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Leigh Spinners still family-owned after a century
10:00am Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
This week the Journal’s Sophie Arnold goes behind the scenes at Leigh Spinners, which is celebrating 100 years in the town
LEIGH Spinners is still a family-owned business and current chairman is John Horrocks’ grandson.
Terence Horrocks joined the business in 1967, took over as chairman from his father Arthur Horrocks in 2001 and remains joint managing directer with his brother Peter.
He is now retired but remains at the head of the company and comes in for one day a week.
He said: “It has always been a family controlled company which is rare and not without its disadvantages but there is quite a lot to be said for it.
“It is an industry that has wild swings, it is almost biblical. Years of considerable prosperity and then years of nothing at all where you wonder how you are going to survive. The first was in the 1930s.”
Arthur died last year aged almost 99 and Terence can still recollect the mill as it was when he was a child.
He said: “I remember on a Saturday morning when I was a little boy it being a treat to go to the office with my father.
“There used to be these very tall tables that you could stand up and work at. I thought they were terribly useful but they must be obsolete now.
“There was an office typewriter that I was allowed to play with and a very nice secretary who used to help me. We used to go around the mill when it was all working, producing the yarn and the old steam engine working away.”
Just as the ownership has remained the same, so has much of the mill.
A few additional warehouses have been added but many original features are still preserved.
He said: “The buildings are virtually unchanged, these are all the original windows and this is one of our problems.
“They are getting on for 100 years too and all the fittings are getting warn out and will need replacing.”
The company sources as much from local businesses as it can and is dedicated to remaining a valid employer of people from the Leigh area.
Terence said: “I don’t know how on earth it has survived for 100 years but we would like to see it carry on.”
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