Papers of the Rubery Owen Distributors Group

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Rubery Owen Distributors Group, the Holding company for the subsidiaries in the Distributor Group: Minutes: director's meetings, 1943 - 1959; annual general meetings, 1908 - 1967; agreement, 9 July 1908; publications, 1965; scrapbook, 1954 - 1959; photographs, 1954 - 1959.

J.E. Brassey & Son Ltd: Minutes, 1900-1967.

Administrative / Biographical History

This company was formed on 9 July 1908 as Rogers & Jackson Ltd to take over an ironmonger's business in Wrexham previously carried on by E.L. Rogers and C.E. Jackson. The business had originally been started in 1815 by William Overton, Grocer and Ironmonger, in Charles Street, Wrexham. In the early 1860s the business was acquired by Alfred Owen of Wrexham, and, in developing the business under the style Alfred Owen, Proprietor, General and Furnishing Ironmonger and Agricultural Implement Warehouse, High Street, Wrexham, he built a large agricultural warehouse in Chester. In 1884 he transferred the business to E.E. Rogers (his brother-in-law) and J.E. Jackson but retained a financial interest and the business was continued under the style Rogers & Jackson, Ironmongers. In 1900 the elder sons of the partners took over the business from their fathers. In 1908 C.E. Jackson died and the business was converted into a private limited company on 9 July. A.E. Owen was appointed a director and later chairman until his death in 1929. A.G.B. Owen was appointed a director in 1931 and chairman in 1943. Rubery, Owen & Co. Ltd took up shares in the company in 1936 and also in 1945. A further acquisition of 4,560 shares from the trustees of the late E.L. Rogers, a former chairman and managing director, gave Rubery, Owen & Co. Ltd control of the company. The business of the company developed steadily from the original ironmonger's shop. At its three premises in Wrexham it sold builders' supplies, grates, bathroom and sanitary fittings, and also china, furniture, travelling goods and a wide range of other products. The company also sold these articles at their branches at Colwyn Bay, Oswestry, and City Road, London. Agricultural machinery, farm sundries and dairy equipment were sold at Wrexham and Mold, and at Oswestry there was a showroom for Massey-Ferguson tractors and agricultural machinery and a workshop for their repair and maintenance. Also at Oswestry the company acted as authorised distributors for Shell-Mex and BP Ltd for paraffin, gas oil, and similar products. The company also supplied and erected farm buildings and heating installations and was a distributor of building materials.

Reference: Catalogue to the Collection.


This collection forms part of the Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd Archive

The Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd Archive has been arranged using the following classification scheme: 1 Minute Books; 2 Statutory Records; 3 Financial Records; 4 Correspondence; 5 Letter Books; 6 Printed Publications; 7 Other Publications; 8 Diaries; 9 Agreements; 10 Press - Cuttings; 11 Reports; 12 Notices; 13 Functional Records; 13.1 Preparation for Retirement; 13.2 Industrial Life & Christian Teamwork; 13.3 Group Archives.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre by Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd in 1994.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of this collection-level description is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom. A catalogue to file level is also available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources.

A general collection level description exists for the Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd Archive as a whole (MSS.338). Collection level descriptions also exist for Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd and predecessors (MSS.338/RO); papers of the subsidiary companies including: Darlaston Group (MSS.338/ROD); Conveyancer Group (MSS.338/ROC); Fasteners Group (MSS.338/ROF); C. & L. Hill Group (MSS.338/ROL); Other Subsidiary Companies (MSS.338/ROS).

An authority record exists for Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd. (GB 152 AAR2219).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.


Further deposits are expected.

Related Material

Files relating to Sir Alfred's activities as a member and chairman of the Staffordshire County Council were transferred to the Staffordshire County Record Office in 1974. The Rubery Owen Photographic and Film Collection is held by the Staffordshire Film Archive at Staffordshire University.


A guide to the Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd Archive is available from the Modern Records Centre:

Leonard McDonald, Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd. Archive (University of Warwick, 1997).  Please contact the Centre's staff for further details