History

Alcocks Shop croppedOne of the oldest established firms in the Cheadle District. Jonathan Alcock was born in 1846 and founded the firm in 1863 when he commenced business as a carpenter and undertaker in a small workshop at the back of the Alcock family’s General & Drapery Store at No. 43, High Street, Cheadle.

By diligence and hard work he expanded his trade to embrace most of the building operations and in the Jubilee year of 1887 he built more spacious workshops on the other side of the High Street in what is now known as Wood Street, then un-named, it derived it’s significance from the vast quantity of wood stored there by Alcock’s for their use and re-sale. Jonathan served as a sidesman at the Cheadle Parish Church for 18 years and was well respected in the community.

As trade increased the firm moved to its present premises in Brook Road , Cheadle embracing the joiners shop and wood store, a smithy, stables and public mortar mill. The firm built many houses in Park Road, Ashfield Road and Wilmslow Road and was responsible for building St. Phillip’s Church on Boundary Road, Cheadle and major repair work to St. Ann ‘s Church, Manchester. Jonathan married Jane Bailey Bennett in 1876 in Cheadle Parish Church and they had two sons John & George and five daughters Mabel who died in infancy and Hannah Elizabeth (Lizzie), Mary (Cissie), Margaret and Nellie. He died on December, 20th 1903 aged 57 years after a long illness and is buried in Cheadle Parish Churchyard. The firm was continued during his illness and after his death by his sons John & George, who had been apprenticed to the building trade on leaving school and by their acumen and hard work the business flourished and expanded further. The smithy was replaced by a plumbers shop and the stables were converted into office accommodation for both the administration of the building work and the expanding funeral business. For many years all of the coffins were made on the premises.

grandpa coffinGeorge Alcock died in 1942 and the firm continued under the direction of his brother John. John married and was living at the premises on Brook Road with his wife Marian and their daughter Sylvia. Sylvia married Robert John Parker at Cheadle Parish Church in 1942 and a few years later he gave up a successful career in the Police Force to join the family business.

When John Alcock died aged 80 years in 1961; Bob Parker became the managing director and was subsequently joined by his son Chris when he left Cheadle Hulme School in 1963. Another son John joined in 1968 after attaining qualifications at building college. Chris passed his Diploma in Funeral Directing and became a member of the British Institute of Embalmers. After a few years due to a general decline in the building industry a decision was made to concentrate on the increasingly successful funeral business, the workshops were sold in 1977 and in 1980 Jonathan Alcock & Sons Ltd purchased the Stockport Carriage Company on Bullock Street. It was Stockport’s main supplier of hearses and limousines to many other funeral directors in the area over many years. In September of 1980 John married and went to live in America leaving Bob and Chris to continue the business.

White hart procession into churchIn 1988 the Stockport Borough Carriage Company was sold as a result of many firms acquiring their own vehicles, Bob Parker retired and Brook House which was formerly the family home next to the offices on Brook Road was bought by the company and converted resulting in the modern and spacious premises we operate from today. New hearses and limousines were bought for our own use and for hire to other businesses when additional vehicles are required.