The Story of Hall Bros
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.
The Early Years In   1900   Charles   Adolphus   Hall   left   Barbados   to   find   work   in   the “mother    country”.    He    arrived    in    the    Stoke    area    of    Road    in Coventry    in    1908,    via    Scotland    and    Newcastle-on-Tyne    and became    the    first    African    Caribbean    to    settle    in    the    City.    He worked   as   a   millwright   at   the   Daimler   works   for   forty   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   played   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.
Early   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. 1945 to 1960s On   demobilisation   in   1945   the   business   resumed   trading   in   an   era   of   rapid   redevelopment, building   primarily   council   houses   to   house   the   ever   growing   population   of   the   City.   There were   several   other   significant   developments   around   this   time:   Hinckley   Road,   Shirley   Road and   Regina   Crescent   was   the   first   private   developments   after   the   war   of   semi-detached houses and b ungalows, built by the company in 1955. The   company   was   also   engaged   in   contracting   and   a   major project   was   a   new   factory   for   the   expanding   AP   Metalcraft,   a local   company   specialising   in   pressed   metal   work,   doing   much work   for   the   Admiralty   and   for   Coventry’s   rapidly   expanding industrial   base.   The   relationship   with   this   company   continued for    over    sixty    years.    Another    project    of    which    Bob    was particularly   proud   was   the   construction   of   the   new   Salvation Army Citadel in Camden Street, Stoke. Shulman’s    Walk,    Mardol    Close    and    Gresley    Road    was    a    development    principally    of bungalows,   some   of   which   were   intended   for   nuclear   families,   which   at   the   time   was   an innovative development.   1970s to 1990s The    Stoke    Hill    Estate    and    the    Primrose    Park    Estate    were constructed   in   the   early   1970s   and   were   a   mixture   of   semi- detached   and   terraced   houses   for   sale,   followed   by   flats   in   Earle Court    and    bungalows    in    Regis    Walk.    Wootton    Court    was    a significant   entry   to   the   private   lettings   arena,   in   the   days   of   rent regulation.   This   is   a   three   storey   block   of   apartments   on   the corner   of   Henley   Road   and   Wyken   Croft.   It   remains   typical   of the construction of that period. In   1970   Bob’s   son   Robert   entered   the   business   full   time   and   became   General   Manager   of   the company.   The   late   1970s   also   saw   the   start   of   the   Mount   Pleasant   Estate,   following   many years   of   discussions   with   the   planning   authorities.   This   is   a   major   mixed   development   which incorporates   family   homes,   sheltered   accommodation,   shared   ownership   apartments,   and retail    and    leisure    development.    The    final    phase    of    this    development    is    currently    under construction. An   early   phase   was   the   construction   of   family   homes   in   Manfield Avenue,   followed   by   sheltered   accommodation   at   Marsh   House,   built for    the    New    Hestia    Housing    Association.    This    was    followed    by detached   houses   in   Turlands   Close   and   more   houses,   bungalows and   maisonettes   in   Shuna   Croft   and   The   Kintyre.   The   naming   of   the roads    on    many    of    the    developments    reflected    old    Bob’s    deep affection for Scotland where he spent many holidays. The   Henley   Industrial   Estate   was   built   in   partnership   with   AP   Metalcraft   Ltd   in   the   mid   1980s. This   consisted   of   fourteen   new   industrial   units   and   eventually   the   conversion   of   the   firm’s offices   and   joinery   works   into   a   further   unit   and   the   existing   petrol   station   to   a   retail   outlet. Willow   Courtyard   was   a   small   private   courtyard   development   for   the   over   55s   in   two   storey blocks with mainly two bedroom apartments. More Recent Developments T he   Old   Yard   is   a   substantial   single   site   development   of   eighty-six   apartments   on   the   site   of the   firm’s   old   building   yard   and   joinery   factory.   This   was designed      primarily      for      young      professionals,      mainly associated   with   the   nearby   University   Hospital.   It   is   a   proud boast    that    every    single    brick    on    the    site    was    laid    by    a current   or   former   student   of   City   College,   Coventry.   The development    was    officially    opened    in    2004    by    Sir    John Gains,       the       then       Chairman       of       the       Construction Confederation   and   Group   Chief   Executive   of   Mowlem   plc, and a former student at King Henry VIII School in Coventry. Bronte   Walk   is   a   development   completed   on   the   site   of   former horticultural   nurseries   at   Longfellow   Road   which   had   fallen   into disrepair   and   was   causing   a   local   nuisance   to   neighbours.   The much    sought    after    eighteen    apartments    located    there    have created   a   vibrant   community.   Harmony   Court   and   Mull   Court   are single   blocks   of   apartments   catering   for   young   professionals   and a lso the more elderly, completed in the late 2000’s. Halls   Drive   is   a   superb   new   development   of   properties   for   rent, designed   specifically   for   the   over-fifty-fives,   yet   with   provision for   active   professionals.   The   development   is   divided   into   three phases,    the    first    of    which    consists    of    apartments    for    those people   who   qualify   for   affordable   rents.   Each   apartment   has carpeted    floors,    maple    timber    planned    kitchens,    substantial living   accommodation   and   either   one   or   two   bedrooms.   There are   lifts   provided   for   access   to   the   three   and   two   storey   blocks where   necessary   and   in   general   the   build   is   of   the   highest   quality,   in   accordance   with   Hall Bros   policy   of   building   for   tenant   satisfaction,   low   maintenance   and   long   life   of   construction components. These   apartments   are   highly   energy   efficient,   having   heavily   insulated   walls   and   roof   space, modern filled double glazing and the very latest solar energy provision. It   can   be   seen   from   this   brief   history   that   the   company   is   very   much   woven   into   the   fabric   of the Walsgrave community.
         Charles Hall and family       
    First houses built in 1933    
Hall Bros, 2 The Square Business Centre, Manfield Avenue, Coventry, CV2 2QJ Tel: 024 7661 2121 Email:
   Bob Hall in 2001  
    Factory for AP Metalcraft      
          Marsh House            
          Wootton Court