Report - N. Corah & Sons, Leicester - 2007-2012

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
May 3, 2007
N. Corah and Sons was a manufacturer of hosiery and textiles, located in Leicester in the United Kingdom. At one time it was the largest knitwear producer in Europe, and its products had a major influence on the development and prosperity of the Marks & Spencer chain of retail stores. On Saturday mornings, Nathaniel Corah would purchase goods offered to him at the Globe Inn in Leicester's Silver Street which he would then transport to a small warehouse in Birmingham's Edgbaston Street. The project was a success and by 1824 Corah was able to acquire a block of buildings in Leicester's Union Street which were extended in 1827. In 1830, Corah's sons, John, William and Thomas joined the business which was then trading as Nathaniel Corah and Sons. This far-sighted move ensured the firm's future development because just two years later, Nathaniel Corah died at the age of fifty one. The next twenty years saw continued success for the company, its expansion requiring a move to a purpose-built factory in Granby Street and then to the famous St Margaret's works on a four-acre site. The foundation stone for this factory was laid by Edwin Corah, Thomas's son, on 13 July 1865, heralding the start of Corah's greatest years.

By 1866, over one thousand people were working at St Margaret's, and the buildings had been extended twice. Originally, a factory yard stretched north as far as the canal but by 1941 there had been no less than nineteen extensions to the original building taking up all available land. During the 1980's the company was sold to Australian corporate raider Charterhal and parts of the site were sold. The site continued in later years under the ownership of Textured Jersey, who finally closed it in 2001/2.

I had always had an interest in this site, having attended the college opposite a mere year after the last vestiges of the company cleared off the site. The place was was always guarded by a rather irate chap, but nevertheless we did get various little bits of the site done here and there over the years. Eventually one day he vanished never to be seen again, which made things slightly easier although ingenious routes still had to be found to get around the place. A lot of the factory was pretty empty, but there were odd bits scattered around which were full of old stuff, including some real gems. As time went on the condition of the site deteriorated rapidly, so here are a few photos of it in better times, excuse the quality of some of them!

















28DL Regular User
Regular User
May 3, 2007
Well today it was exactly five years since we first got into the main building of Corah, and as we were in town anyway we stopped by for a quick look. It turned out to be quite busy there, by chance we bumped into a few mates there, and also a few other random people exploring.

A few phone pics for comparisons, as I couldn't be bothered lugging camera kit around.




Likes: Mr_T

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