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Prout Bridge, Beaminster, Dorset

This short road about 200 yards long on the southern approach to the town from Bridport has quite a relationship with the Hann family.  It is where there was a bridge on the Bridport road where the River Brit and the tributaries from the north of Beaminster meet, opposite No. 12.  Until at least the Second World War the name Prout Bridge seems to have referred to an area of Beaminster centred on the junction of Bridport Road, Whitcombe Road and Prout Bridge (road), the last two of which I believe share the distinction of being the only main roads in Beaminster that have never had street nameplates.  In the censuses for 1841-1871 this 200 yard section and the Whitcombe Road section appear as part of East Street, by 1881 Whitcombe Road is still East Street, but Prout Bridge is now South Street.  On Ordnance Survey map for 1889 Prout Hill and Whitvombe Road are the names shown, though the 1891 census had seen them referred to as Prout Bridge and East Street, there also being a mysterious 'High Street' with 239 residents that has East Street at both ends of its records whose occupants appear as East Street in 1901, so this may be modern-day East Street. .  In 1901 and 1911 the confusion continues as Whitcombe Street appears as Whitcombe Road then East Street again and Prout Bridge seems to include Whitcombe Road and part of Bridport Road in 1911.  Shortly after there is reference to Prout Bridge Hill and Prout Bridge Street in newspapers. At the time of the 1939 National Register (a bit like the 1911 census) the name appears to refer to the area again as residents of properties in Whitcombe Road and Bridport Road are still also recorded under Prout Bridge. At some time in the 1980s probably as the bridge over the River Brit had long not been visible and because of its incline, Prout Hill had come more to prominence and properties were either addressed as x Prout Bridge, Prout Hill. or recorded as such by the local district council planning department. By the turn of the century the names had become synonymous and the it seems to have re-named it Prout Hill in official records, though I believe even now there are no street nameplates to identify these roads in the Prout Bridge area of town, so Prout Hill, and Whitcombe Road remain anonymous - who knows what Beminstrians actually call them or how they will be recorded in future eensuses?

South Street (Prout Bridge?) was the home of Charles Hann from before 1881 (possibly from 1875 when his father, David Hann, was recorded as an appraiser and builder) until his death in 1911. David had moved from Stoke Abbott with his family in the latter half of the 1850s to live at Prout Bridge but left shortly after for new premises in East Street before returning to Prout Bridge around 1875 probably to Brook Lodge.  David died in 1876 and on 15 August 1879 Charles put it on the market


TO     BE     SOLD     OR     LET   with    immediate

possession.      The    RESIDENCE   known    as
Brook Lodge with the lawn,  gardens,  pasture land,
stable, coach-house, greenhouse, gardeners cottage,
and   premises   adjoining.   To   view   apply   to   Mr.
Charles   Hanne,   builder,   Beaminster,   and   for
particulars  to  Messrs.  Loggin and Nantes,  Brid-

In his time David was responsible for the building of the then new Police Station and Justice Rooms at 6 Prout Bridge (now the Youth Centre), interior restoration works at St Mary of the Annunciation Church in Beaminster and supplying the timber that enabled the bells of St Mary the Virgin Church in Netherbury to be re-hung.. He was also the uncle of John George Hann of Hann & Co Ltd Brewery. [At a dinner in 1886 Mr PW MacHale the Beaminster Superintendent of Police said that he had known Charles and his younger brother Albert since their infancy as it was he who had persuaded David to move to Beaminster]. Charles eldest brother had returned to Stoke Abbott around 1859 having married Sarah B Gibbs and lived there, Mosterton and Shepton Mallet before emigrating to the USA in 1872. Four of his five children, Job Gibbs, Bowden Brown, John James and Mary Maria, went with him - Emily having died in infancy in Shepton Mallet. They settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Hugh died as the result of severe injuries received having been knocked down by a car in 1926

Two schools that David Hann helped to build.  He and Chick did the carpentry for the Girls' Elementary and National Schools (for infants) in Hogshill Street in 1868 and David built the Boys' Elementary School at the workhouse in East Street in 1876.  His sons (C & A Hann) later built the Grammar School in Hogshill Street


Another elder brother George left the family home by the time the family returned to Prout Bridge, having gone to Wilton in Wiltshire to marry Louisa Carse. By 1871 they had moved to Govan in Glasgow where George was a clerk with the Inland Revenue and later moved to Yorkshire where he died, near Bradford, in 1890. He had three sons. Reginald George who settled in Leeds and was an eminent surgeon, dying there in 1962. Arnold Charles who was sub-governor of the Bank of Egypt and lived in Alexandria where he died in 1958 and Leonard Carse who was started as a bank clerk before becoming a school teacher and piano tutor in Purley. He retired to Bexhill-on-Sea where he died in 1956.

Charles's youngest brother, Edwin had left Prout Bridge in 1888 for Newcastle-upon-Tyne to join the Northumberland Fusiliers with whom he served until 1891, becoming a builder's clerk in Bromley-by-Bow on resuming civilian life. He returned to Beaminster to marry Fanny Sherring in 1892 before moving back to London and on to Wealdstone where he ran a house furnishings shop and becoming a company director, then on to Palmers Green. Following Fanny's death he married Ada Bonner and moved to West Ham. Ada died in 1940 and he probably went to stay with his daughter Kathleen Mary Sherring in Kingsbury before dying a year later. Kathleen's brother Harry Edwin marrying his uncle Charles's daughter Ellen Louise's daughter Eleanor B Wainwright (see below)

In 1901 Charles's brother Albert (christened at Stoke Abbott on 2 Apr 1858) was living a few doors away in Prout Bridge, their eldest brother (Hugh 1839-1851) had emigrated to Grand Falls, Michigan where he had moved from the railroads to a fuel company. George (1847-1890) had already died, having been an Inland Revenue clerk in Glasgow and Yorkshire and Edwin (1863-1941) was doing quite nicely with his house furnishings business in Wealdstone, London.

When he married Julia Eleanor Venner Prescott in Brighton in 1878, Charles was described as a builder, probably operating from Prout Bridge, as this is where he was operating in 1895. By 1883 he had formed a partnership with his younger brother Albert. They traded as C & A Hann and were variously described as building contractors, stonemasons, cabinet makers and lime merchants and had many building projects around Beaminster including proposals in January 1883 for a new Town Hall in Fleet Street, restoration work on St Candida and Holy Cross church at Whitchurch Canonicorum in 1888 the first part of which was to cost £800 and for work on the Grammar school, placing advertisements in the Western Gazette for bricklayers in 1891 and walling masons and painters in 1895 to replace 12-20 and 24 Prout Bridge that were severely damaged in the late-August 1894 flood of the River Brit with the slightly larger 12, 18 and 20 and a stone-built 24.  In December 1887 they also constructed a stage at the Assembly rooms at the White Hart Hotel, Beaminster for a production by the Bridport Amateur Dramatic Society in aid of the Beaminster Dorcas Society 'an institution for the relief of the poor' and in July 1893 Membury church in Devon was re-opened following a renovation by C & A Hann which had cost £1300

When the Bishop of Sherborne consecrated the New Burial Ground at Holy Trinity church in Shortmoor, Beaminster, on 24 August 1894  it was recorded that 'the contractors (Messrs C&A Hann) have given great satisfaction by the way in which the work has been carried out'

On 31 August 1894 a cricket match was held at Chedington Court between the married and single employees of C&A Hann.  The teams were married: James Sartin, John Sartin, H Davis, A Sartin, W Sartin, J Spearing, F Hexton, J Welby, H Sartin, J Sartin and W Swaffield. Single: B Sartin, H Hawkins, C Wareham, J Smith, E Gosney, F Warry, P Sartin, B Paul, A Shutler, A Loveless and F Loveless. The single team scored 56 and the married 34

On 31 December 1886 C&A Hann held a festive dinner for their employees entertaining 60-70 people. A short speech by Mr R Toleman remarked on the growth of the firm and reminded the men that the success of the master was in large measure due to them as it was only by satisfactory work that was more obtained.  W Trump, W Shapland and M Symes were praised by Charles as those who had worked longest for the family in their respective departments when he toasted the men in response

Between January 1896 and October 1899 (if not longer) C&A Hann also provided coffins and acted as undertakers.  A report in the Bridport News for 17 January 1896 stating that they arranged the whole of the funeral of Rev Canon (Alfred) Percy Codd, Vicar of Beaminster and his burial at Holy Trinity Church having met the train from Salisbury at Crewkerne, conveyed the coffin to Tunnel Road where the mourners formed the cortege to St Mary's Church where the body was placed in the chancel during the service.  It was then borne in procession headed by the choir to Holy Trinity Church for burial

In Aug 1903 Messrs Hann of Beaminster gifted a new flag staff for the tower of St John Baptist Church at Membury, Devon which they had repaired, 'the manner of whose work had given great satisfaction' and up to March 1906 did chancel work for the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at St John the Evangelist and All Saints Church at Kingstone, Somerset   Having previously constructed the New Burial Ground (now Beaminster Cemetery) at Shortmoor, their work culminating in the erection of the 'Julia' in The Square. This was commissioned by Vincent Joseph Robinson CIE of Parnham House, Beaminster in memory of Elizabeth Julia Robinson and is a memorial over 20 feet high and 16 feet across, shaped like a market cross. It was handed over to Beaminster Parish Council by Mr Robinson on 9 April 1906. 

The premises at Prout Bridge in the days of C&A Hann and in the early 2000s

The 'Julia' in The Square, the last work completed by C&A Hann, builders

Just before the handover an official notice in 'The Western Gazette' recorded that the two brothers and their sons would be going their separate ways in business and the partnership between C Hann and A Hann, Builders Etc, of Beaminster, Dorset under the style of C & A Hann had been dissolved.

PARTNERSHIP heretofore existing between us,
the undersigned, CHARLES HANN and ALBERT
HANN, carrying on Business as BUILDERS, CON-
STER, in the County of Dorset, under the style or
Firm of "C. & A. HANN," WILL BE DISSOLVED, by
Mutual Consent, as from the 31st Day of March, 1906.
The said CHARLES HANN will henceforth CARRY ON
BRIDGE, BEAMINSTER, under the style of "CHAS.
& C. HANN," and the said ALBERT HANN will hence--
at FLEET STREET, BEAMINSTER, under the style
of "ALBERT HANN & SONS," both Parties Trading
Separately and Irrespectively of Each Other.
Dated, this 26th day of March, 1906

Three days before the handover Albert placed a notice in the Western Gazette advertising his new business

BEAMINSTER, DORSET, MARCH 29TH, 1906                                                                                                                                                                     SIR (or MADAM),- The Firm of C. & A. HANN                                                                                                                                                                 (now carrying on business as Builders, Contractors,                                                                                                                                                         and Lime Merchants, at Beaminster, of which I have for                                                                                                                                                    the past 25 years been a member, having been dissolved by                                                                                                                                    mutual consent, as from the 21st MARCH instant, I beg to                                                                                                                                          inform you that it is my intention after that date to carry                                                                                                                                                       on business, on precisely the same lines as before, in the                                                                                                                                            name of                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ALBERT HANN & SONS,                                                                                                                                                                                             BUILDERS, CONTRACTORS, &                                                                                                                                                                                      LIME MERCHANTS,                                                                                                                                                                                                       FLEET STREET, BEAMINSTER, DORSET,                                                                                                                                                                       and I hope that I may look for a large share of the support                                                                                                                                              which has hitherto been so kindly accorded to my old firm.                                                                                                                                                   I have had much experience in all branches of the Build-                                                                                                                                                  ing Trade, and, having secured suitable premises and a                                                                                                                                          competent staff of workmen and assistants, I have full                                                                                                                                              confidence that, by strict attention to business, I shall give                                                                                                                                            entire satisfaction to all my customers.                                                                                                                                                                                 My new Firm will be prepared to CONTRACT FOR NEW                                                                                                                                     BUILDINGS of any Description, and also to carry out                                                                                                                                                            REPAIRS IN MASONRY, CARPENTRY, JOINERY,                                                                                                                                                PAINTING, &c., well and expediently, and I solicit the                                                                                                                                                            favour of your custom and support.                                                                                                                                                                                           Your obedient Servant                                                                                                                                                                                                    ALBERT HANN        

On 25 May 1906 the following notice appeared in the Western Gazette

MR. E. S. W. DALE will, in consequence of the
Dissolution of Partnership or the old established
Firm of C. & A. HANN, Builders, &c., of Beaminster,
Dorset, SELL by AUCTION, absolutely Without Reserve,
on MONDAY next, MAY 28th, 1906, the Valuable and Exten-
connection with the Business.  The Plant includes a 3½
horse-power gas engine (by Crossley) ; a combined circular
and hand saw (by Reynolds) ; a horizontal steam-saw (by
Samson, Bridport) ; an American boring machine ; lathe ;
pit and cross-cut saws ; a one-horse timber carriage ; a
practically new tip cart ; hand carts ; portable offices ; a
large quantity of scaffolding, &c., &c.
Also the OFFICE FITTINGS, which include a massive
fire-proof safe (by Chubb) ; level ; nests of drawers, &c.
The STOCK-IN-TRADE comprises ;-20 sticks of well-
seasoned oak, and elm timber, of good dimension ; oak,
ash, elm, and pine boards, of all lengths and sizes ; sanitary
and other fittings ; large quantity of Ham stone, tiles, &c', &c.
The whole (with the exception of the Fixed Machinery,
Round Timber and Quarry Plant) will, for the convenience
of Sale, be removed to a field in Whitcombe Road, Bea-
minster and will be on view on SATURDAY, May 26th, and
Morning of Sale.  The Fixed Machinery and Round Timber
may be inspected at Mr. C. HANN'S Premises, Prout Bridge,
and the Quarry Palnt at the Lime Kilns, Stinsford Lane,
Sale to commence at Eleven o'clock sharp.
Catalogues can be obtained upon application to the
AUCTIONEER, Church Street, Beaminster

As advised in the dissolution notice Charles also set up in business again at Prout Bridge with his son Charles Carpenter Hann as Chas & C Hann, though by 31 March 1910 it appears to have been in trouble as debts were being requested to be paid to ESW Dale of Beaminster and on 14 April 1910 it was petitioning for bankruptcy at Dorchester. This enabled Charles to take a short period of retirement before he died on 14 July 1911, aged 59 years.  When Albert next appears in local directories on 1911-1912 as a builder, contractor, stone mason and lime burner, he is trading as Albert Hann & Sons of Fleet Street, Beaminster.  By the time of the 1911 census Charles's family had moved to 12 The Square (between the 'Greyhound' and the 'Red Lion' where his daughter Florence Sarah (1886-1991) ran a stationer's and lending library.  Charles Carpenter having taken over his father's role as Surveyor and Sanitary Inspector to Beaminster Board of Guardians and District Council.

By 1912 the Prout Bridge premises had been taken over by Albert's sons to run a new enterprise - the Beaminster Motor Company, manager Cecil Collins Hann (born 17 Aug 1891), Albert's second son. The garage was being advertised as "Sole district agents for the 'GWK' light cars; repairs, overhauling and vulcanising" and operating from the front of Prout Bridge.

Prout Bridge in the days of the Beaminster Garage (CC Hann).  It is believed that the front car (with Cecil Collins's trade plates) was being driven by Cecil Collins and the other by Albert Percy, with Arthur Ernest at its side.  The same site in the early 2000s

On 23 May 1912 it started a 14-seat 'motor brake' (as a forerunner of the bus) between Beaminster, Bridport and Crewkerne. This was in competition with the existing horse omnibus from Bridport to Crewkerne, the horse-drawn mail van between Beaminster and Bridport and the the newly-introduced night motor mail van service from Bridport to Ilminster. Both mail services were passenger-carrying. The omnibus and night mail operating out of Bridport.


The horse omnibus operated Bridport (dep) 09:20, Beaminster (dep) 10:25, Crewkerne (arr) 11:20 (dep) 14:40, Beaminster (arr) 15:35, Bridport (arr) 14:35; the day mail Beaminster (dep) 10:45, Bridport (arr) 11:30 (dep) 14:30, Beaminster (arr) 15:15 though this was amended to two journey per day Beaminster (dep) 10:35, Bridport (dep) 14:15, with an evening return fromr Beaminster; the night mail operated Bridport (dep) 19:05, Beaminster (dep) 19:40, Beaminster (arr) 21:25. The return journey getting back to Beaminster at 05:00

By operating out of Beaminster via Bridport, Cecil was able to fit in two return trips to Bridport and one two Crewkerne each day as his timetable was Beaminster (dep) 09:30, Bridport (arr) 10:00 (dep) 10:20, Beaminster (arr) 10:40 (dep) 10:50, Crewkerne (arr) 11:20 (dep) 14:40, Beaminster (arr) 15:10 (dep) 15:20, Bridport (arr) 15:45 (dep) 16:30, Beaminster (arr) 17:00. This meant that he was able to provide a Bridport-Beaminster service between the horse omnibus and the day mail and again between the day and night mails. It also meant that he provided the earliest morning service from Beaminster to Bridport and just pipped the afternoon horse omnibus with his much faster service

It's not known whether it was due to it's success or in an attempt to gain more passengers but on 29 Jul 1912 the motor brake service was extended to Taunton with amended timings - Beaminster (dep) 09:00, Bridport (arr) 09:25 (dep) 09:30, Beaminster (dep) 10:00, Taunton (arr) 12:20 (dep) 15:00, Beaminster (dep) 19:10, Bridport (arr) 19:45 (dep) 20:00, Beaminster (arr) 20:30. However this meant that on the Beaminster-Bridport service lost out on passengers to the earlier omnibus and faced fiercer opposition from the increased motorised day mail services

At some time during 1912 Albert Percy (Albert's eldest son) moved to Earl's Court in London and started designing cars for the Norma Car and Engineering Company of Ravenscourt Square, Hammersmith and on 30 Sep 1912 Albert moved his Fleet Street business back to his old premises at the rear of Prout Bridge.  A few weeks later Cecil operated a special evening excursion to Bridport, possibly to gauge the market for people wishing to visit the new cinema there

An advertisement for the Norma car from the 24 November 1913 issue of the Light Car and Cyclecar magazine

Presumably the increase in revenue from passengers gained by extending to Taunton did not offset that lost to the earlier services as on 9 Feb 1913 the Tuesday and Thursday Taunton services were cut and on these days only a direct Beaminster to Crewkerne evening service ran, Cecil having lost most of his Beaminster-Bridport traffic on these days

The motor brake service continued to suffer from lower than anticipated support and was eventually withdrawn altogether on 21 March 1913. The motor omnibus service continued for a while while the motor mail services continued to both operate until the night mail was withdrawn during the Great War and not replaced.

There followed a period of scandal within the family. By then, Albert Percy, Albert's eldest son, had become a consulting engineer and through his new contacts met Florence Mary Magdalen FitzPatrick, who he married at Kensington Register Office in London on 26 Feb 1913. A marriage witnessed by Brooklands Flying School-trained Sir Henry Robert Moore Brooke-Popham, commander of 3 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Within a month the Western Gazette was reporting that he was leaving for Singapore to take up an engineering appointment in the Malay Peninsula. Whether Florence went with him or whether it was a short-term contract and she stayed in London is unknown, but in Aug 1914 he was recorded as an engineer working in Kuala Lumpur

Within 6 days of the outbreak of the Great War on 4 Aug 1914 , Cecil Collins had enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps as an aircraftman. Within the month Charles Carpenter had become an air mechanic with the Royal Navy Air Service and by 1 October, Albert Percy had returned to the UK and re-enlisted as an Acting Lieutenant of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and was posted to the staff of the Commander-in-Chief China, but within months was a Temporary Lieutenant at HMS Victory, Portsmouth, acting as Transport Officer. The following month he transferred as a full Lieutenant to the Royal Marines with Transport and Supply responsibilities for the Royal Naval Division at Portsmouth. HMS Triumph, on which he was serving at the time, was torpedoed and sunk in May 1915 and he returned to his family home in Twickenham awaiting a new posting. This came in June as a probationary Flight Sub Lieutenant for temporary service with the Royal Navy Air Service at RN Airship Station Wormwood Scrubs but his commission was cancelled in August and he returned to his new home in Belgravia and served on HMS President as assistant to a Lieutenant Bird.

On 10 August 1915 Cecil Collins, having been a sergeant with 1 Squadron, had joined Robert Brooke-Popham with 3 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps as a Lieutenant, the Beaminster Garage Company being now run by Albert and his mechanic, assisted by the youngest son, Arthur Ernest (born 28 Jul 1902).  In Cecil Collins's absence the accommodation at the garage was used by a group of refugees from Belgium.

It then became apparent that in April 1914, Albert Percy's wife was (either in fact or as a means to obtain a divorce) said to have been more friendly with Cecil Collins than a wife should be in room 233 of the Bonnington Hotel in Holborn and in November 1915 Albert Percy filed for divorce citing Cecil Collins as co-respondent. He then regained his commission and rejoined the Royal Navy Reserve for service with balloons and airships at Wormwood Scrubs in March 1916 . I have been unable to trace his wife either before or after the marriage, so assume that she was foreign-based and returned home after the divorce

On 22 October 1916 Cecil Collins was killed in action whilst flying as an observer out of Lahoussoye airfield and in May 1917 Albert Percy was invalided out of the RNAS as a result of his mental exhaustion. He may have returned to Beaminster, but did not stay long, being employed by HM Office of Works in 1918 before becoming involved in an ill-fated business venture and being made bankrupt the following year.

By this time the running of Beaminster Garage Company and its various operations, including an early taxi/private hire service and later a bus service between Beaminster and Bridport via Pymore (in competition with the National bus and day mail services), was in the hands of Albert assisted by Arthur Ernest. With the war reducing the number of drivers available to the firm, Arthur Ernest's sister Edith Constance was also involved with the driving of their cars and in Dec 1916 was charged with speeding at 20mph in Dorchester.  Charles's widow (Julia Eleanor) and daughter Florence Sarah had by this time moved from 12 The Square to 'Bridge Cottage' at 24 Prout Bridge.

In the early 1920s the re-introduced bus service had been extended from Bridport to the coast at West Bay and the Beaminster Garage sign was replaced by a board showing Albert Hann & Sons - builder and contractor. In telephone directories of the time the company was referred to as Albert Hann & Sons, builders and motor engineers

In Kelly's 1920 Directory two entries appeared -

Beaminster Garage Co (the) (Albert Hann, proprietor), agents for Austin, Vulcan, Angus-Sanderson, Morris-Oxford, Morris-Cowley, Scripps Booth, Chevrolet, Whitehead, Cubitt, GWK and AC cars, ABC and Coulson-B motor cycles, mobile pup motor scooters; smart open & closed cars for hire; official repairers to the AA and RAC; all repairs, tyres & accesories; sole district agents for GWK light cars; repairs, overhauling & vulcanizing, The Garage. TN [telephone number] 10; TA [telegraphic address] "Albert Hann"  and 

Hann, Albert & Sons, builders, contractors & stone masons. Telegrams, "Albert Hann, Beaminster"; Telephone No. 10 Beaminster

Around this time Arthur Ernest was appointed scoutmaster of the 1st Beaminster Troop, Baden Powell Boy Scouts and became heavily involved in scouting.

Although appearing of no significance at the time, on 5 April 1922 a branch of the Yeovil carriage and coach-building business, Hill & Boll, at 71-73 East Street, Bridport became a limited liability company under name of Hill & Boll (Bridport) Ltd. Directors were F W Boll, Knook House, Sturminster Newton (motor engineer) and S R Edwards snr
*, Jessemine House, West Bay Road, Bridport (manufacturer). Hill & Boll had developed 'petrol-driven autocars' with Yeovil stationary-engine builder, Petters, during the 1890s

* this is believed to be Sidney Richard Edwards from an established Allington/Bridport net and twine manufacturing family

In Weybridge from 1922 to 1924 Albert Percy, as Tommy Hann, had been pursuing a career in motor racing and had achieved remarkable results from his ancient greatly modified 3 litre 25hp 1911 Lanchester Landaulette formerly owned by the authoress Fay Compton's family, firstly in two-seat format under the name of 'Hoieh-wayaryeh-gointoo' (Which way are you going to) and later in a remodelled single seat format as 'Softly catch monkey' on which he adopted his distinctive broad black and orange striped livery and the HP5 Hann Special 'Handy Andy' based on a 3 litre 1911 Delage. During this time he was racing and mixing with the names of the day - Sir Malcolm Campbell, Count Zborowski of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' fame, Sir Henry Segrave, Kenelm Lee Guinness (founder of KLG spark plugs), Parry Thomas, AE Moss *Sirling's father) and Archie Frazer Nash (founder of Frazer-Nash cars). He also had his own business (at which he lived) in Brooklands called Hann Partners Ltd which was responsible for the maintenance and development of a stable of racing cars.

In 1923 Beaminster Garage acquired a 14-seat Model T Ford bus (registration no. PR 358) and were shown as dealers for Rover, Standard, Calthorpe, Buick, Chevrolet, Bradshaw, GWK and A1 cars

In 1924, S R Edwards jnr replaced F W Boll as a director of Hill & Boll (Bridport) Ltd and in October it amalgamated with the Beaminster Garage Company. Hill & Boll changing its name to Edwards and Hann Ltd to reflect the new directorship of the company - S R Edwards snr and Sam Edwards jnr (joint MD) of Jessemine House, Bridport and Albert (sec) and Arthur E Hann (joint MD) of Holmleigh, Beaminster. At the time the Beaminster Garage Company was described as Automobile Engineers and Motor Bus Proprietors: Operators of a Daily bus service for passengers and parcels between Beaminster, Bridport and West Bay - frequency 6 times daily. Registered Office 71-73 East Street, Bridport.

The same year Albert Percy was involved in an incident in which a female passenger was drowned when the car in which he was also a passenger slid into the River Thames at Hampton Court at about midnight. He seems to have retired from motor racing following this

The Beaminster Garage continued to trade as such, the monogram BG (Beaminster Garage) being changed to EAH (Edwards and Hann) and relocated from the middle to the bottom of the sign. The buses trading with Edwards and Hann Ltd, Beaminster and Bridport on the rear and the 'fleet name' of Beaminster Bus.

In June 1925 Arthur Ernest resigned as scoutmaster as his business and absence from home did not allow him the time he needed to devote to the troop. He had possibly become involved with Albert Percy's Hann Partners Ltd or a business venture of his own as he is acknowledged in Bill Boddy's History of Brooklands though (unlike 'Tommy') I don't believe he features in the book. Bill Boddy does though say that Albert Percy was not involved at Brooklands following a fatal accident in 1924 when a car in which he was travelling sank in the River Thames at Molesey and despite his best efforts a fellow passenger lost their life (see Albert Percy's entry in the family tree section of the website) and Boddy did not see him again until 1934 when he met up in his consulting engineer business's office at 1 Albemarle Street, Mayfair. It is possible that Arthur had to run Albert's business in his absence until returning home when he and his father resigned from Edwards & Hann Ltd to run the garage at Beaminster as an independent enterprise; at Albert's inquest in 1935 it was said that his being torpedoed and the fatal crash had taken a toll on his mental health

On 28 August 1925 Edwards and Hann published an advertisement in the Western Gazette:

1923 dark red 6cyl 18hp Oakland Landaulette, Belgravia bodywork, luggage
grid, self-starter, electric lighting, upholstered in Bedford cord. Magnificent
condition £200 ovno
May 1923 5 seat Chevrolet touring car, rear screen, side screens, luggage
grid, self-starter, all-weather equipment. Licensed to end of year £70
1919 5 seat Chevrolet 490, rear screen, luggage grid, sound mechanical
condition £30
1923 engine Ford Coupe, English body, double dickey seat, self-starter, new
balloon tyres, shock absorbers, extremely comfortable. Licensed to end of
year £60 ovno
1914 12hp Rover electric lighting, rear screen, luggage grid. Although an old
model in spendid condition £90 ono
1921 15-20hp 5 seat Belsize Touring Car, rear screen, luggage grid, real
leather upholstery, self-starter, Very fine condition, licensed to end of year

On 13 November another advertisement appeared:


(car illustration)

MORRIS COWLEY. 2-Seater. Blue.
Four Wheel brakes. £170, or £42 10s 6d
down and £11 7s 4d twelve monthly pay-
MORRIS COWLEY. 4-Seater. Blue
F.W.B. £190, or £47 10s 6d down and
£12 14s 1d twelve monthly payments.
Claret. £350 or £87 10s 6d down and
twelve monthly payments of £23 8s 1d.
Above prices include 12 months'
free insurance
BELSIZE. 1921 15/20 h.p. 4-Seater
Leather. Starter. Lighting, Rear Screen.
Perfect condition. £90.
OVERLAND. 1920. 4-Seater. Starter.
Lighting. 18.4 h.p. Splendid condition.
fortable car, large dickey seat. Starter.
Lighting. £50.
FORD VANS. We have several for dis-
posal. £15-£50. Particulars with

In 1926 a new 20-seat Thornycroft A1 single-decker (registration no. PR 6088) was also acquired and 7 services a day were run

On 21 May Edwards and Hann were advertising garages complete with illustration in the Western Gazette and Albert Hann & Son was being run down.

The Motor House advertisement appeared on 28 May also:


£15 15 0 (garage £17 0 0
14ft x 8ft illustration) 16ft x 8ft

These Motor Houses are built of robust asbestos cement panels mounted in sturdy wooden framework, and they can easily be erected by any private owner on a level patch of ground.
Specification includes double doors and windows , and it should be noted that the window can be placed in any position relative to the doors so that the best lighting can be obtained. The roof is 24 gauge galvanised 'Italian'
iron sheeting fixed with galvanised clout nails.
All necessary bolts, screws, brackets, etc, are provided, and the Motor Houses are dispatched, carriage forward, with full instructions for erection on receipt of order.
We can also supply the necessary plans of the Garage for approval by the Local Council Authorities

Albert's advertisement:
WOODWORKING MACHINE SHOP, fitted with light modern machinery, planer, thicknesser, saws, engine, &c., To Be Let at very reasonable terms. Excellent opportunity for keen man anxious to start business - ALBERT HANN & SONS, LTD., Beaminster, Dorset

On 19th October 1927 an advertisement appeared in "The Times" to advise that both the Beaminster and Bridport garages of Edwards and Hann were amongst the first list of Empire (Motor) Traders

In 1930 an additional director, G(eorge?) L(utley?) Sclater-Booth (later 4th Baron Basing?), The Priory, Odiham, Hants was appointed to the company and a new 26-seat Thornycroft A6 single-decker (registration no. TK 4774) was acquired

As will be seen from he following advertisements etc the exact chronology of the use of Prout Bridge is a bit vague during the 1920/1930s. To recap. I know that until 1906 it was used by Charles and Albert as C & A Hann builders and that after this both a shortlived builders business of C& Chas Hann and the business of Albert Hann & Sons (at Fleet Street) continued until Charles's retirement. I also know that by 1912 the Beaminster Garage Company managed by Cecil Collins Hann had been set up at the same premises to sell vehicles and petrol as well as garage services - and initially had also o7perated an unsuccessful motor-brake service. A photo believed to have been taken after World War 1 was probably taken before the war (in which Cecil was killed) as it features two brand new unregistered vehicles of 1912 and 1913 vintage.

A later photograph (date unknown) still shows the deceased Cecil as manager but the Beaminster Garage Company board has been replaced by one advertising Albert Hann & Sons building business. In 1920 Albert is known to be proprietor of the garage company and in 1923 the company acquired a new bus to replace an earlier one or two. In 1924 Beaminster Garage Company was merged with Hill & Boll of Bridport and to reflect the two Edwards's and two Hann's (Albert and Arthur Edward) on the board became Edwards & Hann Ltd. The Beaminster Garage board being resurrected and repainted with the new company name; the BG monogram at the bottom being replaced with EAH

Between 1924 and 1933 Edwards and Hann was therefore represented by members of both families, though advertisements placed seem to show that although under an umbrella company the bus company possibly ran separately from the garage/car sales businesses which in turn may have later operated separately as well. As late as 1931 Edwards & Hann are referred to as being of Beaminster and Bridport, though from 1930 advertisements for Edwards & Hann mention only Bridport. This may however have been their main (only) vehicle showroom.

From November 1933 the Beaminster garage was placing its own advertisement under the style of Arthur E Hann, which appears to indicate a cessation of the Edwards & Hann partnership following the sale of the bus business to Southern National, though not necessarily of the company name. A photograph taken around 1935 shows the Beaminster garage name-board with Arthur E Hann - the EAH monogram now presumably
being interpreted as AEH. This was later removed and replaced with a new Arthur E Hann sign on the garage wall

Hopefully the advertisements and reports shown below will help you to follow events

The Western Gazette of 2 Jul 1926 carried the first (found) advertisement for Edwards & Hann:

JULY 5th - 10th
Commencing on Monday, July 5th, we shall be showing for one
week at our Bridport Depot a special display of Daimler and Bentley
Cars. We believe this Show will be the first display of Quality
Cars ever seen in Dorsetshire.

We very much hope that you will come and inspect the cars during
that week. Even if you are not intending to purchase a car we feel
sure that the display will be of interest to you.

During the week we shall have Mr. F.C. Clements, the famous
racing driver,* with us, and he will be delighted to give trial runs on
his SPEED MODEL BENTLEY to anyone who would like to have a run
with him.

We specially wish to point out that this display is open to all,
motorists or those who are not motorists, and that you will not be
worried to purchase a car if you come and inspect the very fine
range of vehicles we shall have on show.



(* possibly Albert Ernest Hann using his Brooklands connections?)

On 16 May 1930 the Western Gazette featured the following classified advertisement:

1928 11.9 MORRIS OXFORD SALOON, Licensed £120 0 0
1926 OXFORD TOURER £55 0 0
1926 STANDARD COUPE, 14 h.p. £65 0 0
1923 A.C. TWO-SEATER £25 0 0
1926 SINGER SALOON, 9 h.p. £45 0 0

The following week the same advert appeared - minus the Morris Cowley saloon

On 15 August 1930 a court case in which the family was involved was reported in the Western Gazette:


Charles Leonard Quinn, a young man of good
appearance, and describing himself as a colour
printer, was charged at the Bridport Police-
court on Friday with (1) attempting to obtain
a Talbot motor-car of the value of £325 by
false pretences; (2) unlawfully and fraudulently
obtaining credit to the extent of £23 2s 3d;
and (3) unlawfully and by false pretences
obtaining the sum of £3.
Accused said he was an American subject,
and gave his address as 10, Adam-street,
Baker-street, London.
Mr. J. Roper conducted the prosecution, and
represented Messrs. Edwards & Hann, Ltd.,
garage proprietors, of Bridport and Beamin-
Mr. Roper said prisoner, who had been stay-
ing at an hotel at West Bay, phoned Messrs.
Edwards & Hann from Salisbury some tome
ago, and asked them to send a car, as he was
stranded there. As he was known to the firm
a car was sent as requested.
With regard to the Talbot car accused told
Mr. Arthur E. Hann that while motoring
through Andover he stopped to by some cigar-
ettes, and upon returning from the shop he
found that the car, which contained a suit
case and money, had been stolen. Later, he
told Mr. Hann that the police had notified
him that his car had been found deserted and
burnt out in a lane near Minehead. Quinn
added that he was to receive some money from
the Atlas Assurance Company at Nottingham
but that he was having a little trouble about it.
It was quite untrue that accused had a car
stolen. it was equally untrue that he had
any money to come from any insurance com-
Coming to the charge of fraudulently obtain-
ing credit, Mr. Roper said that while Quinn
was waiting to purchase the Talbot car he
hired another car and ran up a bill of
£23 2s 3d, but the sum did not include the
journey from Salisbury. The £3 was drawn
on a cheque, which he promised to produce,
but failed to do so. As a matter of fact, Quinn
had no banking account.
Arthur Ernest Hann, a director in the firm
of Messrs. Edwards & Hann said accused told
him he required a large two-seater. As a
result, witness had in his possession a Talbot
car, which he had sold to prisoner for £325.
Witness was told by Quinn that £140 of this
amount would be paid with money he was
to receive from the insurance company and
that the balance would be met by money
which he would request his London bankers
to transfer to the Bridport branch. As a re-
sult of what he heard from the Atlas Assur-
ance Company, witness saw Quinn on Tues-
day. Prisoner, who said he could not under-
stand it, was present when a 'phone call was
put through to the Company's head office at
Nottingham, but he did not avail himself of
the opportunity of speaking to the officials of
the company. Witness was induced to go
ahead with the purchase of the Talbot en-
tirely because of what Quinn had told him
about the money he was to receive from the
insurance company.
Prisoner to witness; Was there at any time
any suggestion made that I should take the car
before I was satisfied I could pay for it! - No
Police-Sergeant W. Richardson said that on
Wednesday last he received information that
a man was in the town negotiating for the
purchase of an expensive car. This informa-
tion did not come from Messrs. Edwards and
Hann. As the description given answered
that o a man wanted by the police, he made
enquiries, and at a hotel at West Bay Quinn
stated that he was temporarily embarrassed
financially, he owed for his board and lodg-
ing and had borrowed £2 in the hotel. He
still owed for the hire of a car, and had been
in negotiation for a car though he knew he
had not enough money to pay for it. He was
expecting about £50 or £60 to be paid in
the Midland Bank, Northampton, from
America. He did not know when
it was coming . He was so sorry he had caused
all this fuss and bother, but if people would
give him a chance he would put this all
Witness added that as a result of this inter-
view and conversation he was quite satisfied
that prisoner was not the man for whom the
police were still searching. Nothing was
known against Quinn at various places where
enquiries had been made.
Prisoner, who asked to be dealt with sum-
marily, admitted that he had told a lot of
foolish stories, but pleaded that he had not
acted with any criminal or fraudulent in-
tent. He added that he was hoping to re-
ceive certain monies with which he would
endeavour to meet his obligation.
The Bench decided to adjourn the case
until the following morning so as to enable
prisoner to make some effort at making res-
stitution. In the meantime, the police would
give him every assistance he required to get
into touch with his friends.
At the resumed hearing on Saturday morn-
ing accused said he had instructed Mr. Pitman-
Wing, the local manager of Barclay's Bank
to endeavour to collect the draft which was
due to him and which he had reason to believe
he could obtain from his mother.
Mr. Pitman-Wing, called at prisoner's re-
quest, said he had been unable to get into
communication with the mother, as had the
manager of the bank at Harpenden, where she
resided. It was true there was a draft
of £43 due to Quinn, but all efforts to come
to an arrangement with the family had so far
Accused, in a statement to the Bench, said
he believed the reason why the draft had
not been forwarded was due to the fact that
when just over two months ago he chose to
leave London in this ridiculous manner he had
in his possession a rind belonging to her which
was to be repaired. He had not returned the
ring, and naturally his mother did not want
to part with the draft until she was in pos-
session of her property.
The Mayor : Have you the ring now! - No,
Are you in position to obtain it! - No,
not from here.
Superintendent Beck said that the ring in ques-
tion was valued at £250, and it had been
pawned by the accused for £20. It was pro-
bably correct that Quinn's mother was with-
holding the draft because of that. He (the
Superintendent) had ascertained that accused
was a married man whose wife had left him
and was instituting proceedings against him
for divorce.
The Mayor said the case , which was a very
difficult one, had received the serious con-
sideration of the Bench. Whilst recognising it
was prisoner's first offence and wishing to take
into consideration every extenuating circum-
stance, they felt that the nature of the cherges
was so serious that they had no otheralter-
native but to send him to prison. On the first
charge he would be sentenced to three months
in the second division and one month on each
of the remaining counts, the sentences to run
concurrently. "I hope that when you come
out of prison your people will put you on
your feet again and that you will endeavour
to go straight in the future," added the Mayor

A number of small ads also appeared in the 26 September and 3 October editions:

MORRIS MINOR , 1930. Fabric saloon blue. 1,700
miles. £105. - EDWARDS & HANN, LTD., Bridport

SINGER. Two-seater. 1924. Good condition, including
self-starter, &c, £30. - EDWARDS & HANN, LTD.,

MORRIS OXFORD 15 h.p. six-cylinder. Fabric
Saloon in black and red. 7,000 miles. Spare
tyre unused. Almost new condition. £220 - EDWARDS
& HANN, LTD., Bridport

MORRIS OXFORD Two-seater, 1927, 14/28 h.p.
Mechanically perfect, just repainted, new hood
and two new tyres. £30 worth extras, including discs,
sports exhaust, two electric horns, bumpers, Decarbo,
spot light, &c, Any trial. £72 10s. - EDWARDS &
HANN, LTD., Bridport
and 31 October
SINGER, 1924, two-seater, dickey. Good mechani-
cal condition. £29 10s. - EDWARDS & HANN, LTD.,

SINGER, 1928, two-seater, dickey. Very good con-
dition. Licensed. One owner only. £6910s. -
EDWARDS & HANN, LTD., Bridport

R.A.C., two-seater, dickey. Excellenet mechanical
condition. Just been overhauled. £35 -
EDWARDS & HANN, LTD., Bridport

STANDARD, 1926, Four-seater, Touring Car. Good
mechanical condition. One owner only. £55 -
EDWARDS & HANN, LTD., Bridport

MORRIS OXFORD 15 h.p. six-cylinder. One owner
only. Director of firm. £210 - EDWARDS & HANN,
LTD., Bridport

The 1931 edition of Kelly's Directory for Dorset contained the following entries -

Beaminster 'Edwards and Hann Ltd, motor engineers and agents, Prout Bridge TN 10'
Bridport 'Edwards and Hann Ltd, motor engineers and agents (Rolls Royce, Sunbeam, Morris, Jowett &c) East Street, TN 54'

In the Western Gazette's report on 24 July 1931 on the sitting of the Southern area of the Traffic Commissioners held at Dorchester:
Edwards & Hann, Ltd., made and application for a stage carriage license between Beaminster and West Bay

On 2 and 9 October 1931 the 1928 Singer was re-advertised along with a new Morris Oxford:

MORRIS OXFORD, 1931, Coach-built Saloon.
Sliding head, blue, with blue leather. New and
unregistered . Reduced price to clear - EDWARDS &
HANN, LTD., Bridport

On 6 November 1931 they still appear to be trying to sell the Singer as a revised small ad appeared in the Western Gazette:
SINGER, 1928, 8 h.p., two-seater. Excellent con-
dition. Two new tyres. Had little use. Many
extras. - EDWARDS & HANN, LTD., Bridport

The following week it was joined by a Morris Oxford:

MORRIS OXFORD SALOON, 1928, only done
14,800 miles . Real leather. Condition almost
as new. £95 - EDWARDS & HANN, LTD., Bridport

On 20 November they were advertising the Morris Oxford saloon and two other Morris vehicles:

MORRIS 8/10 Cwt. 1931 VAN, in perfect mechani-
cal condition, Repainted. £110. - EDWARDS &
HANN, LTD., Bridport

MORRIS OXFORD SALOON, 1928, only done
14,800 miles . Real leather. Condition almost
as new. £95 - EDWARDS & HANN, LTD., Bridport

MORRIS OXFORD, 1927, two-seater, perfect con-
dition, leather upholstery, disc wheels, sports
exhaust, bumpers, luggage grid. Unique sports car.
Excellent mechanical condition. Owner returning to
India - EDWARDS & HANN, LTD., Bridport

By 27 November the Morris Oxford Saloon had gone from the advertisements

On 4 December a general advertisement appeared and remained for the next two weeks:

CAR? - EDWARDS & HANN, LTD., Bridport

On 16 April 1933, the bus service was sold to Southern National, TK 4774 acquiring the fleet number 3430. It is believed that around this time the Hanns and the Edwards's went their own way and the Hanns resigned from the board of Edwards & Hann, Arthur Ernest continuing to operate the Beaminster garage in his own right. When he married at Sherborne in October 1934, Arthur Ernest was described as a garage proprietor, rather than a company director

On 20 Oct 1933 the first known advertisement for Arthur E Hann appeared in the Western Gazette

logo) Second-hand M.G. Enquiries invited.
'Phone: Beaminster 10

The following week the Western Gazette refers in a report to Frank George Hodder of 'Messrs. Hann of Beaminster, motor engineers.'

The MG advertisements continued in the Western Gazette:

2 November 1933
(MG No obligation, just a revelation
'Phone: 10

17 November and 1 December 1933

Autumn Night Trial.
(MG Bournemouth to Barnstaple.
Special cup. Finest performance. Won by
Car 1934 M.G. MIDGET

15 and 22 December 1933

As mentioned before Albert Percy, under the name of 'Tommy' Hann, had continued his pioneering engineering work in the development and racing of cars and mixing with the top celebrities of the day during Brooklands' heyday and had a sumptuous office at 1 Albemarle Street, in London's West End.

Edith Constance seems to have joined him and become involved in the heady days of 'flapper' London. By 1930 she, as Miss C Hann, had become the honorary secretary of the Victoria Club for Ladies in fashionable Belgravia and lived at 41 Dorset Mews. 39 Chapel Steet, 49 Knightsbridge and 12 Grosvenor Place overlooking Hyde Park Corner and the gardens of Buckingham Palace. She mixed with the likes of the famous American Hearst family and was became an early trans-Atlantic air passenger as a result of her visits to their home. She had also adopted an alternative name of 'Ann' by then.

Arthur Ernest appears to have returned to take the Beaminster garage back into solely Hann ownership in late 1933 and started placing small ads in the Western Gazette again

17 Nov 1933
Autumn Night Trial.
MG Bournemouth to Barnstaple.
logo Special Cup. Finest Performance. Won by
Car 1934 M.G. Midget.

The following year Arthur Ernest appeared regularly in newspaper reports in the Western Gazettes winning various motoring competitions, but unfortunately 'Tommy' ended up living beyond his means, owing money to his office landlord and a nearby garage. A return to Brooklands driving cars himself in 1934 entering a 3 litre Mercedes Hann Special 'Softly catch monkey II' was unsuccessful so, on 12 Apr 1935, Albert Percy still an undischarged bankrupt, in further debt, his nerves wrecked by his torpedoeing and the fatal car accident, had reached the end of the line and committed suicide at 72 Holland Park Avenue, Holland Park, London, the home of the widowed Lady Mildred Williams. This is mentioned in a book published later in the year by Gladys, Marchioness Townshend of Raynham entitled 'True Ghost Stories'

On 12 January 1934 Arthur placed two advertisements in the Western Gazette

Wanted, not over 30. Small commencing wage,
but permanency if suitable.- ARTHUR HANN, Garage,

MOTOR ENGINEER (experienced), Wanted.  Age
not over 30. Only first-class men, proved ex-
perience, need apply.- ARTHUR HANN, Garage,

On 23 March 1934 Arthur placed another short advertisement in the Western Gazette this time to try and let the flat above the garage

FLAT to LET.  Attractive outlook.  Re-decorated
throughout.  Four exceptionally large rooms
bath-room, lavatory, attic, Gas, Yearly Tenancy,  No
children.- ARTHUR HANN, Beaminster, Dorset  

and again in the 9 June 1934 edition

FLAT to let, 4 large rooms, bath-room, lavatory,
attic, Gas, Electric supply available if required.
ARTHUR HANN, Beaminster, Dorset

At the 29 Aug 1934 meeting of Bridport Rural District Council a letter from the Secretary of the Western Traffic Area was considered and it was decided to oppose the National Omnibus Company Ltd's proposed cuts to the West Bay-Bridport-Beaminster bus service.
These were:
1. Withdraw the 15:00 Beaminster-West Bay service
2. Operate on Saturdays only the weekday 15:30 Beaminster-West Bay service
3. Withdraw the Saturday 14:30 Beaminster-Bridport service.

In the 1935 edition of the Bridport Directory, Edwards & Hann Ltd of East Street are still trading, described as engineers & motor agents; authorised Morris agents; officially appointed A.A., R.A.C. & Tecalemit Station. Kelly's
Directory adds a telephone number of Bridport 54 and telegraphic address of 'Garage, Bridport'

On 7 June 1935 AE Hann of The Garage, Beaminster appeared as an agent for Singer cars in a large photo-advertisement in the Western Gazette for their new 9hp 4-seater Family de Luxe Saloon selling at £199

On 29 January 1936, Albert's wife, Edith Mary, died at the age of 71 (an announcement being placed in 'The Times').

Arthur placed an advertisement in the Western Gazette between 27 November 1936 and  1 January 1937 in an attempt to let the flat above the garage again ('Uppova')

ATTRACTIVE FLAT, situated in one of the
prettiest parts of Dorset. Dining-room,
very large lounge, kitchen, two bedrooms.
Separate lavatory and bathroom. Constant
hot water. Electric light and gas. Tele-
phone, Garage. Good attic.- Arthur Hann,
Beaminster, Dorset. Phone 10

In February 1937, TK 4774 was sold off by Southern National. Arthur Ernest was shown under his own name in the Royal Automobile Club as their agent at The Garage, Beaminster. Edwards & Hann Ltd in Bridport were one of two RAC agents there

Arthur E Hann advertisements continued appearing as follows:

17 March 1938
MORRIS Family 8 for Sale, sun saloon, £35
- Hodder, Hann's Garage, Beaminster

20 May and 10 June 1938
MORRIS Eight, Series I., Two-door Saloon
de Luxe. Mileage 17,000. Unused since
December 31st. In magnificent condition
throughout. £85 - Arthur E. Hann, Beaminster
Dorset. Tel.: Beaminster 210

on 26 May 1938 the 17 March advertisement reappeared with the asking price reduced to £30

and on 14 July 1939
AUSTIN Seven 1935 Ruby Saloon de Luxe,
green, green leather, exceptional condi-
tion, 19,841 miles, three new tyres, licensed
to end of year. £53 10s - Arthur E. Hann,
The Garage, Beaminster, Dorset. 'Phone:
Beaminster 210

Around this time Arthur Ernest seems to have been preparing to take a back seat at the garage as some advertisements during 1939 referred buyers again to Hodder, c/o Hann' s Garage and by the National Register of 29 September 1939 he is shown as a motor garage proprietor but does not seem to have advertised his business after July 1939.  Leonard H Gibbs was also providing competition as a motor, motor cycle and cycle engineer of Prout Bridge, though this would appear to be the garage at what is now known as 1 Whitcombe Road (near the old Congregational Chapel that now houses Beaminster Museum)  There has also been a garage opposite the museum which is now just a hand car wash.  Gibbs is also shown as being at 'The Garage, Beaminster' in an Exide car battery advertisement on 23 October 1936

By 29 September 1939 Edith Constance had also moved from Belgravia to the Savoy Hotel garage in Adelphi Arches in The Strand in order to take part in the war effort becoming Commandant for the Auxiliary Ambulance Service with a team that included her Deputy-Commandant Lady Wilton (widow of Sir Thomas Wilton JP CA, shipping company owner and former Mayor of Dartmouth), Mrs Everard How (formerly Lady Lymington, divorced wife of 9th Earl of Portsmouth and mother of his heir Viscount Lymington). Elizabeth and Pamela Phillips (sisters of Sir Lionel Phillips) and Felix Krish (son of conductor Serge Krish).

On 21st August 1940 the following notice appeared in the London Gazette "In the Matter of Edwards & Hann Limited, and in the Matter of the Companies Act,1929. Notice is hereby given pursuant to section 238 of the Companies Act, 1929, that a Meeting of the creditors of the above Company will be held at 65, East Street, Bridport on Thursday the 12th day of September, 1940 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, for the purposes provided for in the said section - Dated the 21st day of August, 1940. J Turnbull, Secretary"

At the meeting, the garage company went into voluntary liquidation and a further notice appeared in the London Gazette

"In the Matter of Edwards & Hann Limited, and in the Matter of the Companies Act,1929. At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Members of the above named Company, duly convened and held at 65, East Street,
Bridport on Thursday the 12th day of September 1940, the following Extraordinary resolution was passed:-
That it has been proved to the satisfaction of this Meeting that the Company cannot by reason of its liabilities
continue its business, and that it is advisable to wind up the same, and accordingly that the Company be wound up voluntarily, and that Mr. Guy Langley Atherton A.C.A., of Bridport, be hereby appointed Liquidator for the purposes of the winding-up' At a Meeting of the Creditors duly convened and subsequently on the same date at 65, East Street, Bridport, the appointment of Mr. Guy Langley Atherton A.C.A. as such Liquidator was confirmed - Sidney Edwards, Chairman of both Meetings"

Notices of preliminary, normal and final announcements appeared in the Western Gazettes of 25 October 1940, 1 November 1940 and 8 November 1940 regarding the auctioning of Edwards & Hann's equipment and machinery, following an identical preliminary announcement the week before: 

"By Direction of G. L. Atherton, Esq., Liquidator of Edwards & Hann, Bridport, Ltd., Motor Engineers and Tecalemit Agents
including:- 4 Avery Hardoll Electric Petrol Pumps; Leo Air and Water Tower; Tecalemit Air Compressor; Tecalemit High Lift Car Ramp; Extra Strong Steel Girder Sliding Car Ramp, to hold 3 Vehicles; Pulley Block and Tackle with Girder Bracket; 7 Oil Cabinets.
including:- A Newton Test Bench and Lathe; Newton Fault Finder; Rotax Heavy Duty Drill; Black and Decker 10in. Bench Grinder; Valve
Refacers and Grinders; Remagnetizer; 8-Ton Heavy Press; Steel Shafting; Welding Forge; Hydraulic and other Jacks; Batteries; Tools, &c., LANCIA 25/30 h.p. BREAKDOWN LORRY; Morris Van.
The Comprehensive stock of Morris and other Spares; Electrical Fittings; Car Oil and Grease; Trade Stock; Shop-soiled Tyres; Office and Store-room fittings; and numerous other Items, which
T. R. G. LAWRENCE & SON have received instruction to SELL by AUCTION on THURSDAY NEXT, NOVEMBER 14TH, 1940, at 11 a.m. punctually, owing to the number of Lots
On View Day prior from 10 till 4 p.m., and Morning of Sale.
Detailed Slips on application to the Auctioneers
N.B. Cheques not accepted from unknown Purchasers."

On 1 November 1940 another announcement appeared in the Western Gazette
[this has been included for historical purposes to show the sort of equipment required to run a garage business at the time]

By Direction of G. L. Atherton, Esq., Liquidator of Edwards & Hann, Bridport, Ltd., Motor Engineers and Tecalemit Agents


of the Whole of the Valuable
including:- 4 Avery Hardoll Electric Petrol
Pumps; Leo Air and Water Tower; Tecalemit
Air Compressor (300b.); 7 Oil Cabinets; 2 Oil
in excellent condition;
Engine Trolleys; Avery's Platform Scale;
to hold 3 Vehicles, consisting of 3 prs. of 17ft.
Steel Ramps (15in. x 4in.) and Two 2ft. 6in.
Steel Girders (15in. x 5in.);
PULLEY BLOCK and TACKLE Complete with
Iron Girder Bracket;
Including Champion Plug Tester; A.C. Plug
Cleaner; and Fuel Pump
(A.C. or D.C.); Black and Decker 10in. Bench
Grinder; Newton Armature Growler; Rotax Uni-
versal Valve Refacer; Black and decker Vibro
Centre Valve Seat Grinder' Remagnetizer;
Crypton Battery Rectifier; Crypton Voltmeter;
3 TON HEAVY PRESS; 2 Micrometers; Van
Norman Cylinder Boring Bar and Cutters;
Black and Decker ¼in. Electric Drill; NEWTON
Stocks and Dies; Weldong Forge; 5 Iron Vices;
2 Hydraulic Heavy Garage Jacks; Long Reach
Jack; 12 Hydraulic and other Jacks;
About 18ft. of STEEL SHAPING. with 4 Brackets
and 6 Pulleys; 2 Tecalamit Grease Buckets; 2
Paint Sprayers; Primus Blow Lamp; Four
Workshop Benches.
Oak and Stained Kneehole Desks; Office Chairs;
Two L. C. Smith Typewrites; 4-Drawer Steel
Filing Cabinet; 5ft. Mahogany Dining Table;
Iron Firepproof Salt (18in. x 16in. x 24in.); a 17ft.
Glazed Showcase (9ft. 3in. high); 7 Minimax
Fire Extinguishers; Expanded Metal and Tim-
ber Workshop Enclosure' a 21ft. Stock-room
Bench; Several Useful Nests of Tool Drawers;
Pigeon Holes; and Shelving for Spares and Fit-
tings, &c.
includes Quantity Radiator Hose; Electric and
Speedometer Cable; Fan Belts; Quantity Engine
Gaskets; Morris Crown Wheels; Pistons; Bear-
ings; Brake Shoes; and Linings; Brake Com-
ponents; Hardy Couplings; Valves; Miscellane-
ous other Morris Spares; Quantity Electrical
Spares and Fittings; Quantity Car Bulbs and
Plugs; Three 40-gall. Drums of Suproil; 5 Galls.
Daimler Gear Oil; about 60 Galls. Bulk Oils;
Quantity Tins of Car Oils and Grease; Carbuoy
of Acid; 7 Empty Carbuoys; 20 Shop-soiled Car
Tyres and 27 Tubes; 7 Shop-soiled M./C. Tyres;
plete with Lifting and Towing Tackle, in good
running order; Morris Cowley Van; 4 Scrap
Saloon Cars; Four 40=Gall. Steel Drums; Corru-
gatedIron and Timber Shed; and numerous
other Items, which
T. R G LAWRENCE & SON have received
instructions to SELL by AUCTION on
THURSDAY, 14TH NOVEMBER, 1940 at 11 a.m. punc-
tually, owing to the Number of Lots.
On View Day prior from 10 till 4 p.m., and
Morning of Sale.
N.B.- Cheques will not be accepted from un-
known Purchasers

On 10 November 1941 a further notice appeared in the London Gazette

"Edwards & Hann Ltd (In Voluntary Liquidation) the Companies Act,1929. Notice is hereby given pursuant to section 244 of the Companies Act, 1929, that a Meeting of the creditors of the above Company will be held at 65, East Street, Bridport, Dorset on Monday the 24th November, 1941 for the purposes provided for in the said section - Dated the 10th November 1941. G. L.
Atherton, Liquidator"

About this time Arthur Ernest relocated to Dorchester where as County Ambulance and Transport Officer he became responsible for the Dorset Reserve Ambulance Convoy.

On 26 March 1943 a notice regarding Albert Hann and Sons also appeared in the London Gazette that read

"COMPANIES ACT, 1929. Notice is hereby given, pursuant to section 295 (3) of 19 & 20 Geo. V. ch. 23 (Companies Act, 1929), that at the expiration of three months from the date hereof, the names of the undermentioned Companies will, unless cause is shown to the contrary, be struck off the Register, and the Companies will be dissolved:- .... Albert Hann and Sons Limited .... P Martin, Registrar of Companies. Companies Registration Office, Grand Hotel, Llandudno, Caernarvonshire. 26th March, 1943"

This was followed by another notice four days later that read

"In the Matter of EDWARDS and HANN Limited (In Voluntary Liquidation) and in the Matter of the Companies Act, 1929. NOTICE is hereby given that pursuant to Section 245 of the Companies Act, 1929 the Final Meetings of the
Members and of the creditors of the above named Company will be held at the offices of Messrs. G. L. Atherton and Company, Chartered Accountants, 65, East Street, Bridport, on Thursday the 16th day of May 1946 at 3.15 p.m. and 3.30 p.m., respectively, for the purpose of having an account laid before them and to resolve the Liquidator's Report showing how the winding-up of the Company has been conducted and the property of the Company disposed of and of hearing any explanation that may be given by the Liquidator and also of directing the manner in which the books, accounts and documents of the Company and of the Liquidator thereof shall be disposed of - Dated this 30th day of March, 1946. G. L. ATHERTON, Liquidator"

Edwards & Hann Ltd eventually being wound up at the 16 May 1946 meeting.

Strangely though, I'm sure I saw photo of an advert for the company, still of East Street, Bridport and now an agent for the Rootes Group of motor manufacturers, in a 1960s Bridport guide. Perhaps the name was bought from the liquidator by the garage that took oner the site and business and initially traded as Star Garage

At some time around the War, Edith Constance moved from Belgravia, down the road to Knightsbridge, where she stayed for around twenty years

On 27 May 1949 Florence Sarah retired and put her home at Dover House up for sale in the Western Gazette

'Phones 71 183 3103
In the Old-World Town of
6 miles from Bridport and within easy
reach of a delightful stretch of the West
Dorset Coast, with ts 18 hole Golf Course.
Daily 'Bus Service
The exceptionally well-built and superior
type of brick-and slated TERRACE RESI-
BRIDGE, in particularly good order, cen-
trally and pleasantly situate, containing:
Nice Hall; 2 excellent Reception-rooms;
Kitchenette; 4 good Bedrooms; Bathroom;
Box-room. Small Garden. Outbuildings.
by AUCTION, at an EARLY DATE (un-
less previously Sold by Private Treaty)
To view and for further particulars apply
to the Auctioneers

On 10 January 1953, Arthur died in Beaminster, aged 94 years. Later that year, in volume 98 of The autocar, his son Arthur Ernest wrote a letter in reply to previous correspondence as follows:

"I would like to say that my late father Albert Hann of Beaminster, Dorset, owned a Motobloc car; I enclose a photograph of it with it's original coachwork. My late brother, Tommy Hann, subsequently stripped this car and ran it at Brooklands, in the form shown in the second photograph. Returning again to Dorset, the Motobloc was fitted with a bus body and, although very high geared, it ran a local bus....' Unfortunately I do not have the rest or the photos as this comes from a 'snippet' at

Between 1954 and 1961 Arthur Ernest was shown in the telephone directory as living in Portarlington Road, Boscombe but in 1960 he was recorded as a garage proprietor in Yeovil when his wife, Molly, died there aged 50 years

By 1962 Edith Constance had moved again to South Kensington

Having returned to Bournemouth by 1972, Arthur Ernest died at Herrison Hospital, Charminster, Dorset, aged 70 years in Mar 1973

In March 1979, Edith Constance, the only girl in the family, who had a house at 49 Whittingstall Road, Parson's Green, Greater London, died unmarried at 36 Bernard Gardens, Wimbledon, Greater London, aged 83 years. She had had an exciting life varying from 'high society' to sleeping in a camper van, but never seems to have lost her sense of humour and special outlook on life

Of Charles's family:

His wife - Julia Eleanor moved to her mother's house at Dover House, 20 Prout Bridge, Beaminster following his death. She died there on 25 July 1928, aged 73 years

Julia Mary (christened at St Mary's church on 10 Dec 1879) - moved to Peachland, British Columbia where she married fellow-Brit Ashley Howard Stribling and died on 21 September 1927, aged 47 years

Ellen Louise (christened at St Mary's church on 2 Mar 1881) - married a chemist/pharmacist called Frank Wainwright and having initially moved to Leicester, soon moved to Eastleigh, Hampshire. There, the couple ran a successful business that also employed her sister, Clara Edith and continued, through their son, as Frank Wainwrght & Son Ltd. Their daughter marrying Ellen Louise's uncle Edwin's son

Emily Susan (born 10 Aug 1882) - had died in infancy on 7 Oct 1883

Charles Carpenter (christened at St Mary's church on 27 Jun 1884) - was a carpenter before moving to Warlingham, Surrey where he became a builder, dying in March 1958, aged 73 years. Strangely he married an Agnes Mary Edwards in Derby in 1913 (another Edwards and Hann partnership!). Agnes Mary's father was born in Dorchester and grandfather in Hawkchurch, so it is possible that he and Sidney R Edwards were distantly related

Florence Sarah (born 13 Feb 1886) - having been an apprentice bookbinder and stationer and acquaintance of Thomas Hardy (who it is now known was her 4th cousin once removed) became a teacher for many years at Beaminster Grammar School and in retirement moved to Twyford, Hampshire - to be with her sister Clara Edith - where she died, at Rosemary Cottage, 4 The Drove, just short of her 105th birthday, on 25 January 1991

Clara Edith (born 3 Jul 1888) - became a pharmacist's assistant, working for her sister Ellen and her husband in their shop at Eastleigh, Hampshire, and also lived at Rosemary Cottage, where she died, unmarried, in June 1975 at the age of 86

Of all of the children of both of the Prout Bridge families, only five are known to have married - Albert Percy, Arthur Ernest, Julia Mary, Ellen Louise and Charles Carpenter. Only one, Ellen Louise, is known to have had any children.

Of Charles's and Arthur's siblings, those that did not die young or unmarried, left the area, with the exception of Fanny Jane Payne (Christened at St Mary's church on 12 Mar 1843) and Susan (christened at St Mary's church on 2 Feb 1855).

Fanny Jane Payne married Daniel Bowditch in the Weymouth area in late 1867, ran the Swan public house in Misterton, just up the road from Beaminster.  Following Daniel's death and a move to Balham, London,.she emigrated to Grand Rapids, Michigan as did three of her sons and her brother Hugh and his family and died there in 1935

Susan was a barmaid at the White Hart in Beaminster and disappeared after the 1891 census when she was visiting Netherbury. She finally married a Wiltshire farmer called John Everett in Hindon, Wiltshire (where her aunt Emily Hann (later Isaac lived) just before her 55th birthday and lived at Tisbury, Wiltshire from 1900 to 1911, when John died. Susan then moved to Westham near Weymouth in Dorset (as had Emily Isaac and another aunt Eliza Hann - later Joy) where she died in 1922. They had no children

Of the properties

I believe that the house, builders' yard/garage premises and workshops have become 26 Prout Bridge (now known as Kingfisher House) together with Garden House and Fives Court (26A) and 'Uppova' is now 28 Prout Bridge (the base for a handyman business), 'Dover House' is still known as such, at 20 Prout Bridge (formerly base for a travel agent) and 'Holmleigh' 18 Prout Bridge (the base for a firm of architects). The printer and stationer shop in The Square that was run by Charles Carpenter Hann and his sister Florence Sarah was still connected with paper as a newsagent, but is now being used for other purposes

On 25 August 1894 much of the Prout Bridge area of Beaminster was severely damaged when the River Brit, which runs between the houses and the road, flooded causing ?10-24 Prout Hill to have to be demolished and replaced (including those on what became Holmleigh and Dover House). A full report of this event is available (at a charge) at
Beaminster museum also have a number of pictures including one showing a damaged C&A Hann waggon 


26 Prout Bridge now known as 'Kingfisher House', home of many of the Hann family and site of their businesses. The main building formed the family home, 28 over the arch was known as Uppova and to the rear was the builder's yard where Garden House and Fives Court (26A) now stand.  To the right can be seen 24 'Brook Cottage' which was occupied by Charles's family just before World War 1 and the tall chimney-stack of 'Dover House' (again once occupied by the Hanns) can be seen

'Dover House' (20 Prout Bridge) and 'Holmleigh' (18 Prout Bridge). formerly occupied by the Hann family and two of those rebuilt by C&A Hann to replace those destroyed by the 1894 flood

Full details of the latest sales detail and photographs of these properties can be seen at

12 (ground floor) - October 2016 -  Rightmove website
12 (first floor) - October 2012
-  Rightmove website
18 - December 2007 -
Rightmove website
20 - May 2002 -
Rightmove website
24 - August 2010 -
Rightmove website
26 - July 2017 -
Rightmove website

A rough freehand representation of an advertisement for C&A Hann that appeared in 1898




Charles Hann in 1869 when a young founder member of the newly formed Beaminster Volunteers, 1st Dorset Rifle Volunteer Corps


Albert Hann circa 1920


Albert's children


Albert Percy "Tommy", Cecil Collins, Edith Constance and Arthur Ernest,

Albert Percy with one of his many cars he raced and developed under the name 'Tommy' Hann


Two of Charles's children

Charles Carpenter and Florence Sarah


Google Maps URL for 36 Bernard Gardens, where Edith Constance died in 1979



.01.07.2017                                                                                    HANNfamily