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Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:12 pm
by Rick Riddell 230
Was curious to see if there was more info on him than what is in the database? Did he get guns from Blanch & Sons?

Re: Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:23 pm
by John 39
Hi Rick,

He would have bought from the Birmingham trade mainly, perhaps his best guns came from independent London makers. Blanch would have made guns only for themselves to retail.

Unfortunately, censuses after 1911 are not yet available to the public but through other sources I think I've found him. There is a record of him in 1939 living at 4 Camberwell Lane - Alfred Edward Davis (b. 4 December 1901), a Detail Fitter - Gun Worker, married to Winifred D Davis (b. 4 September 1904) . He died on 20 February 1977 leaving an estate valued at £20,000 - so he was not a poor man and we can presume his business did quite well for as long as it lasted. I'm emailing you a copy of his gun case label.

Re: Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:56 pm
by Rick Riddell 230
Thank you John! I presume the two Alfred Davis entries are the same individual? This gun peaked my curiosity marked by both.

Re: Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:37 pm
by John 39
Hi Rick,

No, they were different people, maybe both of Welsh ancestry - I suppose that means related but probably non incestuously! Wales is larger than most people think! He seems to have had a happy marriage - 9 children, but the business does not seem to have been a success. By 1939 he was a labourer.

Re: Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:43 am
by Rick Riddell 230
Wait now I am confused, there are two Alfred Davis’ in the database, one at 4 Bishopsgate London and the other at 4 Hampton road Ilford, these two entities have to be the same person, I have a catalog and gun for Davis at 4 Hampton road, the catalog has (From J. Blanch and Son) same as the label you sent for 4 Bishopsgate. Unless there were Alfred Davis’ at Blanch and sons that went out on their own!

Re: Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:21 am
by John 39
Well ! That's a surprise ! Why would he open two shops at the same time - and doubling his overheads?

Re: Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:44 am
by Rick Riddell 230
The 4 Hampton address catalog I got from Cornell press states it was from 1925. I’ll check the proofs on the boxlock I have with the Hampton road address. Very curious indeed! He may have started in Ilford and made his way to London proper by the 30’s.

Re: Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:42 pm
by John 39
Hi Rick,

So many men named Alfred Davis ! This was not Alfred Edward Davis ! We have re-investigated and re-written the history as follows:

Alfred Davis was born on 16 March 1871 in South Hornsey, north east London. His father was Henry Davis who was reasonably well-off and lived "on his own means".His mother was Hannah. The 1881 census records the family living at 56 Jackson Road, Hornsey.

The 1891 census records the family living at the same address. Alfred was 20 years old and worked as a cartridge loader, but who for is not known.

By the time of the 1901 census Alfred was married to Elizabeth Ann (nee Pollicot b.1872) and living at 76 Sandringham Road, Hackney. He described himself as a gun maker's assistant but again, we do not know the name of his employer.

Kelly's Directory records Albert from 1909 to 1911 living at 36 (possibly 26) Hampton Road, Ilford. He appears to have moved there in 1907/1908. The 1911 census records him living at 26 Hampton Road with nine children. He described himself as "shopman gun makers" which may mean that at that time he worked for J Blanch & Son. He eventually became shop manager for J Blanch & Son.

In about 1912 he established his own business as a gun maker at 4 Hampton Road, Ilford, in north east London.

In 1931, perhaps desirous of returning to the City of London, he bought the business of W Tulloch & Co at 4 Bishopsgate Churchyard. He was recorded there from 1933. The Ilford business appears to have closed in 1934 but the Bishopsgate business continued until 1941. Alfred died in January 1944 aged 73. His estate was valued at £1834 12s. 4d.

Re: Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:07 pm
by Rick Riddell 230
AWESOME!! I take it you got my email? How were you able to fill in the blanks ??? This site is fun, I love the detective work you guys put in! I better stop buying British doubles!! Thank you John, for breathing life back into these (some forgotten) craftsmen!!

Re: Alfred Davis (J. Blanch)

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:28 pm
by John 39
I did get your email and applied my not inconsiderable intelligence to it ! One thing is not clear, was he at 26 or 36 Hampton Road. The census certainly said 36 but he may have moved or maybe he lived at 36 and the shop was at 26? I have to pretend to be clever because nobody else thinks so.