Abstracted from Newsletter 52 Summer 2010

Researching F.W. Constable of Cirencester and Fairford

Visual images form only part of the research tools available to the local historian. There are also trade directories, newspaper accounts and advertisements and all those business records which any local historian fervently hopes have survived and are now to be found amongst local archives.


Resarch is beginning to come together on the topic on one local business, with strong transport links in the area. Recently the Way It Was page in the Wilts & Glos Standard reprinted its 1910 report of F.W. Constable’s ‘new business premises’ being established in London Road, Cirencester, as follows: 


“Mr F.W. Constable, coach and carriage builder, of Cirencester and Fairford, has now opened for business the spacious and commodious premises which have for some months been in course of erection in the Victoria grounds at the bottom of Dyer-street, and the building forms an imposing object of the London-road entrance to the town. Mr Constable’s Fairford premises are situated adjoining the town bridge over the Coln, and at Cirencester they are within a few yards of the London-road bridge over the Churn, so that he is thus able to continue at Cirencester the title of ‘The Bridge Carriage Works’ which has for some years been applied to the flourishing Fairford undertaking.” 


(source: Wilts & Glos Standard, 08 July 2010, page 27) 


Fortunately the Building Plans & Alterations for this new building survive, and will reveal a lot more detail. The property has in recent years been replaced, all but the end ‘dwelling house’, although it still reflects the style of its predecessor. Meanwhile, Constable products survive locally in Down Ampney church (a bier) and at the Cotswold Motoring Museum at Bourton on the Water (a carrier’s cart from Ablington/Bibury). Other examples are being sought. Do you know of any? If so, we’d be pleased to hear – there’s a clue to be found on the hubcaps!