Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,404 pages of information and 233,863 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Thomas Witter and Co

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of Appley Bridge, Wigan, Lancs.

1898 The business of Thomas Witter and Co Ltd was formed in for the manufacture of floorcloth and linoleum.

1924 All the shares were bought by nominees of Rylands and Sons, of Manchester.

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.

1934 A wholly-owned subsidiary of Witter, Walls and Floors was incorporated.

1935 British Hydroflex was acquired from Rylands, also as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Felt Base Coverings, Linoleum and Flooring Felts. (Earls Court, 1st Floor, Stand No. 669) [1]

1953 Rylands sold all but 5 per cent, of its interest to the Belgian concern, and the balance to the British directors of Witter. The S.A. des Papeteries de Genval, then held 95 per cent, of Witter's issued capital. Linoleum,accounting for less than 10 per cent of the company's total output of floor coverings, was made at its factory at Appley Bridge. Felt base, the company's main interest, was manufactured in factories at Heapey and Chorley.

Witter also owned almost half the issued capital of Irish Floorcoverings Ltd. (Irish Republic), which manufactured felt base.

1954 The company also acquired an interest in Balatum South Africa (Pty.) Ltd, a company formed to produce felt base. At the same time an interest was acquired in South African Board Mills Ltd, a company which manufactured boards and paper.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Competition Commission