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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/130
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1902-1979
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 9 production units.
Name of creator(s): J T Hart and Sons Ltd | butchers


Administrative/Biographical history:

John Thomas Hart, butcher, began trading at 275 Bethnal Green Road about 1850. The company moved to 96 Upper Whitecross Street (1852-63), Leadenhall Market (1864-9), and finally to the Central Meat Market, at 120 Avenue East 1869-89), eventually occupying 301-7 Central Markets (307 as a meat store) as their main premises between 1889 and 1979. There were also some suburban shops prior to 1927, and a stall in Caledonian Market.

The company had a factory at 516-18 Central Markets, employing about 35 staff, preparing sausages and cooked meats. It sold meat in retail shops and to the catering trade, including restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and the canteens of City offices, and also dealt in poultry and game and a small amount of provisions. After the war, 341 Central Markets was opened as a separate poultry department and 335-8, later extended with a cash and carry section in 333-4, as a provisions and grocery shop. There was also a fruit and vegetable shop at 304 Central Markets until 1974. The company acted as the City agent for Saxby Bros. from circa 1940 to 1979.

Harts was acquired by Leonard Chalk in about 1930. The Chalk family sold it in 1969 to Matthew (Butchers) Ltd although Derek Chalk remained managing director until his retirement in 1978. The sausage and cooked meat preparation was taken over by Matthews' central factory, and the factory in Central Markets closed in 1973-4. In July 1979 the provision shops were closed, 341 Central Markets became a delicatessen, and 301-6 retained as a retail butchers with a catering department and a limited delivery service. The separate limited company was terminated in September 1979.

The above information was derived from London directories and from internal information, with additional information from Mr R Harman and Mr. Luff of Matthews (Butchers) Ltd, January 1980.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of J T Hart and Sons Limited, butchers, including financial accounts; purchase books; and illustrated brochures.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Due to bomb damage during the Second World War, few of the records have survived.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Mss 18865-70 were deposited in Guildhall Library in 1980 and Ms 18941 was a gift. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Photographs from this collection are held by the Prints and Maps Section.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January to May 2011.

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