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Thread: Pearson's of Liverpool

  1. #1
    Newbie Oracle's Avatar
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    Default Pearson's of Liverpool

    I am co-authoring a new book on Pearson's Garage, otherwise Pearson Brothers and Pearsons of Liverpool. They were by outbreak of the war at 5, 6 & 7 Shaw Street, and then they had large premises in Overbury Street where they assembled thousands of US, Canadian and some British vehicles for the War Department, US Forces, Canadian Forces, RAF, Royal Navy and Ministry of Food. Post-war they rebuilt ex-military vehicles and then rebodied wartime buses to create new luxury coaches. They had pre-war been coachbuilders and then contibued from 1948-9 in Smithsdown Lane.

    The company may have started out as a coachbuilders, and also ran coaching companies, such as Happy Days Motor Ways. The firm was possibly J Pearson & Sons, and the business was then taken over by the brothers including one R Pearson. Happy Days Moto Ways appears to have been taken over by Ribble in 1947. However before then the firm established Sunniways, based in Shaw Street, which became Pearson Brothers Ltd in 1950.

    The book should have about 160 pages, and the photographs taken of the operations are amazing, especially as numerous vehicles were photgraphed in the cleared bombsites around Shaw Street and possibly in Ormskirk Park near to a hug vehicle crate dump.

    Does anyone remember Pearson's please, and anyone that worked there? We had a call from a gentleman born 1929 who worked for the firm in Overbury Sreet from 1943-9, so there must be someone out there still? We also could do with some help identifying locations from the photographs...there were several that featured cobbled streets.


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  2. #2
    PhilipG
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    Welcome to the forum.

    I'd love to try to help to identify the photos.

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    I'll have to post some pix to my website so that they can be studied. There are however two sets of flats near the Overbury Street works, one with balconies if that means anything...long blocks with several floors (brick I would suggest, Thirties build).
    Last edited by Oracle; 12-22-2006 at 09:52 PM.

  4. #4
    theninesisters
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    Overbury Street is not too far from the site of Williamson's Tunnels in Edge Hill - I've lots of pictures around that area but not from Overbury Street.

    However if you chuck some pictures on here, I'd gladly take a look and see what I can recognise!

  5. #5
    theninesisters
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    Ah! I swore blind I recognised Pearsons but I couldn't remember where! I have a picture of the entrance of Smithdown Lane - this should be right up your street?
    Last edited by theninesisters; 03-23-2007 at 06:59 PM.

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    Senior Member shytalk's Avatar
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    Jon,
    That is pearsons the butchers shop, not the garage.
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

  7. #7
    theninesisters
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    Quote Originally Posted by shytalk View Post
    Jon,
    That is pearsons the butchers shop, not the garage.
    I know but there has to be some connection? Same road same surname?

  8. #8
    scouserdave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    However before then the firm established Sunniways, based in Shaw Street, which became Pearson Brothers Ltd in 1950.
    Good luck with the book, but wasn't Sunniways Coaches still going in the 60s and early 70s? Or was it Sunnyways? They used to run the footy away coaches. We even had a nickname based on them whenever we used to hitch to away matches - "Thumbyways"

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    Default Sunniways

    You may be right about Sunniways...Pearson Brothers Limited was dissolved in 1974, They had quite a fleet into the Sixties.

    I don't have any photos of Smithdown Lane although there are some I believe of their body works: 168 Smithdown Lane by 1948 and then nunber 182 by 1949. That van appears to be a Bedford CA, with a Ford Popular 100E in front of it...so without checking the registration date on the van, it appears to be late Fifties?

    I shall put some pix online for perusal. Were there any cobbled streets in the area? The Pearson depot in Overbury Street had a tall brick chimney with "PEARSONS" in capital white letters up it. The Shaw Street Garage (dealership on two levels) sold Morris, Wolseley, Standard, cars. There was also a Hire Car department and the coach hire office.

  10. #10
    scouserdave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    I shall put some pix online for perusal.
    slightly of subject, but I think Crown Coaches and to a lesser extent, Smiths(?) of Bootle were their main rivals
    Last edited by scouserdave; 12-23-2006 at 05:08 AM.

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    Pearsonís was my first job on leaving school in 49í I was the office-boy/messenger or in todayís parlance ďThe GoforĒ; it was on the left hand side of Smithdown Lane, a stone-mason, monument works on the opposite corner. Personís comprised a large factory area with huge double gates; the factory was adjacent to yard where all old military vehicle bodies were stored. From memory, the next building down from the Pearsonís complex was a block of tenements, I believe it was Mertyl Gardens, the road leading up to Wavertree, opposite Pearsonís Gate, was where Saint Annís Catholic School and Church was; I once knew the area quite well but that was a long time ago and the old grey cells have deteriorated a lot since then. The factory was a double story building but only the main floor was in use, the whole left-hand side was the store, on the right was the paint shop and the middle section was where they built the coaches and reconditioned some military vehicles. There was always three or four coaches under construction and at the far end of the main floor there was a ĎBody Shopí which really fascinated me because the body builders would take a flat sheet of metal then, backwards and forwards through rollers and beating with different hammers they would produce perfect mudguards, hoods, boot lids in fact they produced all the body work Ö those men were skilled.

    I left Pearsonís in 50 to go the Gravesend National Sea Training School, then spent over 50 years sailing the oceans of the world as a Merchant Seaman.
    During the May Blitz all around that area was devastated in the bombing, Persons was hit and as kids we would terrify each other with stories about the ghost of White Mary, she supposedly was killed when Pearsonís was bombed Ö I went in and out of all the bombed building looking for shrapnel, in fact our gang used to manufacture pieces of Meschersmitt 109ís out of tin cans, in Pearsonís yard, and I never saw White Mary Ö. Incidentally that piece of a German plane that got shot down in Liverpool that your granddad showed you is possibly a piece of baked beans tin.

    PS. My memory has just kicked in, it wasn't Pearsons when the building was bombed it was a firm name Millners and I think they made Security Safes and Strong Box's
    Last edited by phill; 12-23-2006 at 06:01 AM.

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    The Pearsonís subsidiary, Sunnybrook Coaches had their office and garage in Shaw Street
    Last edited by phill; 12-23-2006 at 10:52 AM.

  13. #13
    scouserdave
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    Home James and Lawrensons are a few more coach companies that spring to mind when in my Redmen On Tour memories. Wonder if they are still going?

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    Default Flats

    Mertyl Gardens might be the large block of flats to the right of the yard in Overbury Street.

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    I think it is, I've been out of the country for 50 years?

  16. #16
    theninesisters
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    I may have my directions slightly out but the picture below, would the chimney in the centre of the picture be about right??

    This is taken from the top of Grinfield Street!
    Last edited by theninesisters; 03-23-2007 at 06:59 PM.

  17. #17
    theninesisters
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    Home James used to have a 'showroom' or 'shop' opposite the Clock Tower in Wavertree. I've got a Video from a conversion of a Cine film from 1969 showing a Liverpool outing on one of these coaches, a lovely 6 wheeler jobbie too!

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    Default ?

    Could be the chimney! There was also another block of flats neraby, which looked almost identical in design but one block had balconies, the other didn't.

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    Default Pearson's

    Well, thanks to this site and the wonderful people that we have met over the internet or personally, the draft book has been more or less finished.

  20. #20
    theninesisters
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    Is Alan out of hospital yet? I've sent him an e-mail and a new contract but had no response yet - hope all is ok?

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    Default Book orders and photos

    This is the link please to the new book index:

    http://home.btconnect.com/trans-pennine-pu/id91.html

    There you can see some thumbnails and also downloadable large-scale photos. There is one that aptly illustrates what happened after the blitz rubble had been cleared.

    If you would like to reserve a copy of the book when it is published, please use the form:

    http://home.btconnect.com/trans-pennine-pu/id93.html

  22. #22
    theninesisters
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    I can guarentee this is going to be a fantastic book - and will be very quickly snapped up. I had the pleasure of meeting the MD of Transpennine Publishing at Sony along with his family to determine where locations were in and around Edge Hill.

    Due to build a website on the promotion, Alan sent me over 250 pictures on a DVD, each being about 4mb each. I have been trawling through these pictures and they are utterly amazing! Once I have the website up and running, I am planning to have a 'now and then' section of the the same photo in 2007 - some buildings are still surviving and seeing hundreds of tanks and trucks sitting along a main road in Liverpool is just eye popping!


  23. #23
    OldLiverpoolBus MerseysideTransportTrust's Avatar
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    Default Pearsons

    Is that the Pearsons that completed some buses for Liverpool transport on Weymann bodyframes around 1950?

    Rob

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    Default Bus bodies

    Yes they did! I have seen a copy of a COMMERCIAL MOTOR page around 1950 showing a bus just delivered to the Corporation. However I gather by 1951 the bodybuilding business had finished and the company became a coach business instead. although they must have still had a car dealership.

  25. #25
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    Default PEARSONS BUS BODIES

    I'll try and dig a few Pearsons bus photos from our archives for you. Basically Lpool Corpy Transport used to purchase part completed body frames from Weymann or later Crossley and complete the coach work locally to keep the bus/tram works busy. Around 1949/50 they were getting a backlog so some were farmed out for completion to Pearsons , Blakes , and Aero & Engineering (Hooton Airfield)
    I've included a later photo (copyright from MPTE) showing an AEC Regent 5 with Crossley body framing awaiting finishing in Edge Lane Bus Works.

    Regards Rob
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  26. #26
    theninesisters
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    When I get permission to show the Pictures I've got from the Pearsons forthcoming books, I'll attach about 20 pictures of buses that are very luxurious inscribed with 'Coachwork by Pearsons of Liverpool!

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    Default Pearson's

    Better still, please place an order for a copy of the book so that we can get cracking!

    http://www.transpenninepublishing.co.uk

    There will only be a limited print run.

  28. #28
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    Default PEARSONS BUS BODIES

    Jona Great look forward to the pics.

    AND Oracle I've placed an order


    Regards

    Rob

  29. #29
    Gerard
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    Have you chaps seen this..

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...1533&rd=1&rd=1

    Any good ??

  30. #30
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    Default BOOK

    thanks a lot for the thought Gerard, but i have all the volumes. All a very good read.

    Kind regards

    Rob

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