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Report - CORAH LEICESTER 10.4.16

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Bad monkey face, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. Bad monkey face

    Bad monkey face 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    ok another post for corah Leicester and 4 hours of exploring was a good day and coming across two different groups of tramps in different areas, here comes the history

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    Corah factory courtyard in 2013


    Lasting well over a hundred and fifty years, Corah was a family firm for most of its history dependent largely on female labour. Until the post Second World War period it aimed for good working conditions with training schemes and, from the 1890s, paid holidays. It built up team spirit through social and sports facilities and even celebrated worker’s birthdays.

    Nathaniel Corah (1777-1831) initiated the company. Born in Barlestone Leicestershire, he trained as a frame-smith and first produced garments on a knitting frame. By the 1830s his company was established in Leicester and his three sons, John, William and Thomas joined the firm renamed N. Corah & Sons Ltd.

    In 1851 Corah exhibited at the Great Exhibition an ‘extensive assortment of hose, wool vests and drawers, fancy wool cuffs and sleeves, hoods, hats and bonnets, and ladies wool paletots (jackets)’.

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    Corah Employees, Leicester 1911
    As well as relying on domestic outworkers, the company also began to introduce the factory system in the 1820s. In the late 1850s the company purchased Hine and Mundella’s steam-powered circular knitting machines from Nottingham to undercut other makers such as John Biggs of Leicester. Rapidly expanding, in 1865 the foundations were laid for the famous St. Margaret's Works in St Margaret’s Parish between what is now Vaughan Way and the River Soar.

    The earliest surviving parts of the factory complex are an Italianate style block of 1865 and two small surviving buildings of 1882 and 1886. These were all designed by Leicester architect William Jackson.

    When first constructed, the complex was the largest factory of its kind in Leicester with a vast range of north lit workshops running down to an engine house near the river with a 145 foot chimney. This housed a large 50 horsepower beam engine made by Messrs Joseph Ryde and Gimson & Co. Leicester which powered 50 rotary machines, 47 circulars and 77 sewing machines. Twenty eight hand frames were also still in use for high quality work.

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    St Margaret by Corah advert in 'Wife and Home' magazine, 1955
    In 1883 Corah’s became the first Leicester textile factory to employ electricity and in 1891 the company is said to have employed some 2,500 workers. Because the company was so dynamic the factory complex was regularly expanded over its lifetime including several extensions between 1886 and the First World War; between the wars (these included a Testing and Analytical Laboratory); and then further branch factories outside Leicester after the Second World War.

    The Corah St Margaret’s trademark, first used in 1866 and registered in 1875, is the oldest surviving hosiery trademark. In 1926 the company began supplying their St Margaret knitwear direct to Marks and Spencer, a retailer that until 2002 only sold British-made goods. By this time Corah produced a wide range of knitwear including hosiery, underwear, sportswear and cardigans. By 1965, before the recession of the 1970s, Corah employed some 6,500 workers.

    In the 1950s a Portland stone statue of St Margaret, by Leicestershire artist Pamela Beresford (1914-1985), was erected over the doorway of the Corah factory on Vaughan Way. After the factory finally closed in the 1980s this statue was relocated to St Margaret's Church, St Margaret's Way in 2007.

    Sources:

    Jopp, Keith, Corah of Leicester, 1815–1965, Leicester, 1965

    Corah-Profit Not Without Honour, Melba Printers Limited, London for N. Corah & Sons Ltd, Undated

    Great Exhibition Catalogue, Class 20, page 107

    Knitting Together website

    Joan Skinner Archive, Leicester University

    Manufacturing Pasts Project website, University of Leicester

    Archive Leicester Group of the Victorian Society
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  2. The Wombat

    The Wombat Mr Wombat
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    Always nice to see an update this place :thumb
    We were in the pub last week, and after far too many beers fortunately decided Not to go for a midnight drunken mooch around Corah
     
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  3. Bad monkey face

    Bad monkey face 28DL Full Member
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    Haha amazing. Bet that was interesting at night
     
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  4. Joe1978

    Joe1978 28DL Full Member
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    cool pics, have tried several times to get a look in there, my nan used to work there in the 40s and 50s any idea what car that is? keep up the good work bud.
     
  5. Bad monkey face

    Bad monkey face 28DL Full Member
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    As far as i can remember the car is in a room just off one of the forecourts in a garage look a like building. Can't remember been a while sorry. Wouldn't mind going back again though. Thanks for the nice comments pal
     
  6. mattdonut

    mattdonut likes teh HDr
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    it Was just here
    https://zoom.earth/#52.642857,-1.133496,20z,sat

    but it got set on fire a few weeks back :(
     
  7. Joe1978

    Joe1978 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Hi Mate, Yes I know been done a few times this year hopefully meeting up with another couple of 28dl members to have a look lots of security around
    always arsh@les about that destroy everything. Hope it was not the bit i commented on yesterday.
     
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