Despite the existence of a clutch of brothers, it was Selina C who took on her father’s coach building business when he died in the 1870s. All of the children had been involved in the business since childhood – as painters and trimmers and later acknowledged as builders themselves – but it was she who ran the business after he had gone.
Selina was even called a coach builder herself on the 1871 census, but the enumerator has crossed this out – perhaps as her father was the business owner at that time, and women, particularly those who were not married, were not supposed to have acknowledged jobs like that. Once he had gone, though, it was her name that appears in trade directories as the business owner, and her brothers worked alongside her.
Later on, she owned a fancy repository shop, perhaps selling ornaments and fripperies to the denizens of the small town she resided in. This change in profession isn’t reflected in the profession of her brothers, who instead ran their own coach building businesses, but perhaps reflects that she may have found shop-keeping an easier way to be taken seriously in business – as most coach builders were men. She also ran a boarding house, but the shop remained a going concern until her death in the 1920s.
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