This object is in the following Themes:

Death  Commerce Industry & Manufacturing

Date: 1955
Material: Paper


In November 1954 John Part and his wife began trading from the Newman Brothers’ manufactory as John Part & Co. Ltd., manufacturers of and dealers in coffin furniture. They were based at Newman Brothers between 1954 and 1956 and rented a workshop and office at the manufactory, specialising in coffins. From our records, we know that they paid £3 rent per week. However, by 30th September 1955, the rent for the workshop and office was in arrears, and by 28th March 1956, John Part Ltd owed £105 in rent.

We also know that John Part became a shareholder at Newman Brothers on Horace Newman’s death in 1952. John Part was also chairman of Newman Brothers in 1954.

This may have been an attempt by Newman Brothers to expand their product range, working directly with a trusted director and another company who specialised in products they themselves didn’t manufacture. This was presumably an attempt to become a ‘one-stop shop’ in a time when the funerary market was becoming more difficult to dominate.

John Part & Co. Ltd ceased trading in 1956 and went into voluntary liquidation, with a total deficit of £1,421, the equivalent of £34,000 today.

Previously, John Part was a managing director at another company called Parts Patent Shroud and Frilling Company based on Tilligham Street in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. It was a family-run business with his mother and two sisters also occupying the position of directors within the company.  Newman Brothers bought shrouds, frillings and other materials from the company prior to the John Part founding John Part and Co. Ltd.

By 1957 Parts Patent Shroud and Frilling Company had a deficit of £19,214 and went into voluntary liquidation. Between 1947 and 1957, John Part received a total of £24,947 in salary, directors’ fees and commission.