Chandler's Ford History

"If my memory serves me correctly ......." Welcome to our Chandler's Ford Local History Blog. Our aim is to collect and record memories of Chandler's Ford, in Hampshire, and make them available to all. We shall also share old reports, maps and photographs where there is no copyright problem. Do help us by adding your photos and memories. Even if you can't quite remember what happened, write your version of events and encourage others to add theirs. Look forward to hearing from you. Chris

Friday, May 19, 2006

History of Businesses

Frederick Hendy started a bicycle and outdoor clothing shop in Whitchurch in 1859, which expanded into Southampton shortly afterwards. His son Percy signed a dealership agreement with Henry Ford in 1910 and by WW2 they had a number of premises, including an agricultural supply and repair department in Chandler's Ford. This was commissioned during WW2 for the assembly of the Spitfire, prior to final assembly at Eastleigh airport. For more information about the hisotry of Hendy Ford see:

Selwood came to Chandler's Ford in 1947. To find out about the history of Selwood see their website:

Peter Green established his furniture business in 1956. See the heritage page of their website for more info:

Draper Tools came to Chandler's Ford in 1963. To find out about the history of Draper tools see their website:

B&Q was set up by Richard Block and David Quayle in 1969. The first store was in Portswood, Southampton. Their headquarters is now in Chandler's Ford. For more information see:

Curtis Bros (Bathrooms) started up in Chandler's Ford in 1979. We've asked them if they'll give us more information about their history.

Can you add to the histories given on the websites? Can you tell us about any other businesses that operated in Chandler's Ford: the brickworks, Hillier's Nursery, the laundries etc?


Blogger Chris said...

Chandler’s Ford Industries
By Patricia Coward (1967)

1870s Brickworks (3 pages)

Wm R Selwood - a Plant hire organisation (see photo). Had its headquarters in the old school in Bournemouth Road. “The expansion of the company is a reflection of the increase in building and civil engineering operations since the end of the war (Eastleigh Guide)

Initial Towel Company – set up around 1962 – 3 on the same site as the earlier laundry, which had been destroyed by fire some years before.

Brooklyn Engineering Works – Started around 1950. When Mr Hatley took his yard over from his father and brother it included a derelict sawmill and pigsties in an untidy condition. Since then fences have been erected and trees and shrubs have been planted. It is a machine and machine tool merchants, chemical plant contractors, plant hire and demolition and iron and metal merchants. It buys and reconditions plant, some for export.


Hendy’s was the first main Ford dealers in the country. They buy and repair cars and agricultural machinery and implements. It developed from a tiy bicycle repair shop in Southampton around 1910.

Two brothers, Percy and Fred Hendy were ran this cycle shop. Their father appointed Percy to manage the car side of the concern.

In 1910 Mr Percy Hendy signed the dealership agreement with Ford and thus became the very first dealer of Ford in the British Isles. The growth of Hendy’s car trade began at 58 Above Bar, but the first world war called a halt to the expansion.

During the first world war the company was made responsible for the service and maintenance of all Fordson tractors in this part of Hampshire. Radio-telephone communication was installed in the far vehicles thus ensuring quick service “on the farm”.

(Add role during second world war with photos.)

In 1960 the new 9,500 sq ft building at the rear of Thames House was started to provide the Industrial Engine and Tractor workshops. The same year the showrooms were rebuilt and a new greasing and valeting bay was installed.

In 1966 Hendy gained the distributorship for Ford excavators, making it the only distributor in the country to handle all of Ford franchises.

By 1967 the Chandler’s Ford depot includes a body repair shop, a paint shop, a diesel shop, which is one of the best in the country, with modern equipment enabling them to handle practically all types of diesel injection, an electrical shop, an engine test shop, which is quite rare, for the testing of engines under load such as those of lifeboats, a radiator shop, blacksmith’s shop, industrial engine and tractor workshops, commercial vehicle and car repair workshops.

B Draper and Son Ltd (Hursley Road)

This company imports and distributes hand tools, precision tools, automotive tools etc.

They moved from Kingston-upon-Thames about 1963 because the premises there were too small as they were continually expanding, and parking in Kingston was very difficult. The Chandler’s Ford premises, an empty shell when purchased, had been vacant since about 1959. It had belonged to Vickers Armstrong and then to the Admiralty. By 1967 new offices and a canteen had been built.

Golden Wonder Crisp Co Ltd

Operations of this National company started in Chandler’s Ford in August 1964. It provided warehousing and distributed potato crisps and packets of peanuts. By 1967 it had expanded considerably.

Nurseries eg Red Lodge Nursery, Hillier’s Hiltingbury Nursery.

Hilliers and Sons, Nurserymen and Seedsmen

Hilliers already had three nurseries in the Winchester area, but they were on alkaline soil. They purchased land in Chandler’s Ford for its acid soil and established oak trees for shade, so that they could grown ericaceous plants such as rhododendron.

Since WW2 they have acquired about 500 acres in the Ampfield area since expansion in Chandler’s ford was impossible as the nursery was surrounded by building development.

W H Rogers (Chandler’s Ford) Ltd, General Nurserymen

The nursery was started in Chestnut Avenue in March 1939, but was established at Bassett in 1831. Development was proposed on the old site. They produce roses, fruit trees, conifers, alpines, shrubs, ornamental trees and, their speciality, dwarf conifers. Trade expanded after 1945…..

Jack E Winston
R J Lanham Ltd
M & P Wenden Ltd
R J Monk Ltd
Tom Jurd Ltd
Noyce and Son Ltd
G P Cooper Ltd
C F Hemming & Co Ltd

Limmer and Trinidad Company Ltd

This company first came to this area at Northam, Southampton in 1912, and erected an asphalt plant in the sand pit in Chandler’s Ford in 1921.

In the early days the buildings were old wooden huts and the asphalt plant was very much a Heath-Robinson design and was driven by steam. As it developed a large brick office block was built.

Due to the vast expansion in trades on road, flat roofing and decorative flooring employee numbers had increased several times. The company undertakes road work, flat roofing, decorative tile and industrial flooring and damp coursing. By 1967 it had moved into the epoxy resin field and expansion points for bridges.

By 1967 although the development in Chandler’s Ford had helped the company’s trade expansion, the general growth in the Southampton area has been greater.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Agriculture and forestry were the main industries in Chandler’s Ford until brickmaking was established in the mid-Victorian years. The largest brickworks was located to the west of Bournemouth Road (then called Southampton Road), near Titlark Farm, and its output was sufficiently large to warrant a single-line railway link from Chandler’s Ford Station to the works. This link used horse-drawn railway wagons, and facilitated the transport of bricks away from Chandler’s Ford by the London & South Western Railway Company.

There were other brickworks, including in the Fryern Hill and Common Road areas, and in the nearby village of Allbrook. There was also Marlbrook Pond Brickworks, which is shown in an 1872 map of Chandler’s Ford, in the vicinity of the present Velmore Road. Brickmaking at Marlbrook preceded that at the nearby large brickworks, which is not shown on the 1872 map. The works at Marlbrook Pond is not mentioned in some histories of Chandler’s Ford.

(See for a view of the start of the rail link to the largest brickworks, at left of a 1900’s picture of Chandler’s Ford Station from the main road overbridge).

My great-great grandfather and some of his descendants were brickmakers in and around Chandlers Ford. My great-grandfather is described in the 1881 Census as living with his family in a cottage at Marlbrook Brickworks. My grandfather and several of his brothers worked at other brickworks in Chandler’s Ford.

Brickmaking died out in Chandler’s Ford in the early part of the 20th century.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

It's great that people are adding to this site.

We're putting on a small local history exhibition in Chandler's Ford library next month (Sept 2006). We'd hoped to include something on brickmaking as it's so important in the history of Chandler's Ford. I've got maps that show the brickworks, and an actual brick - from my house! Would you mind if we printed off and included your article?

5:16 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

HARVEY PHOTOGRAPHY: Over Three Decades of Photography in Chandler’s Ford by Pauline Harvey , 30 March 2004

The history of the business

Peter Harvey opened his photographic business in 1960 at 1A Bedford Place in Southampton, a building which has since been demolished. He had had a photographic studio and shop in Sherborne, Dorset since 1947, which he ran with his father, under the name of Harvey Studios. He had left his father to run it when he became a ship's photographer, working largely on the Royal Mail Lines' flagship RMS Andes sailing out of Southampton. When he met and married Pauline, a telephonist on board the Andes, he decided to leave the sea, so they looked all round the Southampton area and decided Chandlers Ford was where they wanted to be. They bought a house in Park Road and rented the premises in Bedford Place where Peter set up a darkroom and opened for business. Peter's father closed down the Dorset business and took over Peter's job on the ship - a new and exciting start for him at the age of sixty. He stayed on the ship for eleven years. So Hampshire took over as Dorset closed.

Peter had learnt colour photography and printing on a course run by Agfa when colour film was first available, so now he was one of the first to offer wedding photography in colour, processed and printed in his own colour lab. Royal Mail Lines provided him with one of his first contracts. Colour photographs of passengers, taken on board the Andes, were passed on to Peter to process, print and post out.

After a few years the business moved to larger premises in Above Bar, which was more central, roomier and smarter. Peter and Pauline's two children were by now at school, so Pauline was able to spend more time helping to manage the business side.

The move to Chandlers Ford

The journey between Chandlers Ford and Southampton, mostly in the rush hour, was becoming tedious, so Peter had the idea of working from home. He applied for planning permission, which was granted, and had a studio / darkroom built behind the house, The business moved there in 1970 and has been there ever since.

The work was varied. There were weddings, portraits and passport photographs. The commercial and industrial side included building progress jobs for Bri-Mac Ltd of Southampton, Braziers, Wiltshiers and other development companies, photographs of mobile clinics for Gordon Poole, Ice-cream vans for Morrison Industries of Botley, fire-places for Jetmaster Fires of Winchester and baking processes for Manor Bakeries of Eastleigh. When Rhinefield House near Brockenhurst was developed into time-share apartments Peter took shots of the beautifully furnished interiors. He did so much work for the International Synthetic Rubber Company at Hythe - pictures of the plant, personnel photos, magazine and PR work - that many people there thought he was on the staff.

The two children eventually joined the business. Having been brought up in the midst of photography, the interest had been kindled. Richard left school at seventeen and asked if he could work for his father, Peter said yes, if he could be ready for work at nine each morning. He was and he did. Belinda did a year's foundation course at Southampton College of Art and went on to do photography at Gloucester Art College, and then joined the firm. The interior of the darkroom was re-arranged to enable two or three people to work comfortably together.

Richard was offered the opportunity to sail to New York and back, working as ship's photographer on the QE2 to fill in for someone going on leave. This he did and soon this became a frequent event, until he was asked to become a full time member of the team. As the ship was cruising now, as well as doing the New York run, it enabled Richard to see a large part of the world and he stayed in this job for eleven years.

Belinda made photographing people her speciality, She took every opportunity to attend training courses and concentrated on improving both the technical and the creative sides of her art. Both wedding and portrait photography became less formal and allowed for more imagination and for more enjoyment for those on both sides of the camera. She qualified as an associate member of the Master Photographers Association, the British Institute of Photography, the Royal Photographic Society and recently as a member of the Federation of European Photographers, one of the first in the country to do so. She began to find amongst her brides the daughters of some of Peter's previous brides and found herself taking pictures of the children of some of her previous wedding clients. As she worked less and less in the studio and more and more out on location, she found the areas around Chandlers Ford perfect for the relaxed, natural type of pictures she liked to create.

In 1990 Richard left the sea and at about this time Peter decided to retire. The two children took over the business, Richard taking on the commercial and industrial side under the name of Harvey Photographic and Belinda the portraits and weddings under the name of Harvey Studios.

The present and the future.

It is now 57 years since the Harvey’s started up in the photographic business in 1947 in Dorset, then moved to Hampshire, and 34 years since they set up in Chandlers Ford. Richard has moved into digital photography, which is appropriate to his type of work, in that results are often wanted very quickly. This means that he spends much less time than formerly in the dark room and more time on the computer. Belinda on the other hand, while using a digital camera on some occasions, on the whole is staying with traditional camera and film. As she does her own printing she feels she has complete control of what she produces and that for the time being is happy with the situation as it is.

Much has changed on the technical side but ultimately their goal is making good pictures and maintaining a happy relationship with their clients.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marlbrook Pond Brickyard

Marlbrook Pond Brickyard is also shown in a reprint of an 1864 1" Ordnance Survey map of Hampshire, again in the area of the present Velmore Road (see Sheet No. 86, Winchester (Southampton and Portsmouth), David and Charles Publishers, ISBN 0 7153 4422 6, Second Impression, 1980.

This map also shows a farm called Common Farm at the location of the Titlark Farm given in later maps of Chandler's Ford.

5:52 PM  

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