Thomas Cook & Son

Thomas Cook & Son

Thomas Cook & Son, originally simply Thomas Cook, was a company founded by Thomas Cook, a cabinet-maker, in 1841 to carry temperance supporters by railway between the cities of Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Birmingham.

In 1924, the company was renamed Thomas Cook & Son Ltd., after acquiring limited liability status. A new headquarters was opened in Berkeley Street, London in 1926. In 1928, the business was sold to the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et des Grandes Express Européens, operator of the Orient Express.

After the outbreak of World War II the Paris headquarters of the Wagons-Lits company was seized by the occupying forces, and the British assets taken over by the Custodian of Enemy Property. In 1942, Thomas Cook & Son Ltd. was sold to the proprietors of Hay’s Wharf, the four major British railway companies at this time, with the aim of preventing its bankruptcy. The company was nationalised along with the railways in 1948, becoming part of the British Transport Commission.

In the late 1950’s the company began to promote ‘foreign holidays’ by selling “inclusive tours” (package holidays) using scheduled airlines but refused to sell cheap package holidays which compromised on quality and service. As a result, the company began to lose market share, although its operating profits exceeded £1 million for the first time in 1965.

The company was denationalised in 1972, when it was acquired from the British Government by a consortium of Trust House Forte, Midland Bank and the Automobile Association. The company’s name was altered from Thomas Cook & Son, Ltd, to Thomas Cook Group Ltd in 1974. Midland Bank acquired sole control in 1977.

It was succeeded by Thomas Cook AG after being sold to a German company in 2001, but since 2007 the descendant company is Thomas Cook Group plc.

Branches

  • Bulawayo
  • Salisbury

References

Contributors
  • James Gavin

FB

Hubert Davies & Co Ltd: Salisbury

Hubert Davies & Co Ltd

Salisbury

Hubert Davies & Co Ltd

Hubert Davies & Co Ltd

In 1891, Hubert Davies started an industrial supply business in Johannesburg, South Africa. By the turn of the century, the business was a major player in the distribution of mechanical and electrical industrial products.

In 1917, it was converted into a private company, Hubert Davies & Co Ltd. This facilitated the introduction of senior managers as directors and shareholders.

Today the busines trades as Hudcao.

Branches

Contributors
  • James Gavin

FB

The Texas Company (S.A.) Ltd

The Texas Company (S.A.) Ltd

Salisbury

 

The Texas Company (S.A.) Ltd was established in 1914. In 1941, the company changed to the Caltex (Africa) Ltd.

Contributor
  • James Gavin

FB

Kirkman’s Florist

Kirkman’s Florist

Salisbury

 

Contributors
  • James Gavin
  • Walter Herdzik

FB

London and Rhodesian Mining & Land Co Ltd

London and Rhodesian Mining & Land Co Ltd

Salisbury

The London and Rhodesian Mining & Land Co Ltd (Lonrho) was incorporated in 1909. The business began in Rhodesia as mainly a mining and agricultural business. By the 1960’s the company was struggling.

In 1961, Roland Rowlands took on a strategy to transform the company into a worldwide conglomerate. His introduction was introduced to Lonrho through the Honorable Angus Ogilvy, husband to Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, Princess Alexandra, and the director of the company. Ogilvy recruited Rowland, convinced that the 44-year-old mining consultant could turn around the company’s struggles.

Once named a managing director, Rowland moved quickly to expand the company’s interests, using his own portfolio of African holdings as a map for Lonrho’s expansion and diversification. The company’s involvement in mining and ranching was deepened, and forays into automobile and oil distribution were made. Concurrently, the geographic scope of the company was widened considerably until it embraced nearly all of the African continent. Expansion took Lonrho out of Rhodesia, north of the Limpopo River, and into neighboring Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Zaire, and Tanzania, transforming the company into an African conglomerate without rival.

In 1998, the company split it’s mining activities into Lomin.

References

Contributors
  • James Gavin

FB

Bain Bros

Bain Bros

Salisbury

John Josiah Bain (1891-1966) & Kenward Ernest Bain (1900-1940) built and owned the first sports shop in Salisbury which they called Bain Brothers.

Contributors
  • James Gavin
  • Walter Herdzik

FB

S & S Cars (Salisbury) Ltd

S & S Cars (Salisbury) Ltd

Salisbury

 

S & S Cars Ltd was a distributor of Vanguards, Triumphs and the latest Studebaker models.

Contributors
  • James Gavin

FB

Bhimjee R Naik: Salisbury

Bhimjee R Naik

Salisbury

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