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British Industrial History

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Alick Sargeant Hill

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Alick Sargeant Hill (c1868-1921) of the Coventry Chain Co

c1868 Born at Coventry the son of Charles J. Hill, a Watchmaker, and his wife Emma

1903 Executor of will. '...estate of Charles John Hill, late of Elmfield, Radford road, in the city of Coventry, Watch Manufacturer and Merchant, deceased (who died on the 15th day of November, 1902, and whose will was proved in the District Probate Registry, at Birmingham, of the High Court of Justice, on the 2nd day of March, 1903, by Emma Hill, Herbert Charles Hill, and Alick Sargeant Hill, the executors therein named...'[1]

1911 Living at Elmfield, Coventry: Alick Sargeant Hill (age 43 born Coventry), Mgr Director Machine Chain Maker (Coventry Chain Co). With his wife (married 15 years with three children) Beatrice Louise Hill (age 40 born USA) and their daughter Beatrice Eileen Hill (age 5 born Coventry). Three servants.[2]

Chairman and managing director of Coventry Chain Co and Coventry Repetition Co

1921 Died aged 54.


1921 Obituary [3]

We regret to have to record the death, on the 31st. ult., of Mr. A. S. Hill, chairman and managing director of the Coventry Chain Company, Limited.

Mr. Hill was born fifty-four years ago. He served his apprenticeship with the Coventry Machinist Company, and having completed his training, was appointed manager of the firm's branch at Boston, USA.

In 1895 he decided to return to England and take up the manufacture of bicycle and similar chains. His first workshop was an old dye shed in Dale-street. Coventry, said to be identical with that in which the Dunlop pneumatic tire first saw the light. The first production from this factory, a 1-in. pitch block chain, which broke on its trial run, was made in April, 1896.

Under Mr. Hill's keen management and insight many early difficulties were surmounted. The old dye house was enlarged and equipped with modern chain producing machinery, until, in 1907, further extension being required, the factory at Spon End was built and equipped. That factory has been repeatedly extended until it now covers an area of over 27,000 square yards and affords employment in normal time for about 2,000 workpeople.

Mr. Hill was held in very high esteem not only as an employer but in public life. He was elected to the City Council in 1902, and in 1916, following the precedent set by his father and grandfather, became Mayor of Coventry. His period of office coincided with the darkest days of the war, and with labour disputes at home. Into the settlement of these latter - particularly the "shop stewards'" dispute of 1917 and the "Embargo" strike of July, 1918 - Mr. Hill threw all his energies, and, in addition, sought to do all that lay in his power to help in the production of munitions. His friends believe that his comparatively early death is to be attributed in part at least to his strenuous exertions made during the war for his country's and city’s good.


1921 Obituary [4]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] Gazette Issue 27611 published on the 3 November 1903. Page 36 of 84
  2. 1911 Census
  3. The Engineer 1921/09/09
  4. Engineering 1921 Jul-Dec: Index: General Index