Records of Wallis Brothers Ltd, lace manufacturers of Draycott, Derbyshire,1912-1973

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

  • Memorandum and articles of association, April 1917 (BWS 1).
  • Correspondence on subjects including Alfred B. Wallis, Strodex Corset Company, Midland Machine Trust Ltd, and the bankruptcy of T.A. Curtis and Son, December 1921-January 1946 (BWS 2).
  • Wage books, October 1946-February 1960 (BWS 3-4).
  • Account books, ledgers and sales books, January 1912-March 1973 (BWS 5-7).
  • Bank books, statements and cheque stubs, May 1953-January 1958 (BWS 8-10).
  • Sheets of headed notepaper (BWS 11).

The collection provides a very incomplete record of the firm. Of significance to the firm'shistory are the weekly trading account books (BWS 5) and the correspondence files (BWS 2), some ofwhich contain personal correspondence between the Wallis brothers. Although modest in scope, thecollection would support research into Wallis Brothers Ltd or the lace industry in general.

Administrative / Biographical History

Wallis Brothers Ltd, lace manufacturers, appear in a trade directory for Derbyshire for 1908.Their address is given as Victoria Mills, Draycott. The company remained at this address until the1960s. Victoria Mills was a large tenement factory built in 1888 and purchased by Ernest Jardine in1899. Jardine had added an imposing front and clock tower by 1907 - when it was described as one ofthe largest lace factories in the world - and the mill remained in his ownership until 1957. Wallismanufactured Levers lace and had 19 Jardine and Hooton machines. Wallis moved to a new factory in1968, also in Draycott, and amalgamated in 1980 with Malmic Lace, a Barmen lace manufacturer.

The memorandum and articles of association in this collection are for Wallis Brothers Ltd and aredated 18 April 1917 with one of their stated objects being to: 'carry on the business of LaceManufacturers and Merchants now carried on by Thomas Black Wallis, Arthur George Wallis, AlfredBlack Wallis, and Bernard Hedley Wallis, in co-partnership under the style of 'Wallis Brothers' atDraycott'.

As well as Wallis Brothers Ltd, the correspondence in the collection reveals that the severalother companies were controlled by the Wallis brothers. Wallis and Wallis, described as a hosierymanufacturer in Russell Street, Nottingham, apparently confronted financial problems in 1929 andwent into voluntary liquidation (BWS 2/3). Alfred B. Wallis Ltd, yarn agents and merchants of 77Houndsgate, Nottingham is also recorded, remaining in existence until at least 1941 (BWS 2/4).


The collection has been divided by document type into 11 series. Within these series items havebeen arranged chronologically.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must besought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and SpecialCollections (email Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.


Custodial History

The bulk of the company's archive appears to have been lost. The present collection was preservedin the context of historical research and was given to The University of Nottingham's Department ofManuscripts and Special Collections in February 1999.

Geographical Names