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Records of Hazell, Watson and Viney Ltd, printers, Aylesbury, 1709-c.1991

The hierarchical structure of this catalogue is shown below. See the entire contents of the catalogue

Reference D/HWV
Covering dates 1709-1991
Held by Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies
Extent 21 series
Source of acquisition These records incorporate 3 accessions AR108/73, AR130/95 and the far larger AR106/93. Though extensive the records are far from complete, many production and accounting records having been destroyed in error shortly before deposit. A number of items are of a personal nature and relate to individual company chairmen and their research into printing techniques and travels abroad.
(AR 34/96)
Creators Hazell, Watson and Viney Ltd, 1875-1989, Aylesbury, printers; Watson and Hazell, 1867-1875
Arrangement It has not been possible to recreate the original order of these documents, nor arrange them according to the departments of the company, as these cover production rather than administrative areas. Consequently records are grouped according to their function. Within the photograph, plans and scrapbooks section the order has been maintained as they were found. Other sections are grouped chronologically.
D/HWV/1 Board and Directors' minutes
D/HWV/2 Director's Personal papers
D/HWV/3 Financial Records
D/HWV/4 Share Records
D/HWV/5 Legal Records - Company formation and alteration
D/HWV/6 Legal Records - Registers of Property and deeds
D/HWV/7 Legal Records - Plant and Works
D/HWV/8 Legal Records - Housing
D/HWV/9 Legal Records - General
D/HWV/10 Administration
D/HWV/11 Personnel - Welfare funds including pensions
D/HWV/12 Personnel - Social and Sports Clubs and events
D/HWV/13 Personnel - Staff Publications
D/HWV/14 Personnel - Housing
D/HWV/15 Personnel - General
D/HWV/16 Plant and works
D/HWV/17 Printing (incl examples)
D/HWV/18 Publicity
D/HWV/19 Photographs and Scrapbooks
D/HWV/20 Miscellaneous ephemera
D/HWV/21 Associated companies
Bibliography Bibliography:
H.J. Keefe A Century in Print, The Story of Hazell's 1839-1939. (London 1939)
Hazell Watson & Viney Ltd Hazells in Aylesbury 1867-1967; A Scrapbook to commemorate the first hundred years at the Printing Works Aylesbury. (1968)
See also PHX 150 Photograph of Hazell's band 1927
PHX 29/1-2 Photograph of the printing works, Tring Road 1896

Administrative history:
Company History
Hazell, Watson and Viney had its origins in the printing business established by William Paul in Kirby Street, Hatton Garden, London, in 1839. In 1843 Paul sold out to George Watson, then a jobbing printer and stationer at Tring, Herts, who soon introduced steam power and greatly expanded the business. In 1863 Walter Hazell (1843-1919) joined the firm and from 1867 it was known as Watson and Hazell. In the same year a branch was opened at Aylesbury in a disused silk mill at California, Aylesbury and in 1873 another branch in the Strand, London(it was sold in 1880). When J. E. Viney became a partner in 1875 the firm became Hazell, Watson and Viney. In 1884 it merged with Ford and Tilt of Long Acre, London to become Hazell, Watson and Viney, Ltd, with combined assets valued at £138,000. In the 1890s printing of periodicals was done at Kirby Street, where some sixty newspapers and periodicals were produced. Legal and commercial printing was carried on at Long Acre and book production was concentrated at Aylesbury. The head Office remained at Kirby Street until 1869, when it moved to Charles Street; in 1889 it transferred to Creed Street, Ludgate Hill, and in 1901 Long Acre. In 1920 the Kirby Street site was closed and the works transferred to Aylesbury and Long Acre. In the meanwhile the Aylesbury branch had moved in 1878 to purpose built premises on the Tring Road which underwent successive enlargements from 1885 onwards. By 1939 the total workforce there had risen to 1,700. The company also acquired a variety of other interests in this period including a share in Letts, the diary makers in 1886, a wholesale stationery branch in Shaftesbury Avenue, London in 1896, a photographic works at Lee, Kent in 1889 (wound up in 1898) and a packaging works at Slough in the 1930s.
The Watson connection with the company, severed briefly between 1880 and 1884, appears to have ended in 1903. Walter Hazell, who played a leading role in the company's affairs for over fifty years, was a social reformer and the author of pamphlets on social questions. He was a Liberal M.P. for Leicester from 1894 to 1900. Under his inspiration an employees sick fund was introduced in 1874, the first of many such welfare schemes which won the company a reputation as an enlightened employer. Hazell's Magazine, started in 1886, was an early example of a company house organ. Walter Hazell was succeeded as chairman by his sons W Howard Hazell (1919-1929) and Ralph C Hazell (from 1929). Several generations of the Viney family were also prominent in the direction of the company. Hazell's continued to expand in the post-war period as part of the Hazell Sun group of companies. In 1863 this became the British Printing Corporation, one of the largest printing and publishing organisations in the country. It was taken over by Maxwell Communications Corporation plc in 1981 and a management buy-out followed in 1989. Today (1995) BPCC Hazell Books occupies only a small proportion of the former Aylesbury site, the remainder having undergone redevelopment.
Chronological History
1839 William Paul starts printing business in Kirkby Street, Hatton Garden, London
1843 George Watson of Tring buys the business
1863 Walter Hazell becomes a partner
1867 George Watson sen, retires and firm becomes Watson & Hazell
1867 Aylesbury branch formed
1875 J. Elliott Viney becomes a partner and firm becomes Hazell, Watson & Viney
1879 Provident established
1884 Ford & Tilt Ltd acquired and HWV becomes a limited company
1890s First Social club established in Silver Street, Aylesbury
1895 First houses built for employees
1919 First full time welfare officer appointed
1920 Kirby Street branch (set up by William Paul in 1839) was closed
1936 Morbeck Gravure acquired
1936 Social club moved to Britannia Street
1937 Taylowe Acquired
1945 Sun Printers acquired
1952 Ink works, Aylesbury closed
1955 Hazell Sun Ltd formed as a holding company
1958 Long Acre works, London closed
1964 Hazell Sun merged with Purnell & Sons Ltd to form British Printing Corporation
1963 Formation of British Printing Corporation
1981 Takeover by Maxwell Communications Corporation plc
1989 Management buy-out
Constituent companies (in 1963)
Sun Printers
Whippendell Road, Watford, Herts
Formed in 1945 by the separation of Sun Printers and Sun engraving and HWV acquiring a controlling interest in the printing arm
Specialises in gravure printing
Hazells Offset
Leigh Road, Slough, Bucks
Housed the 1st heat-set web-offset press in the country, installed in 1957
Malvern Road, Furze Platt, Maidenhead, Berks
Founded in 1936 to manufacture printed folding boxes.
HWV purchased a controlling interest in 1937
Sidney Press
Sidney Road, Bedford, Beds
In 1911 the Bedfordshire Times set up a composing and printing department managed by William Palmer editor of the Beds Times and Previously editor of Hazell's Annual.
Sold to Westminster Press and then to Sun Printers Ltd in 1945 and became part of the Hazell Sun Group
1952 became a direct subsidiary
Wigman Road, Aspley, Nottingham
Founded in 1912 at Willesden to produce mainly cigarette cards
In 1954 Tom Browne & Co of Nottingham was acquired
1959 purchased both companies
Also its subsidiary Trent Photo-Litho
Keliher, Hudson & Kearns
15-17 Hatfields, London, SE1
Formed as a limited company in 1895 and merged with Hudson and Kearns in 1939
In 1962 Hazell Sun Group purchased a controlling interest in the company.
Canadian Printing and Litho
5670 Chauveau Street, Montreal 5, Canada
Acquired by the Hazell Sun Group in 1959
Offset Print and Litho
1460 Don Mills Road, Don Mills, Ontario
Formed in 1925 and acquired by the Hazell Sun Group in 1961
Hazell Sun Design Service
44 Great Queen Street, WC2
Set up in 1957

This collection includes minutes, financial records, legal records, personnel records, photographs and printed material

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