Author Topic: dare to build  (Read 15131 times)

jimi

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2012, 05:06:42 PM »
Just wanted to add my threepennorth on the Dare trail.. First of all my parents in law bought their first new home built by Harry Dare in Berkswell Road, Erdington in 1935.  My brother in law Ronnie Walker worked for the firm at the time.
In 1979 we responded to an advertisement in the Birmingham Mail and expressed our interest in one of four house which Patrick Dare proposed to build in Henley in Arden, in Brook End Close.  Patrick had returned from South Africa and had Ted Mayne working with him operating from an office on High Street, Henley in Arden.  Patrick was great with us, ours was the first house and we quickly realised that it was beeing designed on the hoof, when we questioned about such things as fireplaces, bathroom and kitchen fittings, the answer was always "what would you like, it's your home you can have what you want.  Poor old Ted Mayne was left with the unenviable task of keeping up with everything and trying to charge us a fortune for everything.
Patrick intended to live in the third house himself but during the fairly prolonged build period he changed his mind and moved into Chestnut Drive.   I remember him campaigning for Stratford Council, but somewhere around 1984 things seemed to go pearshaped and I think he disappeared, and the business folded. His wife (South African I think) was still around when we left Henley in Arden in the late 80's.
My sister lived in a 1957 Dares house in Hathaway Road, Four Oaks.  Does the road name suggest a connection to the Charlie Hathaway referred earlier in this posting.  I know that they had a habit of using family names, Dare Road and Robin Road in Erdington.
Whatever, they built great homes!
jimi
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spud

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2012, 11:29:21 AM »
Hi Jimmi
As an ex employee of Dares I was really interested in your post.I knew and worked with Ted Mayne in the 60s he was a real gentleman very quiet sort of man but totally trustworthy . I still have a reference written by him when I left Dares in 1966.
I may well be wrong but I thought that  it was David Dare who set up the business in Henley after the Dares empire disintergrated. Ted Mayne had always worked very closely with David rather than Partrick Dare.As for road names very often the council had the last word but as Dares had a long affiliation with Stratford on Avon [Patrtrick Dare Was once Mayor] they sometimes used Shakespearen names so Hathaway may have come from that connection. As for Charlie Hathaway he was Harry Dares dogsbody .I can still hear him running down the corridor when Harry summoned him.He lost much of his hair many thought that this was caused by the stress of working for Harry Dare who was a bit of despot.
There are lots of stories I could tell about Dares they really were a one off.You may remember years ago when we used to have the Ideal Home Exhibition at Bingley Hall and a local builder was invited to build a an Ideal house at the exhibition.Around 1964 Dares offered their services and in an unguarded moment offered the house a competion prize and the winner could have the house built on any of Dares sites.At the time they only had one site in Birmingham in Handsworth Wood.Of course the winner being a Brummie wanted the Handsworth Wood Site.The Dares did everything to get the people to change there mind but with out success.I think that every odd  and sod went into that house no choice of Tiles Bathroom floor covering. Incidentaly the house was called The Challenge!
 
 
The Best Is Yet To Come

jimi

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2012, 02:21:11 PM »
Hi Spud
Thank you for your response, it was quite unexpected.  My wife and I had merely been reminiscing about old times and we simply had wondered whatever happened to the Dares.  I googled in Patrick Dare and was redirected to the Birmingham Forum.
I love the story about the Bingley Hall Ideal Home Prize, typical of a family business most of the generosity was kept within th\e family, I bet they hated every minute of the building of that house.
You may well be right that David had originally started the business  in Henley.  I worked for a family business and in 1968 and moved my regional office to High Street Henley in Arden.  I remember that if you wanted to get served in the White Swan at lunch time you had to time it right to beat the crowd from Dares! It was quite buoyant then.
By 1979 the business only consisted (apparently) of Patrick, Ted Mayne and a secretary.  They had a few local employees and used sub-contracters for most of the trades.
Patrick was a charmer, Ted tried to keep things on course, but it became apparent that money was becoming a problem and after he built our house and one other,   he changed the design of house number 3 which he had intended to occupy and sold it to a Dorridge estate agent called Middleton.
The land and drawings for house number 4 were sold to another builder.
Patrick did disappear, and I remember the distress he left behind with his wife and young daughter.
Am I right in recollecting that David  lived in a fairly spectacular house on the Warwick Road near to Claverdon village?
Sad to think that a busines can go from rags to riches to rags in three generations.
 
Regards  Jimi
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spud

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2012, 06:30:58 PM »
Hi Jimi
Its good to hear what happened to 'The Dares'.I often wondered what became of them.As regards Patrick he was quite a lad with the ladies.I remember one Christmas at the Alum Rock Rd Office he breezed thro the office no he went thro the office like a whirlwind stopping only to eye up a new Typist.Within a day she was promoted to his secretary was driving his Jaguar and turned up at the Christmas Party at The Regency in Monkspath with a diamond necklace like a horse's collar.To be fair David Dare was probably the better of the two brothers but there was a third, Robin who at best could be described as sleazy.
The original Dare To Build Company was of course a PLC.Not that you would ever know they ran it as if it was their own.
Harry Dare bought Austy Manor nr Wooton Wawen for himself in the 60s the story goes that it cost 285,000 and that was 50 years ago there was always some speculation that the PLC paid for it .The Britsh Pregnacy Ass eventually took it over quite ironic thinking about the Dares antics.Even the old man Harry had his arrangement with his secretary who Ted Mayne always called her 'The Black'.To be honest the Dares were a pretty despicable lot but I do have a bit of an axe to grind with them.
Back to Ted Mayne he was a real gent an ex guardsman .I worked for 4 years in Dares  in Purchasing with dear Ted he taught me a lot .Think that he lives in Leamington now.
Yes David did have a place in Claverdon which fits your description. Patrick in Tanworth in Arden and Robin Lapworth Court.
One last story about the Dares.They built a block of luxury flats in Sandbanks. Harry took a fancy to the penthouse.He had a an interior designer to decorate the place from top to bottom even had the ceilings painted to match the sunset.Mrs Dare,Vera not known for her taste [she ate chips in bed you could hear the paper crinkle when she rang up] she took one look at the penthouse and had the whole thing emulsioned over. What a lot!!!!
The Best Is Yet To Come

KOOLIE

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2012, 10:16:31 PM »
Hi Exile,
Interesting post,
My Nan and gramps retired to a new Dare's development in Tiddington, townsend rd, stratford upon avon in 1957 .
I lived pretty much half of my childhood there and remember it still only half built and very in the country side. It's all built up now!.  I have some photos which i'll scan and post asap.
They moved from Ward end where they ran the shop in Foxton rd next to Ward end park entrance. It's converted to a house now.  My parents also ran a grocery store in Alderson rd, Alum rock next to Southalls factory from 1959 to 1972.  Southhalls has now been demolished, it's like a part of me had gone when i went back there last year as the whole street was employed there!  I've lived in Hampshire for the last 38 years but i still get back to meet old school mates a few times a year so i get to hear of all the changes.  Crazy! 38 years and i still get picked up down here for the accent!
Once a Brummie !!!!
Chris.

bobbyblue

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2013, 02:19:20 PM »
There is an article on the Acocks Green history website that describes how in the early days of the Birmingham Municipal house building programme, one of the Dares lived in Victoria Road Acocks Green, adjacent to the newly constructed road that was to become Olton Boulevard East next to the island at Shirley Road, it states he bought the land opposite his house and built a row of private houses so he would not have to look out onto the council houses.
Bobbyblue

Geordie

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2013, 03:26:16 PM »
I worked for the Dares in the sixties as a lorry driver,they had.  a lot of work going on from Poole in Dorset to Middlleton in Lancashire.as well as West Heath and other local sites.I knew Sid Hawkins who was Harry's  chauffeur  and he drove the rolls to various race meetings when the Dares horses,Vultrix and Welchman. We're running.I remember  one New Years Eve I picked a bag of ice up at West Bromwich and broke down on the Hagley rd,I had to explain to the operator that I needed to  inform the dare family as the yard was now closed and a breakdown vehicle was sent.By the time I got to Austy Manor it was now 11'30.Cars were everywhere and the local bobby was directing traffic.It was like a scene out of Dallas.I enjoyed my time. Spent working there and had had some good brumie work mates.

Spud

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2013, 03:40:49 PM »
As I have already posted I worked for Dares for about 4 years 1962-66 but reading about houses built in Shirley Rd reminds me of a story which did the rounds during my time at Dares. It seems that shortly after the second world war the then Labour Government was in trouble with Housing and challenged Builders to build houses in record time . Harry Dare took up the challenge and built a 3 bedroomed house in Shirley Rd in 10 Days. I hate to think what it was like and just wonder what is like today but to be fair Dares always tried to use the best materials not so sure that some of their Sub- Contractors were up to scratch . 
The Best Is Yet To Come

eddie white

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2013, 05:52:26 PM »
Hi have been reading about dare to build, i didn't work on the building side of the company, in 1967 i came up to work for mr Harry Dare has his groom. So i think i can correct a few things, first the horse that ran in the grand National was not Welshman he was a sprinter he only ran seven furlongs, he won the sterwerds cup at Goodwood, the horse that ran in the national was a horse called Vultrix. Has regarding the new year eve party yes they were big but it was not the police who used to park the cars it was myself and father in law who was the gardener You have all mentioned about the way the boys let the company go to the dogs when Harry Dare retired none of you mentioned that Harry Dare had to return to keep the company going for a few years .Also they moved to a smaller property in Lapworth so he could put money in to the company. 
           Eddie



Spud

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2013, 08:53:18 PM »
Eddie . You may very well be right about Vultrix Harry Dare's Horses but  running in the Grand National this would be around 1965 or 66. I worked for the company at the time and He took the entire staff to Aintree to see the race.
The Best Is Yet To Come

eddie white

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Re: dare to build
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2013, 09:54:15 PM »
Hi Spud
           Regarding you saying it was Welshman this i have to disagree with, when i came to Harry Dare Welshman was four years old so it would mean he would have only been two years old at the time you are talking about, so he would have only just have gone into training and no way have been jumping fences at that age. We also had an other horse besides Vultrix that was in jump racing his name was Louis Napoleon he won some good races at Kempton park, Aintree ,Cheltenham and over in France. Believe me i know what i am talking about i worked with race horses for twenty years they were my life from five in the morning until nine at night, so if you know any one who is up on racing please ask them if i know what i am talking about
                   Regards Eddie