1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith Trivia

1760 (approx)

John and Stephen Maberly set up a Curriers business in Little Queen Street Holborn. An extension of Longacre, running east from Leicester Sq. and a well known centre of “luxury trades” at the time. Curriers make raw tanned hides fit for use in furniture and carriages. We are told the stench of the hides being treated was “an evil upon the senses greater than that of the meanest street” – bearing in mind
that human waste was just tipped into the sluices in the centre of the street!

A coach-painting business was also set up at the address at the same time. In June 1780
During the Gordon Riots the premises were burnt down by rioters.

The Gordon Riots, (named after Lord George Gordon leader of the Protestant Association) started as a peaceful protest against the Papists Act of 1778 which removed a number of “penalties and disabilities placed against those of the Roman Catholic Faith” but quickly escalated into general violence, arson and looting as other factions not interested in the root cause of the protest got involved, leading to the deaths of some 283 rioters when the army put down the riots. It was also during the riots that Newgate and Clink prisons were destroyed and many prisoners escaped never to be re-captured.

Following the damage, the coach-painting side of the business was moved to Welbeck St. in Marylebone and the Curriers business to nearby Castle St.


George Maberly joins with George Herbert Thrupp to form Thrupp and Maberly Ltd. The firm of Charles Thrupp and co were master coach-builders also founded in 1760 and held premises in Oxford St. During this period, the hey-day of carriage building, Thrupp and Maberly became synonymous as leading manufacturers of quality and innovative style.


The advent of the motor car and the firm quickly and successfully made the transition to coach-trimming the new horseless carriages and were soon the market leaders in bespoke vehicle interiors. By 1924 the firm had outgrown it’s old premises and moved to Cricklewood biasing its production to Rolls-Royce, Bentley and other large
expensive makes.


The Rootes brothers, owners of the Rootes group of vehicle manufacturers gained a controlling interest in the firm and it was absorbed along with other famous motoring names.


The company builds the body of “The Golden Arrow” Sir Henry Seagraves World Land Speed Record car (231mph at Daytona Beach in front of an estimated 100,000 spectators).


Post WWII Thrupp and Maberly resume coach-building increasingly for in-house Rootes group manufacturers such as Humber, Hillman and Sunbeam-Talbot (They had taken over the Talbot factory in Warple Rd Acton in 1936 upon the Rootes take over of Talbot).


Coach building is a dying art and rationalisation at Rootes closes the factory all remaining work transferred to Coventry. The Acton premises are sold off.