NEARLY 30 years after one of Devizes’ most famous businesses went to the wall, liquidators are giving creditors a final chance to claim back money they lost.
W E Chivers closed in October 1985 after 101 years in the town. Its former headquarters in Estcourt Street was sold in the spring of 1986 and is home to Morrisons supermarket.
Liquidator Roger Hale of Pricewaterhouse Coopers of Cardiff said this week that assets from another land sale, not in Wiltshire, had recently been realised after drawn-out proceedings and so the company had a statutory duty to advertise the fact that a final dividend to unsecured creditors of the company would be declared by the end of January, 2015.
Any creditors must send their details to the liquidators by September 30, 2014.
A public notice with full details appeared in last week’s Gazette but owners of Chivers Stove Centre in Estcourt Street were quick to point out the advert had nothing to do with their business.
Keith and Jenny Bills bought the business in 2011 from Ken Chivers, the grandson of Frank Chivers who in turn was a son of William Edward Chivers, who founded the building firm.
Mrs Bills said: “This could cause some confusion but it has nothing to do with our business.”
The couple run a showroom selling stoves.
W E Chivers was born in Avebury in 1855 and, when he was 15, walked to Devizes to take up an apprenticeship as a carpenter and joiner to his cousin Jabez Chivers in Sidmouth Street.
In 1884 he branched out on his own an rented a workshop over the old Rising Sun pub in Southbroom Road. By the time he died in 1916 the business had expanded by taking over the Brown & Mays engineering company in Estcourt Street and the premises became the firm’s headquarters.
After the death of William Edward Chivers his eldest son Frank took over the business. After the Second World War business boomed as there was a need for new housing all over the region.
But by the 1980s the firm was suffering financial difficulties and bad debts because of recession.