One of the joys of an interest in railways is that it touches so many other subjects, and a practical example can be found on one of the entry doors of the museum carriage at Toddington on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway. Although the red and yellow cast iron plate bearing the words “CRUMP ALVIN WORKS GLOUCESTER” is not strictly speaking a railway relic it does hark back to the days when Gloucester played a more important role in British manufacturing industry, itself nurtured by an expansive railway network.
However, in early 2011 I was very pleased to receive an email from David Martin Crump, great grandson of founder Henry Smith Crump, who was able to fill in many of the historic details behind the maker’s plate at Toddington.
Henry Smith Crump was one of seven children born to William Crump and his wife Harriott .William was a grocer who employed 2 grocery assistants and 2 servants – presumably he needed help with the kids. Harriott was presumably the daughter of George Smith, the next door neighbour at 66 Westgate Street in Gloucester.
Crump Works – located next to where Gloucestershire Archives stand today – made pre-fabricated iron barns, water troughs and other agricultural equipment and – as can be seen from the illustration below – won many agricultural show medals during the 1870s and 1880s.
However, it is also believed that the company later became known as Crump and Barron and moved to Ladybellegate Street, Gloucester, in the 1930s. Henry, the son of Henry Smith Crump and grandfather of David Martin Crump, continued in business with an ironmongery shop.
The son of Henry Crump – and father of David Martin Crump – was Martin Crump who was a partner in the firm Sandoe and Son who ran the Gloucester fruit and vegetable market which was originally located on the site of today’s Gloucester Bus Station before moving to St Oswald’s Road in 1962.
If you have any more information on Henry Smith Crump and his Alvin Works that you would like to add to this article then please feel free to email me
Pamela Eve Tanis Atcheson and her husband James Forbes both studied at RADA and were professional stage actors
Pamela Eve Tanis Atcheson was the daughter of Eve Atcheson – pictured left – but was brought up in Harrogate by her grandmother – whose maiden name was Crump and is pictured below. The grandfather of Pamela Eve Tanis Atcheson was Sydney Atcheson, who died on 6 January 1954 aged 79 years.