Item BCA - 2017.1293 - Oliver Onesipherous Collett, jeweller, garage mechanic, car builder

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BCA - 2017.1293


Oliver Onesipherous Collett, jeweller, garage mechanic, car builder


  • early C20th (Creation)

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pdf of 40 items

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Oliver Onesipherous Collett opened a shop in Cheapside in 1888 where he sold jewellery and repaired watches. His excitement was really in motorised transport and a little before 1900 he built a motorcycle and not long after he built the first sidecar. Between 1901 and 1902 he made a car which he called the Bampton Voiturette; this was 10 years before William Morris produced his Bullnose Morris car. Oliver's wife Mary had a sister who came with her son Eric to live with Oliver and Mary when her husband had to work in Bristol; Eric was about 8 years old and he can be seen in one of the photographs taking exercise at the Misses Duttons' school in the High Street. Eric was 92 when he talked with me and later sent me various family photographs. Muriel Halliday is the Granddaughter of Oliver and Mary and she sent me photographs of the shop which you can see in this collection. There are adverts for Collett's Salve and the Cyclists' Touring Club repairer's certificate and an interesting newspaper cutting about the special cocoa tins constructed by the family to send to soldier's on the front to boil the water for their hot drinks. After a couple of years Oliver dismantled his car but kept the engine which was used when people took their batteries to him for re-charging.
When the Hughes family owned the garage the shop became a newsagents and stationers and as Mary Hughes and her mother were keen knitters, they also sold wool and knitting patterns.
Permission for change of use in the case of this property from retail to residential was granted on 19th September, 2000 ; planning permission for alterations was granted on 16th May, 2002 (may have been retrospective); a completion certificate was issued on 19th August, 2002. "
I don't know exactly when trading on the premises came to an end - I should think it must have been some time before September, 2000, since by then the property had been bought by the people who redeveloped it." quote from Michael St Parker who now owns and lives in the property which is called Exeter House.

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