Beech & Pond tool merchants - 104, 106 & 108 Old Street, London

The original Beech ironmonger and tool merchant business appears to have started at some point in the 1870s. Charles Beech was living in 5 Crop Street, St Lukes at the time of the 1871 census, and his occupation was "chain master". But by the 1881 census he was living in 116 and 118 Old Street, St Lukes and his occupation had changed to "tool dealer".

In 1881 Arthur Pond was still a boy living at home in Haslingfield, but according to this article he probably started an apprenticeship with Mr Beech at some point in the mid-1880s, aged 15 or 16.

In September 1890 Charles Beech sold the business to a George Rees, who was probably a relative of his wife Elizabeth (because her maiden name was Rees). The business included debts of £195 17s 1d and was purchased by George Rees for £350 (making a total price of £545 17s 1d).

In October 1891 Arthur Pond (aged 22) and Charles Beech's wife Elizabeth (aged about 61) entered into a partnership in order to purchase the business from George Rees, for £550 (paid equally) and agreed to operate the business in the style of "Beech and Pond". In the 1891 documents the business is described as being at 106 and 108 Old Street, and Charles and Elizabeth Beech and Arthur Pond are listed as living there in the 1891 census (Charles Beech is described as a retired ironmonger). The 1891 Articles of Copartnership state that the partnership shall be deemed to have commenced on 15th September 1890, which suggests that the transfer of the business to George Rees was always intended to be a short-term measure (perhaps whilst Arthur Pond raised his £275 share).

It appears that the business continued to operate from 106 and 108 Old Street until Arthur's death in 1924. Elizabeth Beech outlived Arthur, and died aged about 97 in 1927.

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