170 years of Bradford on Avon's Rubber Industry
Bradford on Avon is, somewhat uniquely, a ‘rubber town’ - for nearly 150 years Moulton’s rubber factory dominated the centre of Bradford and almost everyone in the town worked there. Following the relocation of the factory to Chippenham in 1992, little remains to show how important the rubber industry was to the lives and livelihood of the entire town.
Stephen Moulton opened his rubber factory in the Kingston Mill in October 1848. Over the following 170 years many changes have taken place but the rubber business continues in the local area if not in Bradford itself (although the Moulton Bicycle Company, on the The Hall Estate, still do some rubber moulding on site). To illustrate this, Andrew Shipley of DTR VMS in Trowbridge has produced a chart (below) showing the progression of the business from S. Moulton and Co. in 1848 to DTR VMS in 2018.
You can read more about Bradford’s Rubber Industry here and in Dan Farrell’s book ‘Riding on Rubber - the story of Bradford on Avon’s world-renowned rubber industry’, available from Ex Libris bookshop in Bradford or on Amazon.