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Gaskell and Chambers

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O.C.

Guest
Sir Cornelious Chambers J.P. in 1941 at the age of 80 left to his successors a great Birmingham factory which made everything for the inns and pubs except the beer
Gaskell & Chambers.
In the 50's they made the Dalex stainless steel beer engine allowing beer to be pumped straight from the cellars through stainless steel pipes, allowing even cider to be dispensed without corroding the pipes.
The main factory had four cabinet and joinery works making everything for the modern bar of the time like bar fittings and furniture, tailor made to suit each room, individually.
In 1939 Gaskell & Chambers had a dramatic turn round and swung full force in making armament production for the war effort making mine detectors, fuses for the Anti "U" boat campaign and ammunition boxes.
Two employees were awarded British Empire Medal for services they put in to the war effort
Bottom Photo shows a typical cellar with the beer barrels linked up to the Patent Hygex Sillerite Telescopic Drop Pipe System
 

postie

The buck stops here
Staff member
Weren't they good old names in them days, Cornelius, Josiah,Theodore,Ebenezer and of course who could forget the good old, rock solid name of John.
 

gibbo2005

master brummie
1946 i left school at 14 yrs and worked in upholstery shop at Gaskell and Chambers
it was not very nice in there because all the pub seating was packed with horse hair i was told by my doctor to get out of it and left after about 15 months Allen
 

kim64

proper brummie kid
hi my grandfather worked there for many years has a bar fitter i know he was there in 1936 it was on marriage cert
his name was michael burns known has frank does anyone know him
kim
 
O

O.C.

Guest
Here is the type of bar fittings supplied by Gaskell & Chambers in the 50's,...still the same in some pubs
Fox & Dogs at Little Sutton and Drum & Monkey at Hockley Heath
 

GEFF

Geff
Gaskell an Chambers

I worked at Gaskell an Chambers in the 50s as a bar fitter, travelling all over fixing on site i.e. in pubs and hotels, bars and fittings etc. until I got wed, I then went back to shopfitting which was`nt so hectic and I was home most nights.
 
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Nostromo

Guest
I recently purchased a rather nice antique 1 pint pewter tankard, on the bottom of which is stamped Gaskell and Chambers Ltd. Birmingham. Would anyone happen to know where Gaskell and Chambers was situated and/or anything about the history of the manufactory?
 

Ray Griffiths

master brummie
I think I right in say that Gaskell & Chambers was a Heavy Engineering firm In Constitution Hill in the centre of Birmingham.

Perhaps somebody will correct me if I'm wrong
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Gaskell & Chambers Ltd were bar-fitters. You name it, they made it for the licensed trade. At some point in the fairly distant past they were bought out by IMI and traded as IMI Cornelius Ltd in Alcester. I believe they're still in business, but maybe not in Alcester. I used to sell them sealing washers for beer-pumps.

Big Gee
 

lencops

gone but not forgotten
Gaskell & Chambers.
Cornelius Chambers acquired the pewtering business of Peter Gaskell in 1892 so creating what would be one of the only two Birmingham pewtering enterprises to survive well into the 20th century. Gaskell traded from 60, Stafford Street which had previously been the premises occupied by another prominent Birmingham pewterer Joseph Morgan (also of Manchester). In 1902 he acquired the old James Yates business and in 1910 that of Samuel Mason so a large part of the inheritance of West Midlands pewtering came to this business. (Research suggest that in 1860 the two Birch boys, who has inherited their father's interest in Yates and Birch separated themselves from Yates and went into a partnership, fairly short lived, with Samuel Mason in Dale End Road. Mason later continued on his own and it was presumed this was the business Gaskell and Chambers bought in 1910 when it had gone bankrupt. Harry Mason who had been running it then, presumably son or grandson or something similar, of Samuel apparently tried to restart the enterprise a year or two later.)
Of course like most of their 19th century predecessors Gaskell and Chambers did not just deal in pewter but also bar fittings, pumps and many other related products.
Gaskell and Chambers Birmingham premises were bombed in 1941 and most of their own and their inherited records were destroyed. In the early 1970s they sold their traditional pewter making enterprise to another Birmingham firm, James Smellies, who continued with the work until 1983. The closure of James Smellies pewter manufactory left only one traditional pewterer in Birmingham, A.E.Williams.
Gaskell and Chambers catalogues showed the same wide range of products as their 19th century predecessors but the bulk of their production was again beer mugs and measures including bellied measures and handless balusters for the Irish market. Their products are normally marked under the base ‘Gaskell and Chambers Brmingham’. Sometimes they have inside the base an ‘X’ or Crowned ‘X’ with a triangle below. In the early 20th century Gaskell and Chambers were also dated earlier than they should have been. Len.



Harry Mason Ltd Birmingham​


 

Big Gee

master brummie
Blimey, Len, where'd you find all that??? Impressive.

My wife worked for David J Hill Ltd, barfitters, and Harry Mason Ltd was a partner company. Harry Mason Ltd is still trading in Nechells.

Good to know that an old-established Brum firm is still trading in these tough times.

Best,

Big Gee
 

Dave89

master brummie
Blimey, Len, where'd you find all that??? Impressive.

My wife worked for David J Hill Ltd, barfitters, and Harry Mason Ltd was a partner company. Harry Mason Ltd is still trading in Nechells.

Good to know that an old-established Brum firm is still trading in these tough times.

Best,

Big Gee

Hi Big Gee,

I'm so glad you mentioned David J. Hill's. I was reading the thread, and
thinking who was that other local firm of barfitters, and you came up with the answer! I remember dealing with them when I kept the accounts for
the old Met Club at Ward End, but I can't remember what they supplied
them with.

Kind regards

Dave
 
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baz259

Guest
Hi, there where a lot of pewter tankard makers (metal spinners) in Birmingham, some independent, some who did contract work for Gaskell and Chambers. Most of which where exported to the USA, then in the seventies (I think) there was a scare in the states about the lead content in pewter and ‘’over night’’ the market crashed and never recovered.
Barry
 
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Nostromo

Guest
Thanks, guys, fascinating stuff. I'm a bit worried now about the lead content of my tankard as I have been using it to quaff ale. Is there any truth to the theory that it may damage health?
 

malta

welsh brummie
Hi Nostromo
No need to worry there's no lead in the tankard, modern pewter is made up of tin,copper and antimony,tin is a soft malleable matal, a small amount of antimony is added to harden the tin and the copper to make it flow when the metal is cast
A.E.Williams pewter company was started by my father in 1920 and specialized in antique reproduction pewter
 
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Nostromo

Guest
Thanks, that's a weight off my mind. I always thought it was going to be the beer that got me in the end, not lead poisoning!
 
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baz259

Guest
Hi, sorry Nostromo if my comments worried you. The so called lead scare in America was just that but the effect was disastrous to some small firms in Birmingham. We used to make (spin) quite a few but some firms it was there bread and butter. At that time besides pewter tankards a lot of small brumie firms where manufacturing copper goblets by the thousands that where then silver plated and where exported to the states. A lot of this market dried up when new silver plating methods came in.These small firms where the unsung heroes. They helped with the balance of payments as it was called but never got any credit.
Barry
 
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Nostromo

Guest
No problem, Baz. Incidentally, I've heard that Gaskell and Chambers converted to the production of armaments during one or both of the World Wars. Does anyone know if there is any truth in this?
 
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