Heritage and History Society

Humphries of Pershore / Pinvin

Around 1840 brothers Edward and Thomas Humphries started a business in Pershore High Street (on land that later became Abbey Garage) repairing agricultural machinery but Thomas died in 1858 at the early age of thirty-seven so in 1862 the company name was changed to: E. and T. Humphries Agricultural Engineers. That was also the year when construction work was finished of a mansion, Mount Pleasant, (overlooking Pershore) which became home to Edward and his family, including 300 acres of agricultural land.
The site of an old brickyard in Pinvin near the Bow Brook ford and just over the road from the railway station was acquired, on which was built Atlas Works and Edward’s company moved there in 1883. They not only repaired machinery but now also made and exhibited steam engines, threshing machines and other agricultural equipment around the country and won many prizes.Consequently the work force increased from the eight men employed in 1851!
Sadly Edward died in 1885 aged seventy, the company eventually going into liquidation due to financial problems associated with cheaper overseas imports and the business was taken over by Bamford and Evershed Ltd. in 1904 as a going concern including freehold land and buildings, stock, cash, debts, contracts and trademarks but Edward’s family stayed on at Mount Pleasant, where his wife, Elizabeth, died in 1910.
My interest? My great grandfather, Alfred ‘Fred’ Cole, started working for Edward Humphries in 1879 firstly as a gardener at Mount Pleasant and afterwards for forty-six years in the foundry at both Pershore and Pinvin works, retiring in 1927 when he was able to spend more time in his beloved garden and orchard from where he not only grew flowers and produce for family, but also to send to Pershore market on his donkey.