TOTTENHAM'S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE

 

 

In the past 30 years, the UK's manufacturing sector has shrunk by two-thirds, the greatest de-industrialisation of any major nation. Sadly much of this national malaise can be witnessed in Tottenham where industry has declined to such an extent that nowadays there are virtually no manufacturing companies left.
In the early 1950s, Britain was an industrial giant. Today, it is an industrial pygmy. Manufacturing was our industry’s bedrock. In 1952, it produced a third of the national output, employed 40 per cent of the workforce and made up a quarter of world manufacturing exports. Today, manufacturing in this country accounts for just 11 per cent of GDP, employs only 8 per cent of the workforce and sells 2 per cent of the world’s manufacturing exports.
The following is an extract from ‘British History Online’ that outlines the extent of manufacturing industry that once operated in the Tottenham area. These were the days when
‘Made in Britain’ was a recognised standard of quality throughout the world.
  At the beginning of the 20th century there were still no large factories in Tottenham, apart from that of Harris Lebus, who in 1900 acquired 13 acres. for their Finsbury works on former nursery-land south of Ferry Lane. Although other firms were to follow at Tottenham Hale, Lebus remained exceptional until the 1930s in having a site east of the railway line there, presumably chosen for the carriage of timber by water.
Industry had begun to concentrate in three areas before the First World War. in the east at Tottenham Hale, in the north-east from Northumberland Park towards Edmonton, and in the extreme south half way along the old boundary with Stoke Newington. Factories at the Hale, served by Tottenham station, were mostly between Broad Lane and the railway, along Fountayne and Fawley roads, and included those of Millington & Sons, manufacturing stationers, from 1903 and of Gestetner Duplicators from 1906; by 1920 a few more firms, including the Eagle Pencil Co., had opened north of Ferry Lane, in wartime buildings along Ashley Road. Factories in the north-east, served by Northumberland Park station, sprang up first along Tariff Road, where Kolok, founded in 1904, were making carbons and ribbons at their Rochester works from 1913. Also in the north-east, alone on the marsh-land save for the Longwater pumping station, English Abrasives bought the site of their London Emery works in 1902 and moved there from Clerkenwell in 1904. Off High Road a wide variety of family businesses, including Kolok, started in and around Paxton Road; Edward Barber & Co., water-fittings manufacturers, who opened their non-ferrous sand foundry and finishing shop in 1908, were the last to come there and were the oldest survivors by 1973. In the south industry occupied a more constricted area of former waste ground between Vale and Eade roads, where Maynard's, the confectioners, moved from Stamford Hill in 1906.
Wood Green meanwhile was developing as a preponderantly residential suburb: there was a tobacco factory on the Hornsey border, south of the gas works, in the 1860s and later arrivals included the confectioners Barratt & Co., who moved from Islington to a former piano factory in Mayes Road in 1880.
 
Listed below are just a few of the well known companies that once operated in Tottenham together with a thumbnail description of their operations. In their day many were household names and Tottenham could proudly boast of this rich industrial base. They employed vast numbers of people from the Tottenham area and local unemployment was rarely heard of. They manufactured ‘Quality’ products that were widely recognised. They are not in any particular order and this list is by no means extensive and no doubt we will have to extend the list as we are reminded of further companies who once operated in Tottenham.

 

 

HARRIS LEBUS

Manufacturers of Quality Furniture. Also made a significant contribution to the war effort in WW2 when they produced the wooden airframes for Mosquito fighters and the Horsa Gliders used in the D-Day landings.

For more information on Harris Lebus.. Then visit the wonderful Harris Lebus website:     http://www.harrislebus.com/

harris_lebus.jpg (18115 bytes)

TOTTENHAM HALE

1906 – 1970s

GESTETNER'S

Gestetner's in Broad Lane, Tottenham was once one of the largest employers in the Tottenham area and was world famous for the manufacture of the stencil duplicator. His innovation in office copying machinery changed the landscape of the business and finance industries effectively heralding the beginning of the modern office. Click HERE for link to Gestetner's History david_gestetner.jpg (18841 bytes)

TOTTENHAM HALE

1906-1970s

JAP MOTORS

J. A. Prestwich, an engineer, founded the company in 1895, when he was in his early twenties, initially behind his father's house at 1 Lansdowne Road, Tottenham. By 1911 he had moved to a new plant at Tariff Road. JAP Motors produced engines for the early Aircraft industry, Motorcycles and Motor Cars. jap_motors_factory.jpg (16539 bytes)

BRANTWOOD ROAD / TARIFF ROAD

1895 - ??

 

JOHN DICKINSONS

Formerly Millington & Sons the company was acquired by John Dickinson in 1918. Famous world-wide for the production of their ‘Basildon Bond’ brand of stationery products.

 

crown_works_tottenham.jpg (7713 bytes)

CROWNE WORKS TOTTENHAM

 

FOUNTAYNE ROAD - TOTTENHAM HALE

1918- 1970s

DUNCAN TUCKERS

Duncan Tuckers operated a large timber supply company in Lawrence Road. They had premises and yards on both sides of the road so a constant stream of goods traffic would cross the road. The company also manufactured wooden sheds and greenhouses. The yard suffered a catastrophic fire in 1982. duncan_tucker_sawmill.jpg (15548 bytes)

 

LAWRENCE ROAD

 

 

MAYNARDS Charles Riley Maynard and his brother Tom started manufacturing sweets in 1880 in their kitchen in Stamford Hill, London. Ten years later, in 1906, the expanding concern moved a mile or so to a new factory in Vale Road, Harringay. In 1990, Maynard’s merged with Barratt’s, and Trebor. In 1998, following the acquisition of the company by Cadbury, the London factory closed and Maynard’s Wine Gums and associated sweet manufacture was transferred to Sheffield in 1991  

maynards.jpg (21279 bytes)

maynards_winegums.jpg (5209 bytes)

 

VALE ROAD – HARRINGAY

1880 -1991

 

 

DEEKO

 

Manufacturers of paper tableware – Serviettes, paper plates and cups etc  

deeko.jpg (13632 bytes)

 

 

GARMAN ROAD

 

CHALLEN

 

One of the largest wholly British Piano Manufacturers they were situated in Hermitage Road in the shadow of the former Harringay Stadium. In 1935 they made the ‘Largest Piano in the World’ which was over 11ft long. Challen also supplied Pianos to the BBC challen_piano3.jpg (13136 bytes)
 

HERMITAGE ROAD

1830 - c 1971

 

EAGLE PENCILS

 

The Eagle Pencil Company opened its UK operations in 1864 and built the Tottenham factory in 1907. They manufactured Pencils, Pens, Pen Holders and erasers.
The company was later taken over by the Berol Corporation but the Tottenham factory was closed in 1992 when manufacturing transferred to Kings Lynn
eagle_pencil.jpg (31851 bytes)

 

 

ASHLEY ROAD

1907-1992

 

KEITH BLACKMAN

 

Located just off Ferry Lane and opposite the Harris Lebus factory, Keith Blackman's employed a large number of workers in Tottenham.
Mechanical and electrical engineers and manufacturers of farm engineering equipment and industrial gas systems, both of the heating and high pressure types.
keith_blackman.jpg (13723 bytes)
 

MILL MEAD ROAD

C 1937 – 1970s ?

 

  

CANNON RUBBER

 

Founded in 1936 the company was known as ‘The Cannon Rubber Manufacturers Ltd'. The company was originally a general rubber goods company producing products as diverse as rubber hot water bottles, rubber shoe soles and natural rubber baby bottle teats.
In 1955, Cannon acquired the current site, Brook House, in Tottenham in north east London. However the business has now closed in Tottenham and the factory demolished.
waterbottles.jpg (9942 bytes)

car_mats.jpg (12495 bytes)

TOTTENHAM HIGH ROAD

 

FORMERLY

ASHLEY ROAD
TOTTENHAM HALE

 

BAMBERGERS LTD

 

Timber and plywood importers. They had many timber yards along the route of the River Lea in both Tottenham & Edmonton but the South Tottenham yard was perhaps the biggest. It was the scene of a catastrophic fire in the 1960s. We are informed from a contact who once lived close to the woodyard that it was still smouldering after 3 days and eventually the site was cleared to make way for a housing estate. bambergers.jpg (23428 bytes)

GLADESMORE  RD

SOUTH TOTTENHAM

 

 

SAVORY & MOORE

 

Druggists & Chemists. The Savory and Moore company started as a chemist's shop in London, established by Thomas Paytherus. The factory was in Lawrence Road until acquired by Lentheric. The trademark of Savory & Moore is still owned to this day by Lloyds Chemists. savory_moore.jpg (21821 bytes)
LAWRENCE ROAD

 

 

LENTHERIC

 

Moved into the building vacated by Savory & Moore. Lentheric manufactured perfumes and fragrances including ‘TWEED’
lentheric_tweed.jpg (13606 bytes)
LAWRENCE ROAD

 

 

WILLIAM PRESS

 

Engineering Contractors– Provided engineering and maintenance services for the petro-chemical industries
william_press.jpg (19570 bytes)

WILLOUGHBY LANE

TOTTENHAM

 

 

JAMESONS

 

Sweet manufactures and confectioners. Perhaps most famous for their ‘Raspberry Ruffles’ and ‘Dairy Maid’ toffee brands ruffles_jar.jpg (18367 bytes)
DYSONS ROAD - TOTTENHAM

 

 

THE POWER FLEXIBLE TUBING CO

 

Manufacturers of flexible tubing for use in engineering and conduits for electrical cables and wiring. It was the sister company to the ‘United Flexible Tubing Co of Ponders End united_flexible_tubing.jpg (13998 bytes)
VALE ROAD  - HARRINGAY

 

 

F. BENDER & COMPANY

Manufacturers of paper tableware – Serviettes, paper plates and cups etc.. They have since moved to Wrexham in North Wales where they now solely manufacture paper cups for vending machines and coffee shops. benders_cup.jpg (14371 bytes)
VALE ROAD  - HARRINGAY

 

 

EVER READY COMPANY

 

Manufacturers of batteries for both domestic and commercial use the Tottenham site once employed over 300 workers.

At one time the Ashley Road site traded under the name ‘BEREC’
(British Ever Ready Electrical Company)

There was also an Ever-Ready site in Shelbourne Road, Tottenham.

everready_st_anns_road_1971.jpg (22312 bytes)

ST ANN’S ROAD

SHELBOURNE ROAD

&

ASHLEY ROAD

 

 

WONDERLOAF

 

Wonderloaf was once one of the most popular brands of sliced bread and the factory at White Hart Lane baked thousands of loaves each day to satisfy the needs of their customer throughout London. The company employed a large number of local people. wonderloaf.jpg (18493 bytes)

WHITE HART LANE

1937 - ??

 

OCEANA LAUNDRY

 

The Oceana laundry provided a laundry and bagwash service to the residents of Tottenham and surrounding area in the days before washing machines. The white bags of washing were collected, washed and returned and could often be seen on doorsteps throughout the area. The laundry was quite a large employer, with a fleet of about 20 laundry vans in the 1960s oceana_laundry_van.jpg (15059 bytes)
ST ANNS ROAD

 

 

ENGLISH ABRASIVES

 

Manufacturers of all types of coated abrasives material and abrasive grain. Their ‘Oakey’ brand of sandpapers etc are still available today. english_abrasives.jpg (16287 bytes)
MARSH LANE

 

 

SPONG & COMPANY

 

Spong & Co were best known for their kitchen utensils, especially the mincing machine and bean slicer that were obligatory pieces of kitchen equipment to have until the development of electrical equipment for modern kitchens spong_mincersjpg.jpg (7652 bytes)

WOODVILLE GROVE

TOTTENHAM

 

 

 

MILLS EQUIPMENT

 

Manufacturers of Woven Military webbing and belting equipment used by the Army, Navy and Air force. military_webbing.jpg (19977 bytes)
FOUNTAYNE ROAD

 

 

FANFOLDS

 

Although technically just in Edmonton, Fanfold’s were commercial printers who manufactured stationery and continuous paper that was once highly used in early computer systems.
They employed many people from the Tottenham area.
fanfold_continuos_paper.jpg (11247 bytes)
BRIDPORT ROAD

 

 

EDWARD BARBER

 

Once situated in the shadow of the Spurs stands in Paxton Road, Barber’s had a foundry and finishing shop that manufactured taps, valves and other fittings for the water supply industry. edward_barber_brass_finishing.jpg (55876 bytes)

PAXTON ROAD

1908- 1990s

 

SPARKLETS

 

A division of the British Oxygen Company Sparklets manufactured the canisters (Bulbs) used in old fashioned soda-siphons sparklets.jpg (25628 bytes)
QUEEN STREET
 

COURTENAY POPE

 

Shop fitting and electrical installations. Once a major employer in the Tottenham area shopfittings.jpg (13095 bytes)

AMHURST PARK WORKS

 EADE ROAD

TOTTENHAM

 

KINLOCH LIMITED

(Provision Merchants)

Wholesale Provision merchants who supplied Grocery goods to small independent grocer shops. Their vans were once a regular sight in the North London area. groceries.jpg (34184 bytes)
OVERBURY ROAD

 

KOLOK MANUFACTURING Once situated in Tariff Road opposite the premises of JAP Motors, Kolok Manufacturing produced carbon paper and print rollers. They subsequently moved to Sydenham in South London where they were still operating until about 2007. It also appears they were possibly acquired at one time by Block & Anderson who manufactured their BANDA duplicators which ironically were in direct competition with Gestetners who also produced Duplicator equipment in Tottenham

kolok_mfg_co_1925.jpg (25560 bytes)

TARIFFROAD, TOTTENHAM N17

LORILLEUX & BOLTON LTD Printing ink manufacturers who produced some of the principal colours for use by the Printing Trade, They claimed to have an intimate knowledge of the requirements of every branch of printing, and made a feature of producing inks for special purposes and also to give expert advice. They employed a staff of experts constantly investigating such subjects as the action of inks on various kinds of paper, and their right consistency for different purposes, the use of reducers, driers, etc., difficulties in Litho Offset Work and other new processes.

lorilleux_bolton.jpg (54636 bytes)

ECLIPSE WORKS - ASHLEY ROAD

TOTTENHAM HALE

     
 

 

 

Most of these iconic names of industrial Tottenham are now consigned to history; in their place are the service economy and supermarkets selling mainly imported goods.


Napoleon once famously said of the United Kingdom that it was ‘A Nation of Shopkeepers’
("une nation de boutiquiers"). This disparaging remark was made almost 200 years ago but perhaps he was just somewhat premature with his accusation as sadly it now has a significant ring of truth to support it.

 

 

Article prepared by Alan Swain - May 2013

Added Kolok Manufacturing & Lorilleux & Bolton - November 2013

(Background photograph - Typical 1950s scene of workers finishing work)

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