Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 162,536 pages of information and 244,522 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide

1956 The company was formed to acquire companies mainly in family ownership, to allow the owners to continue to have a role in the company whilst avoiding the effect of death duty. Placing of 45 percent of the shares in the company on the Stock Exchange; the company had 2 main subsidiaries - one owning iron ore properties near Scunthorpe (Norinco Ltd); the other was the maker of a specialised label printing machine (Dapag (1943) Ltd)[1]. The directors were John Vincent Sheffield, Chairman, Edward Reginald Vincent Sheffield, George Berkeley Sheffield, Commander Colin Buist, Simon Lycett Green.

1956 Acquired Bramigk and Co, maker of machinery for the chocolate and baking trades; and Neil and Spencer, maker of dry-cleaning machinery[2]

1957 Acquired C. E. C. (carrying on business as City Electrical), electrical engineers and contractors[3]; acquired Union Fibres and John Collums, importers and exporters of fibres and waste products[4], and Relay Vision and 5 of its associated companies[5], John Tinsley, maker of colliery winding engines, and Wescros Ltd, scrap metal merchants and ship-breakers[6]

1958 Acquired Autotype Co, makers of coated paper for photogravure engravers[7]

1959 Acquired Hygena Ltd, maker of kitchen furniture, and Temperature Ltd together with Island Craft Ltd which were under the same management and, together, were the largest maker of air conditioning units outside the USA[8]. Acquired Jensen Motors Ltd[9], and S. Maw Son and Sons[10]

1960 Acquired Blythswood Shipbuilding Co[11] and Rotiss-O-Mat[12] and Lantigen (England), maker of vaccines[13]

1960 In order to allow Norcros to concentrate on its larger subsidiaries, a new public company, Southcros Ltd, was incorporated and floated, to handle the smaller companies in the portfolio and others which would have resulted in Norcros having too large a concentration in one industry[14]. Southcros acquired H. J. Reece and Sons Ltd and Aric Ltd and its wholly owned subsidiary B. and R. Patents Ltd. Norcros acquired Fisher Clark, manufacturers and printers of tags, labels, etc[15], and Harold Wood and Sons[16], a haulage company. Launched a second associated public company, Scotcros, to handle Scottish businesses[17]

1961 The company consisted of 5 main groups[18]:

  • Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical products, domestic supplies and food processing equipment
  • Specialised papers, printing and labelling
  • Commercial transport, coach building, repairs and distribution
  • Raw materials

1961 Acquired Sig Wrapping Machines[19] and 51 percent of Bulk Carriers; also acquired Lowton Metals Ltd, Aluminium Ingot Makers Ltd[20]

1962 Rights issue, partly to pay for acquisition of Dow-Mac (Products), maker of concrete products[21] which turned out to be the last major acquisition.

The company found it had to rationalise, putting more emphasis on the profitable subsidiaries, not allow cash to be drained away by the less profitable ones and provide some value from the centre of the group as a benefit of being part of the group[22]

1963 Chairman is John V. Sheffield

1963 Subsidiary Companies are -[23]

1964 Sold Relay Vision to Electronic Rentals and General Holdings[24]. Also sold Union Fibres[25]

1965 Sold Harold Wood and Sons of Heckmondwicke, to Pickfords part of the state-owned Transport Holding Company[26]

1968 The programme of rationalisation started some years before was proceeding but was not yet complete; the printing machinery division had been improved and was the largest in its sector in Europe; the construction and engineering divisions had amalgamated their interests and were proceeding towards a more profitable position; rationalisation and improvement of the consumer products division was still work in progress[27]

1972 Edward Bates and Sons bought the 30 percent interest in Scotcros held by the company[28]

1974 Acquired Crittall-Hope Engineering whose window interests were a natural extension of the company's interests; the other activities, in cranes, etc, were attractive because of their specialist nature[29]

1979 Acquired Johnson Richards, tile makers[30]

1983 Made an abortive bid for UBM builders merchants

1985 Succeeded in a later bid for UBM[31]

1988 Sold Butterley Engineering to Haden MacLellan Holdings[32], Dow-Mac Concrete to Costain, the Canadian Bulk Carriers; [33]also sold UBM Motors, dealers in Ford cars, to Evans Halshaw [34]

1989 Norcros arranged to sell UBM to Meyer International who in turn sold Crosby Manufacturing to Norcros[35]

1995 Sold Crosby Sarek and Crosby Kitchens to Spring Ram Corporation[36]

1995 Also sold Temperature and Security Computing Services. Agreed to sell Cego to Laird[37]

1997 Sold Crittall Holdings and its subsidiaries to the Marmon Corporation of USA.

c.1999 delisted from the Stock Market

2007 Regained stock market listing; building products and printing group; principal businesses were Triton Showers and Johnson Tiles[38]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jun 09, 1956
  2. The Times, Sep 01, 1956
  3. The Times, Feb 08, 1957
  4. The Times, Apr 05, 1957
  5. The Times, Apr 12, 1957
  6. The Times, Apr 12, 1957
  7. The Times, Mar 22, 1958
  8. The Times, Jan 31, 1959
  9. The Times, Jun 18, 1959
  10. The Times, Sep 19, 1959
  11. The Times, Mar 26, 1960
  12. The Times, Jun 13, 1960
  13. The Times, Jun 30, 1960
  14. The Times, Sep 19, 1960
  15. The Times, Oct 28, 1960
  16. The Times, Nov 21, 1960
  17. The Times, Dec 08, 1960
  18. The Times, Mar 30, 1961
  19. The Times, Jul 04, 1961
  20. The Times, Mar 29, 1962
  21. The Times, Feb 13, 1962
  22. The Times Feb. 12, 1968
  23. Birmingham Daily Post - Wednesday 10 April 1963
  24. The Times, Jul 14, 1964
  25. The Times, Mar 22, 1965
  26. The Times, Sep 07, 1965
  27. The Times Feb. 12, 1968
  28. The Times, Sep 09, 1972
  29. The Times, Feb 13, 1974
  30. The Times, Jan 23, 1980
  31. The Times Mar. 28, 1985
  32. The Times, December 02, 1988
  33. The Times, June 08, 1988
  34. The Times, July 06, 1988
  35. The Times Dec. 1, 1988
  36. The Times August 09, 1995
  37. The Times, July 12, 1995
  38. The Times, June 20, 2008