Fonds BR 2 - Business and Estate Records of F. Crowe and Sons Ltd., of Norwich, Printers

Identity area

Reference code

BR 2


Business and Estate Records of F. Crowe and Sons Ltd., of Norwich, Printers


  • 1766-1986 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

105 pieces

Context area

Name of creator

(? 1869-)

Administrative history

Frederick Crowe, born in Norwich c 1826, established his printing business at 30 Pottergate Street, Norwich at some point between 1869-1875. In 1879, he acquired the rival business of George Pinson, also in Pottergate, and in 1888, he moved premises to 11 Pottergate Street, an address at which the business was to remain until 1973. He retired in the late 1890's and died in 1898, the family firm being carried on by his sons, Frederick Henry and Robert Alfred Crowe. In 1899, they formalised the relationship with a partnership agreement. Frederick Henry was, at this point, living 'over the shop' in Pottergate.
Robert Alfred began to suffer from ill-health from 1916 onwards, and in 1920, died, leaving his brother to buy-out his estate's share of the business. By then, Frederick Henry 's son, Sidney Henry Crowe had also joined the firm (then styled Messrs F. Crowe and Sons), and in 1931, when Frederick died, Sidney bought out his siblings' shares in the business and became the sole proprietor. From the late 1940s onwards, Sidney himself suffered from increasingly poor health and, in 1952, it was decided to convert the family business into a private limited company. It was incorporated on 8 December 1952 and traded as F. Crowe and Sons Ltd. In the next year, Arthur Francis Cooke and his wife injected much-needed capital into the company and moved from Leicester to Norwich to become managing directors. Sidney gradually retreated from an active role in the business and, by 1958, appears to have retired altogether, leaving the Cookes as sole directors. Their son, Gerald later joined the board of directors.
The subsidiary business of Zillwood Ltd derived from a pre-existing printing business in Southampton called Frank Zillwood and Sons Ltd. In 1934, this company was bought out by a newly incorporated company called Pottergate Printers Ltd, and, in 1935, was re-incorporated under the name, Zillwood Ltd. Arthur Henry Cooke and a relative, Arthur Hylard Cooke, were directors of Zillwoods. The Cookes ran the two businesses concurrently, until, in September 1971, they amalgamated the Zillwood business with that of F. Crowe and Sons Ltd, sold the name of Zillwoods Ltd. to another firm in Southampton and, in January 1972, transferred the trading interest of Pottergate Printers Ltd. to F. Crowe and Sons Ltd.
In March 1973, the printing business of G.S. Hill and Sons Ltd. was bought, and subsequently ceased to trade, although the Cookes remained as directors. In 1973/4, F. Crowe and Sons Ltd. moved premises from Pottergate Street to an industrial estate on Concorde Road and later they expanded to premises in Hurricane Way. After his parents retired, Gerald Cooke continued to run the company.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office in 1973-1974 and 16 October 1995. Relisted on 1 May 2007 (TT).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Previously listed as MS 21530.
The previous list of BR 2 has been subsumed by the current one. The previous BR 2/1 is now BR 2/81, BR 2/2 is now BR 2 /7, BR 2/3 is BR 2/55, BR 2/4 is BR 2/57, BR 2/5 is BR 2/9, BR 2/6 is BR 2/10, BR 2/7 is BR 2/11, BR 2/8 is BR 2/12, BR 2/9 is BR 2/21 and BR 2/10 is BR 2/14.
The list is arranged into the following main categories:
Directors' papers - BR 2/1-6
Accounting records - BR 2/7-67
Employees records - BR 2/68-80
Estate records - BR 2/81-85
Printed matter - BR 2/86-88
Subsidiary companies - BR 2/89-105

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Rules and/or conventions used




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places