This record is held by Oldham Local Studies & Archives

Details of D-HIF
Reference: D-HIF

The records


The records in this accumulation substantially cover the years after the company's formation, and the period of Highams' ownership from 1965. They also include material post-dating the 1967 purchase of Sandy Mill by Shiloh Spinners Ltd. A 1985 survey found many of the records of the companies which amalgamated to form Royton Textile Corporation to be at Shiloh Spinners Ltd's premises at Elk Mill, Royton. Presumably left at Sandy Mill after its sale, and later transferred, their dispersion typically reflects the corporate vicissitudes of the 20th century textile industry.

Date: 1935-1977



D-HIF/A Minutes of meetings


D-HIF/B Statutory records


D-HIF/C Financial records


D-HIF/D Miscellaneous

Held by: Oldham Local Studies & Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Administrative / biographical background:

Internal evidence shows that the company arose out of an amalgamation of four spinning companies who at one time owned Sandy Mill, Grape Mill, Vine Mill and Holly Mill in Royton, Oldham. Directors, some of whom were also directors of Shiloh Mills Ltd of Royton, were appointed on 5th May 1949, when the company was registered No. 468121. The first Registered Office of the new company was at Vine Mill, Middleton Road, Royton, and the following moves were subsequently registered:


1960 Grape Mill, Crompton Street, Royton


1964 Sandy Mill, Schofield Street, Royton


1967 Grape Mill, Royton.


In 1953, tax advantages encouraged the directors to turn the company into a holding company - Royton Textile Corporation (Holdings) Ltd - which owned the properties and supervised its substantial investments. The trading arm, i.e. the spinning mills, was managed by a subsidiary company, initially registered as RTC (Spinners Royton) Ltd, and then amended to Royton Textile Corporation Ltd.


In February 1956 a new textile waste processing company was formed for the production and sale of Willowed Fly and Blowings. This was a joint venture between Shiloh Spinners Ltd, Royton Textile Corporation Ltd, A. & A. Crompton Ltd and E.W. and J. Bower of the Lancashire Cotton Waste Co. Ltd. It was initially called Texapro (Textile Waste Processing) Ltd but a year later its name was shortened to Texapro Ltd.


Holly Mill


In November 1956 it was decided to close Holly Mill and to transfer the more modern machinery to the other mills. The spinning of rayon and mixture yarns with 20 ring frames and two high speed beaming frames was transferred to Grape Mill. The directors had difficulty in disposing of Holly Mill, and for nearly four years it lay empty, until in May 1961 Royton Urban District Council bought the land and buildings, including the cottage property, for £9,000. The buildings were demolished to make way for a housing estate.




With future prospects for the industry always being vulnerable to imports from the Commonwealth, the Government, through the Cotton Board, urged the industry to re-organise itself, and introduced the Cotton Spinning Re-Organisation Scheme which provided subsidies to companies who were willing to reduce production.


The company took advantage of the Scheme by closing Vine Mill, as it was the oldest building and was only partially fire-proof. 36 spinning frames were transferred to Sandy Mill, which, with the 52 ring frames it already had, would allow it to run as a complete ring spinning mill. Grape Mill continued to run with 8,000 ring spindles and 78,004 mule spindles. All this would enable a weekly production of 130,000 lbs of yarn - 70,000 lbs of mule yarn and 60,000 lbs of ring yarn. Production of rayon and rayon/cotton yarns also ceased. Customers proved generally supportive as long as the new yarn supply was suitable, "and provided they were staying in business themselves".


With the closing of Vine Mill, the Central Sales Department and Head Office moved to Grape Mill in May 1960. Vine Mill "which is part of a large plot of land on which Grape Mill also stands", lay empty from April 1960 until it was bought by Highams Ltd of Accrington for £18,000. This included the cottage property in Middleton Road and North Street.


In 1960, changes to the Finance Act took away the tax advantage of a holding company. The Royton Textile Corporation Ltd, i.e. the trading company, was put into voluntary liquidation. Its assets were transferred to the holding company, and the parent company's name was changed once again to Royton Textile Corporation Ltd.


Grape Mill


By 1963 the industry was once again struggling for survival. The Board decided that low sales at low prices and the consequent building up of stocks of finished yarn had to be accepted, to avoid the increase in production costs which followed restriction of production. After the quarterly stock-taking in June 1963, it was decided that Grape Mill was losing money and Sandy Mill was only showing a small profit before depreciation. Grape Mill was closed and the company's activities were concentrated on Sandy Mill. The closure of Grape Mill was completed by the end of 1963 and the land and buildings were sold to Highams Ltd for £45,000 in October 1964.


In February 1965 the joint owners of Texapro Ltd decided to withdraw from cotton waste manufacture. 5,919 shares were sold to the Lancashire Cotton Waste Co. Ltd, Royton, for £6,362.18. 6d (£6,362.97).


A month later Highams Ltd offered to acquire the whole of the issued ordinary share capital of Royton Textile Corporation Ltd on the basis of 3/3d (16.25p) in cash for each of the 2, 107, 464 ordinary shares of 2/- (10p) each. The take-over was completed by June 1965 and Highams' directors were appointed to the company.


On 7th February 1967 the Board resolved "that the Sandy Mill be closed forthwith and that the requisite notices to staff and operatives be served on 10th February 1967". On 16th February 1967, Sandy Mill and all its fixed assets - excluding two beaming frames and creels and 100 flanged high speed beams - were sold to Shiloh Spinners Ltd of Royton, for £65,000.


Royton Textile Corporation Ltd ceased trading in 1968, and was finally put into voluntary liquidation on 30th September 1987. Its assets were transferred to Highams Ltd as a final dividend.

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