Stokes' Tannery buildings, Rugeley

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Date:1974

Description:Buildings at the rear of Forge Road, Rugeley. The building was part of Stokes' Tannery, where the chroming and drying process took place. It was later taken over by the Gas Board. The entry on the right was known as the ‘Gully’.

There had been a tannery on this site from at least the 18th century. Stokes & Co.’s origins lay with Stephen Stokes and John Negus, a Walsall tannery business founded in 1851. Stokes acquired John Cox’s tannery in Rugeley in 1865. By 1945 the tannery buildings stretched all along Bryans Lane from the canal wharf to Market Street. The wharf buildings were used for storage and drying of hides. Stokes & Co. made a wide variety of high quality leather at their Phoenix Tannery. By 1950 they were dealing with 3,000 hides of leather weekly and employed 140 people. The company went into voluntary liquidation in 1958.

In the early 1960s Lichfield Laundry used the site for a branch laundry. Except for a few at the wharf, the buildings were demolished by 1972 and the site is now occupied by the Fire Station and sheltered housing for old people owned by the Sneyd Trust.

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Source: Mr John Fisher

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