W. T. Taylor & Co. Ltd demolition
IN 1904 WILLIAM THOMAS TAYLOR (1848–1925) founded a textile firm in the small town of Horwich in the North West of England. With 1,200 looms it became the largest maker of towels in the British Empire and second in the world only to a firm in the US. The company main brand name was Wavecrest. W. T. Taylor & Co. Ltd remained independent until 1970, when it was taken over by the Spirella Group and became Stott & Smith Ltd with the Chortex name. Taylor (in the picture) was my great grandfather. It's a watercolour portrait that was for many decades displayed on the office wall at Victoria Mill, the company's main premises in Horwich. According to Keith Taylor, my second cousin and also a great grandson of W. T. Taylor, the painting was thrown in a skip when Spirella took over and it was only by chance that he came across it and rescued it for posterity.
Taylor's son, John Taylor (my grandfather), joined the business as company salesman and became Joint Managing Director with his brother Harry Taylor when W. T. Taylor died in 1925. My father Kenneth Taylor joined W. T. Taylor & Co. Ltd soon after the Second World War and later became Managing Director. Ken's younger brother Michael was the Sales Director.
The demolition of Victoria Mill, Horwich
remains in business to this day (not any more — read the fourth response below) following a fairly recent management buyout, though employs only a small fraction of the number of people who worked there in its heyday. The last connection between the Taylor family and Chortex (as the company is now called) is that my father (87) used to attend the Victoria Mill pensioners Christmas party every year.
The Stott & Smith name goes back even further than W. T. Taylor, having started in Manchester in 1892 (Tom Stott and Alfred Smith, agents at first, then manufacturers in Congleton). The Chortex brand name comes from a Chorley textiles company, E.H.Cooper.