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British Industrial History

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Goodlass, Wall and Lead Industries

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of Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Eire, India, South Africa, Australia.

Later known as Lead Industries Group which then became Cookson.

1930 Amalgamation of Associated Lead Manufacturers Ltd with Goodlass, Wall and Co Ltd, which company was involved in paint and related businesses both in the UK and abroad, to form Goodlass, Wall and Lead Industries Ltd[1].

1932 First annual meeting of Goodlass, Wall and Lead Industries Ltd; Clive Cookson in the chair[2].

1933 British Titan Products formed to make titanium dioxide pigments[3]. Jointly owned by ICI, Imperial Smelting Corporation, Goodlass, Wall and Lead Industries and National Lead Co of America. Acquired land from ICI at Billingham to erect a plant.

WWII Supplied substantial amounts of lead for paint and batteries; also contributed special materials for the Pluto pipeline and was responsible for most of the antimony requirements of the country; special alloys supplied for detonators and lead for ammunition as well as lead paint[4].

1944 Acquired Frys Metal Foundries and its subsidiaries except Fry's Diecasting[5].

1945 Frys contributed a dividend to Goodlass, Wall and Lead Industries Ltd for the first time[6].

1949 The name Associated Lead Manufacturers Ltd was brought back into use for internal administrative reasons as the name of the subsidiary where almost all of the business in manufacturing metals and compounds would be carried out. This merger of the companies involved was done in such a way as preserve the brands and goodwill associated with those companies, 4 of which had originated in the 18th century[7].

1950 Now had a very substantial shareholding in British Titan Products Ltd[8].

1951 Disposed of Thomas B. Campbell and Sons of Glasgow which, as a merchant business, was outside the interests of the group[9].

1954 Goodlass, Wall and Lead Industries Ltd transferred the Liverpool paint business to Goodlass, Wall and Co which was now the main paint subsidiary; "remarkable" development in the demand for Valspar[10]. Satisfactory development in the Zircon and Special Chemicals Division; research laboratory at Perivale mainly served the lead business; paint laboratory at Kirkby.

1955 Goodlass, Wall and Lead Industries Ltd acquired the issued share capital of Fry's Diecasting for cash[11] (gravity and pressure diecasting at Stourbridge) and Champion, Druce and Co Ltd.

1957 Acquired Quirk, Barton and Co.

1958 Owned Alexander, Fergusson and Co Ltd - must have been acquired sometime previously.

1959 Research laboratories were working on new products and processes, aided by close liaison between labs. and factories; enhancements in customer service facilities included colour advisory service and a specialist department in industrial finishes; long-term research on new media for surface coatings, high purity metals for electronics, ceramics with special dielectric properties and products for shielding against radioactivity[12].

1961 Acquired Cox Brothers and Co of Derby, makers of lead sheet and piping. Range of Zircon products introduced. Acquired the die-casting activities of Sparklets, part of British Oxygen Co.

1963 Acquired Harrison and Son (Hanley) Ltd.

1965 Acquired E. W. T. Mayer Ltd., ceramic colour and glaze manufacturer and H. Polan and Co makers of lead sheet and piping of Sheffield. At some point Harrison Mayer was formed.

1966 Acquired Henry Halmshaw of Hull, makers of lead sheet and piping.

1967 Name changed to Lead Industries Group, reflecting the fact that paint only accounted for a fifth of group profits (in 1969) whereas growth was in antimony, zircon and ceramics[13].

1968 Acquired George Johnson and Co (Birmingham) Ltd and C. E. Ramsden and Co. Also owned Durastic Ltd.

1973 Ronald Cookson retired as chairman.

1977 Imetal S.A. of France acquired 25% of the shares.

1978 Acquired A. J. Oster Company, an American producer of non-ferrous metals, the first of many U.S. acquisitions

1982 Major parts of the business were[14]:

  • Metals and Chemicals
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Paints and Wallpapers
  • Ceramic Supplies

Manufacturing in 10 countries.


1982 Name changed to Cookson Group.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 27 August 1930
  2. The Times, 7 May 1932
  3. The Times, 11 May 1933
  4. The Times, 17 July 1945
  5. The Times, 6 January 1944
  6. The Times, 17 July 1945
  7. The Times 18 August 1949
  8. The Times, 1 August 1950
  9. The Times, 25 July 1951
  10. The Times, 16 July 1954
  11. The Times, 8 July 1955
  12. The Times, 15 July 1959
  13. The Times, 12 September 1969
  14. The Times, 12 May 1982