Records of Percy and Halden (Holdings) Ltd, lubricant manufacturers, Kinning Park, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Director and shareholders minutes 1909-1988
  • Register of members 1909-1931
  • Private ledger 1902-1963
  • Goods received book 1938-1946
  • Order book 1939-1941
  • Samples tested books 1938-1946
  • Salaries book 1943-1954

Administrative / Biographical History

In  1887 , Francis Percy, an oil merchant from Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and a Mr Halden, entered into a partnership as  Percy & Halden, oil merchants. Mr Halden died soon afterwards but Percy continued the business with works at Portman Street, Kinning Park, Glasgow, Scotland. In  1900 , new works were built at Great Wellington Street (later renamed Admiral Street), Kinning Park, to refine animal oils mainly from whale, seal, cod and herring. The oil produced was exported for the jute and leather trade and for the production of soap. In  1909 , the company was incorporated as  Percy & Halden Ltd. with a share capital of £45,000. The works at Admiral Street were extended in 1912 when plant for the manufacture and refining of compound lard was fitted. Compound lard was a mixture of beef dripping and American cottonseed oil and was used by fish and chip shops for frying and was also exported to Belgium as Scotch Beef Lard. Machinery for the manufacture of beef dripping was also installed and by 1914 the company was refining fish oil, dripping and compound lard for sale in Scotland, the north of England, Europe and India.

The 1914-1918 World War caused the company to cease its export trade but saw the first chemical laboratory installed at the works. This period saw the company's expansion into the mineral oil trade used for lubrication but also into a new market for margarine oils in the edible oils and fat market. However, the depression of the 1930s affected oil and fat production and while compound lard continued to be produced, fish oil did not and the company moved more into the merchanting of oil instead of production. The late 1930s saw the development of the motor car and a greater need for lubrication oils. The company had suffered difficulties in the depression not only because of the recession but also due to ageing staff and machinery, lack of technical knowledge and the decline in sales of compound lard. In  1935 , new plant was installed for the production of lard as well as lubricating oil-blending machinery to supply lubricating oil to industry and the motor trade. In 1938, Frank Percy Rait, the grandson of Francis Percy, was appointed a director of the company upon the death of his father, Andrew Rait, who had also been a director. The company remained a family concern until its closure.

With the outbreak of the 1939-1945 World War edible and mineral oil were rationed and in 1941 the government halted production and the works became a warehouse for margarine and cooking fat. However, in  1943 , new lubricating oil plant was installed and production recommenced, the company providing dubbing for the boots of the Armed Forces, lubricants for war machinery and factories, and cutting oil for Rolls Royce sites in Scotland.

In  1949 , a new laboratory was built to investigate further the properties of lubricating oils for sale to the leather, textile and machine industries. With the lifting of oil and fat rationing in  1953 , the company was able to restructure to separate its edible and mineral oil production. The company incorporated a subsidiary company,  Percy & Halden (Edible Products) Ltd to handle the edible fats and oils production. In  1963 , Percy & Halden Ltd was renamed  Percy & Halden (Holdings) Ltd to act as a holding company, and a new company,  Percy & Halden Ltd, was incorporated to take over the mineral oil side of the business. The holding company was responsible for staffing, joint administration, general finance and the company pension scheme of its two subsidiary firms. In  1991 , Percy & Halden (Edible Products) Ltd was sold, becoming Central Petroleum Ltd with offices at Grangemouth, Falkirk, Scotland, and that by this time Percy & Halden (Holdings) Ltd was a dormant company, finally being dissolved in  1997 .

Source:  Rait, Frank P 1977Percy & Halden Ltd: A Record of some reminiscences of the activities of the first 90 years[typescript, UGD 260/8/4]


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : Percy & Halden (Holdings) Ltd via BAC(S) : 1989

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)) and London (NRA)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 23 April 2003.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

Held by Percy & Halden (Holdings) Ltd


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 UGD 260/2 Records of Percy & Halden Ltd

GB 248 UGD 260/3 Records of Percy & Halden (Edible Products) Ltd

GB 248 UGD 260/4 Records of RMD Property Co Ltd

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material