Skimin & Wood, Little Shadwell Street, Gun Quarter, Birmingham
Skimin & Wood was established in 1920 at 31 Loveday Street. Samuel Skimin had previously been works manager at Holloway & Naughton. It appears this is where Samuel gained his experience, knowledge in the trade before taking that leap to start his own business. It is believed Holloway & Naughton and Skimin & Wood shared the same addresses, until Skimin & Wood brought out Holloway & Naughton in 1929.
In 1923 the firm moved to the Enterprise Works, 52 Cliveland Street. In 1929 the firm bought Holloway & Naughton (and J & W Tolley who had been bought by Holloway & Naughton in 1916) and moved into their premises at 10, 12, & 14 Vesey Street. In that year they also bought Charles Osborne & Co Ltd. The Vessey St address appears to have been Holloway and Naughtons premises (a four storey building with 16 workshops and a 120 ft test range) called the Vesey Street Gun Works. Skmin & Wood a successful business has grown from 1920’s to be trading with the world, Great to think Birmingham goods are found all over the world.
In 1930, in the UK and the USA, Samuel Skimin undertook the marketing of the first successful 2 inch chambered 12 bore shotgun. It was named "The 20th Century Gun" and weighed 5 pounds. The cartridges were loaded with 26 grains of powder and 3/4oz of shot.
In 1932 the 10 Vesey Street premises were occupied by R B Rodda & Co Ltd, and Skimin & Wood, Holloway & Naughton and J & W Tolley traded from 12 & 14 Vesey Street (Charles Osborne & Co Ltd appear to have ceased trading but survived in name until 1957).
The firm were mainly manufacturers for the trade in the UK, according to “Boothroyd’s Directory” the company were mainly gunmakers to the trade, including specialising in pigeon guns, and Birmingham does have a lot of pigeons now perhaps the sport should come back, pigeon pie back on the menu, ha ha But they also developed an export trade with firms in Australia and New Zealand and US elsewhere in the world.
In about 1945 Skimin & Wood bought the business of Standard Sporting Guns Ltd.
In 1957 Skimin & Wood moved to Little Shadwell Street and in 1964 the firm was bought by F J Wiseman & Co Ltd who moved them to their premises at 3 Price Street just around the corner.
In my painting shows Skimin & Wood short lived working premises from Little Shadwell Street before being taken over by F J Wiseman & Co Ltd in 1964. The frontage with workshops behind, glad to say these buildings still remain, the appearance 1920’s clock tower on Shadwell Street FGF premises will be gone with the new development on Shadwell St/ / Lower Loveday St with 21 storey appartments over shadowing the canal.
Notes for next painting
Name Skimin & Wood
As a painter of Birmingham views, I also endeavor to name my paintings after something relating to the era of the painting with Birmingham so in the case the painting will be named after a Birmingham bands. The Settlers were initially known as the Birmingham Folk Four, but became known as the Settlers after their first single, "Settle Down". A six-month residency on the BBC television series, Singalong, led to support bookings on tours with, among others, Dusty Springfield, Roy Orbison and The Small Faces. The Settlers have generally been referred to as a folk group.
Cindy Kent lead vocal, tambourine
John Fyfe vocal, guitar, banjo
Mike Jones vocal, guitar
Mansell Davies vocal, bass (left in 1965)
Geoff Srodzinsky vocal, bass