Catalogue description ICI Paints Division, Stowmarket

This record is held by Suffolk Archives - Ipswich

Details of HC411
Reference: HC411
Title: ICI Paints Division, Stowmarket

Records relating to the I.C.I. Paints Division site at Stowmarket, comprising original records of successive owners of the site from the early 1880s, sundry printed papers re I.C.I. Ltd., and photographs, including some of the aftermath of the 1871 explosion at the works.


HC411/1 MINUTES, 1929 - 1932


HC411/2 REGISTERS OF EMPLOYEES, etc. c. 1883 - 1974


HC411/3 FINANCIAL RECORDS c. 1913 - 1938


HC411/4 PHOTOGRAPHS, c. 1871 - 1970s



Date: 1871-1979
Held by: Suffolk Archives - Ipswich, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Patent Safety Gun Cotton Co Ltd, 1863-1874, Stowmarket, Suffolk, manufacturers

Necol Industrial Collodions Ltd, 1918-1926, industrial lacquer manufacturers

New Explosives Co Ltd, 1885-1907, Stowmarket, Suffolk

Nobel Chemical Finishes Ltd, 1907-1919, Stowmarket, Suffolk

ICI Ltd, Paints Division, 1926- , Stowmarket, Suffolk

Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd, Paints Division, 1926- , Stowmarket, Suffolk

Physical description: 5 series
Immediate source of acquisition:

Received by Suffolk Record Office on 14 July 1981


Acc. no. 6141

Administrative / biographical background:

A brief history of the Stowmarket Works


The Stowmarket Gun Cotton works (Patent Safety Gun Cotton Co. Ltd.,) was built in 1863 on land owned mainly by the Prentice family. An explosion on 11th August 1871 demolished the works, killing 24 people and injuring 75. The works was rebuilt in 1873/74 and re-named the Stowmarket Guncotton Company. The Prentice family sold the factory in 1880 when a new company, the Explosives Company took over. The factory was extended in 1885 and the name changed to the New Explosives Co. Ltd. More land was purchased in 1896 when building of a new Cordite factory commenced, being completed in 1898. By 1907 the works had been acquired by Nobel's Explosives Ltd. The factory was put on a war footing in 1914, employing women for the first time. After the war, the factory was turned over to the manufacture of industrial lacquer etc., and the name changed to Necol Industrial Collodions Ltd. The site was acquired by I.C.I. in 1926.

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