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The Clayton Aniline Company
– Ciba

Charles Dreyfus, Ciba dyestuffs and chemicals

The Clayton
Aniline Company was set up beside the Ashton
in Manchester in 1876 to manufacture dyestuffs with
Charles Dreyfus, a man from Alsace, as its resident chemist.
Dreyfus had arrived in Manchester as a young man of 21 and,
at age 28, with several friends,he founded the company. By the
turn of the century the company was exporting across Europe
and the United States – today the company exports 90% of its
products throughout the world.
In 1911, the company began a long association with the Swiss
company, Ciba. This was to be Ciba’s first UK manufacturing
base which has continued up to the present time.
During the 1914-1918 war, Ciba produced explosives to aid the
war effort, and during the Second World War they produced additives
to create the high octane aircraft fuel used in high performance
planes like the Spitfire and Hurricane.
Over the years the Clayton site has expanded until today it
covers 57 acres and is the largest single manufacturing base
of any company in Manchester.
Later, Ciba merged with Sandoz in 1997 to form Ciba Speciality
Chemicals, with six divisions world-wide, bow developing a range
of chemicals-based products, including lubricants, printing
inks, pharmaceuticals, plastics and colour pigments.
The factory, still based at Clayton and with laboratories in
Macclesfield, has a workforce of 450, and specialises in textile
dyes for natural and synthetic fibres. Its output is in excess
of 350,000 metric tonnes of cloth every year. More than half
of the cars in Britain have interior fabrics manufactured in

& Henry Forsyth

Forsyth’s Music Shop, Deansgate,

James Forsyth, Music Shop in Deansgate

Both James
and Henry Forsyth began careers as the family’s third generation
of piano makers in London at Broadwood’s, where their father
was manager. Their association with Manchester began in 1857
when the city hosted the Art Treasures Exhibition which attracted
many visitors to the city. Here they met Charles
, who had recently formed the city’s major orchestra
– Hallé invited the Forsyth brothers to join his company
to maintain pianos for the orchestra. They set up business in
the old Kendal Milne Building (now Waterstone’s Bookshop, opposite
the existing Kendals store in Deansgate), selling and repairing
pianos, though James worked almost exclusively for the Hallé
. They also acted as agents for many musicians
and performers in Manchester, and gradually developed a wide
range of music-based products and services including the publication
of sheet music, music books and teaching.
Later, James’ son, Algernon took over the company, and continued
to run the company until his death at the age of 98 in 1961.
In the 1920s they branched out, and by now their grandson had
joined the staff at the Deansgate shop and introduced sales
of gramophones, wirelesses and gramophone records. They also
opened rehearsal and teaching studios, which were used for rehearsals
for the Palace
and Opera
performances of “West Side Story”
and “Hair”. In the 1950s the shop was moved
to its present smaller premises further south down Deansgate.
The 5 floor shop has extensive collections of music CDs and
audio cassettes of specialist music, including classical, Japanese,
New World and various other ethnic music styles and forms. They
number many famous musicians among their customer base, including
Phil Collins, Lisa Stansfield
and Victoria Wood.
In the 1980s they diversified into the import market and have
established the company as one of the UK’s leading German piano
importers. Today the company is thriving in Deansgate, and is
a Mecca for the serious musician, as it has been for over 150


E Broadbelt Limited – Wholesale
Flower & Fruit Merchants

Ernest Broadbelt, Fruit & Flower Merchant, Smithfield, Manchester

Ernest Broadbelt
was the Commission Agent for Manchester’s Smithfield Market
in 1897, and began a successful and profitable flower and fruit
business in the city. Then the warehousing for Smithfield Market
covered some 4 acres in Oldham Road.
The Broadbelt company dominated the fruit business in Manchester
for many years, having the largest warehouses of any of their
competitors, with arrangements for rapid delivery of goods by
railway – their telegraphic address was “Vitesse”
(French for “speed”).
From the 1940s Broadbelts became the UK’s biggest suppliers
of cut flowers,
and were sole north west importers of Fyffes Bananas, with a
vast banana ripening room at the Oldham Road warehouse. On his
death in 1952, ownership passed to Broadbelt’s most trusted
subordinate, Stanley Butters, who ran the company until his
death in 1958. By the 1970s, Butter’s grandsons had taken over
the company.
Today the company thrives, though in a somewhat smaller capacity,
as the fresh fruit industry has suffered on account of direct
fruit and vegetable imports by long haul lorries from the continent
and from around the UK. Broadbelt’s still holds the unique sole
rights to import bilberries from Poland! In 1997 the company
celebrated 100 years of trading in Manchester.


P Hauser & Company – International
Freight Hauliers

Paul Hauser, International Freight Hauliers

Paul Hauser
first came to Manchester in 1945 at the end of World War II.
Born in 1895, a native of Basle in Switzerland, an academic
high flyer and sportsman, he had completed an international
transport apprenticeship in Basle, he began work for the Danzas
Company in Switzerland. During the war he had operated a convoy
protected sea trade out of Liverpool, and at the end of the
war decided to set up his own business in a premises in Timperley
(near Altrincham, in Trafford), assisted by his wife Helen.
Various moves followed – to Brazennose Street, then Princess
Street, then Whitworth Street (all in city centre Manchester),
and then back out to Trafford House in Stretford. The proximity
of Stretford to the railway, the Manchester Ship Canal, Trafford
Park, and later to the M62 Motorway, made it self evident that
this was the best place to site an international hauliers business.
Hauser set up the first real rail freight link, “door to
door” as he called it, and in the 1940s was able to guarantee
a 10 delivery, of any size, from Manchester to anywhere in Europe.
The company eventually acquired its own rail goods terminal
at Ardwick East Goods Station, and soon developed a successful
road transport of bulk chemicals from the nearby Shell refinery
at Carrington.
In 1952 Hauser’s became a Limited Company, and by now was delivering
throughout Europe, Asia Minor and the Middle East, and had opened
depots in London and Harwich. In 1973 a n office was opened
at Stanstead Airport to deal with air freight.
Paul’s son Michael took over from his father and became chairman
of the Hauser Group in 1981. That year the company moved to
a purpose built larger depot at Manchester International Freight
Terminal, and opened an office at the Port of Dover. Success
expansion saw depots and offices opened at Sheffield, Romford,
Cannock and Bradford. In 1995 the company added Hauser Forwarding
Limited at Trafford Park.
Today, Hauser’s have a turnover in excess of £17 million
and deliver about 100,000 annual consignments to 1600 customers
in 43 countries worldwide – with guaranteed speed and reliability.

Marks & Tom

Marks & Spencer

Michael Marks of marks & Spencer Stores
Michael Marks
Tom Spencer of Marks & Spencer Department Store, Manchester
Tom Spencer

Marks was a Russian born Polish refugee who had been born in
Slonim in 1859. As a young man he emigrated to England, but
with no trade and unable to speak English he moved to Leeds
where the Barran company was known to employ Jewish refuges.
He had soon set up trading from a small handcart, peddling his
goods among the surrounding villages in Yorkshire, and by 1884
prospered sufficiently to open a market stall in Leeds, Yorkshire.
His slogan was “Don’t Ask the Price, It’s a Penny”.
In 1894 he went into partnership with Tom Spencer, who was born
in Skipton in Yorkshire on 7th November 1851. Spencer was a
former company cashier for the Isaac Dewhurst Wholesale Company
in Leeds, and paid �300 to Marks for a half-share in the business.
In 1897 Marks & Spencer built a new warehouse in Manchester,
which was to become the centre of their expanding business,
(which now included thirty-six branches). New stores had been
built in Bradford, Leicester, Northampton, Preston, and Swansea.
London had seven branches including those at Brixton, Kilburn,
Islington and Tottenham. By 1901 they had moved to a purpose-built
premises in Derby Street, Manchester and in 1903 they became
a limited company , by which time Spencer’s original �300 investment
had grown to be worth �15,000. Tom Spencer died on 25 July 1905
and Michael Marks died on 31 December 1907.
The company went on securing within the families of its two
founders and continues today as one of the UK’s top multimillion
pound turnover branded stores, the St Michael label respected
for its quality and the company exemplified for the high quality
working conditions of its employees – held up as a model for
other companies to follow. Today there are so-called “Marks
n’ Sparks” or “M&S;” stores in every major town and city of Britain
as well as on the continent of Europe.


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This page last updated 24 Jan 12.