendy Dunbar. Both author and book designer might have unused pictorial matter


After looking up carriages and other key words here on Belfast forum using its search engine, the next most useful resource was images,  found by simply typing into google Images for belfast+transport+horse+and+carriage identifying the coach company or individual is going to be very difficult.
https://www.google.com/search?q=belfast+transport+horse+and+carriage&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjukM_jvOjfAhWDURUIHaKWCEQQsAR6BAgFEAE&biw=1147&bih=912#imgrc=Jnluc-zxposDcM:
 I as a child saw many examples of horse drawn carriages at the annual balmoral showgrounds ie  Royal Ulster Agricultural Society The Kingís Hall Complex
Balmoral Belfast  BT9 6GW They might have a photo library
beware it did occur to me, some surviving carriages might be in unknown barns and auction records try Johnson Bedford st.
there may be a driving club/society as a sport for horse carriage driving ask RUAS


10,942 matches for Cameron Coach Builder in the British Newspaper Archive
reduced to this quantity by reducing reportage saying Co Antrim and period sought 1850-1899
curiously there are less entries for
9,097 matches for Coach Builder in the British Newspaper Archive with same reductions but no Cameron specified these are available in a digital index with terrible interruptations as yet.  The second one is immediately interetesting Waugh cant get the staff in 188x!
as an academic you should have advantages of  access  I am a member of genes reunited
but donít pay the extra fee to see the page of newspaper. its expensive to us




Good luck in completing your thesis and I hope you find a publisher thereafter
 


CregaghSarah

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Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2019, 12:06:06 PM »
My great granda James Dickey was a coach builder in Belfast, as was his father also called James Dickey.

I'll speak to my Granda next time I see him.

Inzievar61

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Coach Builders in Belfast 1800 to 1950.
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2019, 12:45:15 PM »
Hi Creagahsarah,
thanks for the reply, I look forward toreading your findings from your granda, thanks.