Button factory and Southend Radio & Gramophone Co. Ltd.

Factories in Wickford

1. We are trying to find any information about a button factory, near to Wickford station, possibly between the wars.  Can anyone help us please?

2. We have been given an old music record with a sleeve showing ‘Southend Radio and Gramophone Co. Ltd., Stilemans Works, Wickford’. Does anyone have information about either the company or the location, please?

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  • I knew Norman Caulfield many years ago, you lived in Jersey Gardens, the old police houses opposite John Sadds, the builders merchants. My father and brother-in-law worked there. I too remember the button works.

    By bobcroot (30/01/2020)
  • Mayes Bros. took over the Button Factory during the mid 50s. We used to have our annual bonfire on the field down from the factory. My brother, Norman Caulfield, and his mates started it, and I carried it on along with Graham Knight and others.

    By Gillian Haswell (nee Caulfield) (26/12/2019)
  • I remember the button factory as we used to see it from the railway station. We used the trains to get from our flat in Fulham to the bungalow in Carlton Road, Runwell. Buttons would be thrown out on the ground and children would amuse themselves looking at them and taking some home. Near there was a glove factory and one of the girls I knew from St George’s School went to work there when she was fifteen.

    By Lorraine Taylor (17/06/2019)
  • Yes, they were were a bit careless in dumping their scrap, and it became a collector’s item (usually small narrow rows of plastic with partially punched out buttons) at Wickford school. I am grateful to this page because I couldn’t remember where the factory had been.

    By Vernon Yarker (18/05/2016)
  • I noticed the button factory when we used the station to get steam trains to Liverpool Street. Sometimes unusable buttons could be found on the ground around the factory.

    I think there was a glove factory nearby.

    By Lorraine Taylor (08/03/2015)
  • I have a 1922 Amateur Radio Call Sign Book which lists a Mr F.A. Mayer, Stilemans, Wickford, Essex. He was allocated a licence to use the call sign 2LZ on a wavelength of 180-1000 metres. A 1922 map of Wickford (Essex) (New Series) Sheet 72.16 clearly shows Stilemans located to the rear of Darbys works between the cricket field and Swan Lane. I remember this area as being the site of a public air raid shelter during the war and there was a tennis court nearby.

    By Des Lawrence (16/06/2014)
  • When I was at school there was a button factory opposite the railway station in Station Road/Guernsey Gardens on north east corner of existing carpark. We used to collect mis-cut scrap, what for I don’t know.

    By BOBCROOT (02/09/2012)

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