Barber-Lomax Papers

This record is held by Lancashire Archives

Details of DDBX
Reference: DDBX
Title: Barber-Lomax Papers

Relating to Cotton Textile Companies, in particular those companies which formed part of Barber Textile Corporation Limited. Many other papers and a complete synopsis remain in the family papers.

Date: 1837-1971
Held by: Lancashire Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Barber Textile Corporation Limited

Physical description: 11 SERIES
Immediate source of acquisition:

Papers deposited in the Lancashire Record Office by County Alderman J.G. Barber-Lomax

Administrative / biographical background:

A. Family History--in brief.


JOSHUA BARBER (1821-1901). Listed in Biennial Directory of Preston, 1857-1869, first as residing at Nelson Terrace and manager to Thomas Charles Hincksman & Co, cotton spinners, Croft Mill; secondly as residing at Grafton St and in business as a cotton waste dealer, premises in Arthur St. According to company papers, Joshua Barber established himself as a cotton, cotton yarn and cotton waste dealer in 1865.


In 1868 he bought the partly completed waste warehouse in Salop St, Bolton and moved his business there. Joshua Barber-twice married-was childless. His sister Mary married JOHN LOMAX at Higher Bridge St Chapel, Bolton, in 1854. John Lomax died in 1867 and his wife Mary in 1869. Their first born was JOSHUA LOMAX born 1856.


Joshua Barber, on moving his business to Bolton, took under his tutelage his nephew Joshua Lomax and his wife's nephew Edward Pilkington Holden. Both these children entered the employ of Joshua Barber at his warehouse in Salop St Bolton. About this time, Joshua Lomax assumed the additional forename of Barber and for the rest of his life was known as Joshua Barber Lomax; his descendants hyphenated the surname in 1925 by Deed Poll. Joshua Barber incorporated his company in 1886, and in 1897 in preparation for his retirement he sold the greater part of the shares in his company to his nephew Joshua Barber Lomax for cash, and the remainder to E.P. Holden.


Using Joshua Barber and Co Ltd as a base, J.B. Lomax then commenced a policy of massive expansion, sometimes through the cotton waste company, sometimes on his own account. Between 1897 and his death in 1924 J.B. Lomax built up a very large personal "empire" in cotton spinning, weaving, and of course in waste dealing. He was succeeded in many enterprises in 1924 by his elder son Joshua Arthur Barber Lomax (who hyphenated the surname in 1925), and the latter was assisted and finally succeeded by his eldest son Joshua Geoffrey Barber Lomax, the author of these notes.


B. The Companies.


Joshua Barber & Co Ltd. This company in 1916 acquired the business of W.A. Openshaw, cotton waste spinners, and turned it into a limited liability company, as a wholly owned subsidiary.


In 1935 the Barber-Lomax family bought out the minority shareholders of the Barber company, and put both that company and the Openshaw company into Members Voluntary Liquidation. Their assets were acquired by Bolton Cotton Waste Company Ltd, a company newly formed and wholly owned by the Barber-Lomax family, and the two branches continued to trade as Joshua Barber and Co, and W.A. Openshaw and Co.


In 1942, Bolton Cotton Waste (Holdings) Ltd was formed, it acquired all the share capital of Bolton Cotton Waste Co Ltd and after a private placing of a portion of its share capital it acquired a quotation on the Stock Exchange London.


Coloured Cotton Spinning Company Ltd, Mirfield, Yorks.


Business established 1861; incorporated 1897. Joshua Barber Lomax acquired an interest in 1901, became a director, then Chairman, and the largest shareholder. His son and then his grandson in turn became Chairmen. The company fell upon evil days in the 1920s, was in Receivership in the 1930s, and in 1936 the Receiver under Order of Court sold the assets to a newly formed company Mirfield Cotton Spinning Company, half the share capital of which was owned by the Barber-Lomax family. A few years later, the company changed its name back to the Coloured Cotton Spinning Co Ltd.


Black Lane Mills Company Ltd. Tootal Broadhurst Lee & Co Ltd owned a finecotton spinning mill at Radcliffe, which they wished to sell in 1907. A small syndicate bought it and formed the Black Lane Mills Co Ltd, a private company. J.B. Lomax was the Chairman. This company in 1938 sold its fixed assets to the Surplus Spindles Board, and purchased the assets of Cannon Brothers Ltd, cotton spinners, Bolton, from the Receiver for the debenture holders of that company. For a time, the combined businesses traded under the name of Black Lane Mills and Cannons Ltd, then it changed its name to Cannon Brothers Ltd.


Cannon Brothers Ltd, Bolton. Business of fine cotton spinners established by three brothers in 1868. Incorporated in 1899; In 1906 the shares in the company were acquired by a syndicate headed by J.B. Lomax, and largely financed by Joshua Barber & Co Ltd. This company's buildings and machinery complement was trebled in size over the next 20 years; it was placed in Receivership in the 1930s and then all the assets were sold in 1938 to Black Lane Mills Co Ltd.


Talbot Spinning & Weaving Company Ltd., Chorley.


This company was incorporated in 1905, as a public company.


J.B.Lomax was an original director; soon found himself as Chairman and had to give very large financial support through Joshua Barber & Co Ltd; himself became the proprietor of nearly half the share capital.


In 1946, Bolton Cotton Waste (Holdings) Limited enlarged its authorised capital, changed its name to BARBER TEXTILE CORPORATION LIMITED and made a share exchange offer to acquire all the issued share capital of Coloured Cotton Spinning Co Ltd, Cannon Brother Ltd, and Talbot Spinning & Weaving Co Ltd. The result was a fore gone conclusion, for the Barber-Lomax family and their friends held a very large proportion of the shares of each company. Comprised within the new Group, of course, were the businesses of Joshua Barber and W.A.Openshaw.


In 1947 Barber Textile acquired in a share exchange the old established business of Samuel Renshaw & Sons Ltd, Bury, founded 1851, waste spinners and weavers of cotton blankets and sheets. In 1955 Barber Textile acquired for cash all the share capital of Croal Spinning Company Ltd, Bolton, a public company. This company had been formed in 1905, and had recapitalised itself in 1920 as Croal Spinning Company (1920) Ltd. In the 1950s it had been further reconstructed for tax reasons, and traded as Croal Spinning Co Ltd.


Barber Textile reconstructed its subsidiaries, for tax reasons, in the early 1950s, after which the Barber and Openshaw Companies trading once more as limited liability companies.


With the serious decline in the fortunes of the Cotton Textile Trade, Barber Textile Corporation Ltd gradually faded out between 1962 and 1971.


In 1962 Coloured Cotton Spinning Co Ltd was closed down.


In 1964 the Talbot Spinning & Weaving Co Ltd was sold for cash to Viyella International Ltd.


In 1967 Croal Spinning Co Ltd was closed down, and the share capital of Samuel Renshaw & Sons Ltd was sold to Alliance Bros.


In 1969 Joshua Barber & Co Ltd (which a few years before had bought the old established company Edwin Cooper (Bolton) Ltd, also cotton wastemerchants, was closed down.


AND FINALLY, in 1971 Barber Textile Corporation Ltd itself, then consisting merely of the businesses of Cannon Brothers and W.A. Openshaw, was acquired as a result of a take over bid by SPIRELLA Ltd, controlled by Alliance Brothers

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