WYL1009/1 - 4 Records of Messrs T R Harding and Son
WYL1009/5 - 17 Records of Richardson, Child, Christy and Co
WYL1009/18 - 23 Records of James Rhodes and Co
WYL1009/24 - 93 Records of T R Harding and Sons Ltd/Harding, Richardson, Rhodes and Co Ltd/ Harding, Rhodes and Co Ltd/ Harding (Leeds) Ltd
WYL1009/94 - 95 Records of Robert Cook and Co (Hathersage) Ltd
WYL1009/96 - 121 Records of Potts Engineers Ltd
WYL1009/122 - 126 Records of William Gillott Ltd
WYL1009/127 - 133 Other Records.
|Administrative / biographical background:
T R Harding started a business in 1836 at Lille, France, making cast steel pins, combs and other mechanical parts in the production of textiles. In 1858, he came to Leeds to start a business in England. Originally at works in Great Wilson Street, Holbeck, his trade expanded so that in 1864 he was able to build Tower Works in Globe Road, Holbeck. He retired in 1890 to be succeeded by his son, Col T W Harding.
Two other firms began making textile pins c1880; William Rhodes and Co of Barrack Street, Leeds and Richardson, Child, Christy and Co of Horsforth. Shortly after T W Harding took over at Tower Works, he suggested an amalgamation for the three firms. The process started in 1892 when the Harding business became a limited liability company. The boards of the three firms from 1892 to 1895 were identical and it is clear from the record-keeping, which was done by the same individual, that the amalgamation had taken place "de facto" before Harding, Richardson, Rhodes and Co Ltd came into being in 1895 and the business of Richardson, Child, Christy and Co and James Rhodes and Co transferred to the new company.
In 1896 the Rhodes branch works were closed down and in 1900 the Richardson branch at Horsforth ceased to function. 1900 was the year when T W Harding had built a tower modelled on Giotto's Tower in Florence as part of the works extension. Col T W Harding was a prominent citizen of Leeds, culminating in his being the first Lord Mayor of Leeds in 1898-1899.
In 1897 Harding, Richardson, Rhodes and Co bought Robert Cook and Co of Hathersage, near Sheffield, which had been making textile pins for about two hundred years.
In 1919 Harding, Richardson, Rhodes and Co Ltd changed their name to Harding, Rhodes and Co, once members of the Richardson family ceased to be actively involved with the firm. New premises were erected on the outskirts of Leeds in 1941. In 1954 the name of the company was changed to Harding (Leeds) Ltd. At around 1980 the firm was taken over by GKN and wound up, with the Tower works being sold off, of which only "Giotto's Tower" remains.
From 1903-1913 money of the firm was invested in William Gillott Ltd, quarry owners, at Shaw Hill Quarries, Grenoside in the parish of Ecclesfield.
In 1946, a subsidiary firm, Potts Engineers Ltd, was set up for the manufacture of moulds, press tools, jigs and fixtures and cast dies. From 1950 their only customer was Harding, Rhodes and Co.