Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,969 pages of information and 233,612 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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The company was founded in the nineteenth century by John Waddington and Wilson Barratt as Waddingtons Ltd.

It was renamed John Waddington in 1905.

1963 Acquired Valentine and Sons of Dundee.

1980 After making losses on video games, Waddingtons sold Valentines to Hallmark, another greeting card publishers[1]

1994 Acquired Imca, a Netherlands-based folding cartons producer. The company had 3 areas of activity - packaging, specialist printing, and games (which represented 12 percent of turnover)[2]

1995 The games part of the company was bought by Hasbro after the government overturned an Office of Fair Trading recommendation[3].

2000 Waddington, the packaging group, was acquired by Mansfield a timber company which was an acquisition vehicle for UK Active Value[4]

The Waddington printing business was renamed Communisis, to offer "smart direct mail" but failed to live up to its promise[5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] World of Playing Cards
  • [2] Wikipedia
  1. The Times, Sep 24, 1980
  2. The Times (London, England), Wednesday, July 13, 1994
  3. The Times March 01, 1995
  4. The Times, December 08, 1999
  5. The Times October 06, 2004