Records of William Warne & Co Ltd

Scope and Content

This collection comprises the records of William Warne & Co Ltd, including a technical notebook (1882-1896), detailing the chemical additives and cost per pound weight for each product manufactured at the companies factory in Barking, together with minute books of the Directors and Annual General Meetings (1895-1932), balance sheets of income and expenditure (1897-1925), a valuation of India Rubber Mills (1944) and a printed copy of the The India Rubber Journal (1924).

Administrative / Biographical History

William Warne & Co Ltd was established in 1837 as a private company to manufacture rubber products.

In 1895, the company became a joint stock company, the directors then being Edward Gerard Coles (Chairman), Ernest Harry Coles, George Frederick Spencer Warne, Oscar Edwin Coles, and James Burbridge; Ernest. F.Spencer Warne acted as the Company Secretary. The company factory was in Tottenham, Middlesex, with registered offices at 29 Gresham Street in the City of London. In 1907 the company purchased land in Barking and built a new factory there (India Rubber Mills) which became its headquarters.

Although Barking suffered a great deal from enemy bombing during World War II, India Rubber Mills escaped serious damage. However, the war made trading conditions difficult because, despite military orders, there was a shortage of raw material. In 1945, William Warne & Co. amalgamated with the St. Alban' s Rubber Company and The London & Provincial Rubber Co. Ltd. was set up as the holding company. Their range of products was broad, aimed mainly at defence, pharmaceutical and postal markets, and ranged from precision seals for pharmaceutical inhalers and refuelling hoses for military aircraft to rubber bands for the Post Office.

In June 2000, Icon Material Technologies (Holdings) Ltd purchased William Warne and the company name was changed to Icon Warne. At the time, there were 140 employees at Barking. The Barking premises were closed in 2002 when Icon Warne based its production in Retford, Nottinghamshire.


There is no hierarchical arrangement. Each record has been given an individual file number. Loose sheets found within each volume have been placed in a separate envelope for protection.

Access Information

This collection is open to research and can be viewed at the Barking and Dagenham Archive and Local Studies Centre. To make an appointment to visit the reading room, please telephone 020 8227 2033 or email at

Acquisition Information

This collection was originally donated by the Company Secretary of William Warne & Co Ltd.


Catalogued in accordance with ISAD(G).

Other Finding Aids

For further information about the contents of this collection, please contact the Barking and Dagenham Archive and Local Studies Centre telephone 020 8227 2033 or email at

Conditions Governing Use

No photocopying is permitted as this material is bound and fragile. Materials may be photographed but may not be published without permission from Barking & Dagenham's Heritage Services. For further information about our reprographics and publication charges, please visit our website

Custodial History

Many of the records of William Warne & Co Ltd were destroyed when the factory closed in 2002. The records within this collection were all that were salvaged by the Company Secretary and given to Terri Gibbs, a library assistant working for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, before being transferred to the Barking and Dagenham Archive and Local Studies Centre.


The acquisition of additional material is not expected.

Geographical Names