Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 27, 2019
Webpage updated: September 27, 2019




The Plymouth business house of Messrs Fox & Haggart Limited, marine engineers, were located at 12 Vauxhall Street, Plymouth, before the Second World War and remained there until the 1990s.

Mr Andrew Tait Haggart was a native of Dundee, Scotland, and he came to Plymouth during the Great War, after seeing service abroad.

In the meantime, Mr Arthur Hole Fox, who had been born in the parish of Tamerton Foliott, Devon, in 1882, was serving in the Royal Navy and was listed in the 1911 census as a member of the crew of HMS "Julia", moored at Falmouth, Cornwall.

On Tuesday October 22nd 1918 Mr Andrew Tait Haggart, then 25 years of age, married Miss Doris Caroline Easton at Saint Andrew's Church, Plymouth.

In 1923 Mr Haggart went to the United States of America, where he had relatives.  He returned to England a few years later and decided to make Plymouth his home.

While trying to find employment, he met up with Mr Fox, an Engine Room Artificer, who had recently left the Royal Navy.  Fox would have been 50 years of age at that point and Haggart only 39.  They realised there was a need, locally, for someone who could repair steam trawlers and traction engines and in 1932 they set up business at 12 Vauxhall Street as marine engineers.

The business survived the devastation of the Second World War, the extinction of traction engines and the demise of the steam trawler fleet.

Mr Arthur Hole Fox never married and was living with his sister, Mrs Lucy Muriel Crocker, at number 5 Meadow View Road, Plympton.  At 6.45am on the morning of Thursday April 15th 1954 she went to raise him from his bedroom but he was not there.  She then noticed that the window was open and when she looked out she could see his decapitated body lying on the up main railway line between Skew Bridge and Plympton Station.  The body had been found about an hour earlier by a railway worker.  Mr Fox had been suffering from depression for many years and had attempted to take his own life on two previous occasions.  At an inquest held on Saturday April 17th 1954 the District Coroner, Mr G G Pearse, recorded a verdict that Mr Fox took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

Less than a year later, Mr Andrew Tait Haggart passed away on January 6th 1955, at the age of 62 years.  He had been vice-chairman of the Bigbury and Yelverton Golf Clubs, and a member of the Caledonian Society, the Plymstock Social Club and the Ancient No. 49 Grand Lodge of Scotland.  Although he lived in Howard Road at Plymstock, the funeral service was held at the Trinity Presbyterian Chapel in Torr Lane, Hartley, and Mr Haggart's body was interred at the Drake Memorial Park, Plymstock.

His two sons, Mr David Ernest Haggart and Mr Andrew Frederick Rodney Haggart then took over running the business.  Both sons had been born on Plymouth's Barbican, David on January 7th 1920 and Andrew on November 18th 1921.  David attended Sutton High School, where he excelled at rugby.

Mr David Ernest Haggart married Miss Barbara Nellie Bennett at Saint Jude's Church on May 9th 1942 and Mr Andrew Frederick Rodney Haggart married Miss Hilda Maud Harris at Plymstock Parish Church on My 6th 1944.

Andrew's son, named Andrew Tait Haggart like his grandfather, married Miss Angela Bernadette Yung at Plymstock Parish Church on August 11th 1984.  He was already working in the firm.

Mr David Ernest Haggart collapsed and died at work on December 22nd 1984  [9].  His son, Mr Malcolm Haggart, who had qualified as a mechanical engineer, took his place in the business.  However, when Mr Andrew Haggart senior retired in 1991, after 55 years with the firm, Mr Malcolm Haggart became the sole owner.

Mr Andrew Frederick Rodney Haggart died in Plymouth on August 18th 1997.  He was 75.  He had attended Prince Rock School, where he was a keen footballer.  Another enthusiastic golfer, he had been a member of both Wrangaton and Staddon Heights Golf Clubs.  The funeral was held at Plymstock Parish Church on August 28th 1997.

The business is no longer in Vauxhall Street and is now called Haggart Commercial Marine.  It is run by Mr Andrew Tait Haggart, grandson of one of the founders.