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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Builders star in vintage brochure

AN old promotional guide to Barrow and Furness from 1895 gives an insight into some of the firms which helped build our factories, streets and najor public buildings.

It is called An Illustrated Account of Barrow-in-Furness, Ulverston and District and is among items in the November 3 Barrow sale being held by Furness Auctions.

Inside are features on individual shops and businesses, including three buildings firms – William Gradwell, of Barrow; William Waite, of Ulverston and James Garden, of Dalton.

Many readers will be sitting in a house built by Barrow “King of Bricks” William Gradwell.

His family’s building and contracting empire started at Roose in 1844 and moved closer to the growing Barrow town centre in 1855.

The booklet notes: “The premises known as the Hindpool Saw Mills cover about seven acres of land in Hindpool Road.”

Timber and cement was brought in by sea through Devonshire Dock.

The firm put electric lighting in Newport railway station in Wales and worked on piers and wharves at Cardiff.

In Barrow, the firm was involved in dozens of projects including the schools in Holker Street and Rawlinson Street and the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel.

William Waite, at The Gill, was building in Ulverston from 1866.

His contracts included the town police station and the Co-operative buildings in Brogden Street.

Dalton builder James Garden was based in Market Street and had been in business since around 1850.

His major projects included Holker Hall and the Stone Cross mansion in Ulverston.

He also built the original indoor market at Ulverston, Priors Lea at Barrow and restored Bootle church.

At Dalton, the firm had a steam-powered saw-mill and made its owns doors and windows.

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