Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Strachan and Co (Stroud)

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1865 Josiah Greathead Strachan acquired Lodgemore cloth mills with Frome Hall Mill.

1871 Lodgemore Mill was completely destroyed by fire.

1873 Mill rebuilt to the plans of James Ferrabee. Detailed report of the rebuilt mill and its equipment. The engines were made by Galloways.[1]

1890 Josiah Greathead Strachan sold out to Strachan and Co.

1920 Strachan & Co formed an association with Hunt and Winterbotham of Cam and William Playne of Longfords Mill.

1925 The firm was visited by the Newcomen Society and detailed as follows: -

" The first stop was between Stroud and Stonehouse, at the Lodgemore cloth mills of Messrs. Strachan and Co., where the party was met by Mr. H. D. Palmer and Mr. J. N. Todd, two of the directors. Here the process of making the well-known West of England cloth was seen. Breaking, combing, roving and stubbing of the wool, followed by mule spinning and doubling of the yarn, warping, beaming, weaving, scouring, teasing and finishing were clearly explained. At one stage was seen yarn for the notorious Oxford trousers. We gathered that the management would not for worlds discourage this voluminous fashion, although they did not themselves adopt it.

All the machinery was driven in groups by electric motors, but at the Upper Works there was a beam engine, believed to be about a century old, but how old was not known, as it had come from another mill. Working at a pressure of 10 lb., it had been found to be inadequate for the work required, and had at some time been Macnaughted. One member was observed clambering about it in an almost loving fashion. Later a compound horizontal engine had perforce been added. The firm preserves an interesting letter from King Charles to Prince Rupert, written during the Civil War, authorising him to commandeer all the cloth in the Stroud Valley for the use of his troops. How history doth repeat itself!" [2]

1973 The companies became part of the large combine of Illingworth-Morris; Lodgemore Mill was worked in conjunction with Cam Mill and Longfords until its closure in 1990.

July 1990 - company taken over by Milliken WSP.

2021 The business is now named WSP Textiles (Winterbotham, Strachan & Playne), a division of Peltzer and Fils of Belgium. See here for WSP company history.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Stroud News and Gloucestershire Advertiser - Friday 27 June 1873
  2. The Engineer 1925/07/03