Industrial / Business Heritage

Under construction and untested 16.10.2015

A few business names / industries from Letchworth's past / present, in no particular: order, size, date, or importance. This needs more research. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete, most of this is based on what I have found in books, directories, seen in photographs or heard about from local people so far, some who provide conflicting information.

My aim is to give viewers an idea of the diversity of the working environment over the years in the garden city.

Useful resources

Notes from talks on various industries and people from the Letchworth Garden City Societies Journal HERE

Grace's Guide where you can find details of some of the industries, images from early advertising and reports of official visits to some of the factories.

A general search of Grace's Guide

Early Industrial Life from "A Pageant of Letchworth 1903-1914" by A .W. Brunt

The Building of Satellite Towns, chapter Letchworth The Industries
by C. B. Purdom First published: 1925 by J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd.

Cottages and Early Industry from a presentation to The LGCS

I am going to link each entry to where a company is mentioned


Abattoir - Centralised slaughter house in works road handling cattle, sheep, pigs and calves together with processing all waste and by-products.


Anglia Match Factory


Arden Press - Printing and Bookbinding

A Pageant of Letchworth

From LGCS Journal

From LGCS Journal

The Pixmore Avenue factory as W H Smith, it can be seen as Morse Chain in the links for them, the building behind it is Arden Press
Ascot Motor Company - Motorcyle and small car manufacturers

From LGCS Journal

Ascot Training Centre - Teaching all sorts of trades, hairdressing, building etc.

From LGCS Journal


Bennett's - Ford car importer US models and dealer selling UK models also in Station Road 1919, Demolished 2000 to make a McCarthy & Stone Home development, after the Ford dealership moved next door.

Borg Warner - Gearbox manufacture

From LGCS Journal

The Bowyer-Lowe Company Ltd - Radio set manufacturers exported world-wide based in The Sheds 1923-1927

From Radio Museum

Brooks & Co - Scientific Instruments

British Tabulator

Graces Guide


The Country Gentleman's Association - Landowner advisors and testing and propagation of seeds and cuttings, supply of all manner of products

Chater Lea - Bicycle parts and motorbikes


Dairies - T Squire, Coles, and various local farms - Several local milk producers and distributors were established

J M Dent and Sons Ltd ( Temple Press ) - Printers

A Pageant of Letchworth

T J Dixon & Co - Since 1912 Coatings for the photographic industry

Graces Guide

Current Website


Ewart and Company - Geyser Manufacturers 1904/5

A Pageant of Letchworth


Foster Instrument Co Ltd - Industrial pyrometers

Graces Guide

Full Fashioned Hosiery Company - ( Later Kayser Bondor now Tesco Direct ) Not in Letchworth but Baldock very close and a popular place of work for many looking for work around the Letchworth area.


Garden City Embroidery Company - Embroidery

A Pageant of Letchworth

The Garden City Press - High class letterpress printing of catalogues, bookwork, Artistic colour printing and periodicals

A Pageant of Letchworth

Garden City Tennants Ltd - Housing

Cottages and Early Industry


Hayes (Universal) Printing Machinery Co Ltd - Colour lithographers

Heatley Gresham Engineering Works - First Factory in Letchworth

A Pageant of Letchworth

Graces Guide

Herz and Falk Embroidery Co - Embroidery

Hive Printers Est. 1946, Oppenshaw Way and Fenners Bld. From LGCS Journal

Howard Cottage Society - Housing for the working classes Est. 1911

From LGCS Journal

From LGCS Journal

Cottages and Early Industry


The Iceni Pottery - Formed by Miss Lawrence and W H Cowlishaw using an unusual glaze technique

Messrs Idris & Co - Mineral Water Manufacturers 1904/5 A Pageant of Letchworth

Irvin's Airchute - Parachute manufacture now largely moved away from Letchworth after a merger



Kinora Limited - Producing a means of viewing moving films at home approx 1911-1914

A Pageant of Letchworth

Kryn and Lahy Foundry / Kryn and Lahy Steel Founders and Engineers Ltd - Started 1915 by Belgian refugees to aid the war effort WW1. Metal workers / foundry - carbon steel castings, for all manner of heavy industrial applications, cars , bridges, cranes, railway engine wheels and parts, in wartime tank parts, shells, large bombs, portable bridges etc. I have seen pictures showing blast furnaces, convertors, and large cooling towers connected to the railway by sidings.

From the air in the 40's


The Lacre Motor Company - Chassis builders

From LGCS Journal

Letchworth Bacon Company - Sausages pies etc.


Letchworth Polishing and Plating

Letchworth Printing Ltd - Printers including local newspaper

Lloyds & Co Ltd - Lawn mower manufacturer

Marmet Prams - Pram manufacturer est. 1912 Graces Guide

Between Icknield Railway, just behind Spirella

Mason's Garage - Car maintenance and repair and selling cars and motorcycles in Eastcheap in the 20's and 30's

Morse Chain FROM THE AIRCorner of Pixmore Ave and Works Road from the direction of Birds Hill

FROM THE AIRCorner of Pixmore Ave and Works Road from the direction of the railway

D Meredrew Ltd - Cabinet makers


Notts - Bakery and Confectionery



Phoenix Motor Car Company (Later Ascot ) - Motor car manufacture

From LGCS Journal

Q / R


Shelvoke and Drewery - Internationaly successful manufacturer of Refuse Collection equipment - Dustcarts, and other Utility vehicles, wartime manufacturer of miniature submarines Shelvoke Drewry History extensive information and photographs.

From LGCS Journal

Sigma Instrument Company Ltd - Equipment for the gas industry and fine measuring equipment


The St Edmundsbury Weaving Works - Manufactured banners etc.

A Pageant of Letchworth

The Spirella Corset Company - Corset Manufacturer (+ parachutes and bombes during war) massively successful until the 1950's when fashions changed

FROM THE AIR 1930 The Sheds and Nevells Road to its front, possibly Bijoli Works to The Rear

Stoddard Brushes - (renamed since the 60's) Dental laboratory brush products etc. In the Fenners building Oppenshaw way, then factories in Icknield Way and now Blackhorse Lane

From LGCS Journal

Current Website

Standard Company - Photo Paper Manufacturers

A Pageant of Letchworth



Utilities Electricity Supply - Started 1907 - industrial area only until 1909

Gas Works - subsidiary of First Garden City Ltd. - Started 1905 - Production from coking coals, gas holders and retort houses producing up to 50 million cubic ft of gas by the first World War

The Building of Satellite Towns, chapter Letchworth Public Services


Vickers & Field / Mastic Roofing and Paving Co - Asphalt manufacturers

A Pageant of Letchworth


At the front left Bridger Packaging, right Lloyds Lawnmowers, Pixmore Avenue with Morse Chain, The power station top centre with the chimney and cooling towers


A view across Glebe Road in the foreground, then in order Icknield Way with the Chater Lea factory tagged just to the left of centre, The Railway, Works Road, Baldock Road about 2/3 of the way up. Looking along Pixmore Avenue to the right, Dunhams Lane Just to the left of center with Kryn and Lahy to the left about half way up, get your bearings from the tags.. I think that the factory just to the right of the tag for Cromwell road is the Shelvoke factory on Icknield Way. FROM THE AIR

W H Smith - Bookbinders

A Pageant of Letchworth
"During the year ending midsummer 1907 W. H. Smith and Son were responsible for the erection of a large factory (now the works of the Morse Chain Co. Ltd.) for the bookbinding branch of their business, and the Arden Press Ltd., as their printing works on the next plot." The Pixmore Avenue factory as W H Smith, it can be seen as Morse Chain in the links for them, the building behind it is Arden Press

From LGCS Journal

Westinghouse Morse Chain Company - Timing chains for engines and other precision applications in industry, also made a significant contribution to war effort

A Pageant of Letchworth

From LGCS Journal

Wheeler, Odell and Company - Printers / publishers

A Pageant of Letchworth