William Dixon & Co. Ltd. Hounds Gate

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As a new member, just wonder if I can get some help with my research into the history of William Dixon & Co. Hounds Gate Nottingham. They were clothing manufacturers and wholesalers for many years until their closure about 1979. I have lots of information on the origin of the company by William Dixon and Thomas Prosser Parker who were both born in Gratham and moved to Nottingham 1870s / 80s.

They started trading as Dixon & Parker, retail outfitters, with shops throughout the country, then combined a wholesale and manufacturing division. In later years William Dixon's son John Auger Dixon became chairman, he was the famous Notts. County Cricketer after whom "The Dixon Memorial Gates" at Trent Bridge were named. John was also a Nottm. Forest footballer and made an international debut for England v Wales about 1885. John died in Nottingham in 1931.

I now need some information on the directors and chairmen of the company from the 1930s until the early 1960s when I started with the firm. I know there was a Robert Smith and I can just remember Miss Smith. During my time it was Sam Small, Bob Morris, Geoff Wooton, Stephen Powell, Doug Blackmoor, Frank Spencer, at the close Ken Parr (related to the Dixon's) was chairman.

Should there be any interest in this, I am sure there are many names and memories to share that cover my 20 years with this company.

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Creeky dont think i can help you with much information ,but i got a job at dixons before leaving school, but was not allowed to start before i was 15,on my 15th birthday i started as a warehouseman on £5 per week , my mate started on hounds gate at i think snooks just below dixons ,it is interesting to learn the information you have attained ,i remember my initiation was to be put in a large wicker basket on wheels shoved in a lift and left for hours.With my first wage packet my mum told me to buy a suit from dixons i cant remember if it was 1 or 2 weeks wages ,happy memories of august 1969 and my very first job from leaving school ,i guess you worked there then ,what would your job have been in 1969? regards Andy .please keep us posted with your research , i will be fascinated to read your posts, sorry forgot to say welcome .

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Welcome Creeky

There is this from the Evening Post September 1944 for a Horace Arthur Parker who was a director then but have drawn a blank on those other names unfortunately as they were probably too late for the newspaper archives .


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Thanks all for welcome messages.

a charlesworth Hi, I started doing much the same job as you in the half hose (sock) dept. under Reg. Bell. That goods lift was lethal!

Think by 1969 I was in swimwear section (Judy Grinham). Judy competed in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, winning the 100m backstroke, Dixons owned the "Judy Grinham" brand.

DAVIDW Thanks for the cutting, Horace Arthur Parker was the son of Thomas Prosser Parker (a founder), in 1911 census Horace was listed as a Shopkeeper (Tailor & Clothing), perhaps the shop was Prossers of Hockley, Dixons owned it. Ralph Carr, also a director, was his brother in law (husband of sister Minnie), other sister Ethel never married, she died in 1945 a year after Horace.

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Sorry I made a mistake previously, John Auger Dixon played football for Notts. County not Forest.

JOHN Auger Dixon and his younger brother Percy achieved an incredible collection of medals and accolades between them.
He was the eldest son of the owner of clothing business Dixon and Parker.
He played football for England and with Notts County, was captain Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club for 11 years, as well as playing alongside the great W.G. Grace, including in Grace’s 50th birthday game – a big occasion in cricket in 1898.
His best year with the bat was in 1897 when he made 1,100 runs at 44.00, the only time he would pass 1,000 runs in a season. He was also a part-time medium pacer and in 1900 took a career best season tally of 37 wickets at 23.89
He hit a Notts record score of an unbeaten 268 against Sussex at Hove in 1897.
His England football cap was against Wales at Blackburn in 1885, as an inside left in a 1-1 draw.
The left-winger scored 16 goals in his 61 appearances for the Magpies.
Two years after his death, the gates at Trent Bridge were dedicated to him.
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Interesting reading your memories of Wm. Dixon, I started work there in August 1960, as a school leaver.

Firstly working in the Packing Dept. in the basement, Percy Brown was down there, so too Harold Atkinson and Oliver Wagstaff.

I received the princely sum of £3 5 shillings per week!

Remember Bob Morris & Sam Small who used to swing his glasses around with finger & thumb, rumour had it they flew out of his hands on one occasion!

I then moved up to the knitwear Dept., Fred Thorpe was the manager. I left early 1965.

Happy days!

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Hello Magpie28 and thanks for your conribution to this thread.

You started at Wm. Dixon about a couple of years before me.

I well remember all the names you mention.

Being in the knitwear dept. with Fred Thorpe, you were on the same floor as these other managers, perhaps you recall them?....

Peter Deacon (shirts), Reg Bell (socks), Doug Blackmore (fancy), Stephen Powell (underwear), Frank Spencer (ladies).

Bob Morris and Sam Small were both directors in my time, as were Arthur Stone and Geoff Wooton (finance).

You may well have joined when Miss Smith (Elsie) was still on the board of directors, she was daughter of a past chairman Robert Smith. He started with the company, then Dixon & Parker, at their Listergate shop, as an errand boy age 11 in 1889. It was he who was given the task of heading the development of wholesale and manufacture in Hounds Gate. By the early 1950s he was still there, but as chairman.

You have prompted me into adding a little more of Dixon history, hope to add more at a later date.

Well done I needed a nudge.

As you say Happy Days.

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Dear Creeky, I cannot help but was interested because John Auger Dixon was my grandfather. He caused something of a sensation as a middle aged man when he married one of his young milliners. My own family had nothing to do with the company, but you mentioned my uncle Ken Parr (who married one of JA Dixon's daughters) who also founded Pork Farms, which is still a big company.

I have share certificates for Dixons which I found at my mothers death six months ago, with face value about £1,000,000, marked "Worthless"

Beside me I have the ball with which JAD scored 268 not out against Sussex in 1897, and I am approaching Nottingham Castle museum to see if they want his wife's stunning 1910 wedding dress.

Best wishes


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djdjohnson. Welcome to Nottstalgia. A great first post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to more posts from you.

What a brilliant gesture to offer JAD's wife's Wedding Dress to the castle museum. I hope the offer is gratefully accepted, I am sure it is beautiful.

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My own family had nothing to do with the company, but you mentioned my uncle Ken Parr (who married one of JA Dixon's daughters) who also founded Pork Farms, which is still a big company.

I think I have a vague memory of shops selling Parr's sausages; or did Parr's have shops under their own name ?

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T.N.Parr had shops in town . According to an advert for pork pies in the late 30s they had shops in Long Row, Mansfield Rd and Glasshouse St.

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Parr's must had a factory for producing their products,they used to deliver their Pork products on a daily basis to retailers around Nottingham,at Marsdens we used to buy,Pork loins,Sausages,Pork Pies,Liver,Haslet on a daily,pattern,......i even remember one of their Van-salesman name of Paddy,big Red faced Irish bloke

None of their products were pre-packed except the pies,............got a feeling they were based in Beeston.

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Hello David

Thank you so much for your contribution regarding John Auger Dixon.

You must treasure that cricket ball, a wonderful heirloom, and bet that wedding dress was made of Nottingham Lace.

I have your grandfather to thank for some great memories, for due to him and the connection to the Trent Bridge Ground, as young employees of Wm. Dixon we were sent, during working hours, to watch periods of play in a Test Match, for free! This was a great treat at a time when the working conditions can be described as a little Dickensian. There was a great interest in cricket in the company and annual matches were held against Meridian Ltd. on their Haydn Road ground.

I will not repeat some of the history of William Dixon that I have previously outlined in this topic but would mention that I think he had seven children including John Auger, and the youngest of these was Charles Percy (b.1873 Grantham d.1939 Surrey). Now he, as your grandfather's brother, is another sportsman of whom you can be proud. As a tennis player he was a bronze medalist in the men's doubles at the 1908 Olympics and in the 1912 Olympics won three medals, gold in the mixed doubles, silver in men's singles and bronze in men's doubles.

Referring to your mention of John's marriage in 1910 Nottm. Yes you have just made me aware that he would have been 49 and Maud Beatrice Hannington (b.1885 Radford d.1975 Cropwell Butler) only 25. Cricket in those days was the priority! In the 1901 census Maud is indeed listed as a tailoress. Anyway by then his father was, no doubt, in London and John was boss. I think there were only two children from this marriage, Maud b.1911 and Dorothy b.1915, please correct me if I am wrong. It was Maud who married Thomas Kenneth Parr (Ken Parr of Pork Farms)

I won't go into much detail on the Pork Farms topic except to say details can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork_Farms
Noted previously Ken was chairman of Wm. Dixon when they closed about 1979.
His father Thomas Christopher (1880-1940), was a pork butcher / merchant in Nottingham.
Even after the takeovers and merges of Pork Farms over the years Ken Parr still took a keen interest in the food trade and I note that in 1990 he became a director of Elizabeth King Ltd. Feel sure they had a few shops in the Nottingham, they may have moved into some of the Pork Farm Shops who sold great sausage rolls. Readers will know.
Thanks again to David
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Someone who hasn't registered - and only appears as a Guest - has posted this message as a Report. That means it won't be seen unless I copy it here.

It refers to the photo posted by Creeky in November 2015 (scroll back a few posts to see it).


Hello Creeky and Wm Dixon & Co followers, I happened upon this lovely 1950 Evening Post photo yesterday when I started my family ancestry search on my mother's side. I remember seeing it when I was  younger as a clipping that my Mum (Sonia Zipser nee Nelson) fondly kept.  Fred Nelson was my grand father.  He died aged 74, March 7, 1961.  I just can't believe he worked for Dixon & Co for 50 years!!  That means that he was 13 years old when he started!  Maybe he started as a post boy who knows! I think I remember seeing the oak wardrobe too!  I've saved the photo on my Chromebook digital files.  Many thanks Creeky for sharing this photo!  All best wishes, Marysia Zipser 

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