Document ReferenceBEF
TitleRecords of W.J. Furse and Company Limited, electrical engineers and contractors of Nottingham, 1912-1987
Extent4 volumes
AbstractThe collection comprises share holding certificates for W.J. Furse and Company Limited, both for preference and ordinary shares.
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers, but see our Access Policy for details of exceptions for material containing personal information.
Admin HistoryWilliam Joseph Furse acquired a steeplejacking business in Nottingham on Burton Road, Nottingham in 1893 from Joshua Till. Recognising the importance of electricity, he diversified into electrical installation and opened a workshop in Goldsmith Place for the manufacture of electrical switchgear and components. By 1900, Furse's company had moved to Traffic Street, Nottingham and added lift and theatre equipment manufacture and installation to its activities. The company was incorporated in 1912 as W.J. Furse & Co. Ltd and, soon after, electrical installation subsidiaries opened in Manchester and London. A subsidiary, Furse Wholesale Limited, was set up in 1926 to handle trade sales of electrical equipment and a refrigeration division was added in 1927 to sell the 'Frigidaire' range of products.

On the death of William Joseph Furse in 1937, his son, W.F. Furse became group chairman and managing director. New stores and offices were built at Wilford Road, Nottingham for the steeplejack division and the firm's foundry was moved to the site from Traffic Street in 1954. In 1958, the company was acquired by E.V. Industrials Limited who in turn sold their interests to Crown House in 1967. In 1977, the year of the retirement of the last member of the Furse family to be connected with the firm, Furse Power Products Limited (formerly Furse Wholesale Limited) merged with other interests to form National Electrical Supplies Company Limited later becoming Best and May, and then Senate. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Furse was controlled by Coloroll PLC and the Thomas Robinson Group.

In 1988, the Thomas Robinson Group divided the Furse organisation into three divisions. Furse Lifts Limited (lifts division) was sold to Thyssen Lifts and Escalators, while Furse Specialist Contracting Limited (steeplejack division) and W.J. Furse and Company Limited (engineering division) were sold to East Midlands Electricity Board in June 1991. The USA based Thomas and Betts Corporation, an electrical components supplier, acquired Furse from the East Midlands Electricity Board in 1998. W.J. Furse and Company Limited was still based at Wilford Road, Nottingham in 2002 specialising in electronic systems protection, earthing and lightning protection and welding equipment.
Custodial HistoryThe fate of the bulk of the company's archive is not known. The present collection comprising only share certificates, retained by the East Midlands Electricity Board, was given to The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in April 2000 by PowerGen.
DescriptionThe collection consists of four books of share certificates for the company, recording quantities of share allocations, dates, and any cancellations. The majority of the shares have been cancelled and in many cases the certificates have been reunited with the stubs in the volumes. The shares were allocated to a variety of family members and company employees but the largest transfers of shares took place during the sale of the company to other firms such as those listed in the company history in this description.

One of the volumes (BEF 1) contains details of preference shares and covers the period 1912 to 1958. The other three volumes (BEF 2) are for ordinary shares and run consecutively from 1912 to 1987. There are 82 shares or stubs in all.

There is also a signed transference of shares from five members of the Furse family to E.V. Industrials Ltd, dated 1958 (BEF 3).
MgtGroupBusiness records
MgtSubGroupPower, Electricity
ArrangementThe volumes have beem arranged chronologically.
TermElectronics engineers - England - Nottinghamshire
FindingAidsThis description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
ConditionFair. The certificates have been reattached to the stubs in the register with pressure sensitive tape. This is deteriorating.

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CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA47W.J. Furse and Company Limited; electrical engineers and contractors
NA47W.J. Furse and Company Limited; electrical engineers and contractors
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