Foister Clay and Ward.

Hosier Manufacturing in Mansfield.

By Alan Curtis

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Foister Clay and Ward.' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Foister Clay and Ward.' page
This page was added on 01/04/2011.
Comments about this page

Was taken over by Meridien [meridian?] from Nottingham and became part of Courtaulds, had sites on Belevedere St, Newgate Lane and for a short time on Bellamy Road Estate but that one burnt down

By j.l.cairns
On 18/04/2011

Just a note to add to the above pictures, I am informed that the young ladies were coming out of, not the factory, but the brand new canteen the company had invested in for the staff. I recall visiting the management from Landers Bakery,  advising  on the supply of Bread and cakes. Gone were the days of the " Tea Lady " trooping round the rooms of the factory with her Tea Trolley.

By alan curtis
On 18/09/2014

Whilst on the subject of Foister, Clay and Ward Hosiers, I have often wondered if the following Ward family were part of this business.

Some time ago when checking the habitants of houses in my present location I stumbled upon a Ward family living for several decades in Redcliffe House Mansfield who were hosiery employers.

Joseph Ward born c1835 Mansfield appears with his wife Jane and young family in the 1861 census living at No8 Bridge street as a hosiery maker employing 27 men.

The family are still living in Bridge street in 1871.

By 1881 the family are stated as living on Southwell Road Mansfield and now employing 150 men, 20 boys and 60 females in the hosiery manufacturing business.

I'm not sure when Redcliffe House was built and I would be  interested to find out as I currently face it from my lounge window. But between 1891 & 1911 the same Ward family were  living at this residence, its a large house and would have been affordable only by a wealthy family. Redcliffe House is very close to the old Meridian hosiery factory at the bottom of Redcliffe road which is mentioned in a previous post that Meridian was formed from Foister, Ward and Clay.

Could this Ward family of Mansfield hosiers once living in Redcliffe House possibly be connected with Foister and Clay ?

Redcliffe House has been many things over the years, my parents tell me it was their dentists and doctors surgery when they were young. I used to go there as a teenager when it was a Youth Club. Its now a care home for people with disabilities.

By Simon Leivers
On 21/09/2014

Hello Simon, your digging has turned up a few interesting facts.  I am not too sure of which house you refer to. Do you refer to the Old Clinic, which had Dr. Tweedy's bungalow next to it. Or do you refer to the house at the other end which I know also turned into a Nursing Home, probably in the 40's and 50's. The Clinic in my school days, as far back as the 30's, was the School Dentist, plus the children who had "head lice" also had to be taken to be treated  and even had their hair cut off.  The Dentist in those days was a Mr. Chester, and there was an Irish lady by the name of Nurse Rugg.

Reference to the Ward family and Foister Clay and Ward.  Not sure.

The head office was at Leicester. Remember a little hosiery factory across from Janey Wright's steps, that was I think was Wards Factory, knew a lady who worked there all those years ago. Another friend of mine, he went for a job there and didn't get on.  I do know that in addition to Mansfield, Leicester was very active in the Hosiery business. It is quite possible that the Leicester firm took over Wards, keeping the Ward brand name.

By alan curtis
On 25/09/2014

Thankyou Alan .Yes the Redcliffe House that I refer to is the large stone built property to the left of the bungalow. (I live straight opposite the bungalow for 40 years now). I did not know the bungalow was once the home of Doctor Tweedy, so thankyou for that.

Redcliffe House stands on the corner of Redcliffe road and Rock Hill (the area known years ago as "The Rock")

The other large Building to the right of the bungalow has to me always been an old peoples home known as the "Redlands" christian care home and it has very recently been vacated for some reason.

Who ever the Ward family were that lived in Redcliffe House for many decades, were quite sizable employers and must have had the establishment close by I would have thought so quite likely then , that it was this Ward family who ran the hosiery factory opposite Janey Wrights steps as you say.

By Simon Leivers
On 30/09/2014

Courtaulds acquired Foister, Clay & Ward in 1963 and several manufacturing sites were unviable at that time. It was some time later that some of the knitwear sites were placed under the Meridian management.

F,C&W was a major player in the industry but failing by the time it was acquired by Courtaulds. It employed nearly 2000 people at its height. I have been privileged to see archives of this firm and write about it in:

COURTAULDS and the HOSIERY AND KNITWEAR INDUSTRY. Carnegie publishing 2014 Bramwell G Rudd.

By Bramwell G Rudd
On 05/11/2014

Has anyone have any knowledge what Foister Clay and Ward factory was previously I was told a jam factory and I have a fancy pot which the jam was in.Also what’s puzzled me for yrs ! I used to cut through quakers way from Belvedere to Queen St and used to see iron gates and what I know was a chapel there were sunken graves partly hidden by brambles (Think only two) whos graves were they ? I know there was a quakers grave yard nearby and also graves dug up of the dead from the asylum during the time when the ring rd was underway .R

By Ann Slack
On 04/02/2018

My wife tells me there was. this was passed down from her mother, who worked many years at Lawn Mills. She said that her mother would buy Jars of Jam or Marmalade , plus returning the old empty Jars and receive either a penny or ha'penny  , depending on the jar being 1LB or 2 LB. Pickards were large jam makers, and feel they were the Jam Factory in question.

By Alan Curtis
On 07/02/2018

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