L.Beha & Co Watchmaker & Jeweller.
28 Dunraven Place, Bridgend and 12A Station Road Port Talbot
This spoon box seen on line intrigued me. I thought "Beha" was an Interesting surname for a jeweller in Bridgend.
I soon found the a "L.Beha & Co" name referenced in one of Dognoses posts listed on this particular "Wales" section of our forum but a "E.M.Needham" had taken over "L.Beha & Co" in 1914.
Post reference viewtopic.php?f=38&t=38520#p105352
I thought there should little more to be found out about "Behas" though a little geography first. Bridgend is very near to the south east coast of Wales and Port Talbot is unsuprisingly on the coast, less than 15 miles away to the north west.
The "Needham" post did give 2 useful pieces of information. The "L" represents "Leander" and "Leander Beha" died in 1899. I have futher confirmation of "Leander" from the 1881 Glamorgn census
Name: Leander Beha, Age 41, Born In 1840, Profession: Watchmaker & Jeweller
Looking elsewhere on line I found a "www.bridgendppf.com" (Bridgend Past Present Future), referencing the history of the 28 Dunraven Place, Jewellery Shop and a large clock that hung over the shop. Another information fragment said that a "B.Beha" was in the Company, but died in 1914, the year that "Needham" took the Company on. "E.M.Needham", at that time, had already been a partner in the business for 34 years. The partnership seems to have been complex as indicated by an entry in the London Gazette
London Gazette 14th May 1914
NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership
heretofore subsisting between us, the undersigned, Albert Dold, Edward Dold, and Edmund
Miles Needham, carrying on business as Watchmakers,
Jewellers, and Silversmiths, at Bridgend and Porb
Talbot, in the county of Glamorgan, under the style
or firm of " L. BEHA AND CO.," has been dissolved
bj mutual consent as from the first day of May, 1914,
so far as concerns the said Albert Dold, who retires
from the said firm. All debts due and owing to or by
the said late firm will be received or paid by the said
Edward Dold and Edmund Miles Needham, and such
business will be carried on in .the future by the said
Edward Dold and Edmund Miles Needham, under the
style or firm of " L. Beha and Co.," as heretofore.—
As witness our hands this llth day of May, 1914.
E. M. NEEDHAM.
156 ALBERT DOLD.
There were 2 "Dolds" in the partnership but no "Behas"?
We know that "L.Beha & Co" ended in 1914 but "E.M.Needham" was happy to use "late L. Beha and Co" on his subsequent advertisments in the local newspaper, the "Glamorgan Gazette". This paper's on line archives has many adverts and an image of possibly informative ones featuring "L.Beha & Co" is below.
The ad from June 1907 has "Established over half a Century" on, indicating " Behas" business started a bit before 1860. Watchmaking was then obviously the important part of the business as there are quite a few online references featuring gold and silver pocket watchs by "L.Beha & Co". A silver example is shown below and its London made case has hallmarks for 1884.
Another piece of on line information I found for the 19th century was a birth record.
27/02/1878 Beha, Dunraven Place, Bridgend, Wife of Mr. M.L. Beha, Jeweller, a son.
Was this the "son" the "B.Beha" whose death lead to the development of the "E.M.Needham" business?
"Mr M.L.Beha" looks like a "error" and it seems "B.Beha" is an abbreviated name. A "Hubert Leander Beha" was born in 1878 in Glamorgan.
The "Leander Beha" name was used on the 1891 invoice referenced at http://www.facebook.com
› rememberingbridgend. https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5EA71EC1
The invoice indicates he is now is additionally an optician, but has supplied and inscribed a silver shield to the "Bridgend Angling Association". I originally thought the shield to have been a fob style item for a pocket watch, but the price of 15 shillings (£0.75) may well in 1891 have bought a larger shield. I used an on line conversion site that suggested that 15 shillings has a today equivalent value of more than £90.00.
Moving on into the 20th century "L.Beha & Co" where still making watch movements, an example of one being in a 1907 Chester hallmarked case and below we have 2 more Glamorgan Gazette ads.
We can see the business futher changing. Still it is an opticians and supplies home "audio" equipment together with cutlery and pens. However in the ad for January 1914, "L.Beha & Co" are no longer watch and clock makers but call themselves as "Jewellers and Opticians". The image below shows also retailing of pocket watches, this one Swiss.
It is a "Beha & Co" watch and definitely from Bridgend and Port Talbot but there is nothing definitive to say if it was sold before or after the 1914 change of company.
As I first thought "Beha" is not a typical Welsh name. It comes from Germany, "Lower Saxony". Wikipedia has an entry for a very well known German cuckoo clock maker, Johann Baptist Beha.
On the reference sites for watch and clock makers of Britain& Ireland there are 4 other "Behas".
Beha, Bridget of Liverpool.
Beha, Larenz of Norwich.
Beha, Richard of Sutton.
Beha, Thadeus of Nottingham
Also from on line is a mini family tree.
Leander Beha & Catherine Jones Beha Cragoe were married on ...1876 in ...Glamorgan.
Father of the family is Leander Beha.
Leander was born on ...1840 in ...Neukirch Behahof
Leander died on ...1899 in ...Wales
Mother of the family is Catherine Jones Beha Cragoe.
Catherine was born on ...1848 in ...S Wales
Catherine died on ...1879 in ...Wales
Hubert Leander Beha, was born on ...1878 in ...S Wales
Hubert has 0 brothers and 0 sisters.
Finally the "L.Beha & Co" jewellery shop (shop under the clock) did not even end with "Needhams" as in 1957 "Mason Williams & Co. Limited" came to 28 Dunraven Place. In 2015 the clock was apparently still in place and working. By 2018 the shop had become an Italian Restaurant.
Please do bring more information about "Behas if you have some and correct any errors I may have made.
P.s. (I would never have won the shield)