These fascinating images capture what life was like inside a beloved and lost factory in Liverpool.
Located in Woolton, the Bear Brand Hosiery factory employed generations across Merseyside and had a long history in the area until the site was demolished in the late 1990s.
The company’s trade name was of American origin. Mr. Howard Ford got his start in the hosiery business by importing stockings, including some from the Bear Brand Hosiery Company of Chicago. He eventually bought the Bear Brand trade name for use in the UK and Ireland, and began manufacturing stockings in Liverpool.
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Bear Brand employed hundreds of people at a time, making tights and stockings for women. Hitler’s WW2 bombers failed to bomb the old Bear Brand factory in Woolton as it turned out to be thousands of parachutes for the war effort.
At one time Liverpool playwright Willy Russell worked at the Woolton factory and an annual cruise would also take place for staff.
For some great historical images from the past, check out memorylane.co.uk/ and see what you can discover
Fast forward to 1997, work began to demolish the factory to make way for a Tesco supermarket. The villagers fought a great battle to stop the plan and won the council’s support. But Carter Commercial Development appealed and a government inspector decided the program should go ahead, ECHO reported in August that year.
While the site has now been gone for some time, it still lives on in the memory of those who worked there.
Did you work at the Woolton factory? Let us know in the comments section below.
These images, unearthed from our archives, Mirrorpix, have not been seen for years and offer insight into the lost factory and those who worked there.
Here are 20 fascinating photos of Bear Brand’s factory in Woolton decades ago.
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