Records of Evode Group plc, its subsidiaries and associate companies
1829 - 1993
Prior to being deposited at the record office, the records were arranged by the company archivist, Mr C V Lawton, who had worked as a chemist at Evode from 1938-1986. The majority of files had been retained in their original working form but the annual reports and accounts had been placed into artificially created files for each separate year. These files contained press cuttings, internal memoranda, notices and other records relating to the year's events. These files have been left in this format.
The records of the main company are listed first in D5189/1 and followed by records of the divisions within the Group in D5189/2. A list of all the subsidiary and associate companies can be found in D5189/3 and this is followed by the records of some these subsidiary and associate companies. Finally the records relating to licensees overseas are listed in D5189/4.
Documents less than 50 years old are closed to public inspection
Immediate source of acquisition:
Deposited by Mr B I Liss on behalf of the Directors of Evode Group plc.
Spic and Span Shoe Polishes Ltd of Stafford
Simon, Hermann, d 1978, doctor and chemist, of Stafford
Administrative / biographical background:
The Evode Group of Companies began as Spic and Span Shoe Polishes Ltd of Glover Street, Stafford, which was incorporated on 3 June 1932 and partly owned by Lotus Ltd, the shoe manufacturers. Dr Hermann Simon joined the Company as a director and chemist in 1937 from Germany, where he was a successful manufacturer of protective paints and waterproofing compounds. He was to head the Company until his death in 1978. On joining the Company he expanded the product range by adding building chemicals and, soon after his arrival, its name was changed to Spic and Span Chemical Products Ltd, which was incorporated on 19 May 1938. Later the same year the name was changed yet again to Dove Chemical Products Ltd because the Dove brand of polish was the company's most successful and well-known product. The company was incorporated on 12 October 1938. However the new name was found to infringe the trade mark rights of an existing company and the name was reversed to become Evode Chemical Works Ltd on 13 February 1940.
In the same year Dr Simon was interned, as were all German Nationals during the Second World War. In his absence the firm was forced to move from its original premises in Glover Street to a derelict shoe factory in Stone Road. Representations made on Dr Simon's behalf to the government, resulted in him being released after only 9 months and he returned to the Company to develop, manufacture and supply the government with important sealants, protective paints and waterproofing compounds, which aided the war effort. During this period the Company expanded rapidly and became an established business. Its name was shortened to Evode Ltd on 20 June 1949. The following year, land was purchased on Common Road, Stafford, on the site of a former brick works. A building programme was started then which lasted more than a decade, as the Company expanded and its accommodation was extended and improved.
The Company was floated on the stock exchange in 1963 and became Evode Holdings Ltd. This was a holding company for Evode Ltd and the expanding number of subsidiary and associate companies in the Group. In 1981 the Company was re-registered as a public company and became Evode Holdings plc. A final name change in 1982 saw the company become Evode Group plc. During the 1980's it expanded its range of products to include plastics. It was sold to Laporte plc in 1993.