Family name will be retained at Devizes site
Developers of Offers Court, where one of Devizes’ biggest companies was based, have bowed to public pressure and will retain its name.
The climbdown follows an outcry from residents and the last direct descendant of the Offer family.
Offers Court, a former sheltered housing complex on the corner of Southbroom Road and Hare and Hounds Street, is being converted into apartments and had been renamed Roundway Court.
The Offer family had its premises there from 1879 to the 1970s, working as carpenters, wheelwrights and latterly undertakers. They made the famous Wiltshire wagon and produced fairground showmen’s living wagons for the local Jennings and Edwards families.
The Minton Group, based in London, bought Offers Court after it closed in 2011. Gaiger Brothers in Devizes became the joint developers in April and last month agreed to drop Roundway from the name of the development. It has now been announced the building will be called Offers View.
Stephanie Cousins, a retired teacher living in Powys, Wales, who is the last direct descendant of the Offer family, said: “I am delighted the name will stay as part of the history of Devizes. I hope the building is successful and the developers are happy.”
Tony Duck, honorary secretary of the Trust for Devizes, said: “The trust is pleased to see the developers have decided to acknowledge the historic commercial use of the site by incorporating the family name of the previous owners.”
Devizes historian John Girvan said: “We welcome the name Offers for this site, but the ‘View’ is puzzling as to where the view is? Offers is much more acceptable than Roundway, which was completely lost and confusing. It is important not to lose our historic heritage.”
The Trust for Devizes has asked the developer if it can put up a commemorative plaque at the building.
Graham Gaiger, a director at Gaiger Brothers, said: “We talked to the town council about it and we agreed Offers View would be an appropriate name for the development which retains the Offers name and distinguishes it from the previous use.”