Located AtStaffordshire Record Office
Alt Ref NoD3447, D6325, D6325 (additional), 7310
TitleBrittains Paper Ltd., Cheddleton Mill and Ivy House Mill in Hanley
Administrative HistoryIn 1827 the Fourdrinier brothers came to Staffordshire and set up their paper-making machine at Ivy House Mill in Hanley. They were stationers from London who had purchased the patent for the first paper-making machine from the Frenchman Louis Nicholas Robert (patented 1798), and they built their first machine in 1804. In 1855 banker Thomas Brittain purchased the Ivy House Mills and continued to make paper there. His son also called Thomas Brittain joined him in partnership, as was his nephew Frederick Haigh at a later date.
Meanwhile the Fourdrinier family had a lease on a paper-making factory in Cheddleton (built on Butchers Meadow in 1797 by William Adams for hand-made paper). This was later leased to Samuel Goldstraw. After Goldstraw's death in 1888 the management passed to his son-in-law Jeremiah Steele, the firm continuing to trade as Goldstraw & Steele. In 1889 Mr Steele formed a partnership with Frederick Haigh to run the Cheddleton Mills, and Thomas Arthur Brittain (grandson of the first Thomas Brittain), who had been with the Hanley Mills since 1882, also became associated with the Cheddleton Mill.
Thomas Brittain junior died suddenly in 1885, at which point an association was made with his brother-in-law Joseph Cecil Clay, also a banker.
In 1890 the Incorporated Company of Brittains was formed and the Hanley and Cheddleton Mills were combined. Following this, paper-making at Hanley was later terminated, but the Mill was rebuilt in about 1906-1908, designed for paper coating and finishing. It expanded over the years and was responsible for providing products for the transfer printing trade Decalcomania Transfer Paper).
From 1896 several extensions were built at Cheddleton, each containing a new Mill in a numbered sequence.
The mill at Cheddleton was originally built for the production of a special thin high-grade paper for the manufacture of transfers for the local Pottery Industry, but production later widened for new products, including a new tissue for transferring designs from copper plates on to pottery ware; gauze tissue for the production of typewriter carbon paper (from 1895); technical papers for the electrical industry (tinfoiled paper); and cigarette paper (supplies from the Continent failed at the outbreak of WWI so English producers took over the supply).
The Company styled itself as the "Successors to the Fourdriniers, the Inventors of the Paper Machine". The registered trademark of the company was "Mill 630" under a Stafford Knot.

The Cheddleton Mill closed in or before 2004, with a successor company Tullis Russell Coates continuing at Hanley. By 2013 their branch in Hanley was known to have closed, possibly their branch in Macclesfield also. A branch in Dundee may still be operational.

Information about Chairman Sidney Hill [courtesy of Mr John Hill]:
Sidney Hill was born in Trent Vale in 1904, the second of three sones of Joseph Hill and Mary Powell. Joseph Hill worked for Brittains at the Ivy House Mill in Hanley and later moved to Cheddleton, and was appointed a Director in 1917. Sidney and his brothers were educated at Dulwich College, and Sidney joined Brittains shortly after leaving school in 1923. He was a keen rugby player and was captain of Leek Rugby Club. He held a commission in the Territorial Army and served in the Home Guard in the 1939-1945 War with the rank of Captain. He was appointed as a Director of Brittains in 1936 and worked as Personnel Director where he sought to maintain the very special approach ro staff relations established by Frederick Haigh. In 1951 Sidney suffered a major heart attack but survived and went on to succeed Alfred Haigh as Chairman in 1955 and then led the public flotation of the company in 1959. Recurring health problems forced his retirement in 1969. He moved to Guildford in 1977 and died in 1978.
DescriptionIn addition to the accessions catalogued here, there is a further uncatalogued collection of 20th century material (D6325 - 1 box) consisting mainly of directors' and share-holding records, and also two drawings of a Fourdrinier papermaking machine, 1885 (temporary reference D6325/Add/1-2). Please ask for further information.
Extent6 series
CopyrightAny questions concerning the publication of images of documents in this collection should be directed to the County Archivist, Staffordshire Record Office, Eastgate Street, Stafford ST16 2 LZ.
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