Business Connections

This article is based on the very interesting book
"Old Surviving Firms of South London" by Steven Harris published in 1987.

H Morrell & Sons (Est. 1800)
173-175 Kennington Lane.

Morrell's started out as builders based in Endell Street (Covent Garden) around 1800 but the surrounding land was being converted into housings and they needed to find new premises. They moved to Kennington and took over the premises of one of their suppliers George Hyde who were Builders Merchants. The Hyde company has been in business for about 100 years but ceased when there were no heirs to take over the business! It is said that the Morrells were Hyde's very first customer as well as their very last. Morrell's moved into the retail trade in 1984 whilst continuing their mainly commercial alterations building business.

Alfred Quaterman (Est. 1878)
2 Wincott Street

Alftred Quaterman started a glass bevelling business at 170 Kennington Lane in 1878. They supplied and fitted all sorts of glasswork including embossed windows, coloured glass some used in pubs all over the London area. Some of the Embankment lamp standards still contain Quaterman glass fitments. The Kennington Lane site was bombed during WW2 and the company moved to Wincott Street. Around this time they decided to concentrate on replacement car windscreen. Recently they moved to new premises in Rodney Place (Elephant & Castle).

Bob White (Est. 1910)
Kennington Lane

The family of this well known firm of fishmongers originally came from Canterbury. After having a fish stall in the Elephant & Castle area they took over their present shop around 1910.

Lambeth Building Society (Est. 1852)
Westminster Bridge Road

This nationally advertised Building Society was originally set up on 11th February 1852 and called "The Number Three Borough of Lambeth Permanent Benefit Building Society". Early mortgages were made on local properties mainly in Kennington, Peckham Bermondsey but in 1876 �630 was lent to buy four freehold houses in Bath. In 1879 the society decided to widen its target area to the whole of London to spread the risk of price fluctuations in the local market. In 1911 the name was changed to "Borough of Lambeth Permanent Benefit Building Society" and in 1933 to "Lambeth Building Society". Based mainly at the Head office the society currently has 10 branch offices in London and the SE.

J Tappy of Lambeth (Est. 1910)
9 Newport Street

Joseph Tappy started his firm at 22 Saville Place to build, repair and rebuild market stalls and trolleys. This small firm has moved around the area over the years but is happily located in Newport Street.

Kennington Lane

This building and restoration company was founded by Nicholas Charles Szerelmey a former Hungarian army engineer who in 1841 developed a preservative for use on old buildings. He moved to England in 1850 and in 1885 submitted suggestions for the preservation of the stonework of the Houses of Parliament. His suggestions were accepted and the work was started but cancelled part way when the government of the day changed. Szerelmey also developed a rust preventative iron paint which was used on several well known buildings including St Paul's Cathedral and the Bank of England.

Daltons Weekly

This property paper originally started in the late 1860s as a single page broadsheet listing "Accommodation for Gentlemen" in the then fashionable middle class suburbs around Vauxhall by Herbert Dalton, a War Office Civil Servant. Herbert died two years after starting this part time venture and the business passed to his brother who quickly sold it to the two brothers, with the surname Herbert, who has been printing it for �100,000! The business stayed with the Herbert family for 102 years till June 1972 when the title was bought by Morgan-Grampian Ltd and is now based in New Malden.

Prices Patent Candle Co Ltd

See separate entry under Candles

James Burrough PLC
Montford Place

James Burrough was born in 1834 and trained as a chemist in the west country. After his apprenticeship finished he travels to North America & Canada. On his return to the UK he bought the old gin & liqueur distilling firm of John Taylor & Son of Cale St., Chelsea in 1863. Burrough's trademark gin 'Beefeater' proved very popular and in 1908 the company now called James Burrough Ltd moved to purpose built premises in Lambeth. The new site had access to a well capable of supplying London water with the right taste for their 'London Gin'. The company moved to Montford Place in 1958. By 1963 it was the largest exporter of Gin from the UK and accordingly it received the Queens Award for Export Achievement for several years. The company was taken over by Alied Domeq

Higgs And Hill

See separatee entry under Crown Works

Thomas Letts

The printer and stationer was born in Stockwell in 1803


The Freemans business started in 1905 in a gas lit terraced house in the London Suburbs. The company was named after Mr H E Freeman who was just one of the 4 founders. Business was good and after a year they moved to a larger site at 215 Lavender Hill. In 1922 they moved into a nearby old cinema. By 1936 they had about 1000 staff and moved to some old printing works at 139 Clapham Road which they renamed Lavender House.

Laurence the Pet Stop (Est. 1938)
Lower Marsh

Started out selling cats meat obtained from slaughter houses

Stantons the Shoe Shop (Est. 1921)
Lower Marsh

Still run by the family

Trussons the Mens Wear Shop
Lower Marsh

The Mays family started the business in 1866 but has been in the Trussons family for many Years

Cohen the Mens Wear Shop (Est. 1921)
Lower Marsh

Drury Tea & Coffee Specialists
Mepham Street

The Drury Tea & Coffee Company was established in 1936 by three Italian brothers. Originally called Olmi Brothers Tea, the company supplied fine leaf teas to the public as well as catering establishments from their premises in Drury Lane. They started selling coffee in 1939, and shortly after the Second World War, in 1946, changed their name to The Drury Tea and Coffee Company. In 1953 the company moved to Waterloo, where they remained for forty-six years. In November 1999 they moved to just south of Tower Bridge. The company is still family owned and run by the sons and grandsons of the original three brothers.

Wallace Windscreens
Webber Street

Founded in 1905 the business stayed under family control til 1980

Farey the Shoe Repairers
The Cut

Founded in 1930 and originally based in Sumner Street they moved to the Cut in the late 1950s