Number 7 Winckley Square
J.T.1863-1931 Every day hundreds of people pass these premises without noticing on the wall to the left of the entrance a stone plaque:


It marks the spot where the ashes of James Todd, a wealthy Preston accountant, are interred in the wall of his old office. These offices are now occupied by Napthen, Houghton, Craven solicitors. A covenant, dated 1954, states that the remains must not be removed and the stone must be kept in a good state.
No 7 Winckley Square Mr. Todd died at the age of 68 after a seizure while attending Haydock Park racecourse, of which he was a director. He had trained in Preston as an accountant and opened his own office two years after qualifying.

He rapidly built up an extensive practice and dealt with many enterprises throughout Britain and the world. As well as Preston he had offices in London, Manchester, Blackpool and Chester. Before the Russian Revolution these even extended to Moscow where his firm were accountants to an iron and steel company.

He was also chairman of Sunbeam Motors, which later became part of the vast Darracq concern, which had works in Britain and France. During the First World War he was engaged in supplying munitions and aircraft engines to the British, French and Italian governments.

Mr. Todd's home was Farington Lodge, near Leyland, from which he was brought to the office in a magnificent, chauffeur-driven Sunbeam motor car. The late Mr. Walter Hunniball, who trained as an accountant in his office, recalled in a newspaper interview that "When in Preston, Mr. Todd's day at the office began with being shaved by his barber, Mr. Coward, whose shop was in Lune Street."

In the Harris Museum and Art Gallery there is a beautiful painting, completed in 1920 by William Logsdail, which shows Mr. Todd's three daughters in the drawing room of Farington Lodge. After her husband's death, Mrs. Todd sold the house to Leyland Motors for use as a guest house for distinguished overseas clients.

Mr. Todd's firm still continues. It moved, first to No 1 Starkie Street, and then to Greenbank House in Adelphi. (No 1 Starkie Street is now a private house again!).

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© Marian Roberts 1988, based on an article in the Lancashire Evening Post.
© Photograph - R Fitzpatrick 2000