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Concert Venues :: Staines Lino Factory


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Date Opened 1864
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Hale Mill was in existence in the 13th century. Part of it belonged to John in le Hale in Edward I's reign, while another part seems to have been in separate ownership from 1271 to 1353. After this time part of the mill belonged to Westminster Abbey. From c. 1472 to 1490 it was in decay and out of use. It was probably one of the two mills in existence in 1503 and 1694, and, since it stood on the River Colne, was presumably that mill in Staines whose occupier claimed to have been injured by Henry VIII's construction of the Duke of Northumberland's River. By 1755 it had come into the possession of John Finch, the owner of Pound Mill, whose descendants retained it until the mid-19th century, although by 1826 they no longer worked it themselves. It was used as a papier-mache factory for a few years about 1855 and then, while the papier-mache works went on for a time in an adjoining building, the Linoleum Manufacturing Company took over the mill in 1864 and bought it outright in 1871. Part of the 19th-century mill buildings still remain near the Hale Street entrance to the factory.

Staines was the major producer of linoleum, a type of floor covering, after the formation of the Linoleum Manufacturing Company in 1864 by its inventor, Frederick Walton. Linoleum became the main industry of the town and was a major employer in the area up until the 1960s. In 1876 about 220 and in 1911 about 350 people worked in the plant. By 1957 it employed some 300 people and in 1956 the factory produced about 2.675 m2. of linoleum each week. The term 'staines Lino' became a world-wide name but the factory was closed around 1970 and is now the site of the Two Rivers shopping centre. A bronze statue of two lino workers in Staines High Street commemorates the Staines Lino Factory. The Spelthorne Museum in Staines has a display dedicated to the Linoleum Manufacturing Company.

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