How historic company Ogden Fibres became…. Ogden Fulfilment! Part 1
The History of Ogden Fibres
Founded in the 1870’s as a wool trading company, Ogden Fibres Ltd based at Becks Mill, in Becks Road, Keighley became a synthetic fibre trader and manufacturer in the 1950’s, and now supplies nylon tops, tow and staple throughout the world.
A joint venture in 1980 in Canada added the re-extrusion of nylon for polyamide compounding markets.
Today, Ogden Fibres Ltd is a well-known local business employing many people in Keighley. But the firm had more humble roots when it was first established in 1878 by Joseph Ogden, who had gained his experience in the wool trade selling to local businesses. The company description at the time was ‘Wool Storer’s and Staplers’.
Originally based in Howarth, the firm moved to Oxenhope in the early 1880’s.
Joseph had 2 sons; Joseph Zera and George. Joseph Zera eventually went in to his own business, whilst George, the elder of Josephs’ sons left school in the early 1900’s and went straight into the family firm. When he inherited the business he moved it into Perseverance Mills, installing wool combing machinery. The company remained there for half a century.
Founder Joseph Ogden died in 1936 and George Ogden in 1940, to leave Herbert Ogden to run what was then Joseph Ogden Ltd.
George’s son, Herbert, ran the business through the war. Business was slow but steady and although the company didn’t see much profit at the time, it survived. Herbert ran the mill (producing wool for the war wool commission) with an ARP watch station operating from his office.
Sykes Mill, brought from Kershaw Bros. before the war, was kept full of raw wool for government storage from 1938 to 1950. To help with the food shortage during the war, Herbert Ogden grew mushrooms in the cellars of Sykes Mill, along with keeping Goats at Gale House; he also bought two farms near Sykes Mill where he kept Jersey Cows.
Herbert remained in control until 1960 when his son Chris Ogden took over. Chris removed the wool combing machinery and ran the company from an office, on his own, producing synthetic fibre tops made on commission.
Expansion soon became necessary due to an influx of orders. New premises were found at Vale Mills, Oakworth. The move took place in 1970 and the company remained there until 1985 when it moved to Springhead mills.
Ogden Fibres Ltd was formally established as a separate corporate entity from Joseph Ogden Ltd in 1974.
The company has seen many challenges and overcome more obstacles on the way, not least of which was the difficulty in obtaining raw materials at certain times, especially during both wars.
The textile industry has always had a tenuous hold on life. Ogden Fibres Ltd has even combated this by producing its own machinery. But despite all this, the company remains resolute in its aims to expand.
There is also an understandable amount of pride in the firms recycling capabilities. Its raw materials can be utilised into 2 or 3 completely diverse end products of which there are few other manufacturers.
Today under the expertise of Garry Ogden, the fifth generation of this remarkable family business, Ogden Fibres specialises in the bespoke manufacture of Nylon 66 and polyester fibre products for the global textile and industrial market.
The firm supplies into various woollen spinning applications, wool worsted spinning applications (upholstery, hand knitting etc.), flock for upholstery, many apparel and industrial end uses, non-woven textiles, and a variety of automotive products.
Committed to customers’ requirements the firm is continually adapting and refining its processes to improve its products and services. Over recent years significant amounts of time and energy has been spent training employees, ensuring their focus is on adding value to customers by means of process mapping, lean manufacturing all leading to ISO 9001:2000 accreditation to enhance a commitment t to customers, suppliers and employees.
Part 2 of this blog can be found here