Wednesday, June 29, 2016

H A Browett & Co Ltd of Leicester - Triumph Car Dealers 17

This is article about H A Browett & Co Ltd of Leicester is number 17 in my series of articles about Triumph car dealers.

A short history of  H A Browett & Co Ltd of Leicester

I found this image on a blog by Peter Ashley who recalled watching the coming and goings at Browetts service depot "..where they maintained the ranks of newly bought little grey Ferguson tractors and red and yellow Massey-Harris combines and muck spreaders. Such was the post-war demand, Browetts signed up a fleet of Standard Vanguard vans with the evocative tractor silhouette.."  The service depot keep in touch with the service crews in their vans by radio - the radio mast and van roof mounted aerials are just visible in the image.

H A Browett & Co Ltd of Leicester sold Standard cars from 1931 and Triumph cars until at least 1975.At other times it was a retail dealer for both Jaguar cars and also an agent for the Swallow Doretti sports car.  I have been told by Peter Lockley who now owns it that Browetts only ever sold one Swallow Doretti.

Swallow Doretti sold by H A Browett and now owned by Peter Blockley
Swallow Doretti sold by H A Browett and now owned by Peter Blockley
You can read more about the Swallow Doretti chassis 1200 sold by H A Browett and now owned by Peter Blockley on the Doretti website at http://www.doretti.co.uk/gallery-5-1.htm

Press advert for the Swallow Doretti at H A Browett & Co Ltd
Press advert for the Swallow Doretti at H A Browett & Co Ltd
At the time of a Triumph distributor list published in the Standard Triumph Review March 1968 H A Browett & Co Ltd were said to be a member of the Hollingdrake Group who also held the Triumph franchise in Stockport, Colwy Bay and Liverpool..

Between 20th and 24 January 1969 the firm staged a Sales and Service Week promotion assisted by staff from Standard Triumph HQ.

At some point the business was sold to the Heron Group as evidenced by the 1974 advert shown later in this article.

In a Standard Motor Club magazine article in 2006: The mid green car is a V3 1924 Kenilworth owned by Robert Browett. H.A.Browett & Co. Ltd. of Leicester purchased the car in early 1946 by Robert’s grandfather Henry A. Browett who was then a Standard Distributor. H.A.Browett & Co. Ltd. had first been appointed to represent The Standard Motor Company in 1931, seven years after the car was built. It is with the other car in the picture, the only remaining Standards still owned by the direct descendants of the owners of Standard Dealers from the very early pre-war period.

green Standard V3 1924 Kenilworth


H A Browett & Co Ltd - Leicester Standard car dealer advert 1946
H A Browett & Co Ltd - Leicester Standard car dealer advert 1946

H A Browett & Co Ltd - Leicester Triumph car dealer advert 1960
H A Browett & Co Ltd - Leicester Triumph car dealer advert 1960
Browetts - Leicester car dealer advert 1974
Browetts - Leicester car dealer advert 1974

Mr P H J Browett handing over car to customer

The purchase of his fifth Herald by Mr G M Hayes was reported in the Standard Triumph Review June 1965.  The managing director Mr PH J Browett is pictured handing over the car.

Railway Bridge advert

Tram shed

Originally built as Stoneygate tram shed and now home to the Leicester Heritage Transport Trust.A lease on the building held by The Midland Counties Motor Agencies Ltd. (MCMA) was by 8 February 1927, in the name of H.A. Browett & Co. Ltd. who was associated with the MCMA and a request was made for two petrol pumps to be erected at the entrance to the garage. In April 1927, the Lease came up for renewal and the Company opted for a further term of five years on a new leasing arrangement which included an agreement for two additional petrol pumps to be installed together with heating apparatus.

In April 1930, permission was granted for a telephone kiosk to be erected in the shrubbery surrounding the convenience. From the outbreak of the war until June 1946, one-half of the depot was requisitioned by the A.R.P. Auxiliary Fire Service and Browett’s rent was reduced as a result. A new five year Lease came into force in September 1946 restoring the whole of the depot for the use of Browetts with a suitably increased rent. According to Kelly’s Directory of 1969 (probably published at the start of that year), Browetts were still in occupation of the building although it is believed that they actually vacated the premises in early 1968.

Triumph dealers in Leicester address info

Prior to 1955 I have no directory information. I have been told that the 30-32 Dover Street workshops were in use from at least 1939.
 
In 1955 H A Browett & Co Ltd were listed as a distributor with head office and showroom were at 64-66 Granby Street, garage at 30-32 Dover Street and Stores at 21 Calais Street.
By 1968 there also had a branch at Leicester Road, Wigston.
They are listed as a Triumph distributor based at 64-66 Granby Street, LE1 1DP until my last directory dated 1974. 

In 1955 there were 7 other dealers in the city:
Car Park Garage Co. Ltd., Byron Street,
County Garage & Motor Works (Leicester) Ltd., Aylestone Road,
E. F. Pike (Humberstone Road) Ltd. (Trading as Francis Motors), 393 Humberstone Road,
Lavender, H. P, & Co., Hotel Street,
Mayes Motors (Leicester) Ltd., 21/23 Welford Road,
Newton, Baker Ltd., 36 Western Road,
Sable, Lambert & Co. Ltd., Lower Hastings Street.

In 1965 there were 10 other dealers in the city: :
Brayshaw & Carr Ltd, Loughborough Road,
Car Park Garage Co. Ltd., Less Circle,
County Garage (Leicester) Ltd., Aylestone Road,
Express Motor & Body Works Ltd., Northern Station, Belgrave Road,
Francis Motors 393 Humberstone Road,
Ford & Slater Ltd., Hazel Drive, Narborough Road South,
Highfields Garage (Leicester) Ltd, 10/20 St. Peter's Road,
Mayes Motors (Leicester) Ltd., 21/23 Welford Road, and  Croft Hill Filling Station, Coventry Road (A.46),
Newton, Baker Ltd, 36 Western Road,
Sable, Lambert & Co. Ltd., Lower Hastings Street,.

In 1968 there were 6 other dealers in the city: :
Allens Motor Services Ltd., 88 Leicester Road, Mountsorrel,.
Car Park Garage Co. Ltd., Lee Circle,
Ford & Slater Ltd., Hazel Drive, Narborough Road South,
Highfields Garage (Leicester) Ltd, 10/20 St. Peter's Road,.
Newton, Baker Ltd, 36 Western Road,
Sable, Lambert & Co. Ltd., Lower Hastings Street

In 1972 there were 2 other dealers in the city:
Car Park Garage Co. Ltd., Lee Circle,
Ford & Slater Ltd., Hazel Drive, Narborough Road South.

In 1974 there were 2 other dealers in the city: :
Walter E Sturgess & Sons Ltd, Walnut Street, LE2 7GS
Ford & Slater Ltd., Hazel Drive, Narborough Road South, LE3 2JG

You can read a post about Newton Baker Limited

Further information and sources

Link to the other articles in this series.

Link to my Triumph Car Dealers Flickr gallery of images I have found on Flickr.

If you have any more information or recollections about this garage, photos of window stickers, dealer badges or sill plates etc please let me know.

You can download a copy of the Triumph Sales and Service Directory 1968-69 which started me off on the search for info about Triumph car dealers.

Galileo on the Triumph Dolomite forum has very kindly scanned and made available a 1974'ish copy of the Triumph Sales And Service directory.   You can get a copy here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6QR7c9loufLQXJsTkJWUTEtelk

I have a collection of Standard Triumph car dealer directories: http://vitessesteve.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/triumph-car-dealer-directories.html

Picture credits: green Standard V3 1924 Kenilworth-Standard Motor Club magazine; the 3 adverts are from the Flickr collection John; Swallow Doretti image from Peter Blockley.
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