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When did R.A. Rooney & Sons close down?

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by jar, Thursday March 22, 2018.

  1. jar

    jar

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    Trying to gather information on the original RA Rooney.

    Does anyone have any of their catalogues?

    When did they shut down?

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  2. Fido

    Fido

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  3. jar

    jar

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  4. Rohleder

    Rohleder

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    I did a little reading up on this a while back... Very limited information available as you say, I know you're not interested in the company post takeover but its quite interesting so I'll go into it a little bit for those who are unaware...

    Here you can see the original now dissolved "R.A. Rooney & Sons Limited" (Company No: 02563847) was registered on 01 January 1970 with director Mr Patrick John Rooney and Secretary Ms Fenella Rooney both appointed 30 Nov 1991.

    I read somewhere online (unreliable I know but its all we have) that LS purchased the company and premises from the original owner and there was a total of two employees working for the company at the time of sale. The original address for the company is: 7 Bourne Court, Southend Road, Woodford Green, ESSEX, IG8 8HD pictured below (well, not exactly but it was located on that industrial estate.)

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    Then it goes silent until 05 April 2004 when LS incorporated the the name "R.A. ROONEY & SONS LIMITED" (Company No: 05093105) at the same original address indicating the above hearsay is correct and that production continued from the original industrial unit. At some point between '04 - '08 this company was dissolved.

    Here's where M&F enters the fray, on 6th December 2006 LS incorporates
    "MORRIS & FORNDRAN LIMITED" (Company No: 06021125) the trading address given for this company leads to an accounting firm so goodness knows what that's about... The company did not trade during year ending '08 and is now dissolved.

    Then on 10th June 2008 LS incorporates "ROBERT ALEXANDER ROONEY & SONS LTD" (Company No: 06615558), exactly the same accounting firm address as M&F, regardless the company was dissolved on 15th July 2014.

    In 2010 there were some serious quality control issues which led to one of the main UK distributors dropping Rooney brushes and also raised some serious doubts over the companies "made in England" claim, it seemed far more likely the individual parts were imported before being being assembled in England.

    [​IMG]

    Around 2012 is when we have the last possible known location of Rooney brush assembly line, somewhere in the vicinity of E17 6BH. A forum member sussed this out and paid the place a visit, speaking to someone inside via the intercom where he asked if this was where Rooney brushes were made but the person inside refused to discuss the matter and sent him on his way.

    [​IMG]

    I also discovered a fascinating snippet on Twitter where Mr Young (Alexander Simpsons great nephew who was a fountain of knowledge until he was run off the forums by nutters) which would back up Executive Shavings assertions.

    [​IMG]

    That's all she wrote folks... You can still buy M&F branded brushes but as far as I know not a Rooney. Neither company are currently on companies house, Try and find any trace of the two businesses in UK official channels & you may well be frustrated. Brushes can only be purchased directly from LS or via Bad Sears in the US who proudly states that he turns the handles himself... So much for the "Hand Made In England" thats printed on every one :rolleyes: It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    I'm sure the brushes are great but this LS character appears to be a complete clown better suited to selling vacuum cleaners door to door. I take exception to shady business practices and wouldn't touch one with a bargepole. Apologies if this went off topic, if a mod feels its inappropriate please delete.

    Night all ;)
     
    Bogeyman, jar and SeanC like this.
  5. SeanC

    SeanC

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    Good research @Rohleder

    A couple of points to add...

    The use of an accountants as the registered office is not unusual as its main function is for the service of documents

    The original business prior to the first limited company may well have been unincorporated. If true as I suspect, there will not be a paper trail in the public domain



    Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk
     
    Rohleder likes this.
  6. Rohleder

    Rohleder

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    Good to know, thanks for the input. I'm honestly not a one man witch hunt, or at least dont intend to be :D

    All the secrecy is supposedly because he was once hounded by animal rights campaigners... I say if you believe that, you'll believe anything :p
     
  7. jar

    jar

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    Thanks for posting that. Even the data on the 1970 Company is strange, or at least seems strange to a non-English english speaking native on this side of the pond. For example having a Company registered on 01 January 1970 with director Mr Patrick John Rooney and Secretary Ms Fenella Rooney both appointed 30 Nov 1991. Is that simply listing the latest corporate officers?

    But the pre-1970 Rooney was certainly making brushes and making brushes for so fairly large operations like Dunhill and Brooks Brothers so it's likely there were sales catalogs and some forms of records, import/export documents, advertisements, something. But I have not even been able to find a reprint of an early newspaper ad.
     
  8. jar

    jar

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    You would think there would be something available though; newspaper ads or brochures or catalogs or order sheets or import/export documents and so far I have not even been able to find any of those.
     
  9. SeanC

    SeanC

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    Not necessarily

    My mother was an Avon distributer in the 1970's. She certainly didn't keep her old Avon catalogues. Maybe a collector or hoarder has kept catalogues, but then again maybe not. Remember this is paper regarding what was then an everyday object and for a period of potentially over 50 years.

    Commercial documents almost certainly would not even have entered the public domain as they are confidential. Under UK law these were / are only required to be kept for a period of 6 years. After that systematic burning or shredding is the order of the day

    Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk
     
  10. jar

    jar

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    But Avon source material is available. And there were newspaper or magazine advertisements. There are Gillette ads going back over 100 years. Rooney was at the time one of the major English shaving brush brands and certainly sold product internationally, yet they are virtually invisible.
     

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