Sunday, 27 April 2014

Hindmarsh & Heppell, Newcastle

Here is a billhead dated 1916 for R. & T. Hindmarsh & Heppell, Estate and House Agents, Auctioneers and Valuers, from Newcastle on Tyne. It shows the company as "Successors to James Hindmarsh".

The business was set up in the 1860s by James Hindmarsh – and some details about his life are contained in an article from the Newcastle Journal dated 15 October 1898, announcing his retirement from the family business. James had no children and the business was transferred to his nephews Ralph Hindmarsh, Thomas Hindmarsh and George Heppell, all of whom had been involved in the business for some years. George Heppell died in April 1909 and his son, Thomas Robson Heppell, is shown as a partner on the billhead.

Source: British Newspaper Archive

James Hindmarsh was born in 1813 and his first work was at the West Moor Colliery. His ambitions took him to Newcastle, finding a position in the leather works owned by the Richardsons, a prominent Quaker family. Whilst working there he began to operate as what we might today call a property developer, buying and selling houses. By 1862 he had accumulated sufficient funds to leave and set up his own business in Clayton Street.

It seems that James had a few innovative ideas to push his business forward. One of these was the Newcastle and Northern Counties Property List, described as “a formidable looking publication with bright green cover, which he distributed gratis. Undoubtedly he was the pioneer of this kind of information in the north.”

The article notes that “it was his custom to go through the different streets taking note of all the empty houses, and then to go and get tenants for them free of charge. When asked why he let them without instructions, he would reply that he was at war with empty houses. And though those people might not thank him for his trouble and interference, they were, in the end, the means of sending others to him, and he ultimately found his labour had not been in vain.”

James Hindmarsh died in May 1905 at his home in Ryton.

There is also a Daglish interest in this story. Ralph Hindmarsh (1852-1920) married Mary Ann Daglish in 1874. Mary Ann was the daughter of John Daglish and Mary Hamilton.

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