Friday, 23 March 2012

Elliott and Co, Stratford

According to a commercial trade directory for the Stratford area, John Elliott was already trading as a dairyman at 43 Water Lane in 1886. Together with his sons Matthew Elliott and Joseph Elliott, he was one of the partners in the firm Elliott & Co. The partnership between these dairymen and bakers was dissolved when John Elliott retired in 1892. By then the company was trading from both 43, Water Lane and Lett Road, about a mile away from where this ghost sign was painted. Matthew and Jospeh kept the company going though and its name appears in the 1896 edition of Kellys Trade Directory and at the bottom of an advertisement printed in 1898.

Following the retirement or death of Matthew Elliott, Joseph Elliott was left in charge. In March 1902 he was sued by estate and commission agent Henry Hassell who tried to recover £ 40 Joseph Elliott had allegedly not paid as a commission for introducing a purchaser of some land belonging to Elliott & Co. I have not found what the Lord Mayor's Court decided but Joseph Elliott must have been found guilty. Whether Mr Hassell got his money in the end is another matter because for at least two years before that case came to court, Joseph Elliott had been not only baking bread but also cooking the books to try to hide the losses of his company. In October 1903 he was found guilty of misconduct by the High Court of Justice in Bankruptcy and declared bankrupt with a discharge suspended for three years.
This did not put an end to Joseph Elliott's career though and one year after he was discharged from the debts he owed, his loaves of brown bread won a bronze medal, as reported in an issue of The Journal of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers from 1907.
What happened after this date is not known but it seems Elliott & Co was struck off the Companies Register in April 1939.

Elliott & Co
Dairy Bread Bakers
Dairy Farmers
Families & Dealers Supplied

Location: Water Lane / Pictures taken in May 2011

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