Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Rockware Glass

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1947-8. Rockware vs. Shippams football teams. William James Burrett is goalkeeper for Rockware.
1963. Greenford Works.
1963. Greenford Works.
1963. Greenford Works.
1963. Greenford Works.

Manufacturer of glass containers, of Rockware Avenue, Greenford, and of Doncaster and Worksop.

Rockware Glass's original works were beside the Grand Union Canal in Greenford, London, having developed from W. A. Bailey's glass business

1919 Rockware Glass Syndicate Ltd was incorporated as a private company by William Asbury Bailey to manufacture glass containers at a factory established for the purpose in Greenford in 1920 on a site which included the Purex Lead Works.

For more than 40 years, the factory’s chimneys, piles of broken glass, and railway sidings, dominated Greenford. [1]

1921 Edward Meigh was secretary for the company.[2]

1922 A research and development department was established, which applied coloured enamel labels to glass bottles amongst other achievements.

1934 Opened new factory in Doncaster to employ 800 people

1949 W. A. Bailey, Sons and Co Ltd, a private company, became a wholly-owned subsidiary and the sole selling agent for Rockware products.

1951 Name changed to Rockware Glass Ltd

1955 Acquired Fountain Glass Works

1958 Acquired Portland Glass Co

By 1959 Rockware employed 1,220 people on a 35 acre site.

1960 Acquired Blewis and Shaw, manufacturer of plastics products, which later became Rockware Plastics

1964 Acquired Burwell, Reed and Kingthorn, mould makers

1966 Acquired Garston Bottle Co and Forsters Glass Co. Name changed to Rockware Group Ltd

1968 Acquired Jackson Brothers (of Knottingley)

1969 Acquired Marrick Manufacturing Co

1969 New factory opened at Wheatley, Doncaster

1972 Sold 2,024 million units and employed 6,872 persons

1973 The Greenford works closed

1976 Took a 20.4% stake in the Irish Glass Bottle Co

1977 Acquired Stalcon Plastics and Kingston Conveyors

1977 Sold 1,898 million units and had 26% (by volume) of the UK market for glass bottles. Strong in the dairy products, foods and beers and also produces for toiletries and cosmetics market. Employed 6,021 persons.

1977 The company has the following manufacturing facilities: Bagley, Knottingley (5 furnaces), headland, Knottingley (3 furnaces), Wheatley, Doncaster (5 furnaces), St. Helen's (6 furnaces) and Irvine (3 furnaces)

1977 Pilkington Brothers acquired 19.5 percent of the shares in the company

2006 Rockware became part of Ardagh Glass

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Ealing Council
  2. The Engineer 1921/03/18.
  • [2] Wikipedia
  • The Engineer of 21st June 1968 p972
  • [3] Competition Commission
  • The Times, Jul 02, 1951