The Longleys

93-95 High Street, Epsom

95 High Street (extreme left) before there was an estate agency at the premises.
95 High Street (extreme left) before there was an estate agency at the premises.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

The Longley name was a High Street presence in Epsom for more than 70 years and descendants of Henry Banks Longley still own property in the town today.

Background

The Longleys had been involved with Yorkshire bricks and mortar for centuries, working their way up the ladder from bricklayers to builders and then an architect. Henry's father, William (1839-1904), the architect, was of particular note, since some of the designs he produced with his partner, Samuel Jackson, are still standing. Others, such as the Prince's Theatre and Star Music Hall in Bradford have long been demolished. Saltaire Primary School, which is still in operation, dates back to the 1870s and is just one of the buildings to see in the Victorian textile village of Saltaire, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The picture below shows what was the Victoria Works in Shipley. When built in the 1870s it was a huge textile mill and warehouse and is currently apartments.

Former Victoria Works, Shipley.
Former Victoria Works, Shipley
Image © Mark Anderson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Henry Banks Longley
Henry Banks Longley.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Henry was born in Bradford in 1870, the first child of William the architect and his wife Emma (nee Banks). He was educated at Clarendon Academy, Bradford and then served articles with his father from 1885-90. In 1891 he became Chief Assistant to the Mining and Consulting Engineer at Darwen (near Blackburn) and in 1896 he beat 79 other candidates to be appointed architectural assistant to Burton-upon-Trent. He next went to the Borough Engineer's Department in Coventry and in 1899 was made engineer and surveyor to the Moss Side Urban District Council in Manchester; by now he was a Member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and a qualified Chartered Surveyor. Projects he worked on during his engineering career included heating and ventilation of public buildings, laying electric tramways and a scheme for a refuse destructor. In 1905 he was appointed surveyor for the eastern district of Manchester.

Unfortunately, I do not know why Henry decided to leave the public sector and enter private practice in Epsom (perhaps he wanted to be in business for himself and thought that Surrey offered better opportunities) but, before we leave the north we must gather up Mrs Longley for the journey. She was Ada Bertha Beet, born in Darwen in 1873, and Darwen may well be where the couple met; they were married there on 8 September 1898. Ada was the daughter of Edwin Charles Beet and Catherine (nee Smith) and was musically talented. At the age of 14 she passed a junior examination in 'playing the pianoforte', held in Manchester by the Royal Academy of Music, and she sang as a contralto in amateur opera. Edwin Beet was nominally a 'music seller' but actually he made and sold pianos, which must have been profitable, since he left effects of 10,392 (around 1 million in today's money) on his death in 1912. Ada's brother, Fritz, was also a pianist.

So, Henry and Ada came to Epsom around 1910 and brought with them their two surviving children (one had died in infancy), Kathleen (6) and Leslie Beet (2), both born in Manchester. Initially they lived at Quinta, a nine-roomed house in College Road.

Ada and Kathleen outside Quinta c.1912
Ada and Kathleen outside Quinta c.1912.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Alfred Edward Morris was born in Plumstead in 1874, son of a grazier (cattle farmer). He had lived in Woking prior to setting up business in Epsom and in 1911 was living at The Nook, Ashley Road. The next two photos show how his business at 95 High Street, next door to the White Hart Hotel, looked just before Henry Longley became a partner.

95 High Street c.1910.
95 High Street c.1910.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

95 High Street c.1910.
95 High Street c.1910.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

There is a little more about Mr Morris in Epsom Businesses 1911. The photo below depicts 95 High Street now bearing the name of Morris & Longley, which partnership subsisted until Mr Morris retired in 1920, at which point it appears that Henry purchased the freehold of 93 High Street from Brandon's Putney Brewery Ltd - in that year Brandon's was taken over by Mann, Crossman and Paulin Ltd, which later merged with Watney.

Derby Day 1914.
Derby Day 1914.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

We do not know exactly when Eustace Broadhead went into partnership with Henry, but he was certainly in Epsom district by 1922, when he married Doris Louise Beaumont (1893-1976); he was born in 1891 in Stocksbridge, Yorkshire (near Sheffield), son of a pork butcher. In 1911 he could be found as an auctioneer's clerk in Harrogate. It is thought that he operated out of the Sutton branch of Longley & Broadhead.

A Longley & Broadhead letterhead.
A Longley & Broadhead letterhead.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Longley & Broadhead c.1920s.
Longley & Broadhead c.1920s.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Longley & Broadhead in 1969.
Longley & Broadhead in 1969.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

The family in 1914.
The family in 1914.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

By 1915 the Longleys had moved to Wytcot, The Parade, Epsom. Sadly, Kathleen died from scarlet fever in June of 1916; she was buried in Epsom Cemetery (Grave A298A). By Christmas, 1923 the family was at Summerlands, 42 Mill Road and in 1927 they bought Woodcote Hall. What happened next in relation to that building is detailed in the linked article. In later life Henry and Ada lived in a bungalow they had built in the back garden of Woodcote Hall, which is now known as 1 Woodcote Close.

1 Woodcote Close in the 1950s.
1 Woodcote Close in the 1950s.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

1 Woodcote Close in 1965.
1 Woodcote Close in 1965.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Like many businessmen in Epsom, Henry had a keen sense of civic duty; he was the Chairman and Honorary Treasurer of Epsom Urban District Council at the time of the 1919 Epsom Riot. In an interview at the time he was asked about the attitude of the police towards the Canadian soldiers based in Epsom and 'was very emphatic on the remarkable consideration and human feeling by every member of the force to the Canadians, even when, as Kipling says, "going large a bit"'. He was also a Justice of the Peace and Provincial Grand Secretary of the Surrey Freemasons.

Henry Banks Longley in later life.
Henry Banks Longley in later life.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

After World War 1 Henry was the Chairman of the War Memorial Committee and it is hard to believe the wrangling and dissension that went on among local dignitaries, people in authority and other folk about what form this should take and where it should be. A full narrative of what happened appears on this website in the links at the end of the Ashley Road War Memorial article.

Henry died at Epsom General Hospital on 14 June 1957, leaving a large and varied property portfolio, followed by Ada on 8 November 1961.

Henry and Ada.
Henry and Ada.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Grave of Henry and Ada Longley in Epsom Cemetery.
Grave of Henry and Ada Longley in Epsom Cemetery.
Image courtesy of Gravestone Photographic Resource.

Leslie Beet Longley

We parked young Leslie, aged only two, back in 1911, but his turn has now come. He was educated at a prep school in Epsom and then sent to board at Ardingly College in West Sussex until he was 18. Following in father's footsteps, he became a Chartered Surveyor and it's surmised that he worked alongside Henry, but we do not know that for sure.

Ardingly College.
Ardingly College.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

In 1938 Leslie married Kathleen Yvonne Price (known as Yvonne, born 1914) of Wilmerhatch Lane, Epsom and they moved into a newly-built house called Lime Cottage at the end of Woodcote Close.

Leslie and Yvonne on their wedding day.
Leslie and Yvonne on their wedding day.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Lime Cottage.
Lime Cottage.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

There were two children, being Gillian Primrose (1940-87) and Nicholas (born 1944). During the Second World War Leslie served with the RAF and afterwards moved the family to a larger house at 1 Links Road. He continued to run Longley & Broadhead; in due course Eustace Broadhead retired, whereupon Leslie bought him out and closed the Sutton branch.

1 Links Road in 2015.
1 Links Road in 2015.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Just as an aside on Eustace Broadhead, who died in 1965, after the Second World War he was seconded to the War Damage Commission together with a surveyor named (Henry) Lewis Edwards. At that time Lewis's firm was called Edwards & Sharp, based in South Street (now Huggins, Edwards & Sharp of West Street, which, incidentally, incorporates the business of the Langlands family). The firm still has professional associations with Longley property to this day.

In 1952 Leslie and Yvonne Longley formed a small property investment company, L B Longley Investments Ltd, which is still in the family, run by their grandson, James Hakim. Woodcote Hall was transferred to the new company and in due course so was the block of flats called Ardingly Court, which Leslie built on the site of the Hall's stables. Ardingly Court is still owned by L B Longley Investments.

Ardingly Court shortly after it was built in 1965.
Ardingly Court shortly after it was built in 1965.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Ardingly Court in 2015, with Woodcote Hall in the background.
Ardingly Court in 2015, with Woodcote Hall in the background.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

In 1963 Leslie's company bought 6-8 East Street and these premises remained a Longley investment property until 2007. There is some historical information on this website about Number 6 and Number 8.

6-8 East Street in 2002.
6-8 East Street in 2002.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

Leslie and Yvonne stepping out c.late 1940s.
Leslie and Yvonne stepping out c.late 1940s.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

I did adverise in the opening titles that this article was to be about the Longleys at 93-95 High Street and it still is, but, rather like Topsy, it growed.

Leslie retired in 1969 and Longley & Broadhead was amalgamated with Osenton & Lamden of Leatherhead. This next picture shows the offices branded as that firm and you will see just behind the traffic light that they are under offer via Maggs, Edwards & Sharp, which is another incarnation of the previously mentioned Edwards & Sharp.

95 High Street (extreme left).
95 High Street (extreme left).
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

You will also notice from the photo that the Ashley Centre has now appeared and, as it opened in 1984, this tallies with the fact that Osenton & Lamden was sold in the mid-1980s. Here are two later incarnations of the premises, as Fine & Country and Browns Residential (these two companies are connected).

95 High Street (extreme left).
95 High Street (extreme left).
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

95 High Street.
95 High Street.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

After Leslie's retirement he and Yvonne moved to Fetcham, which was very near to where James Hakim lived as a lad. Leslie died in 1973 and Yvonne in 2002.

Leslie and Yvonne.
Leslie and Yvonne.
Image courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.

The freehold of 93-95 High Street passed to James Hakim and his brother Rupert after Yvonne's death and in 2003 they sold it to the Ashley Centre. However, as I said, Ardingly Court remains in the family.

I cannot finish without saying a big thank you to James and Rupert Hakim, who started the ball rolling on this piece and not only provided many of the pictures but also gave me most of the information, so all I had to do was put it together.

Linda Jackson © 2015.


Further views of 93-95 High Street, Epsom.


95 High Street c.1914.
The Shop Window date not known.
95 High Street c.1920.
95 High Street c.1951.
95 High Street May 1969.
95 High Street May 1969.
95 High Street May 1969.
95 High Street May 1969.
Further views of 93-95 High Street, Epsom
Images courtesy of James Hakim © 2015.