Hauser Family (Hardware)


Louis Sidney Hauser (1865 – 1947) was founder of the celebrated Hauser’s ironmongery  business to be found at the sign of ‘The Golden Key’ in Alfred St (High St) from 1888 (follow link for more pictures).

He was active in civic life: a member of the Burnham Urban Council; one of the founders of the Burnham Ratepayers’ Association which lobbied for shelters on the sea front and for the purchase of the Manor Gardens for the public; a director of the Burnham Electrical Co; chairman of the Berrow Water Co; a committee member of the Burnham Institute; a member of the St Andrew’s Church choir and one of the founder members of the Burnham Bowling Club.

Company records also show that in 1897 they were commissioned to provide commemorative medals for the local children to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.

Research by Desmond Parsons has found that Louis Hauser’s father, Francis Louis Hauser, was born in Switzerland in 1819. He married Agnes Harvey from Bovey Tracy, Devon in 1851. They moved to Ireland and had three children. After returning to England, Agnes gave birth to Louis Sidney at Weston in 1865, their eighth child.

Louis died in 1947 at the age of 82 and was succeeded in the business by his son Albert Edward who began work in the business as a lad during World War I, being exempted from school two days a week to help with the oil delivery round.

The pony cart was used for deliveries, especially paraffin. Photo courtesy of Bob & June Thomas.

In 1989 for an article in the Weekly News  Albert recalled the company blacksmiths erecting the railings along the old Esplanade, which were stamped with the Hauser name and were later moved to Bridgwater Docks. When Albert fully joined the family business they were operating a fleet of three horse-drawn vans for deliveries.

He went on to describe memories of  being called out by Lady Cave to engineer a replacement key for her writing bureau, and of participating in an ‘old crocks race’ with George Pruen in Fiery Liz.

Albert recalled that the ‘Golden Key’, which was “five or six feet long” hung outside the shop for over 50 years but had to be removed when double-decker  buses began to run along the street.

Albert was himself active in community life, being a verger of St Andrew’s Church and a chairman of the Burnham Institute.

Albert closed the business in 1978: “things were changing and the old days of service were being lost. I was glad to retire after looking after the people of Burnham for so long.”

From Glyn Luxon Archive.

Information courtesy of Diane Ridd & Ann Popham.

3 thoughts on “Hauser Family (Hardware)”

  1. Hi,
    On stripping the walls in our lounge a message was left “ I was evacuated 5th December 1940 we are painting and papering this wall for C Hauser “
    I have a photo but can not post here

    1. Hello M.r Crosby and thank you for your posting.
      I have contact you via my email and would love to post your photo here.

  2. Transcript of comment by Mark Thompson on ‘Wartime’ page:
    My mum, Pamela Levett ( her maiden name) was born in Hastings in 1936 and was evacuated to Burham-on-Sea with her family in 1939 to 53, Stoddens Road: “Pandora”. “Pandora” was a large house and owned by the Hauser family, who lived in a bungalow next door. The garden was huge apparently, with orchards etc. Pandora was sadly pulled down several years ago to make way for some housing development. Mum has no pictures of the house, which is a great shame.
    On the point of mum’s evacuation, it appears that rather than be formally evacuated, she went to live in Burham- on- sea voluntarily on the basis that other Hastings residents were doing the same. Whether there was some connection therefore between the two towns at this time, I’m remain unsure.
    Mum went to Princess Street School, and used to walk back to Pandora for lunch via a graveyard- the majority of the trip was across fields back in the day. She left Burnham in 1945 to return to Hastings at the end of the war.
    Mum is now very keen indeed to find out anything she can about the Hauser family during these times. She thought Mr Hauser may have been in his 40’s or 50’s at the time she was there. We have found the article about Louis Hauser on the capture Burham, and presume there must be a connection, but Louis we think would have been too old to have been the same man mum knew. We would be thrilled if anyone could fill in some gaps in mum’s story!!

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