Records of Hotpoint Ltd., Llandudno Junction and Bodelwyddan

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Scrapbooks and files about trade union issues.

Administrative / Biographical History

The name Hotpoint came into being when a meter reader called Earl Richardson - an employee of a Californian power company, designed an electric iron, the elements of which converged at the point. Its predecesors, the elements of which were centrally placed presented the problem of the sole plate being too hot at the centre and too cold at the point and the edges. Richardson promptly named his iron the 'Hotpoint'.

In 1911 Richardson formed a company called the Hotpoint Electric Heating Company which finally merged with the General Electric Company of America in 1918. In 1920 the British Thomson - Houston Company (BTH) formed a selling agency to handle General Electric products in Britain. It was called the Hotpoint Electric Appliance Company Ltd.

In 1921, Hotpoint started trading with a British board of Directors and whilst maintaining close links with its American associates was nevertheless entirely British. Eight years later in 1928, Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) was formed as a holding company whose shares were issued to the shareholders of BTH and Metro Vick in exchange for their holdings in those companies. Thus BTH and its subsidiary, Hotpoint, joined the AEI group of companies.

In 1940, A.E.I. inspected a derelict factory in Peterborough built during the 1914 - 1918 war to process flax grown on the neighbouring fenlands. Within six months A.E.I. had trebled the manufacturing area. Over two thousand men and women were at work assembling airframes for Wellington bombers.

In 1946, A.E.I. bought the International Refrigerator Co. and in 1947 the Llandudno Junction factory, formerly a Government Shadow factory built during the war for the manufacture of aircraft components, was leased by them to manufacture commercial refrigerators.

In 1950 Hotpoint acquired the Llandudno Junction factory when A.E.I merged the International Refrigerator Co. into the Hotpoint Group.

In 1966, Morphy Richards was joined with Hotpoint Ltd., to become British Domestic Appliances Ltd. Two years later, following an agreement between G.E.C. and A.E.I., G.E.C. Domestic Equipment Ltd. was added to B.D.A.

In 1969, G.E.C. and English Electric joined forces. The English Electric domestic appliance division was merged with B.D.A. although at a later period the E.E. division was floated off to become a separate company, English Electric Consumer Limited.

1974 saw the re-emergence of Hotpoint Limited, G.E.C. in conjunction with Schreiber Industries Limited, formed a company called G.E.C. - Schreiber (G.E.C. holding 2/3rds of the shares and Schreiber 1/3rd) to direct B.D.A. operations. The company was renamed Hotpoint Limited and Mr. Chaim Schrieber appointed Managing Director.

In 1982 a new purpose built Hotpoint factory was built at Kinmel Park, Bodelwyddan with a further extension to the site in 1988. In 1983 as a result of the separation of Schreiber Furniture Industries from G.E.C. - Schreiber, Hotpoint Limited became a wholly G.E.C. owned company under the Managing Directorship of Mr. Jeoff Samson.

During this period the company continued in its development of new products culminating in the introduction of the first condensor washer/dryer. In 1985 further developments were made in the Microprocessor controlled washing machine field with the commencement of production of the Micro Profile 1300, representing a significant advancement in both economy and efficiency and ensuring the maintenance of the company's position as leaders in the highly competitive domestic appliance market.

In May 1994 the factory at Llandudno Junction was closed,the production being transferred to the Kinmel Park site, with the exception of the machine shop at the Park Esgyryn part of the site ( now the site of the Welsh Assembly Building) which was to continue the production of Twin Tubs and Top Loading washing machines. However, this site was also to close in 1999.

IN 2002 the Hotpoint business was taken over by Indesit and production was increasingly transferred to other factories in Europe which led to the to the Kinmel Park site being closed at the end of July 2009, ending Hotpoint production in Britain.

It is also worthy of note that Hotpoint had two smaller sites located in Llandudno itself , at two different periods in its history. During the late 1950's and early 1960's a building in Back Madoc Street consisting of two floors was in use as a service and repair site on the ground floor with the top floor used by Design and Production Engineering, also in the 1970's there was a wiring section located on the site of what was the tennis courts of the Craigside Hydro Hotel.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. Access to some documents may be restricted due to Data Protection legislation, Conwy Archives will advise where this is the case. For details and opening hours see http://www.conwy.gov.uk/en/Resident/Libraries-Museums-and-Archives/Archives/Archives.aspx.

Related Material

In addition to printed material and photographs (CP 346), the Hotpoint collection also contains examples of washing machines, one from the period c.1928, one c.1960 and one from 1999, an Electric Iron made in Craig-y-Don and various silver cups and a large shield presented to the Hotpoint Fire Brigade, with Trophy shields presented for Training and Housekeeping. Other items are a silver plate presented in appreciation by the First Abergele (St. Michaels) Scout Group, a mounted washing machine door bowl, produced by 'Corning' presented to Hotpoint Llandudno Junction 1st November 1990 in celebration of the production of one million bowls. There are also three samples of the Hotpoint Uniform.