Leech, Neal & Co Ltd.

Scope and Content

The records comprise the minutes of the Board and AGMs from incorporation until acquisition by ICI, as well as a range of legal and financial records.

Administrative / Biographical History

Leech, Neal & Co. were a Derby firm of dye makers. The company was founded by Charles Leech and Thomas Neal in 1864, originally manufacturing paints, but increasingly focussing on pigments. A factory was opened at Spondon, Derby in 1876, which made synthetic iron oxide pigments. The firm was incorporated in 1889 as Leech Neal & Co Ltd. It suffered declining profits in the Edwardian period, but revived its fortunes with a new process for making precipitated iron ore pigments. It was acquired by ICI in 1936 as part of its consolidation strategy for the UK dyestuffs industry. ICI continued operations at Spondon until 1956, when the factory was closed. Leech, Neal had no direct connections with another Derby firm, Oliver Wilkins, which was also acquired by ICI Dyestuffs.