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Templemead was built in c1990 on the site of an old glove factory.

 

This old Witham industry was founded by William Pinkham who was was apprenticed in a glove factory in Torrington in Devon. He had already started a glove making business when he moved to Witham in 1901, with a wife and son and daughter. He was employed as a political agent but continued to make gloves in his spare time in their house in Albert Road (opposite the station).

 

The factory at No. 1 Chipping Hill was built in 1912 when the company was known as the National Glove Company and the founder's son, Leslie, planted three oak trees in front of the building. Subsidised continental competition forced the business to close in 1929.

However, due to the determination and hard work of William, Leslie and several faithful members of their staff, the business built up again to full capacity, and by the early 1930s this success was marked by the opening of a new factory at Dagenham. During the Second World War the major part of the production was special electrically heated gloves for the British and American Air Forces.

 

Leslie's three sons returned from war service to the business in 1948 and an additional factory was built adjoining the Witham factory (pictures at the time of imminent demolition below), and later two more factories were built incounty Durham.

 

In the early 1950s the sales of Pinkham Gloves were worldwide and they had 300 indoor workers and a similar number of out-workers producing around 4,000 dozen pairs of gloves a week. Again cheap imports were to hit the company which, coupled with ladies fashions turning away from gloves in the 1960s, caused the company to close down in 1966.

Sources: The Story of a Lamp, W. Pinkham & Son Ltd; Witham & Countryside Society; Janet Gyford.

Text and Photographs: John Palombi and Cyril Taylor unless otherwise accredited. Illustrations: John Finch and Julie & John Denney. Translations: Google.com. Original Concept: Joy Vaughan, Witham Town Centre Strategy Group. Narration: John Rhodes
 

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