Report - - Stephenson Bros Ltd Dry Salters, Laisteridge Mills, Bradford (September 2017) | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Stephenson Bros Ltd Dry Salters, Laisteridge Mills, Bradford (September 2017)


Regular User
The history of this building initially seems rather sparse online, outside of the scraps of information from previous reports and stories about recent arson attempts. From the stonework above the main door it’s clear that Laisteridge Mill was built in 1881. General consensus is that it was in long term use by Stephenson Brothers, who originally manufactured soap based agents for the processing of wool and were also responsible for making dyes and colourings which would have been in demand by the neighbouring textile mills across Bradford and the rest of the north. When it was last in use is uncertain, although some of the paperwork inside (not pictured here because my photos of it were crap) dates back to the late 1990s.

Digging a bit deeper, I find that in 1917 the company were ‘oil merchants and potash soft soap manufacturers’, whose ‘chief offices’ at Listerhills road (our Mill here, in fact) are proudly pictured at the top of their promotional material.


A later advert from 1935 reveals the company also made furniture polish, although it’s not certain whether this took place here or on other premises.


Grace’s guide also provide the following company bio:

STEPHENSON BROTHERS, Ltd.; Oil Importers, Soft Soap Makers, and General Drysalters, Listerhills Road, Godwin Street, and Chesham Street, Bradford. Hours of Business: 7.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Established in 1844 by Thomas Stephenson. Later joined in partnership by his three brothers, trading as Stephenson Brothers. In 1874 George Speight (nephew) was admitted as partner. Thomas Stephenson retired in 1879, when the business was continued by George Balme Stephenson and George Speight. Incorporated as a Limited Company in 1900. Directors: George Balme Stephenson (Chairman), George Speight. Premises: Consist of three separate Warehouses, with a floor space of 11,000 sq. yds. Staff: About. 150. Specialities: Olive Oil and Lubricating Oils, Chemicals; Manufacturers of Furniture Cream, Floor Polish, Soft Soap, and other Household Commodities. Patentees of Wax Rods for Weaving Tender Warps, &c. Connection: United Kingdom (chiefly), Foreign, Colonial. Telephone: (Private Branch Exchange) No. 3760 Bradford (fiva lines). Telegraphic Address: " Falcon, Bradford." Bankers: London City and Midland Bank, Ltd. (Kirkgate, Bradford).


The building has been subject to a recent arson attempt: A report on a recent fire: http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/15326016.UPDATE__Mill_blaze_being_investigated_as_arson/

The Visit

This was not my first choice of destination. It was, in fact, fifth on my list of five, on a morning that began with multiple failed visits firstly in Oldham and then in Rochdale. As a result I headed to Bradford in the hope of having more success there. Although not the most exciting of explores it was marginally more enjoyable than the earlier experience of arriving to find everywhere else newly sealed and inaccessible.














Full set of photos here: http://www.forumimagehosting.com/album/AVNJ
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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice one, you've found more history than I could. Did it look to have much fire damage?


28DL Member
28DL Member
Was the building quite easily accessible? I have debated going there myself for a student project. Some great pictures there


Super Moderator
Regular User
Not seen that ad with the mill engraving, good find there.

The place has had a right old battering but still looks to be an ok mooch. good work.


Regular User
Not seen that ad with the mill engraving, good find there.

The place has had a right old battering but still looks to be an ok mooch. good work.
Thanks - yeah they were proud of their building, giving it pride of place in the advert. Been visiting places for a few years now but it’s only having started doing reports on here over the past few weeks that’s made me start digging for the history.

Enjoyed the visit and was pleasantly surprised by what’s left, given that it was just a place I had in reserve too.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Stephenson Group was formed in Bradford, Yorkshire, England in 1856 originally manufacturing soap based agents for the processing of wool, along with Furniture Wax and Polish products (Stephenson Furniture Polish)
Up till the late 1960s Bradford was the hub for wool processing, however as the industry declined in the UK demand shifted outside of the UK and Stephenson Group diversified in order to develop and explore new chemistry and innovation.
It was this diversification that saw Stephenson Group become one of the world leaders in Chemical supply for the Paper recycling industry, it was at this time products were also developed for Rubber processing specifically for the tyre industry, a sector in which Stephenson Group is now a key global supplier.
The amalgamation of Thos. Bentley & Son with Stephenson Bros and the subsequent acquisition of J.C. Thompson Ltd formed the foundation of the current Stephenson Group and the manufacturing operations were re-located to Horsforth, Leeds and since 2007 the company is solely located on this site.
It was in the late 1990s that saw Stephenson Group transform with the introduction of Personal Care products specifically Vegetable Soap Bases. This brought a new dimension to the company and now forms a key part of the group’s operations.
Stephenson Group has established itself as one of the world’s leading speciality soap base manufacturers and continues to meet the demands of high profile customers worldwide.
The Stephenson Group Ltd is owned by Thos. Bentley & Son Ltd, and led by CEO Jamie Bentley – now the fifth generation of the family to be involved with the company.
I was home based working for Leeds site during 2011 and 2012

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