When Patons and Baldwins built its new Darlington wool factory at Lingfield Point immediately after the Second World War they had a vision to build the most advanced production facility in the world.
Patons and Baldwins has its roots in the very beginnings of the industrial revolution, dating back to the mid-18th century when two entrepreneurs, James Baldwin of Halifax, England, and his Scottish counterpart John Paton, separately developed businesses working with the early versions of Crompton’s spinning mule.
1920 saw the merger of these two successful businesses, creating one of the largest wool manufacturing companies in the world. Construction started on the new Patons and Baldwins wool factory at Lingfield Point in August 1945.
The aim was to create a flagship manufacturing base for the world famous knitting yarn company. The site, two miles east of the town centre, was ideally located next to the Stockton to Darlington railway line, providing the factory with its own railway sidings.
By 1951, this revolutionary wool factory was completed at a cost of £7.5m. At more than two million square feet, this colossus was the largest wool factory in the world.
Sixty years later it has transformed again into a dynamic, contemporary business community with an exciting future. To find out more about this important part of Darlington’s history – please feel free to download the book (below)
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