British Glues & Chemicals

wanting

caution !! this is an initial draft ...

I keep these notes on my server so I don't lose them !!

 

 

B G & C FactoriesBritish Glues & Chemicals

In 1920 seven English glue & chemical companies amalgamated following a  public offering with an objective of remaining competitive and resisting the threat of foreign domination by -

spreading best practice 

focusing investment on R&D and modern factory facilities

 organising activities for maximum output, minimum waste, highest quality, lowest cost and best value.

The business strategy was to exploit science & scale economies associated with upgrading the quality of the by-products from the animal carcase ... from manure to glue to gelatine ...

'The Weaver Refining Co Ltd', Acton Bridge was one of the companies merged into 'British Glues & Chemicals' which was incorporated on the 10th of May 1920. In 1968 BG&C was acquired by 'Croda International'  ...

The Seven Companies involved were -

1. Charles Massey & Son Ltd -  1815 - Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, Market Harborough, Leicestershire & Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. Valued @ £301,660. National Archives BT 31/16877/74647 - 1902.

2. Meggitts (1917) Ltd - 1837 - Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. Valued @ £254,192. National Archives  BT 31/23785/148186 - 1917. BT 31/23785/148188

3. Quibell Brothers Ltd - 1814 - Newark-on-Trent. Valued @ £210,558. National Archives BT 31/16114/60186 GB/NNAF/C109206.  

4. The Grove Chemical Co Ltd - 1856 - Appley Bridge, Wigan. Valued @ £166,927. National Archives BT 31/15452/43227

5. Williamson & Corder Ltd - 1892 - Low Walker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Valued @ £128,975. National Archives BT 31/16752/72382 - 1902.

6. The Weaver Refining Co Ltd - 1900 - Acton Bridge, Cheshire. Valued @ £102,500. National Archives BT 31/18624/100421 - 1908.

7. J & T Walker (1917) Ltd - 1795 - Bestwood Colliery, Nottingham. Valued @ £95,715. National Archives BT 31/23862/148786 - 1917.

Consenting to act as Directors were -

Walter Shewell Corder* (Chairman) - Williamson & Corder Ltd

Harold John Cotes* (Joint Managing Director) - Charles Massey & Son Ltd

Roger Duncalfe* (Joint Managing Director) - Meggitts (1917) Ltd

William Cotes - Charles Massey & Son Ltd

James Evans Grimditch - Meggitts (1917) Ltd and The Weaver Refining Co Ltd

Edward Hindley - The Weaver Refining Co Ltd

Walter Haworth* - The Grove Chemical Co Ltd

Herbert Haworth - The Grove Chemical Co Ltd

Joseph Oswald Neill* - The Weaver Refining Co Ltd

Ernest Hall Quibell - Quibell Brothers Ltd

Oliver Quibell* - Quibell Brothers Ltd

William Boyd Barrie Quibell - Quibell Brothers Ltd

George Edward Shawcross - Williamson & Corder Ltd

John Deverill Walker* - J & T Walker (1917) Ltd

Tom Walton - Charles Massey & Son Ltd

FCA Secretary, H Tweedale, ACA.

Registered Office - Imperial House, 15-19 Kingsway, London WC2.

* Preference Shareholders £1,000 @ 8%

All Directors held a qualifying 1,000 ordinary shares.

The first accounts were produced on September 27th 1921.


Waterloo WorksCharles Massey & Son Ltd

The Massey family were originally farmers from Derbyshire who branched out into bone crushing and artificial manures.

Charles Massey (1833-91) was the Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1863/64 and in 1876 Grace's Guide records that he was advertising his business at Waterloo Works ... and safely protecting the petty cash from burglars!

The 1900 map of Staffordshire shows Waterloo Works (Manure & c) off Dunkirk & Knutton Lane by todays Newcastle Fire Station.

In 1879 Masseys were advertising manures in the Commercial Directory and Shippers Guide and also size and tallow.

In 1881 the company were recruiting a 'steady  respectable married' man for their boilers ...

In 1891 Charles Massey died and the London Gazette reported the dissolution of the original partnership and his son Henry Boston Massey (1856-), continued to run the business until his retirement in 1902.

By 1900 the company was confidently endorsing the best steam engines from engineers Brittain & Co, Stoke and out put successfully expanded into glues and servicing the pottery industry.

When Henry Boston Massey retired in 1902 the company was incorporated, at Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. In 1902 The Pharmaceutical Journal: A Weekly Record of Pharmacy and Allied Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, reported the incorporation of the business and sale to W V S G Goodwin and F G Goodwin.

Charles Massey BoardThe Charles Massey Board members in the 1908 photo were, left to right, Tom Walton, William Gradwell Goodwin (Chairman), Harold J Cotes and William Cotes.

William Goodwin provided the capital, Tom Walton was recruited as the accountant & auditor and young Harold Cotes joined as Works Manager at Waterloo Works, Newcastle in 1904. Harold's father William Cotes joined in 1908.

Sir William V'Alters Summers Gradwell Goodwin (1862-1942) J P, was the Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, from 1913 to 1920s.

The Oil & Colour Trades Journal: Volume 57, 1920 - 'Mr W V S Gradwell Goodwin, Chairman of Charles Massey & Son has been knighted as one of the New Year's Honours', for services to his town, Newcastle-under-Lyme during the war.

More about this eminent Chairman came in 1925 from Whitaker's Peerage - Sir William V'alters Summers Gradwell Goodwin, Kt. Bach. (1920), JP and CC for Staffs, Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme 1913-19: b 1865 Res, Red Heath, Silverdale, Stoke-on-Trent; Westwood Manor, Wetley Rocks, Stoke-on-Trent.

William was the son of John Goodwin (1834-96) a Master Brewer from Braintree, Essex where young William was born in 1862. Sometime between 1871-81 the family moved to Newark and William became a managing partner in the brewing firm Messrs Caparn, Hankey & Co. The distinctive office range at the Castle Brewery, Newark was built for Caparn and Hanley in 1881. Later in 1885 the site was acquired by James Hole & Co.

In 1882 he established a new brewing business with his sons, Goodwin Bros at Balderton Gate, Newark. The operation was an outstanding success and was incorporated in 1891. The proceeds were invested in chemical manufacturing when brothers William & Fleming Gradwell Goodwin purchased Charles Massey & Son in 1902.

John died in 1896 at the age of 63.

William Cotes (1855-1940) had been employed at Sheppy Adhesives Ltd in Queensborough, Kent where he had started up their glue business in 1887. William held the position of Glue Production Superintendent for many years and young Harold also joined the company for a short time before moving to Charles Massey & Son.

Interestingly William Cotes was born in 1855, and married in 1875, in Kirkby, Nottinghamshire. He was working as a Coal Miner at the time but did he later get a job at the new Meggitt Factory built close by in 1873, just down the Low Moor Road to Hamilton Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield? When he moved from Kirkby to Market Harborough in 1880 he was only 24 and moved to a senior position at The Gallow Hill Glue Works as a Foreman. A job which required experience and skills in the bone business. Some six years later his expertise was in demand again and he took the job in Kent only to return to the Gallow Hill factory as a director of Masseys when Masseys took it over in 1908. It seemed William was a force in bones.

In 1910 Charles Massey & Son were advertising in Hardware Merchandising their 'Castle Brand Glue'.

By 1912, Kelleys described the company as a chemical works and in addition to Waterloo Works, there was a bone calcining mill at Sideway Mill, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent and offices at Glebe Buildings Stoke-on-Trent; 5 Milk Street, London EC and 36 Spring Gardens, Manchester. And Eilbecktal, Hamburg ... & they had also taken over a factory at Market Harborough - The Gallow Hill Bone Mill ...

Gallow Hill Bone WorksGallow Hill Bone Mills

The Gallow Hill Bone Mill was recorded on a 1886 map, north of Market Harborough on the Leicester & Northamptonshire Union Canal.

In 1980 in 'Yesterday's Town: Victorian Harborough', John Christopher Davies suggested -

'The Gallow Hill Bone Mills were established by Robert Hubbard the son of a Harborough tallow chandler. There were several tallow chandlers in town but this trade, the making of candles from animal fat, had always been a smelly business. The bone mills were a development from this trade, but also smelly, so Robert Hubbard established his new works on Gallow Hill, more than a mile out of town; it was situated at the point where the road and canal met, so that he was able to take advantage of both for transport and water supply. In later years loads were also delivered from East Langton Station. The works attracted support from Harborough, and extended its range of products: when the place was burnt down by accident, its recovery was prompt, and although its title has been changed several times, it is still thriving'.

Gallow Hill MemoIn 1872 the mill operator, Robert Hubbard, Artificial Manure Manufacturer was declared bankrupt. W & S Symington & Co took over and retained Hubbard as manager ... but it all ended in tears with a law suit in 1873.

William Symington, the new owner, had started business in Market Harborough by selling tea and groceries in 1827. The company website outlines the history of this celebrated company. By 1840 William was a wholesale grocer with a shop in Church Street. In those early years in 1855 William Symington patented a process for the preparation of pea flour. An advert appeared in 1862. Large quantities of it were supplied to the troops in the Crimea. Other patents followed and in about 1865 he was joined in the business by his son, Samuel. In 1889 William Symington died at the ripe old age of 89. The business had expanded rapidly and by the end of the century the first of the famous pea soup was marketed. In the 1900s the company widened its range to blancmange powder, table creams, granulated gravy improver, custard powder, jellies, fruit puddings and eight varieties of soups. Grandson, Howard Symington, joined the firm and in 1903 it was incorporated as William Symington & Co Ltd. In 1904 Symington supplied pea flour to Scott's first Antarctic Expedition. A splendid advert appeared in the Liverpool Daily Post in 1905. In 1909 Samuel Symington died aged 68, and Howard Symington  (1876 - 1943) was left in sole charge. The firm was acquired by J. Lyons & Co in 1969'.

In 1895 The Gallow Hill Glue and Chemical Company Ltd was incorporated in 1896 to finance rebuilding after a fire. In 1897 The Gallow Hill Glue Company were advertising their manures and in 1900 they were selling the lease on their Leicester wharf and moving to their new head works at Gallow Hill. The company was up for sale in 1901 ... and eventually dissolved in 1908 when it was purchased by Charles Massey & Son.

'Great Bowden, A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5', Gartree Hundred (1964) -

'North of Market Harborough, Great Bowden village lies on the south-east border of Leicestershire, about sixteen miles from Leicester. The glue factory at Gallow Hill on the western boundary of the parish was owned by Charles Massey & Son Ltd from 1908 until the firm's amalgamation with British Glues & Chemicals Ltd in 1920. The buildings lie beside the canal and on the line of the old turnpike road from Harborough to Leicester. The former Gallow Hill Inn, a brick building of the early 19th century, was used as a house and office by the company'. 

The Gallow Hill WorksAn enthusiastic local historian of repute, Robert Hakewill has researched the Gallow Hill Wharf and provided detail of the early history of the site on the Leicester & Northamptonshire Union Canal and the Market Harborough to Leicester Turnpike. Also provided was a transcription of a report in The Market Harborough Advertiser which featured the diamond wedding of William Cotes and his wife Mary, of Knoll House, Leicester Road, Market Harborough. The report from 1935 described William's family, business career and his close association with Church and Council ...

The Times referenced the death of William Cotes in January 1940 and the death of Mary in November 1945.

Bob Hakewell also uncovered the splendid aerial photo of the Gallow Hill Works which was included in the book, 'Looking Back' published by The Harborough Mail in 2008. In 1898 The Market Harborough Advertiser published a short report on the installation of modern acetylene gas lighting at the bone works. Bob also transcribed a vivid description of the devastating fire of 1898 from The Advertiser and also an interesting article about the subsequent redevelopment of the works.

Market Harborough FactoryIn 2010 the factory was still operating as part of the J G Pears group ... and still experiencing the old industry problems of smells and irate neighbours ... The Lutterworth Mail reported a fire at rendering plant on Monday 6 September 2010 -

'A machine caught fire at a rendering plant on the outskirts of Harborough on Saturday. Fire crews from the town and several pumps from other stations were called out to J G Pears in Leicester Road at about 5.30pm. Sparks from a hammer unit were believed to be the cause of the blaze, which spread to a machine. Fire fighters used two jet reels and two breathing apparatus to put out the flames.
The factory has been embroiled in a long-running controversy over bad smells being emitted from the site. Fed-up people living nearby, on the A6 near the McDonald's roundabout, have complained to Harborough District Council about the smell which prompted the council to issue a warning letter to the company in 2008. JG Pears started operating at the Gallow Hill site in 2003 and it was previously the site of a glue factory.
The company receives animal fat and bones from butchers' shops and meat processing plants to be rendered so it separates into animal fat for use in soap and into meat and bone meal for pet food'.

Longton Mill

Longton MillIn 1916 W V S Gradwell Goodwin purchased the Sideway Mill, Longton, as a bone grinding mill, although it appeared Masseys were operating the mill at least from 1912. The 1900 map of Staffordshire identified The Longton Mill, an ancient water mill, on the Longton Brook, west of Longton toward Hanford. The mill had been sold in 1860 and the catalogue gave a good flavour of the activities there, which included pottery materials. Flint, after kiln drying/calcining and grinding provided whiteness, hardness and inhibited the crazing of glazes and together with China Stone, feldspar, it was a valuable pottery material. Thomas & George Bakewell traded as The Longton Mills Company and they were grinding flint for the potteries in 1880. And by 1891 the company were also grinding bones. In 1894 George Bakewell retired and the partnership was dissolved. Clearly the Longton Mill was grinding bones long before Charles Massey took it over ...

In 1963 'Longton, A History of the County of Stafford' by William Page records the history of Sideway Mill -

'Before 1212 the Lord of Longton, granted the Cockster-Longton Brook and the adjoining bank to the priory of Trentham ‘to the use of the mill upon the heath’. Between 1277 and 1292 the priory was given the right to erect a mill anywhere within the manor of Longton and this mill may have been in place of the first. Nothing more is known of Longton mill until 1600 when a water mill was owned by John Hunt and then in 1774 it was bought by the Revered Obadiah Lane. The mill was worked by Obadiah Lane and Ambrose Smith as partners in flint-grinding. It was sold  in 1778 to Sir John Edensor Heathcote. Later Richard Edensor Heathcote leased a flint mill and cottage in Longton to William K Harvey in 1847 on a 21 year lease. In 1867 John Edensor Heathcote leased the mill to James and Alfred Glover, who continued to use it to grind flint. In 1882 they surrendered the lease of the mill, by this date called Longton Old Mill, and it was immediately leased to Thomas and George Bakewell for ten years. By this date a drying kiln had been built there. The mill was leased in 1899 to Messrs J and E J Froggatt for five years. A further lease to the Froggatts for a period of seven years was made in 1904. The mill was sold in 1916 to W V S Gradwell Goodwin by J H Edwards Heathcote. By this date it was known as Sideway Mill (and occupied by Charles Massey & Son Ltd). Since 1920 the mill has been worked by British Glue and Chemicals Ltd as a bone mill. It is situated on the Longton Brook in the southwest of Longton at the junction of Poplar Lane and the bridle road from Longton to Hanford. There was formerly a large mill pool east of the mill which survived until at least 1898. The mill was still using water power until soon after the Second World War when the large water wheel, which was of the overshot type, was removed. Steam power also was used from at least 1930. The mill is now run by electricity'.


MeggittsMeggitts (1917) Ltd 

 Originally established in 1837, Samuel Meggitt (1812-??) was trading in 1839 at 36 Sycamore Street, in 1841 at 97 Duke Street, Sheffield, in 1856 at Effingham Road. Specialising in polished bone, horn and metal shirt buttons. By 1876 Samuel Meggitt & Sons, were at Sheffield Bone Mills, Effingham Road, Sheffield, and at Denaby, Mexborough, Rotherham, and at Hamilton Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire (see Trade Directories).

See - 'The Finance of Manufacturing Industry in the Sheffield Area. c. 1850-c. 1885' - Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Leicester by Lucy Newton. Department of Economic and Social History, University of Leicester, September 1993 -

'In Sheffield producers of metals and metal goods as a group were the dominant employers. But the importance of trades concerned with horn, bone and related products might be less expected. The manufacture of horn and bone articles had developed as a result of the cutlery trades, horn being utilised for razor and knife handles and the waste products from this process went into button and comb making. Pearl, ivory and bone were also used to provide handles. The cutting and preparation of these materials led to the development of several even more specialist trades by the mid-nineteenth century: in the 1852 trade directory there are five separate trades concerning the cutting of horn, bone and ivory hafts and scales'.

The enterprising Meggitt family bone business was started by Samuel of Sheffield. His five sons entered the business. The eldest son William Thomas (1837-) started a business in Sutton-in-Ashfield, the second son Samuel (1849-) stayed in Sheffield, the youngest Arthur (1854-) started up in Denaby, Mexborough, Rotherham and the other two Joseph (1850-) & Harry (1853-) moved to Sutton-in-Ashfield where the Bone Manure business was a particular success. 

A trawl of the newspapers told an interesting story. An early report in 1850, when the company was still at Duke Street, concerned a con-trick as a couple of wide boys were trying it on. Perhaps it indicates that even in the early days Meggitts had earned a respectable reputation. Another report in the same year confirmed rogues and vagabonds were stealing bones. The name Roberts' was also indentified as Samuel Meggitts' partner?   In 1857 the business advertised imported guano. Nitrate of Soda was an effective fertilizer, was commonly imported as guano from the coastal islands of Peru, Africa, Chile, and the West Indies. Guano was dried excrement of sea birds and bats; it contains about 6% phosphorus, 9% nitrogen, 2% potassium and moisture. Mixed with feathers and bones and it was an excellent fertilizer (Wikipedia).

By 1859 Meggitts were offering their customers alternative tillage for their fields ... ground bones. In 1860 the business was thriving and expert help was recruited to help with production.

Samuel was a staunch Wesleyan and by 1862 as a successful business man he was fully immersed in Sheffield social life.

In 1866 embezzlement and in 1871 common theft suggested there was always something that was interrupting the smooth flow of business.

The 1871 offering was a better substitute for ground bones as the battle with rising prices raged. The 'substitute' was probably a superphosphate which was becoming popular around this time.

Forest MillsThe 1871 Trade Directories included new Meggitt adverts. Reputation was everything when selling 'balanced' artificial manures, and Meggitts had a good reputation to defend. 1871 was also the first mention of factories at Sutton-in-Ashfield and Mexborough / Denaby. Business was looking good.

In 1873 Meggitts there was confirmation of a new expanded manufactory in Hamilton Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield. A bundle of papers from 1873-1898 survived from the Duke of Portland's estate relating to Samuel Meggitt & Sons Ltd. 73 items of paper & linen provide interesting bits of local history, as Samuel and his son William Thomas struggled with expansion of the bones & tillage business and the inevitable indictments concerning pollution of the water courses!

In 1873, of course, horses and carters were essential for raw material collection and product distribution, and this led to added problems and costs associated with stabling and welfare of the animals.

An advert confirming the three factories were in production appeared in The Sheffield Independent in 1875.

By 1876 Samuel Meggitt's experience and nous was further in demand this time by the Universal Permanent Building Society, in Sheffield. And a warehouse was purchased in Lincoln for local distribution of tillage.

A company advert appeared in the Commercial Directory and Shippers Guide in 1879.

Mexborough Bone MillsIn 1881 a letter to the newspaper from the Denaby Main Collier Manager identified another of the problems the Meggitt business was facing ... excessive freight rates! The letter pinpoints the Meggitt factory at Denaby and clearly marked on the 1892 map was the Mexborough Bone Works directly across the rail road from The Denaby Main Colliery.

Graham Oliver at The Mexborough & District Heritage Society suggested the bone mill was not operational until about 1879 -

'The Denaby Pottery was founded about 1864 close to the southern bank of the river Don and like the Rock Pottery at Mexborough it was built on the site of a old quarry.
The pottery closed in about 1879, when the founder of the pottery and one of the partners, John Wardle, moved to Middlesbrough. The buildings were subsequently converted to a bone mill.
Details of the archaeological excavations are contained in 'Rediscovering Denaby Pottery' a report by Dr Richard A Gregory University of Manchester, February 2002'.

1881 Kelly's directory of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire lists - Samuel Meggitt & Sons, Exchange Row, Mansfield; offices & works, Sutton-in-Ashfield; & at West Stockwith, Gainsborough.

The company's incorporation in 1893 was reported in The Chemical Trade Journal and also announced in The Sheffield Independent - the directors were -

Samuel Meggitt (1849), Joseph B Meggitt (1850), Harry A Meggitt (1853), Arthur C Meggitt (1854), William M Meggitt (1860), George T Meggitt (1862). Inevitably some of the Meggitts weren't suited to the glue trade and went elsewhere, but Samuel (1812) would have been well pleased with this array of talent.

In 1896 a horrible accident was reported at the factory, health and safety were perpetual preoccupations.

In the same year the company was raising funds with a new issue. The prospectus summarised the company history & success -

'Manufacturers of Fine Glues and Gelatines, Bone Crushers and Chemical Manure Manufacturers, Button Manufacturers, Cake and Seed Merchants and Agricultural Factors; Sutton-in-Ashfield and Effingham Road.
Established in 1837 by the late Samuel Meggitt and registered as a Joint Stock Company in 1893.
Current sales growth 73%. At the principle Sutton Factory an additional 6½ acres of land has been purchased. Capital for further extension of the business is now required'.

By 1900 it seemed the company was into fine glues & gelatines at Sutton-in-Ashfield and doing well.

The company issued new debentures in 1900 accompanied by enthusiastic business reports? The report indicated that in 1897 the glue & gelatine business of Messrs Bindley & Son of Smethwick had been purchased and production transferred to Sutton. Perhaps ominously the proceeds were to be used to pay of debts and fund working capital ...

It all went horribly wrong. In 1902 Mr Joseph Bloom Meggitt went bust.

The old company was liquidated and two regenerated firms rose from the ashes. It appeared the Meggitt business had been split into two companies by the receiver in 1902 with different locations and specialisations, bone products at Sheffield and manures & glues at Sutton-in-Ashfield -

Samuel Meggitt (Sheffield) Ltd - £5,000 registered capital. The Sheffield Telegraph reported the formation of a new small company specialising in buttons with Mr Samuel Meggitt as Managing Director. The World Paper Trade Review also noted Samuel Meggitt (Sheffield), Ltd had been registered to carry on the business of manufacturers and dealers in bone buttons, bone studs etc ... Samuel had escaped bankruptcy and emerged as head of a new company!

Samuel Meggitt & Sons Ltd - £75,000 registered capital. The second company had an impressive prospectus. The Directors were James Neill, Steel Manufacturer; Thomas Townrow, Corn Miller; and Charles William Kayser, Manufacturer ... a trio of local business men, who sensed the inherent value of the Meggitt business and vowed to do better ... ? The Stock Exchange Year Book of 1908 reported Samuel Meggitt & Sons of Hamilton Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield was registered on 18th August 1903, in a reconstruction of a company of similar title, carrying on business as glue, grease and manure manufacturers.

By 1904 Joseph Bloom Meggitt had been discharged and no doubt retired gracefully to Wales. However a year earlier a far worse fate had overtaken Arthur Cockayne Meggitt ... the other Meggitt children ended up all over the world seeking new fame and fortune ... New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, China, India and Australia ...

But what happened to Samuel and the Effington Road business? It seemed this branch of the family fared better than the Mansfield crowd. Samuel Meggitt made an admirable living out of the original Sheffield business until 1951 when the company was voluntarily wound up!

Meggitts Fire 1912Hector Marsh remembers his childhood in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire ... a piece of oral history about a small town in England 100 years ago. It was written in 1982 when he was 81. Included was an incident at the bone mill -

'I remember the occasion when Meggitt's Bone Mill caught fire. It was a huge blaze. We were amongst a lot of people viewing the fire when we were forced a long way back by the Police. They said there was a big tank containing some sort of liquid which, if it became ignited, would cause a terrific explosion. We, of course, gave it a wide berth, and, fortunately, it didn't happen, but a lot of damage was done'.

Factories are dangerous places and again in 1904 Meggitts had its share of tragic grief when young 21 year old Florrie Gregory lost her life ...

Meggitt's Sheffield operation was also remembered during one of those memorable sessions of internet chat -

'There are a couple of things on the 1905 map of Sheffield that jogged my memory. Salmon Pastures was virtually an island surrounded by the Don and the Royds Mill race. The building at the bottom of the map, identified as 'Bone Works', was owned by a company called Meggitts. My Father worked there after leaving school (1921-22) but left to learn a skilled trade elsewhere. They made buttons from the bones and two great uncles and my father's cousin worked there as bone cutters. I think Meggitts went out of business in the mid to late 1940s. At that time it was run by a Mr Clements who was also a well known local preacher'.

In 1907, L Lindley in 'History of Sutton-in-Ashfield' noted -

'Messrs Samuel Meggitt and Sons, Ltd., manufacturers of fine glues and gelatine: Hamilton Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield; established 1837; number employed, 65 males, 65 females'.

In 1911 White's Directory listed Samuel Meggitt at The Bone Mills, Effingham Road, Sheffield.

Meggitts Factory Sutton in AshfieldThe new owners at Sutton were not immune from difficulties and the plague of fire reappeared in 1912 ...

In 1917 S Meggitt & Sons Ltd were taken over by the controller of enemy businesses and a new company Meggitts (1917) Ltd was formed. The Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry recorded in 1918 - 'Samuel Meggitt & Sons, Ltd - In the Chancery Division on July 16, Mr Justice Younger heard the petition of the Board of Trade, under the Trading with the Enemy (amendment) Act 1916, for the winding up of Samuel Meggitt & Sons, Ltd. Mr J Austin Cartwell (for The Board of Trade) said the company was formed in 1903 to take over an earlier company in Nottingham, the business being that of chemical manure manufacturers. For a time the new company was successful, but in 1912 the business declined and in 1913 a German group, through a Belgian firm, obtained a controlling interest in it. The Board of Trade came to the conclusion that this was a company which fell within the terms of the Act of 1916, and ordered that the business should be wound up. This had now been done and the whole of the assets realised and the debits provided for. A new company, purely English, had been formed to take over the business under the title of Meggitts (1917) Ltd. His Lordship made the order'.

In 1917 The Oil & Colour Trades Journal: Volume 52 announced the new company - Meggitts (1917), Ltd - Reg No 148,186 - (r.c.) £100,000. (v) £1 ... (o) manure manufacturers and merchants, bone crushers and merchants, glue and grease manufacturers and merchants, etc, ... (d) R Duncalfe, Forge Mills, Bestwood Colliery, Nottingham; J E Grimditch, V H Poynter, E H Quibell, and G A Shankland. Dividends, Reports, Meetings, &c.

The new company was a pioneering forerunner of British Glues & Chemicals, the purpose was to counter German dominance of an important sector of the British chemical industry. D W F Hardie, in his review of the history of the chemical industry in 1966, explained the position -

'The object was to present a united front against any German attempt to regain control of the glue & gelatine industry, which had been exercised pre-war through S Meggitt & Sons, which had been taken over in 1917 by the Controller of Enemy Businesses and sold to the group.'

The Directors of the new company were all significant players. Roger Duncalfe was from J & T Walker, up the road at Bestwood, and later became Chairman of BG&C. James Evans Grimditch was a butcher, founder of the Anglo American Cattle Products Company, a partner in The Weaver Refining Company and later a Director of Smithfield Animal Products Company. Ernest Hall Quibell was from Quibell Brothers in Newark and a future director of BG&C. George Archibald Shankland was from the old Meggitts company and destined to launch his own company G A Shankland Ltd a few years later. And Vernon Hamilton Poynter was a Director of John Knights of Silvertown, tallow renderers & soap makers and later in 1920 was also a Director of Smithfield Animal Products Company with James Grimditch.

Notably William Lever held a stake in Knights from 1913 and held full control by 1920. Meggitts, Smithfield and Knights had important interconnections with BG&C apart from V H Poynter; Charles Wilson explained the situation at Knights -

'Both supplies and sales centred on London. In the early days most of Knight's supplies came from London butchers - 'our butchers' - to whom on occasion the firm was willing to lend money. The trade was not elegant and local authorities relegated the carting of tallow, along with sewage, to the hours of darkness. No department of the business was more important than raw material buying: raw materials formed a large part of the cost of soap and largely determined its selling price. Soap makers were therefore in a mood to listen to any proposals for cooperation in the trade which would relieve their difficulties. In the scramble for supplies, the soap makers were less happily placed than the food manufacturers'.

The rationalisation of the industry was underway ...

On the 31 Dec 1919 the 6th Duke of Portland KG and his trustees Edward Horsman Bailey, Charles Ludovic Lindsay and Francis Bingham Mildmay sold two pieces of land on Hamilton Road in Sutton-in-Ashfield to Meggitts (1917) Limited, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, consideration, £550; mines and minerals reserved to the vendor and trustees. Plan attached shows the pieces of land lying on either side of Hamilton Road at its junction with Newark Road.

In 1920 a new company was announced in The Chemist & Druggist: Volume 92, 1920 - Smithfield Animal Products Company. Objective: to carry on, among other things, the business of manufacturers of and dealers in animal or poultry foods and medicines, manufacturing chemists, manufacturers of meat and other extracts, glue, gelatine, etc. The first directors are: J E Grimditch, A E Pitt, A Dalley, and V H Poynter. Head Office: Marshgate Lane, Stratford.

In 1920 The Institute of Chemistry, Journal & Proceedings noted the address of Edgar Stanley Downes, as c/o Messrs Meggitts (1917) Ltd, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts.

An interesting obituary appeared in the journal of the Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain & Ireland in 1933 -

'Arthur John Shelton died at Minas de Rio Tinto, Spain, on 17th November, 1932, in his 55th year. Educated at the Mathematical School, Rochester, and at the Central Technical College, he obtained the diploma of Associate of the City of Guilds of London Institute in 1896 and continued in organic research for a year. In 1905 he held an appointment with Messrs Meggitt & Sons, Ltd, Glue Manufacturers, at Sutton-in-Ashfield'.

In 1944 the Journal of the Royal Institute of Chemistry reported -

'Loxley Meggitt, who died in May, at Auckland, New Zealand, in his 71st year, was trained at University College, Nottingham, and became assistant, in turn, to F T Addyman, A H Allen and M J R Dunstan, Fellows, and after qualifying as an Associate of the Institute became technical and analytical chemist to Samuel Meggitt & Sons, Ltd, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, glue, gelatine and manure manufacturers.
In 1903 however he became manager of the works of the Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd, at Sydney, NSW, and in 1918 became manager of James Barnes, Ltd, of Alexandria, Sydney, NSW, manufacturers of linseed oil and cake, stearine, glycerine etc.
In 1920 he devoted his attention to fruit growing before retiring to New Zealand in 1932. He was elected an Associate of the Institute in 1895 and a Fellow in 1901'.

The Brown Family BoxA wonderful family story of life at Meggitts has been carefully researched by David Brown, who has discovered family treasures in an old tin box commemorating the Jubilee of the Co-operative Wholesale Society, 1863-1913.

 Great grandfather Tom Brown and granddad Ted both worked for Meggitts at Sutton-in-Ashfield ... it seemed Tom knew the glue business inside out from hard experience in the bone factories and Tom served his time and became a engineer ... both moved around the Meggitts empire applying their skills and nous ... certainly Meggitts were enterprising employers of skilled operators and craftsmen and knew how to exploit their full potential ...


Quibell Brothers Ltd

The Quibell family of Newark were of local renown.

In 1874 a new company appeared on the Newark scene. William Oliver Quibell (1833-1897) and Thomas Oliver Quibell (1844-1908) were in business as Chemists & Druggists, Cake & Tillage Merchants, Coal Merchants, Manufacturers of Chemical Manures and seed merchants at Castle Gate ...   

The business was located bang next to the castle between Castle Gate and the Trent ... an old photo pinpointed the position of the factory adjacent to the castle itself.

An earlier company involving James Snow & John Harvey was dissolved in 1848 and John Harvey then went into partnership with his protégé apprentice William Quibell, as Harvey & Quibell.

Winthorpe RoadAlthough the original Quibell business was at Castle Gate in 1883 there was a new factory off the Winthorpe Road just down the river as indicated on the 1886 map. 

The 'Newark Advertiser' told the story in an obituary in 1897 -

 'William Oliver Quibell (1833-1897) was born at Gateford, near Worksop, in 1833 and was therefore nearing his 64th year. His family had been farmers for generations in the Newark area, but he was articled to Mr Harvey. Eight years later he became a partner in the firm, which was thenceforth known as Harvey & Quibell. The business was originally founded by the late Mr James Snow in 1814. On the death of Mr John Harvey the style was changed to Quibell Brothers, Mr Thomas O Quibell having joined some years previously. Two sons of Alderman Quibell have since entered the business. The deceased was a Wesleyan Methodist and had filled most of the offices open to a layman in that Church. For a number of years he was a lay reader and a class leader. He had been Circuit Steward and at the time of his death was district Treasurer of the Foreign Missionary Society. He was elected a representative to the conference held at Bradford in 1878, the first to which laymen were admitted. Three times since, he was one of the 18 laymen chosen by the Conference itself to be members of the Representative Session. To the last, he took the deepest interest in the work of the Church. The new Sunday Schools which the Wesleyans are going to build were constantly in his mind during the last part of his life, and he gladly contributed towards the cost. He was for years a prominent member of the School Board of the Board of Guardians, a member of the Town Council and an Alderman. In 1884 he was chosen Mayor. Appointed a JP for the Borough some years ago, he frequently attended the Bench, always administering Justice with impartiality and tempering it with mercy. Since his death, the Town Hall flag has been at half-mast, also those at the Ram Hotel and on other buildings in the town. Under a memorial window in Barnby Gate Methodist Church is the inscription - 'To the glory of God and in loving memory of William Oliver Quibell, Mayor of Newark 1884-5, this window is dedicated by his daughter Eleanor Mary Bainbridge.' He was a devout Christian and an earnest Wesleyan Methodist, who served his Church faithfully in every lay office'.

Oliver Quibell (1863-1945) was the eldest son of William Oliver Quibell and Eleanor Boyd Berrie who was born on 27th October 1863 and baptised on 30th November 1863 at Barnby Gate Wesleyan Church. On 9th November 1906 he was appointed a Borough Magistrate -

'A prominent Liberal and nonconformist, a member of the Education Committee & the Free Library Committee, he has represented the East Ward for three years. He is a partner of Quibell Bros. and Vice President of the Newark Division Liberal Association. In November 1907, and again a year later he was elected Mayor. Kelly's 1912 Directory lists him as Councillor, East Ward (retires November 1914) and Magistrate'.

Quibell's Barley ManureBy the early 1900s Quibell's Barley Manure was a particular favourite.

1905, March 8 - 'About ten minutes past six on Monday night a fire was found to have broken out at Messrs Quibell Bros' (Ltd) works, Newark, near the bottom lock. The attention of Mrs Barlow, wife of Mr J Barlow, foreman of the works, who lives close by, was attracted. Without delay she communicated with Mr Oliver Quibell, who was on the premises, and with all speed a hose, was attached to a hydrant. Information was also conveyed to the police station by means of the telephone, and the fire bell was rung and the brigade summoned. So well had Mr Quibell and his helpers worked that the brigade found the fire well under control and without much difficulty all danger of a conflagration was avoided'.

Quibell CartThe North East Midland Photographic Record has some great pictures. One was of an original Quibell cart! The side of the cart read 'Quibell Brothers Ltd Newark', with the cart designated 'no. 5' on the underside. Was this a collection cart for supplies of raw bones or more interestingly a sheep dipping cart? Quibells manufactured sheep dips and The Pastorialist's Review published an account of a visit to the factory in 1908. The report mentioned the provision of an equipment service which consisted of a dipping bath which was carried on a horse drawn cart, the cart itself was a portion of the apparatus which acted as a drainer after the immersion of the sheep. All part of Quibell's product innovations.

At the time the Quibell business produced a range of agricultural interests apart from sheep dips ... animal feed merchants, bone crushers & chemical manure manufacturers.

Quibell Bros KerolIn 1912 The British Journal of Nursing reported - 'The Ideal Homes Exhibition at Olympia, Stand 35a is that of Messrs Quibell Bros Ltd whose Disinfectant Fluid, 'Kerol' is attracting such widespread attention owing to its high efficiency and non-toxic properties. To judge from the interesting exhibits of this firm the Stand should be well worth a visit'.

Kerol disinfectant, was advertised as the safeguard of the Englishman's home, manufactured by Quibell Brothers Limited (later Kerol Ltd.). The disinfectant was promoted regularly and claimed to be effective against diphtheria, measles, cholera, scarlatina, typhoid, skin irritation (used in bath water), nits, as a gargle for sore throat and as a shampoo. One illustration showed a well-dressed elderly man in a top hat and bow tie smiling at the bottle of Kerol he is holding in his right hand, orange background behind him. The text is red out of a purple border around it with a white cross inside a circle at the top.

After the formation of BG&C in 1920, a new company, Kerol Ltd, was formed in 1921 to take over the business of makers of sheep and cattle dips, disinfectants, toilet and medicinal preparations carried on by Quibell Bros, Ltd, together with the right to use the trade marks 'Kerol' 'Fumiform' 'Novol' and 'Quibell' and to enter into a deed of assignment and covenant with Quibell Brothers Ltd (vendors), O Quibell, W E B Quibell, E H Quibell and T H Lloyd.

Ernest Hall Quibell (1876-1926) died in Newark in 1926; a significant event which was reported in the Nottingham Evening Post ...

Like all other factories handling potentially hazardous materials, Quibells had their share of problems, as The Times reported in 1927. However profitable companies with trained motivated staff were better able to cope and invest in Health & Safety procedures; well done William Lloyd and Frank Boot. At Quibells, safety was never seen as an alternative to profit but as a contributing factor.

In 1951 Quibells featured in a superb aerial photo ... The British Glues and Chemicals Ltd Quibell Bros Glue Factory (Croid Glues), Newark-on-Trent, 1951.

Quibells Factory 2002In 2002 John Sutton provided a splendid photo of the remains of Quibell's factory on the other side of the Trent from under Fiddlers Elbow Bridge from 1915. He recalls the factory began in the 1860s as a manufacturer of bone fertiliser, cattle cake and sheep dip, later branching out into glue and cosmetics as part of British Glues and Chemicals.

In Michael Vanns' book 'The Railways of Newark-on-Trent' (Oakwood Press), Sid Rising recalled working as a 15-year-old railwayman in 1943, 'I started taking the numbers of the wagons in the sidings of Quibell's factory which processed animal hide and skin into cosmetics. The wagons were loaded with rotting meat and bones which were accompanied by thousands of maggots and a pungent smell. Taking numbers consisted of walking on a carpet of maggots, stamping your feet to scare away any rats, tucking your hand lamp under your arm and holding your breath for quite a few minutes. This was quite an experience on a dark winter's morning and perhaps one of the main reasons the lady number takers did not work these hours'.

Vivian SuterMr Vivian F Suter was born in 1925 and joined Quibell Brothers as a lab assistant at Easter 1941, he was in charge as Works Manager when the Newark Factory was closed and demolished in 1976. He has recently been writing up his personal memories which are a fascinating insight into the factory at Newark ... here's Vivian receiving a certificate from Harry Thompson, Wigan & Newark Works Director ...

'The Quibells of Newark' by Mr G Hemingway, 1980. This typescript publication has a section on The early Quibells of East Markham, Profiles on William Quibell of Newark (1805-1883) and some of his descendants. (It is currently available in the Newark Library, Nottinghamshire and is also in the Nottinghamshire Family History Society library collection).

Vivian also remembers a fellow chemist at BG&C, Walter Denwood ... a true gentleman!


Appley BridgeGrove Chemical Co Ltd

In 1906 The World's Paper Trade Review volume 45, reported a jubilee -

'A BUSINESS JUBILEE - The Grove Chemical Company of Appley Bridge near Wigan celebrates this year its jubilee. The firm was founded at Church, near Accrington, by the late Mr John Haworth in 1856. Subsequently the business passed into the hands of Mr Haworth's two sons who are still at the head of affairs, although the concern was registered as a private limited liability company in 1893. It is satisfactory to find that the business has been one of continual progress, particularly marked since the removal to ...'  

In 1856, the same year that John Haworth (1824-98) started his business at Church, John Everth (1784-1859) had a bone works at Appley Bridge and he employed a Mr Reuben Haworth as his agent. Reuben Haworth (1813-62) was a relative of John Haworth ... he was his elder brother!

John Everth appeared to be quite successful with agents selling his manure locally in Burnley and further afield in Liverpool, Kendal, Lancaster and Kidderminster. The name Squire Scaresbrick was also reported to own the bone manures business at Appley Bridge.

Appley Bridge WorksIn 1856 Reuben Haworth was named the proprietor of the Appley Bridge bone manure works ... but in 1857 John Everth was reported to be the proprietor of the Apply Bridge bone manure works. This was undoubtedly the same buiness. The business appeared to prosperous and a celebratory dinner was held in Poulton for the satisfied customers.

The same year the business was running out of raw materials and was on the look out for imported bones. In the same year he had some trouble in court. Prices were reduced in 1859? Just before John Everth died?

The 1851 census recorded John Everth with wife Sarah and a domestic servant at Finch Mill House, Shevington. John's occupation was concerned with a 'White Lead Works'. Interestingly a substitute for the 'white lead' pigment was bone white ... made from ground calcined bones ...

John Everth died aged 75 at Shevington and was buried on the 15th of July 1859 at St Wilfrid, Standish.

In 1860 Charles Scarisbrick (1802-60) of Scarisbrick Hall, Scarisbrick, an extensive land & colliery owner and filthy rich, also died and the bone business at Appley Bridge was up for sale ... described as The Appley Bridge Works, situate close to the Apple Bridge Station and immediately adjoining the Leeds Liverpool Canal ... including White Lead Works and a Bone Manure & Bone Charcoal Manufactory ... this was surely the factory site that became The Crown Works ... this was John Everth's business that was purchased by the Haworths? This was this the date the Haworths moved to Appley Bridge?

The Haworth family of Oswaldtwistle were mesmerisingly numerous and complex, but for sure John Haworth (1825-98) was the father of brothers Herbert & Walter of Appley Bridge and in the 1861 census John was at Vine House as a Chemical Manufacture and in 1871 he was into cotton at Brookside Mill, see the 1892 map.

Grove ChemicalsAt some stage the business established in 1856 moved their Grove Chemical Works to Appley Bridge, Wigan where they produced animal glue, bone meal and tallow.

The 1881 edition of Worrall's Wigan & District Directory, indentifies The Appley Bridge Chemical & Manure Works.

By 1893 under the guidance of Herbert Haworth, senior partner, and his brother Walter, junior partner, The Gove Chemical Co and their Crown Works, at Appley Bridge established a formidable reputation. An article in The Worlds Paper Trade Review confirmed that -

'At Appley Bridge glue and size making was well understood and efficiently carried out ...'

In 1895 The Chemist & Druggist reported the incorporation of the Haworth business. The subscribers were Mr & Mrs Herbert Haworth and Walter Haworth of Grove House, Apply Bridge, Mr & Mrs J B Cooper (sister & brother in law) and Mrs J Haworth of 29 Scarisbrick Street, Southport (mother). Old man & father John Haworth was to die in 1898.

A snippet from 1898 in The Worlds Paper Trade Review revealed -

'The Grove Chemical Co Ltd of Crown Glue Works, Appley Bridge, near Wigan, advise us of a change in their Manchester address. Their offices have been removed from 20 Cross Street to 71 Haworth's Buildings, Cross Street'.

Grove Chemical CompanyBy 1899 the same journal reported -

'The Grove Chemical Co Ltd - The specialities of this firm, owing to their reliable quality, have obtained an excellent reputation amongst papermakers and others. The growth of the business, under the management of Messrs Haworth, have necessitated larger works, and new buildings have lately been erected in order to meet the growing demand for the firm's make of glue'.

Also in 1899 The Crown Works of The Grove Chemical Company at Appley Bridge were applying science to the manufacture of size and exploiting the latest technology to provide their customers at the paper mills with high quality products at low cost. The World's Paper Trade Review reported that competition for patented technology was fierce.

In 1902 The Grove Chemical Company were advertising for a firm to represent them and their gelatines in the south in Luton.

In 1907 Herbert Haworth joined the Manchester Chamber of Commerce; no doubt doing his bit to keep the wheels of trade well lubricated.

The 1908 map of Wigan marked the 'Crown Works'. The site was on the famous Leeds & Liverpool Canal which stretched over a distance of 127 miles, there were 91 locks as it crossed the Pennines before it linked into the Liverpool docks system.

A fine aerial photo of the site from the 1940s came from on line Mario Maps at Your Lancashire.

In 1909 a 'Coming of Age' was celebrated at Appley Bridge. The dates were significant and pointed to 1856 for the founding of the original business in Oswaldtwistle and 1888 as the date of the Haworth investment in Appley Bridge.

In 1910 the company were advertising their glues in the trade journal Hardware Merchandising.

Russ Mason's family had connections with the Apply Bridge Works, just about everyone in his family worked there, between them they accumulated 358 years of service. In the late 1960s Croda published a two page tribute to 'the Masons' as a centre spread in one of their pamphlets / house magazines, a copy was recently unearthed by Russ from some dusty archive ... what a treasure of family history ...

John Mason (1839-) the old man of the Mason family at Appley Bridge was born near Evesham in 1839 and married a local girl Mary Gregg (1852-) in 1875. In 1877 the family moved up to Wigan in search of work. Initially John Mason found work in a brick yard in Parbold and the work proved good enough to attract Mary's brother Edward (1851-) who also found a job there. The 1881 census confirmed Edward joined the family as a lodger in the 'Cottage' in Parbold. They had a child Joseph (1876-), when living in Worcestershire; and further births followed in Lancashire; Emma (1877-), Florence (1879) and twins Herbert (1881-) & Samuel (1881-) had now been added to the family. By 1891 John and youngsters Joseph & Emma were all employed at the Appley Bridge Glue Works.

Staff at Appley Bridge Bone 'Ole 1914/15A great great granddaughter of John Mason (1839-), Audrey Bradburn, has found a wonderful photo of the staff from the Crown Works, Appley Bridge from 1914-15. No one on the photo has yet been identified ... help!

Here are some of the Mason memories from Herbert's grandson Russ -

 Russ' dad, Sydney, worked for 16 years at Appley Bridge until 1957. He took the photo of the factory in the 1930s from a glass plate found at the back of an old drawer in the plant office during a visit just before it was demolished around 1972. He also remembers Bill Rigby who worked in the boiler room at the 'Bone Works' until he retired around 1965. He worked with a fellow by the name of Len Edley who was tragically killed on the job. Bill had a brother Jack Rigby who worked in the stores department. There were 97 workers at the works in the fifties including several Rigbys. Up until 1920 Sydney thought that the factory was owned by the banks before it was bought by the group of BG&C investors.

The animal waste processed included some surprisingly exotic beasts including train loads of camels from Egypt! More specialised products were also produced like edible gelatine for the food industry and buttons for the Lancashire garment industry made from sawn bones.

Steam raising from coal fired Scotch Marine Boilers was at the heart of the rendering process. The tall chimneys dominating the site were designed to disperse smoke and objectionables far and wide. But the stacks retained clinker & debris which had to be manually cleared via long suffering operators in bosun's chairs. Adding yet another twist to the mucky smelly working conditions ... today's Health & Safety inspectors would have had a field day!

Russ' granddad, Little Bert, started working at the plant in 1900 and remained there for 48 years. Around 1920 he was offered a Directorship for an investment of £100. A lot of money in those days which he did not have, so he ended up working on the benzene 'ponds' which were used for cooling the glue pellets. These were large open vats that were a considerable hazard for both the workmen and equipment. 

On the 23rd of August 1921 'The Times' reported that a fire at Appley Bridge caused damage estimated at £20,000.

Of course industrial accidents were not confined to bone works. Russ remembers Charlie Haywood got killed in an industrial accident at the Lino Works just down the road from the 'Bone 'ole', the Appley Bridge nick name for BG&C factory.  The 'Lino Works' was formed in 1898, the business of Thomas Witter and Co Ltd, manufacturers of floor cloth and linoleum. In 1924 the company was bought by Rylands & Sons of Manchester. In 1932, an agreement was made between Rylands and the S.A. des Papeteries de Genval, Belgium, manufacturers of felt base floor coverings. Each took an equal holding in Witter, and a paper mill and felt base factory were opened in addition to the existing linoleum works. In 1953, Rylands sold all but 5 per cent of its interest to the Belgian concern.

In 2013 Irwin Mitchell Solicitors issued a news release. They continued to pursue compensation claims associated with the industrial use of benzene in the 1960s.

 Suspected benzene cancer victim seeks justice. Anyone with useful information to support the compensation case should email Katrina London or call her at Irwin Mitchell.
A former fitter who has been diagnosed with a blood cancer is appealing for former colleagues to come forward to help with an investigation into the dangerous chemicals he was exposed to at work. Michael Fernay, 65, from Shevington, Wigan was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a cancer of the blood cells, during March this year. He now needs a blood transfusion around every two weeks. He believes the illness was caused by exposure to benzene, a known carcinogen linked to blood cancers, whilst working as a fitter. Michael worked for British Glue & Chemicals at their Appley Bridge site in Wigan between 1964 to1973. It is during this employment Michael believes he came into contact with benzene, when he worked in what had previously been the benzene plant. He recalls being asked to remove pipe work on several occasions from the benzene plant for it to be used elsewhere in the factory. 'I remember the pipework I worked on being covered in benzene residue,' he said. 'Sometimes there was still benzene fluid in the pipes I was removing which spilt onto my overalls and hands. During my time working at the plant I don’t remember ever being supplied with protective clothing or given warnings about coming into contact with benzene.' He is no longer able to work because of the high risk of contracting further illness and infection, placing a huge financial burden on the family. He is being represented by Katrina London of law firm Irwin Mitchell. 'Michael’s exposure to the chemical benzene could be the cause of his painful and life limiting disease,' she said. 'Exposure to benzene was known to be dangerous when Michael was employed by British Glues and Chemicals and not providing Michael with the relevant protection is simply unacceptable. We would urge anyone who may have worked for British Glue & Chemicals during the mid-60s to the mid-70s at the Appleby site, to come forward with further information about the working conditions that Mr Fernay faced.' British Glue & Chemicals was acquired by Croda International in 1968.


Walker Bone YardWilliamson & Corder Ltd

The Williamson & Corder factory at Low Walker, Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the North East was founded by Robert Williamson and Walter Corder in 1893.

Robert Williamson was an eminent academic scientist who wrestled with the complex factory production of alizarin dyestuffs from coal tar. Alizarin - 1,2-dihydroxyanthraquinone - 'Turkey Red'- became the first natural dye to be synthetically duplicated in 1868 by the English dye chemist William Henry Perkin who independently discovered the same synthesis at the same time as the German BASF. Williamson was involved in the Perkin Dyeworks on the Grand Union Canal at Greenford and the technology of factory life must have suited him as had several production positions including a stint at Messrs Nelson, Dale and Co before settling into gelatine production in his own company with Walter Corder.

Walter Corder served his apprenticeship as a chemist with his uncle and studied chemistry at the renowned Armstrong College in Newcastle.

These guys were scientists, intent on the application of science in factory production. No wonder British Glues & Chemicals welcomed their company into the 1920 amalgamation and appointed W S Corder as the first Chairman of the Board.

Enterprise in the North East started in 1888 when Walter Corder invested in the new manufactory of Messrs Corder & Co, for converting fish refuse from the local Fish Quay into fine manure; similar to Peruvian Guano which was all the rage at the time. The factory was at Low Lights along Tanners Bank within the premises of the tannery of Messrs J R Proctor & Son of Low Lights, and included extensive deodorising and disinfectant facilities to minimise nuisance. The Riverscape Project in 2001 outlined the significance of the Low Lights trading centre -

'The mouth of Pow Dene is now North Shields Fish Quay and it has always been the first safe harbour on the north side of the river. Here two ancient light houses stand each side of the Fish Quay inlet marking the line of the channel into the Tyne, one stands close to sea level the other on a cliff above. The 'low lights' have long been an important landing and trading point. This would have started with salmon and coal, salt and grain. One of the first Tyne railways, the Chirton to North Shields waggon way was opened in 1769 along the side of the Dene. A little later the strategic location of the Low Lights with its command of the river mouth was recognised by the building of Clifford's Fort during the Napoleonic Wars. Northumberland Park is the upper section of the Dene which is separated from the River and North Shields by a large embankment which crosses the Dene to carry Tynemouth Road and the Newcastle to Tynemouth Railway. The lower part of the Dene is now known as Tanners Bank and the Low Lights. From about 1870 an extensive herring fishery had developed using Fish Quay as a base. The herrings were kippered at the quay - split open, gutted and salted, then smoked over oak chips or sawdust to produce kippers. A Newcastle man, John Woodger, claimed to have invented the process'.

The SiteLines Project recorded, The North Shields Chemical Works (Fish Guano) -

'A fish guano works was established here by WS Corder in the 1880s on previously undeveloped ground north of the brewery (HER 5485) and west of the Pow Burn. In 1889 it was said that very little Peruvian guano was used in Tyneside, although fish remains mixed with other agents was used to some extent. The impression is that this was a small scale industry. The chemical works expanded in October 1888, with a blacksmith's shop, refuse room, medicinal oil room and deodorising room added to the west side of the complex (TWAS CB/Ty/15/32). In 1892 another square building was added (TWAS CB/Ty/15/36)'.

Life at Low Lights was not easy either and despite the promised nuisance abating facilities, in 1899 Messrs Corder & Co were in trouble. And further extensive improvements were required in 1902 to satisfy the magistrates.

Walker Bone YardIn 1893 the partnership with Robert Williamson at Low Walker was launched as a new venture; the fish processing continued separately at Low Lights. Williamson & Corder announced the 'new industry' in 'fine chemicals' in a letter to the Local Board. The factory was the old Tyne Boiler Works site by the Walker Ferry. The splendid photo of the 'Walker Bone Yard' was from Norman Dunn. Billy D & Norman Dunn, who's old Aunt used to work in the offices at the Bone Yard tell the story -

Freddy Shepard and his brother expanded a road haulage business into a series of marine and related businesses; and property redevelopment of the former ship building facilities along the river. Shepard Offshore now occupy the site of the old Bone Yard. Freddy Shepard achieved fame as the owner of Newcastle United F C along with Sir John Hall.
About 2001 the buildings were used as a timber yard, and the sawdust room was next to one of Shepard's offices, and any cars parked outside used to get covered in dust. The owner asked us to 'plug up ALL the gaps an stop the sawdust escaping', we did this and less than a week later pressure built up inside and blew the wall down; then EVERYTHING was covered in sawdust. There was a Garage at the back of the yard that housed, a Bentley, Ford Model T, Rolls Royce and a Daimler, all vintage cars, I believe belonging to Mr Freddy Shepard. Not long after the wall came down there was a fire and the yard buildings were pulled down. I often wonder if the cars made it or got destroyed in the fire!

Factory life in 1896 was not easy, working conditions were dire and horrible accidents were an ever present prospect and sometimes a shattering reality, as the Shields Daily Gazette recorded.

In 1902 The World Paper Trade Review Volume 37 reported the incorporation of the company - 'Williamson & Corder Ltd were to acquire the business carried on at Walker-on-Tyne, Northumberland, as Williamson & Corder, and adopt an agreement with R Williamson & W S Corder, and to carry on the business of manufacturers of and dealers in gelatine, glue, grease, oil, alkalis, soaps, chemicals etc'.

In 1904 Walter Corder sold his business at Low Lights and the North Shields Fish Guano & Oil Co Ltd was incorporated under new management. The seven new subscribers were all fish merchants and curers, no doubt keen to ensure the waste from their businesses was profitably disposed of ... and, perhaps, as a 'service' to their main curing business they would have some clout with the authorities over the ongoing nuisance problem. Wishful thinking ...

In common with all their peers, the factory at Low Walker, Newcastle also earned its share of opprobrium.

In 1915 the Journal of the Chemical Society, Transactions published Robert Williamson's obituary. He left a will indentifying George Edward Shawcross as the secretary of Williamson & Corder Ltd. George Shawcross became a Director of BG&C in 1920.

George Edward Shawcross (1878-) was the son of a coal miner from Seghill, in 1891 he was living at Wallsend, and in 1901 was a Railway Clerk at 11 Meldon Terrace, Heaton, Newcastle. By 1911 George had married Nelly in 1906 and they were living at 50 Falmouth Road, Heaton with a son Edward Leslie (1907-) and daughter Mary Elizabeth (1909-). George was now Secretary to Chemical Manufacturer ... he was keeping the books at Low Walker. George Shawcross retired from the BG&C board in 1934.

Williamson & Corder were the only prospective subsidiary company of BG&C to advertise their wares in the 1919 British Chemical Manufacturers directory of members.

In 1920/9 the Gazette announced the voluntary liquidation of Williamson & Corder ... was that all about the BG&C amalgamation?

The chat on the internet reveals something of the working conditions at the Walter Corder's 'Fish Works' and Williamson & Corder's 'Bone Yard'. In 1900, when Edward Hindley was starting his Acton Bridge factory, the work was somewhat 'juicy' ... but where's there's muck there's brass! ... these businesses were to become chemical refining businesses with ready markets for many different and valuable products ... and the Fish Quay at North Shields is now a 'conservation area' ...

Robert Williamson and Walter Corder had a passion for chemistry and were keen to keep close to the science of their trade. In 1941 Williamson & Corder Ltd continued the tradition of their founders and cooperated with local cancer research - see - 'The Citric Acid Content of Animal Tissues, with Reference to its Occurrence in Bone and Tumour' by Frank Dickens, from the Cancer Research Laboratory, North of England Council of the British Empire Cancer Campaign, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Received 1 September 1941) - 'I am greatly indebted to Mrs C M Burns for bone specimens and analyses; to Mr T W Smith of Messrs Williamson & Corder, Newcastle, for information about bone meal and for a gift of this material; to the Pathology Department, University of Durham, for the use of their photometer; and to the Physicians & Surgeons of this Hospital for clinical material'.


Forge Mill, PapplewickJ & T Walker (1917) Ltd

'A Place Like Papplewick' describes the history of the old mills on the River Leen and one of them, Forge Mill, had a remarkable pedigree -

'Water powered mills have existed along the River Leen in the parishes of Papplewick and Linby since at least 1232. By 1615, iron refining was underway at Bulwell Forge, otherwise known as Forge Mill, which once stood in Papplewick parish. This mill consumed vast quantities of local timber which was turned into charcoal. There is evidence that the timber being taken for use at Bulwell Forge accounted for much of the destruction of Sherwood Forest during the 17th and 18th centuries. Iron continued to be worked here until at least 1773 and after that the Mills along the Leen began to proliferate for the processing of cotton.
In 1776 George Robinson arrived, he created a manufacturing empire, establishing six mills including Castle Mill, Grange Farm, Middle Mill and Forge Mill, driven by water power, and providing jobs for 800 people. Water shortages and a wrangle over water rights with landowner Lord Byron, the poet's great uncle, forced Robinson to find alternative means of powering the mills. In 1785, he installed a steam engine at Grange Farm invented by James Watt - the first to be used in a cotton mill anywhere in the world.

Had the railways come to the area in time, the Leen Valley could have become the centre of the cotton industry but, through lack of infrastructure and various legal disputes, the Robinsons abandoned the trade and turned to banking. In July 1828, cotton spinning came to a halt due irreconcilable differences between the proprietors, a dispute that dragged through the courts until 1830. Thereafter, the mills lay empty and largely deserted. All but Castle Mill and Forge Mill were dismantled in the 1840's and the materials used to construct new farm buildings, examples of which remain at West View and Forest Farms'.

Interestingly this was a story of what could have been. Way back the torrents that poured down the Pennines into the Leen were harnessed for power, and for sure there would have been corn to grind, wool to full and iron to forge ... part & parcel of the ubiquitous rural development which took place wherever there was water power ... and unsurprisingly iron forging on the Leen would have enjoyed an extra fillip from the plentiful supply of charcoal from Sherwood Forest.

George Robinson (1712-98) came from Kincardineshire and settled at Bulwell in 1737. Originally, Robertson, George adopted the English name of Robinson and rather late in the industrialisation day went to work to hit the Leen VAlley with the industrial revolution.

Robinson initially used the soft water of the Leen to bleach linen and not to drive water wheels. Lance Day in The History of Technology 1996, described how Robinson, after accumulating some capital, was prepared in 1777 to risk investment in the cotton boom where water power was needed. The Papplewick Mills were built in 1777, and the Forge Mill in 1787. But unlike the more welcoming stance of the landowners at Baptist Mills copper in 1702, Derby silk in 1702 Gadlys lead in 1704 and Coalbrookdale in 1706, Robinson had endless wrangles with the Byrons and the Montagus over access to water rights for his sophisticated water supply system at the very same time as James Watt produced his energy breakthrough. Robinson seized the opportunity and installed his steam engine in 1785, this was the same year that Daniel Whittaker abandoned his plans to invest in a cotton mill at Acton Bridge in favour of the 16ft head of water in the Greenfield Valley. It seemed the search for useful water power was widespread, but entrepreneurs like the Robinsons were alive to James Watts alternative ... others were soon to follow ... and it was the un-enterprising landowners who lost out because squabbling over the spoils in a zero sum game was far less rewarding than pursuing the synergies of co-operation ... and it was Robinson who became a banker as comparative advantage started to ebb away from manufacturing and into financial services ... ?

On the Nottinghamshire History Website Andy Nicholson and Robert Mellors indentified Charles Allcock as a large employer of labour in the area. He resided in a house at the northern end of Bulwell village. Adjoining the house was a large corn mill, and Charles started milling at Forge Mill. In 1844 he was described as being a miller, bleacher, bone crusher and farmer. The Derby Mercury detailed some history of the mill in a report of fire in 1841. The Leicester Chronicle described Allcock as an extensive factor. He died in 1860, and in the local church a memorial window was constructed for him.

In 1866 J & T Walker occupied Forge Mill and carried on Allcock's bone crushing business, becoming part of British Glues & Chemicals in 1920. 

John Deverill Walker (1807-78) and Thomas Walker (1819-93) came from an old Bulwell family ...

John Deverill Walker (1807-78) was Christened in Bulwell in 1807, the son of Matthew Walker (1779-) & Alice Deverill who were married at Bulwell in 1805. Mathew was born at Scarrington the son of Benjamin Walker and Ann.

In 1841 John Deverill was married to Sophia, and was a Grocer at Minerva Terrace, Sneinton. In 1851 a Bone Merchant at Canal Street, St Mary. In 1861 a Bone & Linseed Crusher at Park Row, St Nicholas. In 1871 a Seed Crusher & Tillage Merchant at Lenton Road, Standard Hill & The Castle.

J D Walker was a member of the local Board of Guardians in Basford, and in 1873 was the Chairman. He died in 1878 aged 70. He was highly esteemed for his business like ability and kindness. Thomas Walker was his youngest brother and carried on the business at his decease, until shortly before he died in 1893, aged 73. John Deverill died in 1878 aged 70.

Thomas Walker (1819-93) was baptised on September 9th 1819 at St Mary, Nottingham; the son of Matthew Walker & Alice Deverill who were married at Bulwell in 1805.

In the 1841 census, Thomas (1818-), a Grocer, was with his elder brother William (1813-) at Woolpack Lane, St Mary. They were still at Woolpack Lane in 1851; Alice was with them and now widowed & an Annuitant, William had gone into brewing and Thomas was now in business as a Bone Merchant.

The 1861 census confirmed Thomas had started his mill and was now a Bone and Linseed Crusher. He had also married Sarah Elizabeth and there was a brand new baby, Thomas Flecott (1861-) and two older sons, William (1853-) 8 years and John Deverill (1857-) 4 years old, and named after his grandmother. The census also recorded an important daughter Sarah Elizabeth Walker (1858-1950). The family lived at 21 Castle Gate, St Nicholas, Nottingham. In 1871 they had moved to Newcastle Terrace, Standard Hill & The Castle, Basford. John Deverill, a 14 year old, and Sarah E, aged 12, were still at home. William was away and there were sons, Thomas F (1861-), Matthew (1863-) and Samuel George (1867-). By 1881 Thomas was a widower, and a Seed Crusher & Manure Merchant. The family were with him at Cavendish Road, Nottingham Standard Road and the business was well established employing 45 men & 9 women. Son William was the Cashier and John Deverill a Merchants Clerk and Matthew was an Engineers Articled Apprentice.

Most interestingly in 1881 the household had a 'visitor', Sarah Duncalfe (1858-1928) from Tettenhall, Staffordshire. It seemed daughter Sarah Elizabeth's prospective sister-in-law was with them. In 1882 Sarah Elizabeth Walker (1858-1950) was married in Nottingham to a Staffordshire farmer Alfred Richard Duncalfe (1854-1933) from Tettenhall. Alfred Richard Duncalfe (1854-1933) was, no doubt, a customer well satisfied with his abundant use of Walker manures! Alfred's father, Henry Duncalfe (1812-86) was from Shropshire, a prosperous Land Agent Farmer, who in 1881 had 500 acres and employed 9 men, 3 boys & 3 women.  In 1884 Alfred & Sarah had a son, Roger Duncalfe (1884-), born in Tettenhall. By 1901 Roger, was living with his Architect uncle Samuel George in Nottingham, and Roger had joined the Walker business as a Tillage & Glue Merchant and by 1911 he was the Glue Works Manager. And when Meggitts (1917) was formed Roger was appointed a Director and his climb to fame & fortune was well underway.

In 1991 Thomas was now 71 but still an Artificial Manure Manufacturer. Three unmarried sons were with him - William & John Deverill both, Clerks Manure Manufacturer, and Samuel George who was an Architect Clerk. Their address was 22 Burns Street, St Mary, Nottingham.

Thomas died in 1893.

In 1901 John Deverill, Glue & Bane Manure Manufacturer, had married Edith (1870-) in 1893, and they were living at Private Road, Bulwell, Nottingham with son John Deverill (1900-) and daughters Edith (1894-) and Joyce (1897-). Resident with them was unmarried elder brother William, Glue & Bane Manure Manufacturer. Samuel George was now a Civil Engineer Architect and married to Sarah Annie ...

In 1911 the family were at Arnold Hill House, Plains Road; William was still with them a 58 year old bachelor.

William Walker (1853-) didn't marry, he was 58 in the 1911 census, a Glue & Bane Manure Manufacturer.

John Deverill Walker (1857-1948) was a director of BG&C in 1920.

John Wilson has provided some additional information on John Deverill Walker (1857-1948) who died in 1948, aged 91 -

'The Walkers owned the Forge Mill, near Papplewick, and were manufacturers of fertilisers from crushed bones. Originally the family lived at Cavendish Road North, Nottingham, where the 1881 census notes John Deverill was living with his father Thomas, a widower, and other members of the family. John Deverill moved to Westlands, Clifton Road, Ruddington, Nottinghamshire in about 1931 or 1932. The 1936/37 electoral register gives the following people as living at Westlands - John Deverill Walker, Edith Nellie Walker, Ruby Walker and Joyce Walker. John and Edith also had a son, who was also called John Deverill.  John Deverill Walker kept weather records for many years, both at Forge Mill and at Westlands. He submitted rainfall measurements to the Met Office for 75 years and was their longest serving rainfall recorder ever'.

Business Development = Sneinton - Meadow Street Wharf - Forge Mill - London Road - Bestwood Colliery   

1814 The Bulwell Mill was for sale comprising corn mill and oil mill in the occupation of Mr John Jackson & Mr Samuel Walsh respectively.

The 1828 edition of Pigots National Directory included an entry for Bone Crushers in Mansfield; Gregory & Co ...

In 1830 The Stamford Mercury announced that Shelton & Harvey, Bone Crushers, had taken over the business of Gregory & Co at Meadow Wharf, Nottingham. Crushed bones were gaining sales momentum at the agricultural fairs around Lincoln, Sleaford, Grantham and Newark following Sir Hugh Davy's endorsement of bone dust as a manure in 1813. A previous partnership involving Robert Wilson, John Shelton and John Hall had been dissolved following bankruptcy in 1829. John Shelton had a new partner confirmed in Whites Gazetteer in 1832 and things went well for 20 years.

The brothers John Deverill and Thomas started out in business as Grocers at Sneinton which was confirmed in the 1841 census.

In 1850 a business partnership in Nottinghamshire was dissolved; 'Topott & Walker', John Deverill Walker and John Topott, millers, bakers and confectioners? In 1851 John Topott, a Baker, was living at Chapel Bar, Saint Mary, Nottingham with his wife, Harriet, and three sons & a daughter, with two apprentice bakers and servants ...

Meadow Street WharfIn 1851 the census described them as Bone Merchants but they had moved their business to St Mary when they bought a bone crushing business. This venture was reported as early as 1850 in The Nottinghamshire Guardian. The bone crushing business of John Shelton (previously Gregory & Co) at Meadow Street Wharf, Nottingham was now in the hands of Messrs J & T Walker who had moved from Sneinton ...

'History of seed crushing in Great Britain' by Harold W Brace, 1960 described the developments differently -

'Nottingham - J & T Walker erected a mill at Leen Side in about 1854, which was transferred to larger premises on the London road in 1874'.

Leen Side was close to Meadow Street and Canal Street along the Nottingham Camal, and consistent with the original Shelton / Gregory & Co business site established in 1795. The 1851 census listed John Deverill Walker in Nottingham, St Mary's, Exchange District, on Canal Street. The Exchange' sub district ran from Canal Yard through Shepperds Wharf, to Trent Row then across Canal Street to Meadow Place then to John Deverill, next door to a 'Portrait Painter' and then a 'Tallow Chandler', before it continued through Crosby Place and Knotted Alley to Leen Side. The best bet for the original business site was opposite Meadow Street on the canal ... interestingly the Lace Factory next door, just across Trent Street, was owned by Hodgson, Gregory & Co ...

In the 1861 census the Exchange sub district ran up from the Commercial Hotel on Station Road to Canal Street then along via Walkers Yard to Canal Yard.

Work at the new premises was not without risk an 1853 report in the Stamford Mercury confirmed factory work was a dangerous business especially for the intoxicated!

In 1855 the Post Office Directory records J & T Walker were processing bones in Canal Street, Nottingham.

In 1860 adjoining Leicester reported a theft at the Canal Street factory.

In 1864 The Nottinghamshire Guardian carried and advert identifying Mills at Canal Street, established in 1795, which publicised an analytical report on their linseed cake from Augustus Voelckers, M D, consultant chemist to the Royal Agricultural Society of England.

White’s Directory of Nottinghamshire for 1864 confirmed John and Thomas crushing bones at Canal street and the same Directory lists Charles and William Allcock, Corn Millers (and bone crushers) at Forge Mill in Hucknall Torkard.

Forge MillCharles Allcock died in 1860 and in 1866 The Nottinghamshire Guardian announced that the Walkers had succeeded Messrs Allcock and new milling machinery of the latest design had been installed at Forge Mills, Papplewick and manures were being endorsed by Dr Voelcker. Two operations were now involved The Bone and Oil Mills, Canal Street and Manure Works, The Forge Mills. Clearly marked on the 1882 town plans map of Nottingham was 'The Forge Mill Bone Manure Works’. The original 'Corn Mill' was on the Hucknall/Bestwood parish boundary, but the mill complex expanded across the railway. Some of the building survived on Mill Lane, but most of the site was developed for modern housing.

An advert in 1867 confirmed - Linseed & Bone Mills and Forge Mills. And again in 1867 - J & T Walker Canal Street and Forge Mills.

By 1868 the advert had changed. And an advert in the Stamford Mercury. And another in 1869. In 1873 more adverts.

 In 1874, as H W Brace suggested in 1960, the original site on Canal Street was probably vacated for larger premises on London Road.

In 1877 an offer for lease of premises on Canal Street by Messrs Walker confirmed the move to new facilities on London Road.

In 1877 an advert confirmed J & T Walker were in the oil milling business at London Road. And again in 1878. again 1881. Things were going well ...

Walker Oil MillThe London Road Mill was impressive; a single block of five storeys in height, facing on three sides respectively London Road, Island Street and the canal. The fourth side was occupied by a yard in which were a magazine for oil and a large number of oil puncheons.

Then in 1883 a great fire destroyed the oil mill on London Road. The graphic report appeared in the Nottinghamshire Guardian ... a devastating event for J & T Walkers and Nottingham ...

Although only partially covered by insurance with the London & Liverpool, the City of London & the Mutual Fire Insurance the mill was rebuilt 'to the most modern description' ... and advertising again in 1884.

In 1886 Thomas decided to retire and the London Road business was put up for sale ... but who was the younger partner who died? And was the business sold? Wright's 1888 Directory of Nottingham recorded the firm established on Island Street, London Road was still in business? 1887 advert. 1889 advert.

Perhaps the seed crushing activities were sold but certainly the manure business at the Forge Mill complex was not sold. The Bestwood Colliery factory became part of BG&C in 1920 ... Roger Duncalfe was involved by 1901 and John Deverill Walker (1857-1948) was a director of BG&C. Clearly the Walker family remained in business. 

From The Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, 1889 -

'Mr Robert Marshall, of Ley Fields, Kneesall, Newark, sent on March 25, 1889, a sample of raw bone meal for analysis. Five tons of this had been purchased, at £5-5s per ton delivered, net cash, from Messrs J & T Walker, of Nottingham, who were the manufacturers. The following is Dr Voelcker's 1889 report -
   Moisture 18.55%
   Organic matter 32.11%
   Phosphate of lime 39.71%
   Carbonate of lime 8.78%
   Insoluble siliceous matter 0.85%
   Containing nitrogen 3.63%
   Equal to ammonia 4.41%
   Including common salt 4.32%
  This is wet, low in quality and mixed with over 4% of salt.
Messrs Walker admitted that bones had been in stock since the previous July or August, and that in order to keep down vermin and prevent heating they had added a small amount of salt. They offered to make a reduction of 10s per ton'. 

In 1904 new developments were confirmed as J and T Walker at Bestwood Colliery were selling basic slag ...  basic slag was a by-product of steelmaking using the Bessemer process. It was largely limestone or dolomite which had absorbed phosphate from the smelted iron ore. Because of the slowly released phosphate content, and because of its liming effect, it was valued as fertilizer in gardens and farms.

The Walkers were intent on expanding their manure business with a new lease in 1904 and a conveyance in 1909 of the Forge Mill and parts of Forge Meadow -

Ref. Pl E12/6/15/139/ 1-16 - In 1904 the lease of Bulwell Bone Mill to the Walker company was confirmed - 'Papers relating to a lease of Bulwell Bone Mill in Hucknall Torkard and Papplewick, Nottinghamshire, to William & John D Walker; 1904-1914'. First Party: The Most Noble William J A C J Duke of Portland K G. Second Party: William Walker and John Deverill Walker of Nottingham, bone crushers and glue manufacturers. Lease for 21 years from 25 March 1904, from (1) to (2) of the Bulwell Bone Mill, houses, outbuildings, and parts of Forge Meadow in the parishes of Hucknall Torkard and Papplewick, Nottinghamshire; also a right of way between specified roads, a right to use a railway siding connecting with the Midland Railway, a right to use a weighing machine near the railway siding, and a right to take water from the reservoir near the Bulwell Forge Mill.
Ref. E12/6/15/172 - In 1909 the conveyance of a Bone Mill and lands in Hucknall Torkard and Papplewick, Nottinghamshire, to William and John D Walker. First Party: The Most Noble William J A C J Duke of Portland K G. Second Party: Edward Horsman Bailey of 5 Berners Street, London, solicitor; and Charles Ludovic Lindsay of 97 Cadogan Gardens, London, formerly a Captain in Her late Majesty's Grenadier Guards. Third Party: William Walker and John Deverill Walker of Nottingham, glue manufacturers at Forge Mills, Papplewick, Nottinghamshire, under the name 'J and T Walker'. Conveyance from (1) to (3) of parts of a Bone Mill, houses, outbuildings, and parts of Forge Meadow in the parishes of Hucknall Torkard and Papplewick, Nottinghamshire; also a right of way between specified roads, a right to use a railway siding connecting with the Midland Railway, and a right to take water from the reservoir near the Bulwell Forge Mill.

 In 1918 The Mining Journal, Volume 11, reported the formation of a new company -

 'J & T Walker (1917), Limited - To carry on the business of chemical manure manufacturers and merchants, and bone crushers and merchants, glue and grease manufacturers and merchants. Nominal capital, £40,000, in £1 shares'.

The formation of this company was intimately associated with the reorganisation at Meggitts by The Controller of Enemy Businesses (see above). The new Meggitts business would be a direct local competitor and significantly Roger Duncalfe of Forge Mills, Bestwood Colliery, Nottingham had been appointed a director at Meggitts. It was only 3 short years before the business logic behind the formation of British Glues & Chemicals in 1920 became the reality ...

In 1925 Improved Liquid Glues were recruiting staff at Forge Mills, Bestwood Colliery ...

In 1926 J & T Walker were hard at it rationalising their transport system at Bestwood ...

In 1927 The Official Guide to Nottingham (The Queen City of the Midlands) described the 'Bone Glue' Business -

'The bone glue industry originated in Nottingham over a hundred years ago, and to-day is of extensive proportions, more than 500 tons of bones being brought into the district every week for conversion into glue, animal fats, and manures. In the earlier days the trade consisted merely of the rough grinding of bones so as to make them suitable for application to the land. Later on bones were boiled in open pans to extract fat and glue, and then, as science progressed, they were auto­matically sorted over to extract iron and rubbish, all those except the marrow bones passing to grinding mills, and thence to the benzene extractors to have the fat taken out. This fat is sold in large quantities for the making of soap, glycerine, and stearine. The bones, on coming out of the extractors, are dry cleaned and polished, and afterwards go to the glue extractors. Amongst the many different qualities of glue manufactured are cake glues, powdered glues, liquid glues, size, etc, used in such trades as decorating, box making, joinery, cabinet making, match making, and sand paper and emery cloth manufacture, as well as in the paper and textile trades.
The bones, having had the glue extracted, are taken to another portion of the works to be dried and finely ground for manure, and are sold as artificial manures with a guaranteed analysis to agriculturists at home and abroad, some of the products being treated with acids and other materials. The marrow bones are dealt with separately, and are eventually sold for button making, tooth brush, and piano key manufacture'.

In 1943 a practical farmer from Nottingham wrote about how J & T Walker's products helped to improve his farm lands before the Great War -

'Thirty Years Farming on the Clifton Park System - How to supply Humus, Texture, and Fertility by the Aid of Deep Rooting Grasses' by William Lamin, 'Before the last war, we had always plenty of bones and kainit to run at, as there was Messrs J & T Walker's bone works not far away. I may say we had a hundred and sixty tons of steam bone flour the year before the Great War. Slag will do the same; but always get as high a percentage as you can, for it takes no more putting on than a low grade, and don't forget the kainit for the light land. For our light land we always preferred the kainit and potash salts to sulphate of potash or muriate of potash, as we considered the salts did the land good.
We traded with J & T Walker until British Glues bought them and closed the works down. I may say that I was always a great believer in artificial manure, and would a great deal rather spend my money on artificial manures than on cake. In fact, when I was a butcher, I used to take the two farming papers every week Farm & Home, and Farm, Field & Fireside, and I would study every experiment in artificial manures that was printed in those papers, besides making many experiments on my own account in the field'.

The British Glues and Chemicals Ltd Works, Walker, 1951 ... see aerial photo.

Companies acquired by BG&C after 1920 -

A listing of the major companies associated with BG&C was compiled by D W F Hardie in his review of the history of the chemical industry in 1966.

Lomas Gelatine Works1920 Lomas Gelatine Works Ltd - Prince Rock, Plymouth, incorporated in 1914, but registered in 1899 with a nominal capital of £5,180 in 450 £12 ordinary shares and 80 £1 deferred shares. Object, to adopt an agreement with Joseph P Brown and John Brown, of the Abbey Stores, Plymouth. Private company. Glue, gelatine and fertiliser manufacturers and merchants.

Colyn Thomas describes the Lomas operation in 1902 in his notes on Millwood.

The company was wound up and joined BG&C in 1920.

The Devon Karst Research Society has produced an interesting webpage on the Cattedown Bone Caves which includes a 1931 aerial photo of the Lamas Gelatine Works.

In 1927 an advert appeared in the Western News concerning the sale of surplus chemicals and plant ...

In 1935 Mr Edgar Roberts Brown (1882-1935), MD of Lomas Gelatine Works Ltd and a director of BG&C since 1920 died in Great Missenden; he left a substantial estate ... in 1927 Edgar Brown was a grocer in Plymouth ...

In 1947 the Mechanical World & Engineering Record reported that the factory was to be rebuilt by BG&C.

Croid Advert1920 Improved Liquid Glues Co Ltd - founded in 1911 in Croydon, hence the later name Croids Ltd.

The history of Croids glues reflects constant enterprise and change ...

In 1932 the advantages of convenient quality value for money liquid glues were advertised in The Western Morning News ... and advertised in The Hull Daily Mail ... and advertised in the face of cheap Russian imports ... and advertised strength ... and happy new glue year in 1934 ... and saving water ... and by 1940 advertised in the Cornishman ... with a go to it plea ... in 1944 all the attributes in The Evening Telegraph ... and the glue is always ready ... and in short supply ? ... 1945 wartime effort ... and again the general manager in The Western Gazette ... and the production manager in Exeter ... and the works manager in Gloucester ... and the works foreman in Taunton ... and the charge hand in Devon ... and don't forget the problems at home ... Croid was obviously for everything everywhere!

'Georgee' wrote on an internet chat forum on 4th July 2009 - 'when I was a boy in Newark, there was a factory down Tolney Lane called Croid Aero Glue they processed the bones into glue. You could also grind them to make the bone in blood fish and bone meal'.

See also Vivian Suter memories ...

Murray Advert1921 O Murray & Co Ltd - established 1907, 69-70 Mark Lane, London EC3. Merchants, agents and importers of gelatines & glues plus essential oils, starches, dextrose, chlorates, casein plastics and other natural products. Trading as 'Murray's of Mark Lane'.

For example Murrays were agents for 'Dorcasine' a casein plastic made by Chas Horner Ltd of Halifax. Casein plastic was introduced in objects from 1910-1930 as an imitation of less exotic horn. A hard, tough, light coloured material. The plastic is based on milk protein and is a obtained from the powdered casein protein, with water as the usual plasticizer, hardened after moulding by the action of formaldehyde. It is used chiefly in thin sheets and rods for making buttons, buckles, knitting needles, pens and, being easily dyed, for costume jewelry and decorative novelties.

In 1948 The Economist reported, 'Murray's of Mark Lane' has continued to expand its varied interests and its profits have achieved another record. During the year we acquired all the shares of the old established business of Cockman Bros Ltd of Stratford, London'. 

British History On Line report a hot bed of animal by products processors in Essex - Tallow, soap, glues, and fertilizers form a group based on the processing of animal or vegetable oils. John Wilton was making candles in Stratford Broadway, and later in Carpenters Road, c 1839–96. James Palmer, of Warton Road (c 1876–1939), made candles and later also soap. Cockman Bros. & Co, Barbers Road, Stratford, tallow melter, has been in business since 1905 or earlier. Edward Cook & Co, maker of soap, tallow, and fertilizers, settled in High Street, Stratford, in 1859. In 1936 it was taken over by T H Harris & Sons, which had been in Marshgate Lane since 1873 and in 1929 had become a subsidiary of Unilever Ltd. T H Harris & Sons left West Ham about 1952. The Royal Primrose Soap Works, Knights Road, Silvertown, was opened in 1880 by John Knight Ltd., previously at Wapping. In 1959 this well-known firm had over 1,200 employees, making soap, tallow, glue, fertilizers, vegetable adhesives, and dripping; it also is now a subsidiary of Unilever Ltd. The earliest firm specializing in fertilizers was Odams Chemical Manure Co., North Woolwich Road, Silvertown. This was established in 1855 by James Odams, originally to make manure from liquid blood. Odams ensured a supply of raw material by opening a slaughterhouse, adjoining his factory, for cattle imported through the Victoria Docks. His firm was taken over in 1920 by the neighbouring AngloContinental Guano Works Ltd. AngloContinental, originally Ohlendorff & Co, had been founded in 1873, and remained a German company until the First World War, when it was reconstituted under British control. It was taken over in 1937 by Fisons Ltd and closed in 1946. Fertilizers were closely linked with sulphuric acid. From the 1880s AngloContinental were making their own sulphuric acid for use in superphosphates. Gibbs, Bell & Co, of Victoria Docks, appears to have started as a vitriol manufacturer about 1862 and to have extended the business to fertilizers by 1866. It was probably the predecessor of James Gibbs & Co., later Gibbs Fertilizers Ltd, which apparently ceased c. 1939. Frederick Hempleman's manure works, Abbey Lane, later Crows Road, established by 1866, appears to have been slower to abandon the old blood boiling processes. As F S Hempleman & Co his firm survived until about 1912. J T Hunt & Son, now Hunt's Animal Products, moved to High Street, Stratford, in 1868, to escape from the by law restrictions at Lambeth. Hunt's products have included superphosphate, bone meal, and also, from c 1883, animal charcoal. Harrison, Barber & Co., manure and glue manufacturer, appears to have started at Forest Gate c 1886, but has been in Sugar House Lane, Stratford, since 1890; it is now part of the Smithfield Zwanenberg Group Ltd. Alfred Jeffery & Co, makers of marine glues, came to Marshgate Lane, Stratford, in 1879.

B Young and company1926 B Young & Co Ltd - established in 1806 the factory was in Grange Road, Bermondsey, they produced gelatine but later acquired the glue & size works in Spa Road from Procter & Bevington. Locally known as the 'glue factory' but because of the pungent smell emitted from the works, glue production ceased in 1900 and production switched to gelatine. Spa gelatine was the leading brand. The works closed in 1981 and in 1982 the land was sold for redevelopment.

1928 The Mitcham Poultry Food Company - established in 1923 by Mr F D McLorinan and went into voluntary liquidation in 1928. Mr Herbert Kidson was appointed as Liquidator. Messrs Kidsons, Taylor and Co of 45 Kingsway, London WC2 and 1 Booth Street, Manchester, were the auditors of British Glues & Chemicals at this time. It seems the Mitcham business was purchased by BG&C around 1928. Confirmed by an announcement in The Chemist & Druggist volume 109, 1928 -

'... fertilizer manufacturers and merchants, bone crushers, workers and merchants, grease manufacturers and merchants, manufacturers and merchants of cattle & poultry foods of all kinds etc.
The subscribers were F D McLorinan and G W Cole. The first directors and managers shall be the British Glues and Chemicals, Ltd Solicitors, Kenneth Brown, Baker, Baker, Lennox House, Norfolk Street, WC2'.

Despite the name the Mitcham Poultry Food Company was obviously a specialised animal by products company.

1932 George Aspey & Son Ltd - formed 1918. New Station Oil Works, Neville Street, Leeds. However, a fire and associated £15,000 worth of damage was reported at George Aspey & Sons, in Leeds in 1894 ... or William Aspey ... ?

In 1919 Aspeys were advertising in the trade journals for a Foreman to supervise the erection of a new plant ...

1933 The Standard Soap Company - Ashby de la Zouch - Soap making in Ashby de la Zouch was known prior to 1894, when a company called Harrison Frederick John & Co manufactured at Tamworth Road. Around 1900 soap operations moved to The Callis which had previously been a tannery. During the first world war, the site belonged to the Levers and later under various names such as George Aspey and C B Parsons making laundry soap powder. In 1924, the company operated as Ashby Soaps making soaps and soap powder and in 1928 it was renamed Standard Soap Company. In 1933, the site was taken over by British Glues & Chemicals which, during the second world war, manufactured bar soap and toilet soap, and part of the site was used by the Ministry of Defence.

During the 1960's, the decision was taken to concentrate on contract manufacture of other companies products in the cosmetics and toiletries industry. This specialisation proved very successful and Standard Soap is now Europe's largest contract soap and toiletries manufacturer.

In 1968 the company was purchased by Croda International Ltd and then became the head office of their Soaps Division. In 1995 the company was purchased by Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad.

1935 G C Russell Ltd - formed 1906, Mr C G Russell was a collector and processor of waste from the Smithfield Market in London.

Calfos Advert1947 Calfos Limited - formed in 1939 to make calcium phosphate food supplements. Calfos was the trade name for a prepared bone meal (calcium phosphate) used as a source of calcium and phosphate in foods. Prepared from bones and originally used as a supplement in both animal and human foods as a source of calcium and phosphate. It is no longer used in the UK because of the risk of transmitting BSE. But it was also used as a plant fertilizer, a slowly released source of phosphate.

In 1946 the spectacular benefits of Calfos had been recorded in 'The Prescriber' Volumes 40-42, 'Calfos. One of the greatest obstacles to the successful administration of minerals is that in most forms they are not easily assimilated. A further difficulty has been the failure to realize that if calcium and phosphorus are to be absorbed and retained in the body, they must be administered in adequate quantities and in correct proportion to each other. Extensive Laboratory research followed by clinical experiments has established that neither of these difficulties arises with Calfos, since it contains calcium and phosphorous in the natural proportions and in the most readily assimiable form.
Laboratory research and similar experiments have established that there is no difficulty in the digestion and storage of vital minerals when administered in the form of Calfos. The reason is not far to seek, for it represents the entire range of minerals in the natural ratio found in bone. Calfos is prepared from selected fresh ox bone by a process which removes essentially all organic tissue, leaving white, sterile, micro porous residue. The main constituents - calcium and phosphorous, together amounting to nearly 82% - are present in the same form as in the original bone. The calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in Calfos is the same as in bone itself — namely, 2.2 : 1. The importance of this fact in the correction of a calcium deficient diet has been emphasised by biochemical research.
The mineral matter in Calfos is completely soluble in hydrochloric acid. This indicates that its calcium and phosphorus content will dissolve in the gastric juices, and, owing to the fine porous structure of Calfos, the rate of disintegration is even. (Calfos Ltd, Imperial House, Kingsway, WC2)'

The brand is still sold today by Influx Pharmaceuticals. The Influx website tells us 'the company was established in 2003 and has grown to become one of the leaders in manufacturing Dietary / Functional Food / Nutraceuticals products. It's mission is to be a prominent player in health care industry with the help of our esteemed customers, service, quality along with ethics of business.
We also have FDA approved technical personnel as consultants with loads of experience in this field.
Influx Pharmaceuticals, 2 Unique Compound, Gulshan Nagar,  90 ft Road, Gandhi Nagar,  Off Linking Road, Kandivali (West), Mumbai 400067, Maharashtra, India'.

The Usk Chemical Works situated at Great Western Wharf, Newport was established at the beginning of the 20th century. Around 1950, the works were taken over by British Glues and Chemicals.

Personality Beauty Products1951 Personality Beauty Products Limited, of 30 Duke Street, St. James 's, London SW1Y 6D1, marketed a range of toilet skin creams, moisturising creams, foundation creams, powders, lotions, toilet & bath soaps, perfumed soaps and perfumes which were made at The Standard Soap Company, Ashby. However the 'Personality' and the 'Tabac' brands were sold to Allcock Products Ltd in 1964, although manufacture continued at Ashby.

The Personality Turtle Oil Soap was advertised extensively ... in the 1940s ... 1946 ... and again ... 1948 ... 1954 ... 1956 ...

1959 Wm Oldroyd & Sons Ltd, Ditton, Widnes, was founded by William Oldroyd (1820-1902) who originally started glue & gelatine production in 1866 in Leeds. William learned the trade with J S Stocks & Co, leather manufacturers of Leeds. And in 1866 an advert appeared in The Leeds Mercury Scott Hall Mills were available to let. William made his money as a Flock Merchant and here was an opportunity to develop an animal products business. It was a good move William and his sons did well.

In 1924 the business transferred from Leeds to a modern factory which was erected at Ditton Brook, Widnes (Chemical Age, Volume 17, 1927).

In 1959 the Rubber Journal reported, 'British Glues & Chemicals, one of the markets' favourite takeover stocks, turned a bidder recently and bought a 50% participation in Wm Oldroyd & Sons, gelatine manufacturers, of Widnes.

In 1878 the company sued for damages associated with a faulty riveted pan installed at Scot Hall Mills, Woodhouse Carr by Messrs Joseph Whitham & Sons  ... and won £19/13/6d.

Oldroyds did not escape a factory fire and in 1890 £800 worth of damage was inflicted by fire.

The Oldroyds were a large successful family with the glue business providing a substantial livelihood for four sons and their issue.

In 1959 Cleveland Products Co, Cargo Fleet Road, Middlesbrough was purchased by Wm Oldroyd & Sons Ltd. Cleveland manufactured Ossein gelatine and was founded in 1907 by Alan Edgar Schellenberg. It was known locally as Schellenberg's glue & hide factory of Cargo Fleet Road. Marie Conte-Helm suggested Cleveland Products provided employment for many Japanese ex merchant seamen and contributed to the long term association of Japan and the North East of England. In 1940 the founder and managing director, Mr Schellenberg died.

In 1962 Oldroyds and Cleveland became wholly owned subsidiaries of BG&C.

Clarence Noel Silvester, 6 Deanery Close, Chester, born 16 Dec 1927, BSc Sheffield 1949; Dip Chem Eng London 1950; Works Manager, Wm Oldroyd & Sons Ltd, 1962.

'Tony' worked at Cleveland Products in 1967, the boss then was Keith Schellenberg. Tony's father also worked there for many years.

The company finally ceased to trade in the late 70's or early 80's. The works site was situated near to the Middlesbrough Docks. Cleveland Products was located on the car park of Middlesbrough Football Club Riverside Stadium!

International Protein Products Ltd1960 International Protein Products Ltd, Plymouth.

 This company was formed in 1960 to exploit the Chayen impulse protein process, edible protein from peanuts, a scientific breakthrough described in 1959 in 'The New Scientist'.

The appointment of the General Manager Dr Rosen was announced in the in Journal of the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1960.

'Nature', on the 26th March 1960, commented, 'a recent report from British Glues and Chemicals Ltd, reflects the increasing interest in leaf protein; the Chayen impulse process, introduced a few years ago by this firm for the disintegration and extraction of bones and animal fats, has now been applied to a variety of other materials, including oilseeds, such as groundnuts, and grasses. The principle of this method lies in the use of shock waves of sufficient intensity and frequency to burst the tissues and cells of biological materials; it is illustrated by the depth-charge technique used in anti-submarine warfare ... the report states that 100 tons of fresh grass ... treated by the Chayen method yields about 2¼ tons of edible protein'.

See also 'The Industrial Production of Edible Lipoprotein' by A R Pike, Works Manager, International Protein Products Ltd - The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health. 1963; 83: 167-169.

Production was reported in The New Scientist in 1962. The Chayen opportunity was described in the humanist in 1962.

The production plant at Plymouth using peanuts as feedstock was commissioned in April 1962.

The operation never became profitable and was closed in 1968.

In 1980 in 'Advances in Food Research', C O Chichester commented on the demise of the process ...

The Photographic Time, 19061961 The British Gelatine Works Ltd, Luton, formed in 1899 and started to make photographic gelatines in 1900. An associate of C Simeons & Co Ltd, founded in 1874 and manufacturing soap, amongst other things.

An illuminating article in The Photographic Times of 1906 describes the process of gelatine production at The British Gelatine Works ... this is well worth a read but remember, this spanking new factory, only four years old, was probably very different from the 'goings on' that could have been witnessed at The Acton Bridge Factory of The Weaver Refining Co Ltd around the same time?

'The British Journal of Photography Annual' of 1933 noted, 'Reference may fittingly be made in these pages to the photographic gelatines made for the manufacture of all descriptions of sensitive material for photography by The British Gelatine Works Ltd, which firm, as C Simeons, has been engaged in this branch of manufacture for more than 30 years. Their works at Luton cover about 10 acres, and include the most up-to-date machinery for production of gelatines of the extreme purity required for photographic manufacture'.

1964 Robert Pintus & Co Ltd - founded in 1907. In 1969 became part of Croda Polymers Division with Croda Paints, Croid, O Murray and British Glues & Chemicals, Wigan & Newark. The company was wound up by Croda in 1975.

1964 B Cannon & Co Ltd - In 1964 the Cannons of Lincoln were an associate of Booth & Co (International) Ltd having been acquired pre WWI by the Booth Group. They made glue and gelatine; but there was also some fellmongering or leather making done at the Lincoln site, but this operation was closed in 1917 when Alfred Booth bought into the Pavlova leather syndicate. Booths were a long established group originating in Liverpool, merchanting in leather and involved in steamships.

Cannon's glue and gelatine business was acquired by BG&C in 1964 in an exchange. The packet size business was sold back to Booths, thus promoting and exploiting the different company specialisations.

Heritage Connect Lincoln -

'Cannon's Glue Works, Firth Road was established in 1874 by Bernard Cannon and a building of c 1900 survives on Firth Road, at the south-west corner of the original site. Little seems to be known about the industrialisation of glue manufacture. Matters of particular interest on this site will be related to the import of raw materials. A leather works is marked on the 1st edition OS at the west end of Gaunt Street, just across the river from the Cannon's site and connected to it via a bridge. The two works were obviously working in partnership if not under the same ownership. Both works had a long frontage on to the upper Witham and presumably received supplies and shipped finished products by water. But how were the boiling vats at the glue works fired and how was the product distributed? Is it a coincidence that this works was close to the coach works and wood shop operated by Ruston's, where wood glue would have been greatly needed? If so, then we have an interesting tight-packed group of interrelated industries here on either side of the Witham'.

Bernard Cannon (1846-1893), was born in Dublin, Ireland and died in Lincoln. The obituary in the Lincolnshire Chronicle filled in some detail about the Cannon business. Bernard Cannon settled in Lincoln around 1865 and he purchased John Fletcher's small skin yard and the business grew & grew & grew to be known the world over. A Catholic Whig, loved by all his employees he was a man of stature ... and also a director of The Lincoln Coffee Palace Company? Bernard left the warmth of his dad's Dublin enterprise to make his own mark in the world in England. Perhaps the funds for the purchase of the Fletcher business came from the sale of his Dublin interests?

Bernard's dad Edward Cannon (1820-) was a Dublin businessman running an established operation in 1863, successful and big enough to be exporting leathers to the US, as a Law Report of December 12th 1863 recorded -

 'Revenue Cases Undervaluation. Before Judge Shipman and a Jury. The United States vs. Three Bales of Dressed Chamois Skins. The goods were sent here in September, 1862, by Edward Cannon, of Dublin, on board the C F Eaton. They consisted of twenty casks of salted skins and three bales of oiled leather, and were consigned here to B W Jones, who entered them at the Custom House according to the invoice in which they were valued at £850. On the examination of the goods at the Custom House, the twenty casks were passed as correct. But one of the bales was found to contain 12 kips of chamois more than the number stated in the invoice. These were worth about £12. The skins in one of the other bales were invoiced part at four shillings and part at two shillings and sixpence, and the appraisers advanced their value to five shillings and three shillings, respectively; which being an advance of more than 20 per cent, the Government seized the whole invoice. Evidence as to the true value of the goods was given on both sides, and the claimant also gave the testimony of Cannon and his head clerk to show that chamois kips were omitted from the invoice by a mere clerical error in copying, of which they were entirely ignorant until informed of it by letters from the consignee here.
The jury found a verdict for the claimants releasing the goods'.

There was an interesting report in The Times of London in 1882 of a shooting in Dublin. This confirmed that Edward Cannon had a tannery in Marrow Bone Lane, Thomas Street, Dublin. And in 1883 a fire broke out in the tanyard & glue factory which was reported in The Manchester Evening News.

It appears the partnerships in the Dublin business were dissolved in 1888.

In the 1871 census Bernard Cannon (1846-1893), born in Ireland, was living with his elder sister Mariana (1837-) at Tentercroft Street, Lincoln. At that time, 1871, he was already established as a Leather Dresser employing 55 heads.

Bernard and his business did well and in 1880 he was elected Mayor of Lincoln. Alderman Ruston's address in proposing Bernard Cannon was eloquent. As an Irish immigrant and founder of a successful English business Bernard Cannon must have been pleased with progress to date, he had earned his reputation as 'best fitted'.  In Bernard Cannon's case unfettered freedoms and the obvious respect for business success had led to the introduction into Lincoln of an entirely new industry providing jobs and new valued products from the humble cow. A gentleman with social skills and engaged in an extensive business he undoubtedly knew the wants of the city. Interestingly in 1880, in Lincoln, successful businessmen were deemed well qualified for political office!

By 1881 Bernard was married to Mary Agnes (1850-) and they were living at South Park Terrace, Lincoln with 7 year old son Edward Thomas (1874-). His younger brother 20 year old William Joseph Cannon (1861-) had joined the business and described himself as a Leather Dresser. In 1881 William was boarding with John Knight, a Grocer, in Lincoln.

In 1891 before he died in 1893 Bernard was living at Monk's Lees House commanding one of the finest views of the city.

In 1891 William Joseph Cannon (1861-) was now Managing Director Leather, Glue, Size & Dye Manufactury, married to Kate (1858-) from Lincoln with sons Harold (1885-) and Francis E (1889-) both born in Lincoln. The family were living at The Avenue, St Martin, Lincoln.

In 1901 William was listed as a Leather Manufacturer living at 5 Lindrum Terrace, Lincoln. By this time 2 new sons had appeared Percy (1894-) and Richard (1896-).

In 1911 the family were at Kennilworth House, Lincoln. Harold (1885-) was living with them and had joined the business as a Leather Manufacturer.

The original Bernard Cannon company was listed in the Kelly Directory of Lincolnshire in 1880 and they were advertising 6d packets of gelatine for blancmange in 1883.

As early as 1879 Cannon's advertised in The Grantham Journal the availability of their sizes in neighbouring areas and in The Northampton Mercury they specifically targeted their advert at painters, decorators, paper makers, paper stainers, carvers & gilders, curriers & co.

 In 1882 Cannons were advertising in John William Martin's, 'Float Fishing and Spinning in the Nottingham Style. Being a Treatise on the so-called Coarse Fishes, with Instructions for their Capture' - 'Cannon's Glue Powder'. Sold in 1d packets - equal in strength and quality to the best glue made. Useful in every house. Dissolves immediately in boiling water. Sold by Chemists, Grocers, Oilmen and Stationers. Can be obtained wholesale or from - B Cannon & Co, Manufacturers, Witham Leather, Glue and Parchment Works, Gaunt Street, Lincoln, England.

In 1882 The Lincolnshire Chronicle reported a recommendation for the use of the Cannon sizes in making distempers.

In 1883 Cannons were establishing their specialisation in the paper trade. The Printing Times and Lithographer: an illustrated monthly technical and fine-art journal of lithography, typography, engraving, papermaking and the auxiliary trades - 'We are therefore pleased to record that B Cannon and Co, Gaunt Street, Lincoln are about to offer to the trade a new glues which, on account of its strength and elasticity, will be found particularly applicable to the manufacture of composition rollers. In the same year they were selling at the great exhibition in Cork.

A tragic accident at Cannons was reported in The Sheffield Telegraph in 1890 ... gruesome.

In 1892 Cannons were selling sanitary size ... there were endless applications for the output from the Gaunt Street Works.

For a long time Cannons sales strategy was focussed on brand advertising in local papers with appointed commission agents selling in their allotted areas. Spreading from Lincoln to a periphery which reached Scotland by 1892. Agents were not salaried employees and disputes over commissions & supplies could be a hazard as the Glasgow Herald reported.

In 1893 the founder of the business Bernard Cannon died at a tragically of apoplexy at the early age of 48. William Joseph took over as head of the business.

The antiseptic properties of size were being successfully exploited in the USA in 1904 in sheep dips.

B Cannon 1906By 1906 Cannons were establishing a reputation in Ireland and B Cannon & Co were doing a brisk trade in 'Irish Glue' in the USA where they had agents in Michigan.

William  Joseph Cannon (1861-) advised George Booth on war supplies in 1915. George Booth, on secondment from the Booth Group, spent five months working unpaid at the foreign office trying to sort out military supply situation and in the same year George was invited to be a Director of the Bank of England.

In 1921 The Chemist and Druggist: the newsweekly for pharmacy: Volume 94 reported - 'Stocks of gelatine and glue valued at £30,000 were destroyed by a fire which broke out on the premises of B Cannon & Co Ltd of Lincoln, on December 28th'.

Had the Cannon operation moved to Yorkshire by 1981?

B Cannon & Co Ltd, Lincoln, glue manufacturers. Lincoln Archives Reference Name MISC DEP 705. The company was started in Lincoln in the 1880s, producing tile cement, gryps size of wallpaper and handicraft adhesives. Later the company moved to Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, and then Halifax, Yorkshire. It was acquired by British Glues and Chemicals Ltd c1950 (becoming part of Croid Ltd), and by finally by Croda in 1968.

There were other companies associated with BG&C ... but we know little about them? -

G A ShanklandG A Shankland Ltd  - D W F Hardie suggests the company was over 50 years old when BG&C became involved with them in the 1920s ... but perhaps not ...

George Archibald Shankland (1877-) was born in Blaenavon in 1877. In 1881 his father George was doing well in insurance in Pembroke St Mary; an Assistant Superintendent of Assurance Agent, aged 29.

In 1891 George had been promoted to Superintendent Of Assurance Agents and the family had moved to Luton. George Archibald was the eldest with 7 siblings, 4 sisters & 3 brothers.

George Archibald married Amelia Martha Adamson from Kentish Town, in Hampstead, London in 1900.

In 1901 he was living at 39 Ulysses Road, Hampstead and working as a Buying Clerk in a Hardware & Paint Exporting Firm.

In 1911 George & Amelia had moved up to Kirkby in Ashfield in Nottinghamshire and George was working as a Glue Manufacturer. By then they had four daughters Hilda Leonora Amelia (1902-), born in Hapstead; Madeline Muriel (1904-), born in Hackney; Mildred Inger (1907-), born in Mansfield; Phyllis Rose (1010-), born in Mansfield; and a baby son born in 1911 in Kirkby. Clearly the family moved up north between 1904 and 1907. The glue manufacturer employing George Archibald must have been the big Meggitts company?

It seems George Archibald Shankland had worked for Meggitts from 1907 and after the war decided to branch out on his own and found suitable premises at Isis Mills in Eynsham and formed a new company in 1919; G A Shankland Ltd.

Eynsham MillA most interesting confirmation of this story came from the Brown family who 'built a new factory' in Eynsham and worked with both Meggitts and Shanklands before the formation of BG&C ...

'Eynsham: Economic history', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12: Wootton Hundred (South) including Woodstock (1990)  -

'The surviving Eynsham Mill on the river Evenlode was occupied some years after the First World War, by G A Shankland Ltd who ground bones there for glue manufacture; by then it was known as Isis Mills'.

The Chemical Trade Journal and Chemical Engineer: Volume 65, 1919 - G A Shankland, Ltd - Private company. Capital £40,000, in 39,000 ordinary shares of £1 and 20,000 deferred ordinary shares of ls each. Chemical manufacturers and merchants, engineers, warehousemen, etc. Registered office: River Mills, Eynsham, Oxon.

Chemical Age: Volume 9, 1923 - Shankland G A Ltd, Eynsham, chemical manufacturers (M 11/8/23). Registered July 19th £18,000 debentures charged on properties at Eynsham etc, also general charge * Nil. January 12th 1923.

The Chemical Age: Volume 11, 1924 - Mr Walter Hole has been appointed general manager of G A Shankland Ltd, glue, grease and fertiliser manufacturers, Isis Mills, Eynsham, Oxford.

The business was up for sale in 1925. Did BG&C buy them in 1925?

And in 1926 what was going on in the courts, Shankland v. British Glues & Chemicals?

Alfred Fairclough Ltd - originally formed in 1923, but from 1962 the firm was named J H Fairclough Ltd.

In 1923 The Chemical Age, Volume 9 recorded - 'New Companies Registered - Alfred Fairclough Ltd, Daisy Works, Daisy Walk, Sheffield. Dealers in bones, animal products, hides, fats and the like; glue, gelatine and fertiliser manufacturers and merchants, bone crushers, grease manufacturers, etc. Nominal Capital £1,000 in £1 shares'.

Alfred Gregory Fairclough (1879-) was born in Sheffield the son of Harold Fairclough (1854-). Harold was a Goods Checker, a railway clerk from Liverpool who married a local Sheffield girl Eliza Gregory (1855-). In 1891 the family were living at 15 Bingley Street, Brightside Bierlow, Sheffield. Eldest daughter Adelaide (1876-) was a teacher and the eldest son 12 year old Alfred was already earning his way as an Office Boy Clerk. John (-); Eliza(-); Cynthia (-) and Seymour Joseph (1890-) were the other children and Harold's father in law and sister in law were living with them.

By 1901 another son Harold (1892-) had been born, but father Harold had died and Eliza was wrestling with a large family at 38 Carr Road, Nether Hallam. The elder children were all out working and enterprising Alfred Gregory ventured out and was a Hide & Skin Dealer, working on his own account.

By 1911 Alfred Gregory had achieved some success as he was still in the trade describing himself as a Bone Dealer, married to Hannah (-) and living with two sons Harold (-) and Alfred (-) and two daughters Margaret (-) and Mary (-) at 90 Hawksley Avenue, Hillsborough.

Brother Seymour Joseph (1890-1916), a Cost Clerk at Spring Works was also living with them. Thomas Torton & Sons, steel manufacturers, were at Sheaf and Spring Works, Sheffield. Joseph Seymour Fairclough, died in the Great War - Sheffield City Battalion Roll of Honour

It appeared Alfred wheeled and dealed around Sheffield until he established his works at Daisy Walk in 1923. The Oil & Colour Trades Journal - Volume 49 - Page 1856 - 1916 reported on one of his deals in oil -

'Disputed Oil Transactions - At Sheffield County Court last week, before Judge Denmar Benson, Wm Hodgson, trading as Wm Hodgson & Co, oil broker, 66 Deansgate, Manchester, sued Albert Crowe, bone merchant, 77 Holliscroft, Sheffield, for £84 17s 7d, for alleged breach or contract. As a third party, A Fairclough, 90 Hawksley Avenue, Hillsborough, Sheffield, was cited, defendant claiming to be indemnified by him against all liability, on the ground that it was his breach of contract to deliver oil to the defendant that prevented him carrying ...

In 1935 Alfred appeared to be a small Marine Store proprietor with a dubious assistant. Described as a Waste Material Dealer there was nothing to indicate his business would attract BG&C?

Tees Refining CompanyThe Tees Refining Co Ltd - originally the Tees Bone Mill - was formed in 1910 at Thornaby-on-Tees (wrongly named Tees Refinery Co by Hardie, 1966). A splendid advert appeared in 'Chemicals & Industrial Materials' in 1921 confirming the typical and extensive products associated with these 'bone' companies, which now correctly described themselves as 'chemical refining' companies.

The Tees company was acquired by BG&C in 19?? but the business had been 'established over 100 years' ...

In 1968 'The History of Thornaby' by Laurence Peter Ottaway, noted - 'The Tees Bone Mill Company manufactured fertilisers and manure out of crushed bones. They were well known in North Yorkshire and South Durham for their excellent product, and well known locally for their horrible smell! They also produced hard and soft soaps, sold from the Humber to the Tyne. The mill was at the back of the Bridge Inn, people crossing the bridge had to put their handkerchiefs to their noses, for the terrible smell and dust coming from it. Adjoining the Bone Mill was the Oil Cake Mill, adjoining the Oil Cake mill was Appleton's Flour Mill, now Clevo'.

Tees Bone MillIn 1851 William Oughtred (1818-), a corn merchant was plying his trade in Stockton. The 1851 census finds William Oughtred, a Corn & Seed Merchant, was born in Hartlepool and living with his wife Ellen (1824-) at 71/2 Silver Street, Stockton. In 1861 William described himself as a Corn, Seed and Guano Merchant, now with 3 sons and 4 daughters plus a servant at 5 Park Terrace, Stockton. Eldest son Nathaniel (1846-) had joined the business as a Clerk. The business was doing well! However by 1871 William had died and Ellen was on her own, an annuitant, with sons John (1848-) in Banking and William (1854-) in Iron Founding. Nathaniel had married and was in Hartlepool, a Mercantile Traveller ... the boys did not continue with the business which was sold ...

Alexander B Murray (1830-) was born in Scotland and in the 1871 census was a Corn Merchant living at Mandale Road, Thornaby with his Scottish born wife Janet W (1837-) with 5 sons and a daughter and 3 servants. By 1881 Alexander B, with wife and family had retired to farming at The Low Farm, Kirk Leatham, Yorkshire. 300 acres with Robert Harper as the Farm Foreman. Son James Murray (1859-) had retained an interest in Seed Merchanting

By 1863 Messrs A B Murray & Co (late W Oughtred) were proprietors of the Tees Bone Mills, South Stockton and were advertising 'Guano, Manure & Seeds' in the York Herald. Twelve years later the same outfit were advertising imported South American bones. However this substantial business was up for sale in 1879 following the death of one of the partners. The sale was completed in September when the mill was knocked down to a Mr Fowler for £4,125. But seldom were sales straightforward and at the end of 1879 the new proprietor John Fowler was in court suing Alexander B Murray! The newspaper report of the case had caused some confusion with the neighbouring but entirely separate entity, The North of England Pure Oil Cake Company; as correspondence in the Middlesbrough Gazette confirmed.

The 1881 census revealed that John Fowler (1851-), Manager of Manure Works (Manufacturing Chemist), born in Scotland, was married to Frances S (1858-) from Stoke Newington, Middlesex. They were living near the mill at 9 Bridge Road with son John H (1879-), daughter Frances (1881-) and a servant.

The 1881 census also revealed a John Fowler (1825-) was a successful Civil Engineer from Aberdeen, Scotland who had married a local Stockton girl, Mary Row (1835-) in London in 1853. They had a large family 4 sons and 6 daughters, and lived with 3 servants at The Villas, Preston on Tees.

In 1883 Fowlers luck was again tested when a destructive fire broke out at the mill.

Bulmer's Directory of 1890 for Thornaby-on-Tees listed The Tees Bone Mills, Bridge Street as Chemical Manufacturers, with Mr John Fowler as Manager.

John Fowler died in 1888 and Mary continued to run the business. In 1891 Mary, Artificial Manure Manufacturer, was living at 7 Victoria Terrace, Garbutt Street, Stockton.

In 1897 the inevitable nuisance problems were still around and it seemed the Tees Bone Mill had earned itself a good reputation 'in a very handsome manner' but there was disquiet about newcomers, even when the newcomers were Fowlers!

And clearly a new company, Messrs Fowler & Co, had been formed to carry on the same business ... why? ... John Fowler was still going strong at Tees Bone Mills and now a candidate for the council ...

In 1899 the names of George Curry and Ralph Wallace, farmer of Danby Wiske, were now 'agents' associated with the Tees Bone Mill ...


George NelsonOther Significant Companies

There were many formidable competitors in England who were successful in the gelatine business outside of the BG&C network ... just a few miles down the river from The Weaver Refining Company was Cheshire Gelatines run by the Gorton family from Paddington Works, Warrington.

The Cheshire Gelatines story starts with The Runcorn Bone Works which was established by William Rawcliffe who also operated The Winsford Bone Works from around 1840. William had an able partner at Runcorn; the Liverpool ragman & shipping entrepreneur, the famous Paddy Magee. The Runcorn Bane Works moved to a new factory at Sutton Weaver, built by Owen Reilly and Thomas Wllington in 1863.

This business was taken over by the Leventons in 1899 ... and then in 19?? by the Gortons, proprietors at Paddington Works, Warrington.

The Gortons also owned The Rookery Bridge Refining Company. This company at Sandbach was originally established by Thomas Vickers in 1853. Thomas had started The Manchester Bone & Manure Works at Miles Platting some 17 years earlier in 1836.

Another competitor was George Nelson, Dale & Co, Emscote Mills, Wharf Street, Warwick ... Emscote Mills features in Anthony Leahy's wonderful website ... take a look ... this formidable company closed down in 1972.


The Players @ BG&C.

Chairmen - Mr Walter S Corder (1920)  MDs - Harold Cotes & Roger Duncalfe

Mr Tom Walton (1921-46)

Sir Roger Duncalfe (1946-57)

Harold Cotes (1957-61)                            MD - Israel H Chayen

D N Walton (1961-68)      

 Walter Shewell CorderWalter Shewell Corder (1861-1934)        

Walter Corder was an inspired choice as the first Chairman of British Glues & Chemicals. Williamson & Corder Ltd, up in Walker on Tyne, was an outpost, somewhat separated from the other companies which were grouped around the centre of the country. If the amalgamation was to succeed everybody had to be included in, teamwork was the mantra. And furthermore the company objectives stressed the overwhelming importance of grounding the business in science ... and Walter Corder was a trained scientist; a chemist. He was also one of the elder board members; he was 59 when the company was formed in 1920.

Unfortunately Walter Corder was not in the best of health and although he continued to serve on the board, he resigned as Chairman in 1921 after only a year in office.

Tom Walton (1879-1953)

After the first short lived Chairman, a giant appeared on the scene ... Tom Walton FRA ...

Tom Walton was an accountant and a partner at the Manchester firm, Walton, Watts & Co, but he was also Chairman of Charles Massey & Co, the largest of the subsidiary BG&C companies. In 1921 Tom Walton was appointed Chairman of one year old company, after the retirement of W S Corder. As an accountant Tom not only understood the Balance Sheet figures, he also understood the economic reality which confronted his company, his country and the world after the Great War ...

Tom WaltonIt is difficult to imagine a less auspicious time to start a new company ... it is difficult to imagine how British Glues & Chemicals would have survived during those first twenty years without Tom Walton's impressive leadership ... Tom Walton's analysis of the business & economic reality of the 1920/30s proved to be spot on ... why was nobody listening? ...

In 1943 Tom Walton found himself on the P&L Committee of the ICAEW. Surely there, in such august company, his influence could be heard and seen? Perhaps he could influence the recommendations to the Cohen Committee on Accounting Principles which led to The Companies Act, 1947? Not at all!  John Edwards, explained the stitch up! Company Accounts and the trades they summarised became increasingly important for government revenues & associated interest group bribes. It was the accounts that summarised the wealth creation process. The Company became a target for -

 tax - wealth creation was the source of tax revenue ... there was no money in bankruptcy!

 regulation - 'restraint of trade', layer upon layer of added costs for the company resulted as projects were spawned which secured votes - help for the poor, safety at work, employment practices, policing, public health & education - votes for the politicians ... and BG&C didn't have a vote! 

Every nook and cranny of the plc became a target ... the rhetoric? ... 'fair' taxation, 'unfair' prices, 'health & safety', 'fair' pay and employment practices, exploited customers ... never mentioned was Tom Walton's 'sustained intelligent effort' ... as Noguchi & Edwards suggested, the jury was packed with corporatist sympathisers, best understood as a reflection of the changes in social attitudes stimulated by World War II, which brought about unprecedented mobilization and control over resources to be used by the Welfare State ...

 NB A dictionary definition of corporatism - 'The organization of a society into corporations or representative interest groups and the exercising of political control over their activities.
Thus the central core of the corporatist vision is not the individual company but political control. Corporatism is based on a body of ideas that can be traced through Aristotle, Roman law, Catholic social philosophy, feudal social & legal structures. The state in the corporatist tradition is thus clearly interventionist and powerful.
The general culture heritage of Europe from the medieval era was opposed to individual self-interest and the free operation of markets. Markets and private property were acceptable only as long as social regulation took precedence over such sinful motivations as greed. There was a distinct aversion among rulers to allow markets to function without direction or control by the state, in other words there was a derogatory 'laissez faire' interpretation of Adam Smith.
This was at odds with the Anglo Saxon tradition of customary Common Law and individual freedom which led to the industrial revolution and Adam Smith's clear explanation of the industrial revolution where individual 'moral sentiments' underpinned 'the wealth of nations'. The market was accountable human beings facing the consequences of their deals.

Tom Walton had lived through the tragic mess the state bureaucrats had made by their interference in free trade and markets in the 1920/30 ... it beggars belief that he would be supporting the dramatic extension of state hubris into business affairs following the 1947 Act ... ?

Tom Walton retired as Chairman of BG&C in 1946 and died in 1953.

Harold CotesHarold John Cotes (1885-1974)

Harold Cotes was born in Market Harborough in 1885, the son of William Cotes (1855-1940) and Mary Fox (1855-1945) who were married at the General Baptist Chapel in Kirby in 1875.

In 1881 William & Mary and the family were living at Gallow Hill, Great Bowden where William was a Foreman at the Bone Mills. The children were Ethel (1877-), Cecil W (1879-), Mary (1867-) all born in Kirkby. Boarding with them was John Muncaster (1843-) who was also a Foreman at the Bone Mills.

In 1891 the family had moved to 50 Town Villa, Queenborough, Kent and William was Manager of the Sheppy Glue & Chemical Works. There were 2 new children; Clarissa M (1884-) and Harold J (1885-) both born at Market Harborough.

In 1901 they were still in Queenborough at 167 High Street with a new son Vincent G S (1897-). By this time young Harold at 15 was working as a Clerk in the Chemical Works.

In 1911 William & Mary had moved back to Market Harborough; 22 Northampton Road, Little Bowden were William was a Glue & Chemical Manufacturer. Vincent Garret Shacklock was still with them. Ethel had married a Parrett but was now widowed.

Harold was no where to be found in the 1911 census? But in 1917 he married Ester Tydfil Thomas (-) the daughter of a Baptist minister in Todmorton, Yorkshire. They had four daughters and lived in a grand house; 'Highstead' in Sutton.

In 1904 at the age of 19 years, Harold Cotes went to Newcastle-under-Lyme as Works Manager to take charge of a glue factory owned by Charles Massey & Sons Ltd. And when Masseys acquired The Gallow Hill Bone Works in 1908, William moved up from Kent to join his son on the Massey board and run the Market Harborough factory.

From 1920 to 1960 Harold Cotes was Managing Director of BG&C. Initially as joint MD with Roger Duncalfe and then in 1929 as the sole MD.

In 1928 he was President of the  International Association of Bone Glue Manufacturers, EPIDOS.

In September 1957 Harold Cotes became Chairman of BG&C.

In 1961 he was succeeded as Chairman by D N Walton and as MD by Israel H Chayen.

Harold Cotes died in 1974 at the age of 87.

Sir Roger DuncalfeSir Roger Duncalfe (1884-1961)

Born in 1884 at Tettenhall, Staffordshire. Son of Alfred Richard and Sarah Elizabeth Duncalfe, Perton, Wolverhampton. Dir Roger's dad was a Stafforfshire farmer and his mum, Sarah Elizabeth, was the daughter of Thomas Walker the founder of J & T Walker,

Sir Roger was married in 1912 to Irene Frances Beddall.  He died on April 15th in Poole, Dorset after a distinguished career which included a knighthood in 1951. President of British Standards Organisation 1953-56. President, International Organization for Standardization, 1956–58. Chairman British Glues & Chemicals Ltd, 1946–57 (Director, 1929–46, Joint Managing Director, 1920–29).
Educated at Tettenhall College, Wolverhampton & Nottingham University College.
Address, Greystones, Western Avenue, Branksome Park, Bournemouth. Canford Cliffs 78855.

 On June 23rd 1949 The Board of Trade set up a Standardisation Committee to explore the savings in production costs, guarantees for the consumer, obstacles to change and consumer choice.
Terms of reference - 'To consider the organisation and constitution of the British Standards Institution, including its finance, in the light of the increasing importance of standardisation and the extended size and volume of work likely to fall on the B.S.I. in future and to make recommendations'.
- Mr Geoffrey Cunliffe agreed to act as Chairman of this Committee, and the BSI promised their warm co-operation in its work. The other members of the Committee were -
- Sir William Palmer, KBE, CB, British Rayon Federation.
- A V Nicolle, The Automotive Engineering Co, Ltd.
- Roger Duncalfe, British Glues & Chemicals, Ltd.
- E P Harries, Trades Union Congress.
- O W Humphreys, General Electric Co, Ltd.
- Sir Ernest Lemon, Chairman of the Ministry of Supply Committee on Engineering Standardisation.

On July 21st 1953 The Ministry of Housing & Local Government set up an Committee on Air Pollution. Terms of reference - ‘To examine the nature, causes and effects of air pollution, and the efficacy of present preventive measures; to consider what further preventive measures are practicable; and to make recommendations'.
- Sir Hugh Beaver, MInstCE, MIChemE (Chairman).
- Miss A D Boyd, BA, FSWHM, Housing Manager, Rotherham County Borough Council.
- Dr J L Burn, DHy, DPH, Medical Officer of Health, Salford County Borough Council.
- S R Dennison, CBE, MA, Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
- Sir Roger Duncalfe, Chairman, British Glues and Chemicals, Ltd; Chairman of the Federation of British Industries Technical Legislation Committee and Vice-President of the Federation of British Industries.
- Professor T Ferguson, MD, DSc, Chair of Public Health and Social Medicine, Glasgow University.
- Dr G E Foxwell. DSc, FInstF, MInstGasE, MIChemE, President, Institute of Fuel.
- Dr R Lessing, PhD, FRIC, FIastF, MIChemE, FInstPet.
- G Nonhebel, BSc, FRIC, FInstF, Imperial Chemical Industries, Limited.
- C J Regan, BSc, FRIC, Chemist in Chief, London County Council.
- Professor O G Sutton, CBE, DSc, FRS, Chairman, Atmospheric Pollution Research Committee.

George E Bates (-)

Educated at The Royal Grammar School High Wycombe from 1948 until 1956. Jesus college, Cambridge (1958-61) after 2 years national service. Joined British Glues & Chemicals Ltd from university and first became company secretary 1961-9. Moved to Croda's Head Office after company takeover, based in Yorkshire. Appointed a Director of the company in 1971, remaining Director and Secretary until retirement in 1991. One daughter, Eleanor, born in 1970 - married to Mat Chandler who works for Nestlé in Bulgaria as their financial controller - they have 2 sons - Theo (6) and Logan (4).

Israel H ChayenIsrael Harris Chayen (1909-88)

Israel Chayen was born at Mile End, the son of Russian immigrants Samuel Chayen (1888-) and Rebecca (1891-). In 19?? he married Coralie Levy (1913-76) they had a daughter Emilie Ester Chayen (1940-68) and son Michael (1943-).

The book, 'There's No Place Like Jerusalem' by Samson Rafael Levy, published in 2001, tells of the fascinating story of Coralie Levy's family and the remarkable impact that Israel made on her affections ... it seems he was destined for important contributions from an early age ...

In 1953 I H Chayen and D R Ashworth developed an impulse rendering process. See - 'The Application of Impulse Rendering to the Animal Fat Industry' - British Glues & Chemicals Ltd. Imperial House 15-19 Kingsway London, WC2 -

'The impulse rendering process consists of mechanical rupturing of membranes of fat containing cells by high speed impulses transmitted through the medium of a liquid. It has been developed mainly for degreasing animal by-products in such a way as to preserve the quality of the fat and protein. The degreasing of bone and soft fat is described in detail, and brief reference is made to possible applications in the recovery of oils from fish, fish livers, vegetable fruits and seeds'.

Tony Stroud worked for Israel Chayen and John Bewley, his Production Director, for a couple of years. Israel was remembered as quite an entrepreneurial Managing Director and he was pushing the development of gelatine from chrome leather residues selling to the photographic industry in the UK & US. Tony was based at Bermondsey where the production unit was run by a chap called Blenford, most of the gelatine went to the sweet and jelly factories.

Interestingly, a side business was selling grease from bones to the fish & chip shops in the North of England ... in the South they used oil ...

Tony also worked with Israel's newly graduated daughter, Emilie, researching a gelatine & fat free ice cream. Gelatine was used widely in the ice cream business in those days and it was suggested that protein ice cream free from animal ingredients might be popular. Unfortunately the experimental ice cream which was made from grass extract, turned out to be gray ... very tasty but unmarketable!

'The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History' edited by William D Rubinstein, Michael Jolles, Hilary L Rubinstein included a summary of Israel Chayen's career ...

Neville WaltonD Neville Walton (1912-) Mr Tom Walton's son Mr D N Walton FCA was appointed a director of BG&C in 1950 and became Chairman in 1961. He resigned after the Croda takeover in 1968.

From The Sphere in 1962 Leaders of British Industry D N Walton.

From The Accountant Vol 157 - 1967 - 'Mr D N Walton, fca, is a partner in the firms of Walton, Watts & Co, Chartered Accountants, of Manchester, and Thornton Baker & Co, Chartered Accountants, also of Manchester. Born in Hale, Cheshire in 1912, Mr Walton was educated at Haileybury and was articled to his father, the late Mr Tom Walton - who was Vice-President of the Institute from 1938-42 - and to the late Sir Arthur Cutforth, of Deloitte, Plender, Griffiths & Co. He was admitted to membership of the Institute in 1937 and became a partner in Walton Watts & Co in 1946, after service throughout the Second World War in the Royal Artillery in the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Italy. He became a partner in Thomas Baker & Co in 1963. A committee member of the Manchester Society of Chartered Accountants for many years, Mr Walton was President of the Society in 1964. He was also a former President of the Manchester Chartered Accountants Students Society. Outside his interests as an accountant in practice, Mr Walton is chairman of British Glues & Chemicals Ltd and takes an active part in the United Voluntary Organisations of Manchester and Salford'.

Neville Walton was a keen sportsman and excelled at hockey, playing for his local club Bowden and for Cheshire between 1939-61. As a goalkeeper he competed for his place with a playing friend of my father's, my adopted 'uncle', Cyril Harrison from Winnington Park! The Cheshire hockey side in 1953 was great and I remember avidly watching them all on several occasions.


Annual General Meetings

Every year the players reported back to the shareholders some of their trials & errors and successes at the annual general meetings, important occasions for taking stock ... there was no place to hide ... 'The Times of London' was on the case and reported the audited accounts and progress of British Glues & Chemicals throughout the life of the company ... a fascinating record now readily available to historians ...


Snippets from the Press

1926 rumblings of discontent over capitalisation ...

In 1926 BG&C made a loss and the income tax debacle reared its ugly head ... a double whammy ... leading to the 1928 reconstruction which was nonchalantly reported in the press ...

1927 R&D patents a priority ...

1927 an early reference to Churn Brand in The Lichfield Mercury

In 1929 the first dividend was reported !

In 1948 the Derby Telegraph reported on the foray of BG&C into Canada ... interestingly one of the attractions of BG&C to Croda in 1968 was the Canadian business ...

BG&C were heavily promoting 'Churn Brand' mineral supplement in 1950 and employed experts like Mr Bond to spread the word ... and at the Frome Show in 1957 Mr W J Masters of Sharpshaw Farm was well pleased ...

1952 - 'British Enterprise' by Alexander Howard & Ernest Newman described the essence of British Glues & Chemicals as team spirit. And the same year Sporting News reported on The Farmer & Stockbreeder Challenge Trophy.

1954 - BG&C were advertising better value in fertilisers.

1959 - 'Time Magazine' - Science - Mechanical Cow - 'Millions of mankind are starved for protein in the midst of plenty; protein exists in grass, leaves, and even weeds, but in a form indigestible to human stomachs. Most widely used device for converting protein into edible form is the common cow. But in many tropical areas, where protein starvation is most acute, cows are scarce and do not thrive. Last week, in London's industrial East End, British Inventor Israel Harris Chayen of British Glues & Chemicals Ltd proudly displayed a climate proof mechanical cow. Chewing its cud with the rumble of a bomber squadron, the 50ft machine briskly chomped up vegetable matter at one end and spewed out at the other edible, nutritious protein in the form of a flour.
The central element of the machine is the impulse Tenderer. A stream of water carrying animal or vegetable matter is fed into it. As the water flows through, beaters moving with a linear velocity of 22,000 feet per minute produce a series of shock waves at the rate of 35,000 per minute. These shock waves, travelling through the water, break open the cells in much the way that a depth charge can crack a submarine's hull, and the cell's contents - mostly water, protein, and fat or oil - spill out. The slurry is passed through a screen and centrifuge to remove fibrous material and insoluble carbohydrates. Then the protein is separated from the oil by commercial solvents and dried. The result is a white, odourless, tasteless powder, which can be baked into bread or added to almost any food. Two ounces a day is enough to complete a man's diet, and the cost is only a few cents.
The impulse Tenderer is actually more efficient than a cow, since it diverts none of its food to its own uses. One hundred pounds of ordinary freshly cut grass yield 3 to 4 lbs of protein, 8.5 lbs of fibre and ½ lb of syrup containing vitamins, hormones and steroids. The fibre can be made into various sorts of fibre-boards or used for fires in fuel poor countries that burn dried cow dung. Chayen's machine can also digest ferns, weeds and leaves of jungle trees.
In Nigeria, a leading export is peanuts. When oil is extracted from peanuts by normal methods, the residue is a rough oil cake, fit only for animals. But a few of Chayen's mechanical cows could digest Nigeria's whole crop, extracting both oil and edible protein. The oil and other by-products could be exported, earning as much money as exporting the peanuts whole, and the protein could be retained to correct Nigeria's protein-deficient diet. A machine digesting four tons of peanuts per hour would cost only $700,000 and it would supply enough protein for a city of 250,000 people. 'It is no longer inevitable' says Chayen, 'that the majority of the population of this earth should suffer from gross and chronic malnutrition. There is abundant protein for all, growing around them. They now have the means with which to help themselves'.

1961 - BG&C - house magazine - read all about it! Fascinating insights from yesteryear ... and an advert from the same year welcoming a new Head Office building at Dorset Farmer Ltd ... important customers for 'Churn' feeds ...

1966 - 'History of the Modern British Chemical Industry' by D W F Hardie & J Davidson Pratt described BG&C just prior to the Croda takeover - 'The firm's products include glues, gelatines, adhesives, soaps, fertilisers, fats and feeding stuffs. They are also merchanting through O Murray & Co Ltd. Capital employed £4m. Employees 2,000. ABNC member. Berkshire House, 168/173 High Holborn, London WC1.

2007 - 'The Gelatine Handbook: Theory and Industrial Practice' by Reinhard Schrieber & Herbert Gareis, traced the history of gelatine manufacture in Great Britain. BG&C developed very successfully and in 1964 was the largest gelatine manufacturer in Europe. From 1949 to 1958 investment in modern bone degreasing plants gave them quality advantages over imported Indian bones. There were associates in Austria, Canada, Netherlands and USA. In 1968 Croda acquired BG&C. The BSE crisis hit Croda and in 2002 the Luton factory was closed and in 2004 Widnes followed - 'The BSE crisis hit the industry worldwide despite the fact that scientific information had been produced, at a very early stage, showing that the gelatine production process would render the product safe even if infected animal material had inadvertently entered the production process ...'

2013 environmental problems continue ...


Coda & Croda.

During 48  years of successful endeavour, an amalgamation of smaller 'out of date' companies had proved adept at applying R&D and organisational skills to the development of new specialisations and constantly upgraded products for rapidly changing markets. Two relentless forces eventually defeated an enterprising company. One was the heavy hand of business taxation and price & exchange rate manipulation which slowed investment and growth by diverting resources elsewhere. The other was the inevitable ebbing away of comparative advantage as first agriculture & associated industries lost ground and then by 1968 manufacturing industries were following ...

But was it defeat? The values and enterprise embodied in BG&C found a new home in a new company with a similar culture and welcoming global synergies ...

On September 18th 1968 'British Glues & Chemicals' was acquired by Croda and Sir Frederick (Freddie) Wood after a hard battle which went on and on but eventually Neville Walton and advisers Hill Samuel secured a good price for a great company. Sir Freddie made it into who's who and he built a speciality chemicals company which prospered and achieved considerable success.

 

Any corrections and additional information gratefully received contact john p birchall

back to The Weaver Refining Company