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Business Records


master brummie
Is it possible to get business records dating back to the early 1900s, if so where would I look?

I am looking at what I believe was a factory/home business run by the Schulze family at 60 Pershore Street (and also they had another business in Devon which I am hoping to get further details on).

In Kelly's directory the business comes under 'sausage skin makers', but the address also served as a home and my grandad lived there for some years.

I am hoping there maybe records to state when they started, who was in charge and who worked there. We have details that it was mainly a family run business, but they also had at least one worker.

Anywhere you can recommend I start looking I would be very greatful.


gone but not forgotten
hi sez
yes you can get these company records from company house and you can get the names and address of all its directors and there company numbers
and there any company secretarys that held any postions with any resigning dates
it will cost you seven pounds i have not got the addrees in front of me at the moment but if any body else can give it to you all good and well
but if not i will put it on the forum very late this evening so you will have it then
i have been useing it foryearstracking and tracing old companys even todays companys i am looking into for variuos reason,s
rest assusued you can indeed if you really want to know personal data then company house is for you
you can look into kellys directorys but some time they are not listted but all kosha bussiness are registered by there owners directors name in full and there postion
you can even check there turn over say no more best wishes astonion


Ex-pat Brummie
But not if the company ceased trading more than 20 years ago! :(

See Section 3.6 on this page:- https://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/policyDocuments/chRecordsManagementPolicy.shtml

For these companies, some of the indexes still exist, but give little information other the date the company was incorporated.

Other information, such as change of name, and dissolution can be gleaned from the London Gazette at https://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search - also try searching on the names of known directors as some of them may have been made personally bankrupt.

Sadly the days when Companies House used to keep thousands of microfiche with details of past companies have long since gone. They now have a ruthless policy of destroying archives after a period of time, which is a shame as much essential British commercial history is now lost forever.

Maurice :cool:


gone but not forgotten
hi maureece
hope you are well and ii hope i do not offend you but i beg to differ on your reply of more than twenty years old
if you go through the company house at coventry you wil get them going far back as the forties as i have done as you say they have put the rea old ones on micra
which is very true but you can get the copies fom coventry or you can arrange with there office to go and see them in person at coventry
hopefully i can give the address of the department i deal with on the forum later on today as i agreed to do so
but i have to be at the worcester royal this morning to see how my son is then i have some bussineess to deal with down solihull which will take my day so until this evening
before i put my hands on the addrees for the companies house
i hope ypou have a enjoyuable day maureece best wishes astonion


Ex-pat Brummie
Hi Astonian,

I am well and I hope you are too. You certainly don't offend me - we frequently get different experiences of Government "service" or of lack of!!! :biggrin:

When I was researching A.F. Genton & Son Ltd (and their associated companies and partnerships) - see the article on my website here: https://www.msheppard.com/genton.htm - I had several exchanges of emails with Companies House. These basically stated, as I set out above, that if a company has ceased trading, its records are destroyed after 20 years. They claimed that they no longer had the space to store them. I retorted that since the records were on microfiche, they took up far less space than the original paper ones. They stated that it made no difference and that they still destroyed records of defunct companies after 20 years. I will see if I can find the orignal emails, though I have changed machines since I wrote the original article and they're not in my current email inbox.

Many years ago, (and before they moved the main offices to Cardiff), I frequently went into Companies House in City Road in London, paid just one pound (in those days!) and, after a short wait, was given a microfiche of the records on file. I can't speak for Coventry as I've never had any dealings with that office.

Of course, we are both, as I understand it, talking about limited companies. It's quite possible that the original sausage skin manufacturer may have been a sole trader or a partnership which had no legal requirement to file Annual Returns. Hopefully we shall find out when Sez has done a bit of digging! :)

All the best,

Maurice :cool:

EDIT PS Just managed to find this - there was a wealth of other email exchanges too which underlined that this was their general approach to old records:-

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: [Case 2998080]
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 08:55:01 +0100

Dear Maurice Sheppard


Thank you for your enquiry concerning the above company.

I have searched our archive records but cannot find any trace of a
Limited Company with that name having been registered at Companies


Company Number: 170453
Incorporation Date: Around 1919
Company Status: Dissolved & Destroyed over 20 years ago. [My highlight!]

Should you require any further assistance relating to archive searches
in the future then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours Sincerely

Miss Rhian Bennett
Customer Care


master brummie
I have contacted company house and they are looking in the archives and I should hear from them soon. They didn't mention anything about the dates of the business, although I gave them a rough idea when they began, but my worry is that it was simply a family run business, not a limited company and as you say they then may not have any records- or what there was may be long lost, which would be a great shame.

Fingers croseed I still might hear something!


gone but not forgotten
Hi sez
glad t hear that you have made contact with company house and yes fingers crossed you get what you are looking for
the people you have asked for what kind of bussiness was it was it a shop or factory or ware house
on my first encounter a couple of years ago when i first started to attempt research and try and find out whom and what about certain people
they only had a shop in brum but at the enmd of the day i found out alot about the people and actualy got a company number for them
with the good relationship they provide but i only had a name of a shop that was there years ago and on my tour asking the local estates agents for the name shop they never heard of them so i still persued and eventualy i came up trumps so do not dispare
a lot depends on what info you hold also if you have a name of a person and the correct addrtess you can contact the land registry
at coventry and if this shop or premises have been demolish they still can give you info but that will cost you sevenpounds
and they keep all plans and info and most of its if it told is on micro
but you can phone up but you must make an appointment with them you just cannot turn up on the day you fancy and theywill produce to you the actual doc, or micro to see for your self best wishes fingers crossed for you astonion


Ex-pat Brummie
Hi Sez,

I've just done a quick check on the London Gazette and it only returns one item with Schulze, Birmingham, & Sausage as keywords. It's in the issue dated 10 May 1918, page 5595. Here's the image.


View attachment 60558


Ex-pat Brummie
And leaving out Birmingham, you also get this one, four days later, in the issue of 14 May 1918, page 64 of 86.

Maurice :cool:


master brummie
Thank you so much for this, can I just clarify, is this saying in 1918 they were forced to stop trading? from my understanding the business ran for some years after this.

Bruno Schulze travelled a lot but his business was left to his sons Arthur and Fred. Arthur was in charge of Holsworthy business and Fred (who travelled the world extensively) always listed his permanent address as 60 Pershore St. When Bruno died in 1934 he left his money to Arthur, who was described as a factory manager and I have recently been told people remember the Holsworthy branch being around in the 1940s.

I am very interiged to see Sudbury and Bradford mentioned- this is new information!! We understand all the businesses were factories, although 60 Pershore St was also a family home.

In regards to company house, this was their reply (and not much use), so any other places I can look please let me know. I will now try the land registry and look into the Sudbury/bradford businesses.


Thank you for your recent enquiry concerning the above company name.

I have searched our records and found the following information:


Company Number: 238202
Incorporation Date: Around 1928
Company Status: Dissolved & Destroyed over 20 years ago. No records available

Thanks again for your help...at least I have some new avenues to explore, and hopefully if they had what now seems like 4 factories I will be able to find some records.


Ex-pat Brummie
Hi Sez,

The response from Companies House rather bears out my fairly recent experiences - they just appear to have got rid of their old records. :(

I've only looked for Bruno Schulze in the London Gazette and certainly not Sausage Skins Limited - you should find the liquidation of this latter company in the Gazette. Give me a shout if you can't find it.

My guess is that Bruno Schulze was closed down because he had German nationality in time of war. If the sons were born here and had British nationality, there would have been nothing to stop them starting up a new company, perhaps offering the Official Receiver a paltry sum for the assets of the old company. That way everyone was happy - the Schulzes, the Official Receiver, and the Government. It's really a matter of a long and patient research of the London Gazette to flush out details of the associated companies.

Once you get dates for the liquidations, you should also find copies of the liquidation notices in the local newspapers. For Birmingham, the Central Library have complete runs on microfilm, elsewhere either local record offices or the Newspaper Library at Colindale. The latter may also have copies of trade magazines which might feature advertisements by the companies. Finding copies of trade catalogues for companies is a much more difficult job and sometimes these things turn up at postcard fairs on the ephemera stands, or where conpanies have folded more recently and their premises have remained vacant (and generally derelict), if you can get access, you mave well find lots of paperwork just scattered about.

Good luck with your hunting! :)

Maurice :cool:


master brummie
So far there has been no luck in finding any records for the sasuage skin business and I am wondering if they ever were forced to close.

We know in the forties the business in Devon closed for health reasons, but the business on Pershore street we know nothing of or the others that were mentioned in the london gazette.

Bruno was naturalised in 1909 and later his eldest son was also naturalised. His other children involved in the business - two were born in birmingham and his other daughter, whilst born in Germany, we have no record of her or his wife becoming British citizens.

Any further tips you can provide would be very helpful, I'll keep looking for any information we are hoping to track down some more relatives to the Schulze's, maybe they will have some details.


Ex-pat Brummie

Generally if an action fails, due to an appeal or a bankrupt pays in sufficient money to cover his debts, a further Notice will be published in the London Gazette stating that such an action will not now take place. There doesn't appear to be any such Notice. The actual reason for demanding closure was "trading with the enemy". Since Bruno was naturalised, his citizenship would not be in question, but the business may well have been importing from or exporting to Germany and to which the UK Government would naturally take exception.

My subscription to Midlands Historical Data has currently lapsed, but no doubt another member could check the trade directories around that period for the address you have and see when it disappears below the horizon.

As I've said before, I don't think the records for a business that has been defunct for so many years will have survived and you may have to reluctantly accept that you may never be able to add to the information that you already have.

Maybe the other parts of the buisness in Devon and wherever did not have such contentious aspects and were allowed to continue trading, most likely under different trading names.

Maurice :cool:


master brummie
Thanks for that, actually we think they may have had a business on the river Rhine making strings for violins etc- this is only an idea that has filtered through other family members we have recently made contact with, but that would actually make sense with this.

I will chase up some directories i know we have 1914 stating the business is running, the historical directoy website does not have a directory after ww1 for warwickshire so I'll look elsewhere, however the 1919 directory for Devon no longer lists the business there, yet we do know it was running into the forties, whether there was a temporary break I'll have to see whether I can dig up some information.

What I do know is some of the family continued to list their address as 60 Pershore street on the electoral rolls for some years after. I'll let you know if I have any luck with getting more dates.



master brummie
Hi sez

Perhaps these two articles from The Times (1918) may help regarding the businesses?



Ex-pat Brummie
Nice find, Suzanne. Well done! :)

Hansard should be the next logical step, but it only appears to be online back to 1988. :(

This is certainly proving to be an interesting thread!

Maurice :cool:


Ex-pat Brummie
I looked in the wrong place! Try this page for starters:-


There may be other pages in later months, but these cover July 1918 :)

EDIT: Last entry for Bruno Schulze appears to be 22 July 1918. Of course, it's possible that further answers may have been given which didn't actually mention the name "Bruno Schulze". Nothing showing up on the National Archives either.

Maurice :cool:


master brummie
This is all really great information, thank you so much. It also raises a few more questions!!!

Somethin very interesting that surprised us was the mention of the Birmingham business being transfered to Henry Edward Smith- my great grandfather! It raises an eyebrow as we are sure something significant happened as he disappears from sight from 1921 onwards and the family rarely spoke of him, but we understand the family felt Henry was hard done by. In fact We have no record of Henry until his death in 1942 when he is listed as no fixed abode and his sister-in-law paid for his funeral.

We found his grave in Yardley Cemetry and when visiting discovered he was buried with his wife Emma (nee Schulze) and it states 'loving wifeof the above' so we are starting to feel it wasn't something Henry did but something that was done to him. We also have a few queries over Fred Schulze who took on the business, he actually had Emma sign documents when she was very ill and unaware of things, as well as the suicide of Arthur Schulze who was one time manager of the Holsworthy business.

This has really given us some new ideas and thoughts, particularly as it points to a possible hint at what happened to my great grandfather.

Thank you...I'm off to plan the next step!


Not sure if you saw this posted on another thread.

I am not sure if this is of interest but there is a Carl Friedrich Schultz buried in Key Hill Cemetery in 1886. Section K grave no 734. The grave was purchased for possibly three people as it mentions buried at 9ft. Carl is the only person buried in the grave