Baldwins (Midland Branch)
of Wilden Ironworks, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire. Telephone: Stourport 10. Telegraphic Address: "Wilden, Stourport"
Alfred Baldwin (1841–1908) was the 12th child of George Pearce Baldwin, born a few months after his father’s death.
- The Baldwin family owned various companies including carpet manufacturing works at Bridgnorth.
- 1863 Alfred Baldwin and his two surviving brothers, George (1826–1881) and Stanley (1828–1907), took control of E. P. and W. Baldwin . However, the latter's bad management and drinking, combined with a trade depression, brought the firm close to bankruptcy in the late 1860s.
- 1860s Thus, what was later known as the Midland branch of Baldwins was founded in the 1860s, and became associated with the "Cookley Tinpot" in its early days, which product marked an advance in tinning over the previous method of dipping. The famous tinplate, the "Cookley K" continued to be produced for many years by the same process, unique to Baldwins.
- 1866 Alfred married Louisa MacDonald, and in August 1867, while they were living at their first home in Lower Park, Bewdley, their only son Stanley was born.
- 1870 In September, at the age of 29, Alfred dissolved the partnership, bought out his two brothers and by business acumen and hard work put the company back into profit. Alfred and the family moved from Bewdley to Wilden so that he could be near his employees to whom he became a father and benefactor. Wilden House lay just across the lane from the forge. The forge, as so often in those days, was set in a pastoral landscape.
- In 1888, Alfred's 21 year old son Stanley joined the company, becoming a partner 2 years later. He was to spend twenty years in the business before following his father into politics and ultimately becoming Prime Minister (1923, 1924-29, 1935-37).
- 1902 Baldwins Ltd was established and registered on 7 April, to acquire the businesses of iron and steel manufacturers, and colliery and iron proprietors E. P. and W. Baldwin, Wright, Butler and Co, Alfred Baldwin and Co, the Bryn Navigation Colliery Co and Blackwall Galvanised Iron Co. . Alfred Baldwin was the first chairman and his son Stanley, the future prime minister, was managing director. Stanley had sole responsibility for the Midland Division which accounted for about one quarter of the turnover
- 1937 Advert for British Steel Sheets; Stampings; Backplate; Tinplates. Highest Grade Steel Sheets for Automobile Work, Railway Carriage construction, Furniture and Enamelling Work. Heavily Coated Tin Sheets and Tinplates. Lead-coated Sheets and all Grades of Electrical Sheets and Stampings. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport Section - Stand No. Cb.412)
Sources of Information
- Biography of Stanley Baldwin, by Stuart Ball, ODNB
- Baldwins: 1934 Review
- The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
- Biography of Stanley Baldwin by Stuart Ball; ODNB