Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Monday, 14 June 2010

Redferns Rubberworks.


Redferns Rubberworks was established in 1902. In 1914 it started the Manufacture of rubber goods. The specialities included mechanical rubber goods, cycle tyres, golf balls, rubber heels, small moulded rubber goods. 1937 saw them become rubber and ebonite manufacturers. Ebonite (a brand name) is vulcanised rubber. Its name comes from its intended use as an artificial substitute for ebony wood. Redferns is to the left of the above photo.

Redferns as it appears today.

places in Hyde

Redferns Rubberworks.

harry Turner

Harry Turner - Artist(1920-2009) was Advertising Manager at Redfern's Rubber Works in Hyde (1949-58).




Tom said...

My Dad worked here for Donkey's years Nancy... I have been trying to find his 'Long Service' badge... I think I give it my son... will ask him when he calls if I could get a picture of it.
Our house was like a cobblers shop with all the soles and heels.... Dad had a Cobblers Last and did the odd repairs at home. We also had loads of 'Chubbies' for the taps... Pink for Hot... Blue for Cold..
One thing I recall was just how dirty Dad was when he came home... he was black.
I remember my dad having baths... and then sitting in front of the coal fire to get dry... As his legs warmed up the black would run from his pores.... god only knows what his lungs were like..
I remember that at Christmas Redferns would have a works party which dad would get dressed up to go to... and then all the workers kids would have a Christmas party.. or a treat... I recall going to a pantomine and being taken to Belle Vue Zoo.. I got my picture taken holding a lion cub... that picture got lost years ago which is a shame.
I went there when I left school for a job, mentioned my dads name and more or less promised the job, but I failed the medical because of my eye sight... I was gutted at the time.

Ex Hydeonian said...

Quite amazing the amount of industry that used to take place in Hyde many years ago. My brother used to live on Green Street near to Redferns and I remember staggering back from the Clarkes or Ring O Bells or Bush many times up those streets!

Hydonian said...

We lived just over the bridge from Redferns and the smell was horrendous sometimes. I remember my brother smoking in the bedroom and blaming it on Redferns when my Mum questioned him about it! Had to find another excuse when Redferns closed down ! Any idea when that was ,Tom?

Tom said...

In the early 1980s I think... I know some of the machinery was being removed then as I did work for Plevins Transport and remember doing a few trips to the Isle Of Dogs in London... it would have been shipped abroad from there I think.
It had a part to play in the aviation industry.. I one read it made parts for a plane calledthe Comet... I think it was one of the first passenger jets and was a fore runner for the Nimrod planes. I came across something a week or so ago about parts of the factory being camouflaged painted during the war....
Going back to the smell... my dads cloths always had a rubber smell to them... as did my dad... My dad died in 1970 when I was 11... I can just recall his face... but thats been kept fresh because of pictures.. but now and then I am reminded of his smell.. a mixture of carbon black, rubber, sweat, and his pigeon loft... strange how I remember that...

Hydonian said...

Yes,it's weird when you get a smell that transports you back to some bygone era. When I smell rosewater I always think of my Nan! :)

Susanna said...

Hi guys,

I'm a researcher working for an American firm. I was wondering if you could help me, seeing as though you guys are a great source of information about the rubber factory and Hyde area?

Do you know anyone working at the factory during the years of 1957 - 1982 who could answer some questions about asbestos in the factory? We work for a good cause and any information that you have to offer would be very much appreciated.

Thank you very much for your time.


Tom said...

Hi Susan..
My father worked there for over 25 years until his death of heart disease at 57... I'm sure that the building would have had asbestos in it some where... I would think the most likely places would have been pipe lagging... the mill still stands today.. I think you would have more chance if you contacted our local 'free' weekly news paper.. which is delivered to every house in the area.. good luck with your research where ever it takes you.
The paper mentioned above is the Tameside Advertiser. http://menmedia.co.uk/tamesideadvertiser/news/


Susanna said...

Thank you so much for your response Tom.

I work for a company that brings claims against US asbestos manufacturers on behalf peeple who have contracted mesothelioma (cancer) from inhaling asbestos dust. The reasons why we can bring these claims against the US manufacturer is because they are still trading today (although not producing asbestos products) and because they have finally admitted to the blame after decades of denying the fatal consequences of working around asbestos.

I just need to get hold of anyone who worked at the rubber factory during those years and can remember the names of any of the asbestos products.

I will try my best to get in touch the paper, but if you do come across any of your father's co- workers or anyone who else who worked there please let me know.

Again thank you so much for your help


Tom said...

Hi again Susan...
I will ask about and see what turns up.... feel free to drop us an email with your contact details for future reference our email is hydonian@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Have just been looking at the heels and toepieces nailed to the soles of my infant clogs (seveal pairs, made for me in Burscough in the early 1950s). These seem to be of hard black vulcanised (?) rubber, and have what looks like REDFERN in thin capitals stamped into the toe. It's a bit worn though so I cannot be quite sure.

Does this sound like a Redfern product of the time?

Tom said...

Yes it dose... thank you for getting in touch.

Richard Holladay said...

I'm not technically hot on posting images and have never visited this blog before so I'll rely on text.
A small group of us visited the Mecca Bingo Hall in Exeter, Devon early this month (November 2013) - It was originally the Gaumont Palace Cinema and was opened in the early 1930s by Gaumont British. It ceased to be a cinema in 1963 but fortunately it wasn't converted into a multi screen cinema and a lot of its interior lavish styling remains in the the large auditorium which originally seated abot 1500 (see www.exetermemories.co.uk and search Cinemas - Gaumont) Whilst looking around the defunct areas we (about 7 of us with our 'Guide - Jane') discovered 2 rubber mats, one with just GB on and the other with Gaumont British in white lettering. I believe Gaumont British ceased trading as such in the early 1940s and I think therefore that the mat with the wording on is therefore 'original equipment' and must have experienced many thousands of customers passing over it - Made , of course, by Redferns, of Hyde.
These two mats are now in my posession thanks to having been donated to me. I should like to find out more, if there is more, between the Company and its Contract with Gaumont Briish Cinemas and any pointers in the right direction is appreciated. My email is goldenhammerman@gmail.com
I estimate the age of the mat with the wording on to be 80years old as I imagine it and others like it were ordered and placed, from day 1, in the entrance way on the terrazo type polished floor which would have been treacherous to walk on if it had been raining outside (which in Devon, it often is !!)