David Holloway Coachbuilders, Wheelwrights and Garage
David Holloway, from a Swansea family of coachbuilders and wheelwrights, moved to Llanelli in the late 1860s and began in business in Murray Street, a location which the family would be associated with for around a century. Chandler's directory of 1872 listed Bale & Holloway, coach builders, occupying the Old Steam Mill in Spring Gardens (now Town Hall Square) and did not list Holloway in Murray Street. All later directories list David Holloway only at Murray Street.
Although a few other coachbuilders came and went, Holloway was to be Llanelli's longest-operating coachbuilder, surviving for over half a century under the ownership of successive generations of the family.
In the late 1870s James Andrews, owner of a confectioner's shop in Vaughan Street, opened Murray Street Mews next door to Holloway's business, renting out horse-drawn cabs and providing stabling. He employed a succession of managers to look after the Mews whilst he concentrated on his Vaughan Street shop. At the end of the 1890s Andrews sold the business to the Vivian family, long-established plumbers with a shop situated on the opposite side of Murray Street. Vivian & Co operated the mews for less than ten years before appearing to use it as a coal merchant, but to seem to have ceased to occupy the former mews by 1914.
The location of Holloway's coach building and wheelwright workshop next door to Llanelli's largest mews and cab hire premises must have made Murray Street the centre of horse-related businesses in the town.
Between 1897 and 1901, David Holloway took Algernon Sidney Lewis into partnership as Holloway & Lewis. Lewis was born in 1863 and lived at the Ship Inn in Upper Church Street. He had been married three times and had a number of children. One marriage certificate shows that he was a widower at the young age of 21.
Algernon Sydney Lewis passed away in 1907 when the motor car began replacing the horse and cart on the roads of the town. Holloway continued operating as a coachbuilder and by 1910 was in partnership with his sons as Holloway & Sons.
When Holloways began to take on motor repairs as well as the usual wagon repair work is not known, but in the mid 1920s Holloway & Sons changed from being described as coachbuilders and wheelwrights to a motor garage.
In 1936 Holloway was advertised as 'Holloway & Son, Murray Street, Motor Engineers', the company was now a garage. In the early 1950s the business was operating as Holloway & Sons, Garage and Auto-mobile Engineers (Llanelly) Ltd., Murray Street. There is some evidence that they also ran an early taxi service.
Llanelli Community Heritage were fortunate to receive copies of photographs of Holloway & Lewis workshop from Christine Andrews, whose great-grandfather Algernon Sidney Lewis, can be seen third from left in both views. Interestingly, the wagon in the photograph on the right above, appears to bear the name of Sandy Aerated Water Works, owned by William Gower Williams & Co during the turn of the 19/20th century. Rare photographs such as these are priceless in painting a picture of the trades and businesses that were operating in Llanelli at the turn of the century. Llanelli Community Heritage would like to thank Christine Andrews for bringing these old photographs to our attention.