William Whiteley and Sons, Limited

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Wm. Whiteley & Sons Ltd. were textile engineers and machinists based at Prospect Iron Works in Lockwood.

The company's letterhead from 1916 described them as:[1]

Makers of all descriptions of cloth tentering and drying machines, wool and cotton drying machines, self acting mules, winding, warping, sizing and beaming machines and all other kinds of woollen machines.

A later letterhead from January 1945 stated that the company was established in 1854. By that time, they had incorporated the firm of J. Charlesworth and were contracted by the Admiralty, the War Office, India Office and the Australian Government.

According to Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:

Immediately beyond the railway bridge [on Swan Lane] and before Yew Green Road, the factory on the left, now part of Brown Corporation P.L.C., was once the premises of William Whiteley & Sons Ltd., manufacturers of textile machinery. William Whiteley founded his business in 1850 and such was the demand at that time for new machinery that by 1890 the factory had spread to cover three acres and the workforce numbered four hundred. Goods were moved from the factory by rail from the firm's private railway siding. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the Whiteley family's home, Park Cottage, was bought by the Brown family and, eventually, the factory also passed into their hands.

By 1861, William Whiteley was employing 71 men and 32 boys at his iron and brass foundry.[2]


The History of Lockwood and North Crosland (1980) by Brian Clarke:

Although this firm has been out of existence for a number of years it is worthy of mention as one of the larger suppliers of textile machinery. The firm was founded in 1850 and the works eventually covered an area of three acres on a site between Yew Green Road and the railway. By 1890 the firm was employing over 400 people and, according to their catalogue of the time, supplied in addition to the full range of textile machinery, steam engines, electric generators and electric locomotives. As far as can be established the electric locomotives were amongst the first in the world but there is only trace of two being produced, one being sold to Hellingley Hospital Light Railway. The other, built in 1898 was used on their own railway sidings at Lockwood, being in use until 1932 and known to the workmen as “The Rubber Pig”. The factory is now part of David Brown Gear Industries and the former Whiteley family home, Park Cottage, became after the death of William Whiteley in 1901 the "springboard" for the David Brown concern.


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Notes and References

  1. Taken from an invoice to Messrs. Fisher, Firth & Co. of Marsden.
  2. Source: 1861 Census