About Baines Jewitt - History of the Firm
A lineage of quality and integrity
Baines Jewitt was established by the merger of Baines Goldston and Jewitts, two firms with long and proud histories. Whilst the Baines Goldston story starts in 1923, Jewitts can trace its history back to 1907.
The two firms operated separately, but in adjacent premises, for a number of years until the partners decided to merge. In April 2004, the combined firm was created.
The Baines Goldston story
Vincent Baines started the practice in 1923 using offices in Stockton High Street, although he had a partner called Frank Sherwood who ran an office in Helmsley, North Yorkshire. In view of the distance between the two offices, this must have created some communication issues in those days! The Helmsley office no longer exists and no one can recall whether it was sold or closed.
In 1964, Vincent Baines merged with Gerald Goldston to form Baines Goldston. Gerald had small offices off Yarm Lane and, as the enlarged firm required more space, they moved to part of the existing site. Prior to moving to Yarm Lane, Gerald had his office at 59 High Street in the rooms that Johnnie Walker used when he invented the friction match.
Whilst he died in 1985, Gerald is remembered as a real character and a gentleman. He was an avid train enthusiast and used to receive calls from Stockton railway office for advice on timetables. He had a quirky habit of always introducing female employees to clients as, for example, Miss Smith, which did cause embarrassment on occasions, especially for married, pregnant employees who would receive some strange looks.
In the early days, the practice had a high proportion of farming clients but, over the years, the client list grew to encompass all areas of retailing and manufacturing, as well as service and professional firms, including many now with second and third generation ownership.
The Jewitts story
Jewitts began trading when Richard Jewitt opened his eponymous practice in 1907. He steadily built up the firm and was joined by his son Thomas in 1911.
Around the same time, his cousin William Jewitt was practicing in Stockton. In 1935, Clifford Sparrow became articled to William, and eventually took over from him. The two practices merged during the 1940s, forming Richard Jewitt, Sparrow & Co.
Another merger followed in 1955, when the firm joined with Rowland Swinbank’s practice to create Jewitt, Sparrow & Swinbank, moving to the Barrington House office complex which still forms part of the Baines Jewitt offices today.
Over the years, the new firm managed the affairs of many of the larger family businesses in the area, and developed some excellent accountancy talent. Indeed, two of our current partners, Jed Lester and Don Adams trained and qualified with Jewitts.