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Location of 20th Century British Glass Works

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Paul S.:
prior to this week I would not have been the wiser  -  but since I have now been made aware of the Canning Town Glass Company  -  might this be added to the map.   Of course, it may be that there isn't enough 'map pin' space in that part of London ;)

David W:
Thanks to Paul S. for his comment.
On my website you will find under GLASSHOUSES/Later London Glasshouses that Canning Town Glass Works is listed as no. 4 but cannot be included because it was located on the Isle of Sheppy some 40 miles from London. However, I also note a reference to what might be another glassworks actually in Canning Town as follows:-
"Reference to the fact that there was a bottle works built near Canning Town in 1890 ( that probably relates to the U.G.B. Charlton factory."
Whether, as I suggest, this is actually a forerunner of U.G.B I am not at all clear. Any help that can be provided that would resolve this problem would be greatly appreciated.

I am not sure if Malwodyn's comment is related to my website but there is a long article on the Nazeing Glassworks listed as no. 24 in the above reference. Nazeing is about 20 miles from London as the crow flies so it is marginal whether it should be included. However, I have done so partly because it is one of the most important glasshouses remaining in England and partly because the owner, Stephen Pollock-Hill is a good friend of mine. What better excuse can there be !!!

Thanks to all who are keeping an eye out for 19th or 20th century London glasshouses. The latest issue of Glass Circle News has just come up with a mould-blown (or press-moulded)  bottle-jug with applied handle and moulded in the base Clayton Bros. London, SW18. Rd No. 735702 (i.e. 1928). It apparently belongs to a descendant of the Clayton family but he does not know anything about the firm. This is also a new one to me. Can anyone provide further information on this firm.

I am still hoping for more info on the Caribonium Glass Works built in Leyton by Wallis, Gilbert & Partners in 1918.

Kathy T:
I am not a glass collector but am a local historian and have lived all my life, just a stones throw from Canning Town Glass Works, Canning Town and I have to disagree with David W when he says that “Canning Town Glass Works cannot be included on his list of Later London Glasshouses because it was located on the Isle of Sheppey some 40 miles from London:

Canning Town Glass Works Ltd, Glass Bottle Manufacturers were established by 1890 and the Essex Directory for that year shows them listed at 63 Forty Acre Lane (north side), Canning Town with Mr E. Mesnard as the manager. They also appear in the 1896 Post Office Directory for Canning Town.

The 1902 Post Office Directory the Canning Town Glass Works listed as having two premises listed in Forty Acre Lane, Canning Town, the original one plus another on the south side of the road.

I cannot find them listed at Canning Town in the 1908; 1912 and 1918 Kelly’s Directories but I have found a reference to headlines in the Sheerness newspapers: June 12th1909 Glass factory to built at Rushden; Aug 30th 1910 Queenborough Glass Works to start building. (See the Kent History Forum
Messageboard topic - Sheerness newspapers 1902 to 1910)

So it would seem that it wasn’t until 1910 CTGW built a much larger works on the Isle of Sheppey. I am not sure if they still retained premises in Canning Town at this time but as I have stated above I cannot find them listed locally.

In the 1925 directory I have found a listing for the Canning Town Glass Works registered office at Pinners Hall, Austin Friars, London EC2.

Some time between 1925 and 1938 CTGW built new premises on some undeveloped land in Stephenson Street, Canning Town which comprised of an office block and works.

The 1938 Kelly’s Directory – shows Canning Town Glass Works at Stephenson Street, Canning Town. The office block and some of the works buildings remain untouched, but some of the works was damaged during the Second World War and ARP Bomb Reports for West Ham record bomb incidents at Canning Town Glass Works, Stephenson Street.

1949 Kelly’s Directory - Registered Office & Works at Stephenson Street, Canning Town: & Queenborough, Kent. Sales & Showroom New Bridge Street House, 30-34 New Bridge Street, London EC4

1961 Kelly’s Directory - Canning Town Glass Works, Stephenson Street, Canning Town

1962 Kelly’s Directory - Canning Town Glass Works, Stephenson Street, Canning Town

1963 Kelly’s Directory - Canning Town Glass Works, Stephenson Street, Canning Town. This is the last listing that I can find for them in this area and they do not appear in the directories for 1963, 1964 and 1965.

1967 11th July - London Gazette on page 7644. Canning Town Glass Works Ltd. Queenborough.

1971 Kelly’s Directory – Canning Town Glass Works – Registered Office & Sales 9 Swallow Street, Piccadilly, London, and Works at Queenborough

1976 Hansard Report:

I am completely stumped by the following references to Canning Town Glass Works and I wonder if anyone can shed any light on these comments:

•   Swinton, Sth. Yorkshire, was home to the glass industry from the 1850s until 1988 trading under a number of names e.g. South Yorkshire Glassworks, Dale & Browns, Canning Town Glass and United Glass Containers.

•   The Swinton Glass Works were built for Messrs Rylands, Tillotson and Wilkinson in about 1852. It was conveniently placed alongside the canal towards Kilnhurst. It became known as the South Yorkshire Glass Company, then Dale Brown in 1933, followed by Canning Town Glass in 1962. It was then part of the United Glass Company under which name it was later known. Some time after 1958 the company moved to the site of an adjacent iron factory and created two glass works. I have looked for them in vain in the telephone book so I presume they are no more.

•   Canning Town Glass Limited (a subsidiary of Arthur Bell & Sons Limited, whisky distillers) Mainly supplying the soft drinks, wines and spirits, dairy products, beers and ciders sectors. (I seem to have lost the link to this article).


David W:
Many thanks to Kathy T for all that information. I always felt that Canning Town Glassworks ought to have existed. It didn't make sense to have one of that name on the Isle of Sheppy otherwise. At the moment I am in the throws of writing a second enlarged edition of my book A History of Glassmaking in London, the first edn having sold out. But when I have a few minutes I will update my website and give you the credit for that information.

Regarding your queries there is information in Denis Ashurst's The History of South Yorkshire Glass. ISBN 0906090 46 6 (Copies from J.R. Collis Publications, Dept of Archaeology & Prehistory, Univ. of Shefield, Sheffield, S10 2TN.) Price about £10
Apparently considerable glass works developed around Mexborough in the mid 19th century concerning which Ashurst writes:-
" In 1842 Ben Micklethwaite mortgaged his Mexborough Flint Glass Works, a seven pot furnace by the Don Navigation Canal, and was followed by George Bache who went bankrupt in 1849. Joseph Barron, then manager at Worsborough after working at Hunslet and Whitwood, took over the works with his sons and Ben Rylands, John and James Tillotson and Joseph Wilkinson. In 1850 it had been renamed the Don Works.

A new Don Works was built by 1857 by Joseph Barron's son, also Joseph, who went bankrupt in 1867 when he sold out to James Montague. he in turn was soon taken over by Hartley Barron, William Roebuck and Joseph and Charles Bullock.

Hartley Barron built a further Don works at nearby Denaby which was abandoned when it sank below the river level through mining subsidence.

About 1876 Joseph Barron's son, Thomas returned to the "old" Don Works and renamed it Pheonix, a name under which the Barron family traded until selling out in 1989.

In 1852 the earlier partnership at Mexborough Flint Glass Works had divided and Rylands, Tillotson and Wilkinson left the "old" Don Works to set up the Swinton glassworks which later became known as the South Yorkshire Glass Company. This, in turn, became Dale Brown in 1933 and by 1962 was known as Canning Town Glass, part of United Glass Containers under which latter name it traded in the 1980s."

The author then goes on to describe further confusions in the area but reading between the lines I conclude that the Canning Town name became used probably because both the firm and the UGC headquarters were in London and the name Canning Town Glass was well known whereas the others were not.
I hope this helps.
Kind regards
David W.


--- Quote from: glass on March 29, 2009, 08:52:54 PM ---Google map, the location of 20th C. British glass works.

Please give the map a rating while your there.

--- End quote ---

This map was done by Rob a few years ago when he worked at Nazeing Glass.The original was done at a scale of about 100 miles to the 6 inches so in enlarging it, some firms have "moved", and we have added a few more, so it is a work in progress, We started with about 48 and have found nearly 80 British Glass works established between 1900 and 2000, there are about 11 left ( excluding studios) Note a glass works has a lehr, a studio uses kilns to cool the glass- that was our definition.

At least it is a start and conversation piece- and incidentally Cumbria has now moved.It is interesting to note that from 1600-1800 there was a London group, from 1750- to 1990 a Stouirbridge group and around 1890-1930 a Tyneside group and a Manchester group.
It does not attempt to show the container and the flat glass factories. i dread to think how many will be left by 2020!
But then a studio map might show about sixty.......


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