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The Papeterie

Stoneywood Paper Mill - Retail Outlet

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1907


Appleton Papers was founded in the USA.

 

1919


Wiggins Teape converted into a public company named Wiggins Teape & Co (1919) Ltd., and continued to trade under this name for over 40 years.  The chairman was Mr P.W Holden, but this shortly passed to Mr Keith Barlow. 

 

The commercal paper manufacture of Portals (1919) Ltd. was merged with Wiggins Teape (1919) Ltd.,  but Portals continued to make banknote paper at Laverstoke and Overton Mills. * see footnote

 

 

1920


Wiggins Teape acquired Devon Valley Mill at Hele, near Exeter. Hele Mill had started the tradition of sending primroses to their customers together with a small poem, and this tradition was continued by Wiggins Teape for over 65 years.  Mr. S.N. Cozens-Hardy was the general manager of Stoneywood from 1934 to 1947(?),  but had previously been the manager of Devon Valley Mill. 

 

1921


Waterton Mill was built for Pirie's Photographic Paper Ltd. adjacent to Stoneywood Works, and a new papermachine installed to make photographic base paper.

 

The offices, and possibly the new mill,  were designed by Harbourne Maclennan of Jenkins & Marr and still retain all the original oak panelling and design features.

 

1922


Alex Pirie & Sons amalgamated with Wiggins Teape who had already started a new machine for photographic paper at Glory Mill in Buckinghamshire. This amalgamation set the new company on the road to expansion and development of new paper.

 

Mr Hardy was appointed as the new manager of Stoneywood Mill. He was previously the manager of the Withnell Fold Paper Mill

 

 


 

Office Workers in the Main Office 

 

 

 

 

In 1922, Wiggins Teape restarted the tradition of Devon Valley Mill to send primroses to all the customers of Wiggins Teape.  This tradition was continued until the late 1980's 

 

Read the first Wiggins Teape Primrose Card 

 

Pictures of  all the primrose cards collected by Charlie Blackford from 1912 to 1967 are available upon request.

 

 Staff outing in the 1920's

  

 

 

See inside the Exhibition Book 

1924 


Wiggins Teape sponsored the British Empire Exhibition at Wembly.

 

1930


Colonel Wyndam Raymond Portal became chairman of Wiggins Teape. He was the eldest son of Sir William Portal and a direct descendant of Henri Portal who had come over to Britain with the Huguenots to escape persecution by the french,  to start papermaking in Hampshire.  In addition to being Chairman of Wiggins Teape, he was also the managing directory of Portals (1919) Ltd.,  thus holding a unique position as the head of two major papermaking companies.*   The Portals mill at Overton, near Basingstoke, still make banknote paper for the Bank of England and the banks of Scotland,  remaining a competitor of Arjowiggins.                     *See footnote

   

1933


The headquarters of Wiggins Teape moved from Aldgate to Algate House in nearby Mansell Street, adjacent to St Pauls Cathedral.

 

1934


Mr Hardy retired as the manager and was replaced by Mr. S.N. Cozens-Hardy  who also came from Withnell Fold.   He was previously the manager of Devon Valley Mill at Hele in Devon and continued as manger of Stoneywood until at least 1947(?) 


 

1937


Wiggins Teape 1919) Ltd. acquired Hylton Mill in 1937 and control of Hyton was later transferred to Alex Pirie and Sons in 1947.  Hylton Mill was closed in 1971

 

1938


Algate House was not big enough for the growing Wiggins Teape and  new offices were leased nearby on 1 Watling Street, which were called called Gateway House

 

 

 
 

1939 -  Mill Employees who had been called up march down Union Street in Aberdeen 

 

 

 

1941


10/11 Aldgate was destroyed in the Blitz,  and City workers take a break in the ruins of Gateway House

 

 


  
1947
A research laboratory was built at Stoneywood Mill.
 

In 1947 Stoneywood Mill manufactered:

  • Official
  • Charles Martin
  • Standard T.S.A.D and Ledger
  • Strathdon
  • Imperial Air Mail
  • Waterton Bond
  • Waterton Multicopying for duplicating
  • Rag Detail Tracing
  • Strathdon Cartridge
  • Monotype
  • Coated papers
  • Gummed papers for stamp base
  • Glory Index
  • Strathdon Ivory
  • Card material
  • Abrasive base for Emery and Sand Paper
  • Plastic base laminating decor paper
  • Carton Boards for food & milk containers
 

 

 

 

 

 

1947 - Handbook for New Employees

 

Mr. S.N. Cozens-Hardy was still the general manager having moved from Withnell Fold in 1934. He produced a handbook for new employees not only for Stoneywood Mill, but also for other people from the great organision of Wiggins Teape to learn about the absorbing processes of papermaking.

 

 
 

The 1947 handbook contains illustrations by W.A.Aitken and printed by Messrs. George Robb (Adelphi) Ltd.. onto Strathdon. Cartdridge paper made duplex on No. 9 machine at Stoneywood. The cover was Alibaster Thin Ivory Board made on No. 7 paper machine pasted on the pasting machine to make a heavier card.  These papers and  pasting processes no longer exist, but No.9 machine still manufactures card by a duplex fourdrinier process.

 

Paper was still made from rags and esparto grass which were boiled with caustic soda to make bleached pulp. The esparto grass was stored in six sheds which retain the name Grass Sheds within the mill, although the sheds have not been used for this purpose for almost 50 years.  The bleached rags were processed in beaters and left to stand in tiled steeps,  which can be found beside the casting laboratory at Waterton.. When the rag processing was discontinued, the Woodside Rag Mill was closed.

 

In 1947 Pirie Appleton & Co. manufactured registered postal envelopes, stationary and furniture from paper at their premises located at 22 South College Street, Aberdeen.   The envelope manufacture was later moved to new premises at Dyce.  Pirie Appleton & Co Ltd. was probably formed by a merger between the largest envelope maker in Scotland, Alex Pirie & Co. with the largest in England,  Fenner & Appleton Ltd. of London.

 

 

1956


The research laborotory at Stoneywood Mill proved insufficient and the company purchased Butler's Court, once part of the country estate of Edmund Burke,  to set up a research facilty near Glory Mill. The original house was burnt down in 1813 and only the stables remain, but the main house was rebuilt by Lord Grenfell around 1890.

 

ArjoWiggins now has three centres and employs 200 people dedicated to research and development, but in addition Stoneywood Mill retains its own laboratories for product and process development,  and to assist with chemical safety and environment issues.

 

Canadian Papermakers visit Aberdeen in 1956

 

 

 

 
 

The Board of Directors visit to Stoneywood House in 1956

 

 

A new Gateway House was built in 1956 at 1 Watling Street and a cornerstone of the original gateway at Algate was burried in a casket addressed from the then Chairman, Leslie Farrow, to the future chairman of Wiggins Teape in 2956. Gateway House was sold to The Imperial Group Pension Fund in 1972.

 

The casket stated that Wiggins Teape produced 150,000 tons of paper


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dandy rolls are used to create watermarks. The dandy roll is a light skeleton roll covered with a wire mesh. The watermark is afixed to the roll (electrode) or embossed into the mesh (Shadow). Dandy manufacture is a skilled trade that has changed little since the 19th century.  A sleeve design allows cheap manufacture of dandy rolls and therefore bespoke customer watermarks can be created in short run lengths.

 

 

 

 

 

Dandy Rolls are still made in Aberdeen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Gum was brushed onto paper using brushes made from badger hair. The coated paper was then dried in a festoon drier. Neither brush coaters or festoon driers exists today at Stoneywood Mill, although the coating rooms themselves are still in use for other purposes.

 
 

Machine cogs were not guarded to modern standards

 

  

 

Paper was inspected by skilled operators.  Today, computers inspect the paper for dirt, holes and watermark clarity, but the final inspection is still mae by skilled craftsmen

 

 Gum made was brushed onto paper using brushes made from badger hair. The coated paper was then dried in a festoon drier. Neither brush coaters or festoon driers exists today at Stoneywood Mill, although the coating rooms themselves are still in use for other purposes. 
  

Machine cogs, in-running nips and moving parts were not properly guarded in the early 60's and great care was required by the operators

 

 

  

 Sheets were counted and wrapped by hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

1962


Wiggins Teape acquired Mardon Packaging who manufactured cigarette cartons supplying BAT and other tobacco companies.  BAT subsequently acquired Wiggins Teape in 1970


 

1963


Fort William Pulp and Paper Mill was created by Act of Parliament, cited as the Fort William Pulp and Paper Mills Act 1963.    This Act authorised the Board of Trade to make advances not exceeding £10m to Wiggins, Teape & Co. Limited to construct a pulp and paper mill,  and to make grants to the company in respect of interest on such advances.   The oil crisis of the 1970's made the logging opeations uneconomic, and the pulp mill was closed in 1981.  The paper mill ultimately closed in 2006, despite major investment in 1999,  due to the downturn in demand for the mill's carbonless products caused by the digital age. Following the closure by Arjowiggins,  the site is now redeveloped as a leading Scottish saw mill.

 

1964


In 1964 Wiggins Teape acquired Samuel Jones who made remoistable stamp papers at their mill at St Neots in Cambridgeshire.  Samuel Jones hadd establihed a paper mill at Devonvale, Tillycoultry, in 1921, but it is now the site of the largest furniture store in Scotland. 

 

 

 

1967


The paper mill at Withnell Fold was closed

 

1968 


Arjomari merges with Prioux-Dufournier forming Arjomarie Prioux

 

 

1970


Wiggins Teape was taken over by BAT Industries. The new Chairman was P D Tindley.
 
The company acquired
Acquired Haseldonckx in Belgium. Haseldoncks are currently owned by Antalis and convert envelopes for ArjoWiggins.
1972

Gateway House was sold,  and the company moved to Belgrave House, Basing View, Basingstoke in 1974
 
1974
In 1974, Wiggins Teape acquired Papeteries de Virginal in Belgium, to manufacture base paper for the carbonless business.
Work on a new head office next door to Belgrave House commenced. The new Gateway House was completed in 1976 and officially opened in 1977
 
1976
Arojomari Prioux acquired the Papeteries Canson & Montgolfier.
 

 

 

 

1977


N J M Bennet became chairman of Wiggins Teape after 30 years service with the company. Wiggins Teape acquired Turkey Mill in Maidstone,  Kent.  Turkey Mill was one of the longest running paper mills in Britian, and had been the largest papermill in the country in 1759,  on account of the shortage of paper due to the war with France and Spain.   The  mill's production was transferred to Stoneywood Mill and Turkey Mill is now a thriving Business Park and a stunning wedding venue in Kent.
 
1978

BAT acquired Appleton Papers in the USA

 

1981


The Fort William Pulp Mill was closed by Wiggins Teape because the cost of transport of the logs from the forests by road proved to be not economical following the oil crisis of the 1970s,  in comparion to North American mills who could float their logs by river to their pulp mill.

 

1985


Wiggins Teape entered pulp manufacture in the Iberian peninsula to secure pulp supplies from fast growing eucalypus trees grown in managed plantations.   A pulp mill was acquired at Navia in Spain for  £42m, and Wiggins Teape entered a joint venture with the Portugese government to build a new pulp mill at Figueira da Foz. The portugese government later acquired out ArjoWiggins remaining 40% share in 2001, thus ending the companies 40 year venture into pulp manufacture.

 

Spicer-Cowan, a business started in 1779 by a cousin of the founder of Stoneywood Mill,  was acquired by Wiggins Teape.


 

1986


Stoneywood House was badly damaged by fire, but was painstakingly rebuilt and the fine plastered ceilings restored

 

 

1987


As a result of Wiggins Teape strategy to concentrate on core activities, Chartham Mill, Devon Valley Mill and Glory Mill were demerged from Wiggins Teape as separate companies. Arjomari had followed a different strategy, and Chartham was subsequently reacquired by ArjoWiggins in 2000 to strengthen it's position in tracing papers.  Devon Valley continue to make paper, but the mill has changed hands several times.  Glory Mill has now closed due to a drop in the demand for photographic paper caused by new digital technology, and is now a housing estate.


In order to prevent a takover  attempt for BAT Industries,  Wiggins Teape was demerged forming Wiggins Teape Appleton

 

 

 

 

1991


A merger between Wiggins Teape Appleton and Arjomari Prioux formed ArjoWigginsAppleton.

 

The major shareholder was Worms & Co.

 

 

 

1999


Antalis was formed by the demerger of Wiggins Teape (merchants) and Arjo UK Merchants.   Antalis is wholly owned by Sequana Capital, formerly Worms & Cie Group.

 



 
 
* History of Devon Valley Mill by Frank Miller written upon his reirement in 1936.  Further information is available upon request.
 

The Papeterie, Arjowiggins Stoneywood Mill Aberdeen  01224 802337