Hall Bros Coventry

The early years


HISTORY

The history of Hall Bros is very much linked to the history of its location, in the Walsgrave area of Coventry. Much of the housing that exists in this area was built by the company and throughout the years it has maintained firm links with the community. As well as developing a reputation for solid construction work of high quality, the company has continually supported training and development, with a huge number of local apprentices and trainees passing through the firm.  

All three generations of the Hall family have played major roles in local affairs and in 2006 the current owner, Robert Hall, was awarded the MBE for his services to construction training.  

The early years

In 1900 Charles Adolphus Hall left Barbados to find work in the “mother country”. He arrived in the Stoke area of Coventry in 1908, via Scotland and Newcastle-on-Tyne and became the first Afro Caribbean to settle in the city. He worked as a millwright at the Daimler factory for 40 years, earning an award of merit and a gold medal from the engineering union. In spite of the extensive racial prejudice prevailing at the time, Charles led a full and active life in the local community, playing cricket for Foleshill Albion and regularly attending Stoke St Michael’s Church with his wife, Sarah Ann. His is an extraordinary story of perseverance and endeavour in the face of difficult circumstances.

In 1933 Charles supported his sons, Bob and Bill, in setting up a building and joinery company known as “Hall Bros”, based in Walsgrave, Coventry. Bob had served a seven year apprentice as a bricklayer and they set up the business with a bank loan that Charles had underwritten with the deeds of the family home in Stoke. The business was closed during the war whilst Bob served as a sergeant in the Royal Air Force, building airfields in Iceland and the Hebrides.

1900 2Early motor car bodies were made of wooden frames and the firm’s first venture in joinery manufacturing was to supply these frames to the Daimler works from their joinery factory. Eventually the brothers moved on to construct many hundreds of flats, houses and factory units, mainly in the Wyken, Walsgrave and Holbrooks areas, contributing enormously to the post-war reconstruction of the city. The very first houses were built in Woodway Lane, adjacent to Sowe Common in 1933. Bob never neglected to remind anyone that he had laid every single brick in all four properties! Before the war the brothers built more houses in Farren Road, Ansty Road and elsewhere in the city.