Records of Fleming, Reid & Co Ltd, thread manufacturers, Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Minute books including articles of association 1899-1967.

Administrative / Biographical History

The firm of Fleming, Reid & Co was founded in 1840  by John Fleming and James Reid as a thread manufacturer in Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland. Their main product, worsted yarns, was sold mainly to manufacturers in Glasgow, Scotland, and the company was the nearest rival to Paton & Baldwins Ltd, thread manufacturers, Uxbridge, Middlesex, England. In the late 1840s, Alexander Fleming (1826-1905), John's younger brother, joined the firm and was soon made manager of the factory and a partner, taking more responsibility as the other partner, James Reid, son of the founding Reid, was elected MP for Greenock. In 1880, the firm was hit by disaster when almost all their mills at Shawswater, Greenock, were destroyed by fire - the warehouse was the only building saved. Mill space was rented in England while new mills were built at Greenock, which became operational in 1883. Alexander created the chain of 'Scotch Hosiery Stores' in order to appeal to the public at a time of declining demand. The success of these stores saw the company diversify from production of knitting yarns to manufacture of hosiery and underwear. By the time Alexander died in 1905 there were 128 stores throughout the country. In 1899  , the firm was converted into a limited liability company, as Fleming, Reid & Co Ltd , with Alexander's son James becoming managing director. At this time their capital was å£250,000, rising in 1909 to å£350,000, in 1918 to å£675,000 and in 1924 to å£1,175,000. The name of the company changed to Coats Patons (Retail) Ltd in 1967  .


This material is arranged into series, which consist of numbers of items related by format and/or function. Within series the items are generally arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Indefinite loan : J & P Coats : Glasgow : c1984

Indefinite loan : Coats Viyella plc : London: 1991 : ACCN 0146 (Additional Deposit)

Indefinite loan : via Business Archives Council in Scotland : 1993 : ACCN 0198 (Additional Deposit)

Indefinite loan : 1995 : ACCN 0240 (Additional Deposit)

Indefinite loan : 1996 : ACCN 0255 (Additional Deposit)

Indefinite loan : Coats Viyella plc : Swinton, Manchester: 2000 : ACCNs 1887, 1925, 1926, 1996

Indefinite loan : ACCN 0054

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)2576) and London (NRA20914)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

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

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

Appraisal Information

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

Custodial History

Held by J & P Coats Ltd


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 UGD 199/1 Records of J & P Coats Ltd and CoatsPatons Ltd

See source list on Textiles available via Glagsow University Archive Services homepage at

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

No alterations made to date

Geographical Names