The Heritage Room
Below is the history of the Gladstone buildings we now use.
1878 - Gladstone Buildings as Kenning Hardware Store.
After an accident in the mine Frank Kenning purchased a sweet shop which he transformed into a hardware store.
The business included the distribution of kerosene in horse drawn tankers, a later version was leased to Shell “with maintenance” being the provision of horses to pull the tanker and with relief horses also being supplied and the originals taken back for rest and recuperation. This is believed to be the first ever contract hire deal.
After Frank’s death in 1908 George Kenning took over the family business and in 1910 acquired his first motor agency, and became an agent for Ford only six years later.
1926 - First Dealership opens in Chesterfield
During the 1920s, Kenning was the only company in the country to hold both Morris and Austin distributorships. They also held the first agency granted by the truck making firm Dennis. And in 1926 the Kenning Motor Company opened its doors in Chesterfield, whilst keeping Gladstone Buildings as its offices.
The Hub at Gladstone buildings opened the doors of this historic building once more in 2017 breathing new life and bringing a pillar of the community with our varied facilities.