Brittain's Paper Mills, Caldon Canal, Cheddleton

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Date:1930 - 1940 (c.)

Description:A paper mill has stood on this site at Cheddleton since 1797, when the paper was made by hand. It was built by the pottery manufacturer William Adams to produce tissue paper for transfer printing in the ceramic industry.

In 1855 Thomas Brittain succeeded G.H. Fourdrinier and Sons who had operated Ivy House mill at Hanley. The Foudriniers had been instrumental in introducing machinery into the paper making process. In 1890 Mr. T. A. Brittain formed an incorporated company and bought the paper mill at Cheddleton. In 1906 all paper manufacturing was moved to Cheddleton and the Hanley Mill specialised in paper finishing and coating. At its peak the Cheddleton Paper Mills employed 1,200 people. Brittains played an important role in paper manufacturing history, developing special processes which were patented, allowing the production of multipart transfer papers for the ceramic industry, the paper used for bibles and specialist papers used in the production of electronic components which, until the invention of the transistor, were controlled by export laws.

Brittains Paper Mills at Cheddleton closed in 1979 but in December 1981 Coated Papers Ltd opened on part of he site producing specialist coated paper. In 1984 CPL were acquired by Tullis Russell Ltd and the new company was known as Brittains Tullis Russell or Brittains TR. This company closed during the 1990s and the site has been largely cleared to make way for a business park on Station Road. The Hanley mill closed in 2006 and has since been demolished and housing built on the site.

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Image courtesy of: Mr Basil S Jeuda

Donor ref:P2016.003.0076 (37/30470)

Source: Staffordshire Museum Service

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