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Charles Barnard of Braconash and Norwich established in 1826 an ironmongery business in the Market Place, Norwich. After the cessation of a partnership with his father-in-law, Matthew Joy, he formed a life-long partnership in 1846 with John Bishop, ironfounder of St Ives, Hunts. Charles had, by this time, moved into the ironfounding business and had already (in 1844) built the first patented wire-netting machine. As Messrs Barnard and Bishop, the business expanded firstly from Pottergate (where the foundry premises had been) to St George's Colegate and then, in 1851, to St Michael's (St Miles) Coslany Street. Later the firm would open offices and showrooms in both Birmingham and in Queen Victoria Street, London.Barnard and Bishop (from 1859 known as Messrs Barnard, Bishop and Barnards with the addition to the directorship of Charles' sons, Charles and Godfrey Barnard) swiftly acquired a reputation as manufacturers of fine wrought-ironwork and of popular lines of wire-netting and domestic and agricultural implements.
Despite Charles Barnard senior's death in 1871, the business retained the title of Barnard, Bishop and Barnards when, in 1887, it was incorporated with limited liability under the Companies Act. In 1908, the management under James Garton Bower junior purchased Barnard, Bishop and Barnards Ltd's assets and liabilities and established the new firm of Barnards Ltd. In 1921, part of the Mousehold aerodrome was purchased for extra warehousing space. This was later to become the site of their main premises.
After the 2nd World War, diversification of product-range was introduced in an attempt to fill empty order books (it was at this time that a controlling interest in a London-based, bakery equipment manufacturer, Pelkman Bros. Ltd, was acquired) but flagging fortunes in the 1950s led to its take-over in 1955 by a Sheffield based company, Tinsley Wire Industries Ltd. (T.W.I.L.). Under new management, Barnards Ltd. continued to operate at its Mousehold site with its existing name, although with all but its wire-netting and chain-link fencing departments closed down. Barnards Ltd finally ceased to trade in early 1991.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 31 October 1990 and 21 November 1990 (MS 23124). Catalogue completed (TT)
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Scope and content
Records of Barnards Ltd, ironfounders, plus some records of Boulton & Paul Wire Products Ltd, Norwich and other companies. These records stem largely from the date of the firm's incorporation in 1887, although some earlier correspondence and accounting records also survive (including one ledger which commenced prior to the formation of Charles Barnard's partnership with John Bishop). Also includes records from Boulton and Paul Wire Products Ltd (see BR 220/234) a firm established in 1964 as a result of Tinsley Wire Industries Ltd's purchase in that year of Boulton and Paul's wire-netting interests.
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Unfit for production (UFP1)- BR 220/87 - 91
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Created 18/02/2003 by Droip. Modified 25/06/2019 by Drott.