Leyland Historical Society

1910 - The Most Successful Year

1905 - Roberts & Whitehead 

In 1905 two directors of the L & B decided to go it alone, Messrs TH Roberts and Samuel Whitehead established a new rubber works at the bottom of Quin Street behind the church called the Ajax Works. It can be seen on the 1909 Ordnance Survey map and confirmed in the trade directories of 1913 and 1922.

1907 - J E Baxter & Co Limited


This is the advertisement that the L & B placed in the Quarter Century (1884 – 1909) number of the India Rubber Journal published originally in 1909. 

It is the source of much of the information and pictures of the people in this presentation being closer to the time period.

Note all the products mentioned including “Asbestos Goods of Every Description”

Baxter, Byrne & Goudie  - The Three Wise Men 

Brookfield Iron Works site

The current Iddon Brothers site

Arrivals & Departures

1905 - 1909

The ongoing story of the firm which lost directors and gained businesses along the way.

1 Park Avenue, Hesketh Park, Southport
Home of James T Goudie

1906 - Palatine Heel Company

Taken over by the Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Co Limited in 1906

The shop was at 123 Fishergate, Preston and the manufacturing took place at Pole Street Mills, Preston, Lancashire.  
Manufacturers of all types of Rubber and Canvas Sports Shoes, including the world-famous "Crusoe", "Sinbad", "Aladdin" and "Sunray" Shoes, also the well-known Palatine Rubber Soles, Heels, Tips and Duride Material.

Oaklands, Moss Lane, Leyland
The home of James E Baxter

James Tulloch Goudie

Born 15th June 1873 in Cathcart, Scotland The son of the firms founder James T. Goudie.

He moved down to Lancashire after the firms merged in 1908. By the 1911 Census, living at 1 Park Avenue, Hesketh Park, Southport.  Having invested £30,000 in the Company he wanted his concerns to be taken seriously by the board, especially the role of the part time chairman (ahead of their time). His brother Albert Nicol Goudie was also a director.

India Rubber World – October 1906
The changes made in the management of this firm after the somewhat unsatisfactory report at the annual meeting in 1905 seem to have worked well. At the meeting held in Leyland on August 10, Mr. James E. Baxter presiding, it was announced that the trading profits were £23,591. Compared with £9,508 in 1905.

According to the chairman this satisfactory result was mainly attributable to keeping up the quality of the goods and of sticking out for prices in accordance with the cost of the raw rubber. Incidentally the fact was mentioned that the users of rubber had increased 20 per cent, in the last year while the crop increase had been very small indeed. The increased demand was mainly for motor tires. Judging from the melancholy state of affairs in the proofing trade, as shown by certain British firms, it is not surprising that the chairman had nothing optimistic to say in this branch. The dividend passed amounts to 6% per cent, for the year.

India Rubber World – February 1907
A point about proofing trade of somber interest to the rubber expert is that since the use of the dry heat vulcanization process became general there has been a cessation of the lawsuits which at one time were such a feature of the trade. At the present time the manufacturers have the experience of the past as a guide to their actions, and this, coupled with the practical abandonment of the cold cure process, has very greatly minimized the amount of defective work.

The patent rights for this process, which has been previously referred to in these notes, have now passed into the hands of J E Baxter, of the Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Co., Limited. This applies not only to the British rights, but in all countries where patents have been taken out. A new factory is now in course of erection at Leyland where the system will be worked on a large scale by J. E. Baxter Limited, the company previously known as the Dialene Co., manufacturers of a specially reclaimed rubber.

The original Penther machine is now being brought over from Germany and will be erected in the Leyland factory. As regards foreign countries, I understand it is the intention of the Leyland firm to grant licenses on terms which consist of the company supplying the machine (which costs about £2000) and taking a certain share of the profits resulting from its operation.

Robert Taafe Byrne

Born 14th January 1863 in Erdington, Birmingham.

He was the Birmingham Rubber Company who when the manufacturing side moved to Leyland he did not.

He commuted from Moseley and later Fulford Hall, both on the southern outskirts of Birmingham

He also played county cricket for Worcestershire & Warwickshire

The site was extended into Newsome Street along John Street between 1907 and 1912.  It was incorporated in 1907 as the Wood Milne Rubber Company whose early story can be found by clicking this button.

It would eventually become one of the original parts of the BTR empire.

India Rubber World – October 1911
“For a small place this is now quite an important centre of the trade, containing as it does the large works of the Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Company, the newly erected works of Wood-Milne, Limited, formerly Whitehead & Roberts; the works of J. E. Baxter & Company, formerly the Dialene Company; the large new factory of Leyland Motors, Limited, and the rubber machinery works of Iddon Brothers, Limited.

All these works are situated quite close to one another, and it is not surprising that the population of the village has increased, owing to the demand for labour. The Leyland Motors are busy, and have recently received an important order from a government department for their vehicles.

An interesting feature about the Wood-Milne rubber washing plant is the installation of a complete purification plant of the Mather & Platt type, by which the washing water is freed from both its dissolved and suspended impurities and used over and over again.

The water supply, both for the washing and the condensing plants, is drawn from a small brook running through the premises; there being other users of the water lower downstream who would object to any defilement of the water by trade effluents.

The reduction of the dividend of the Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Company, Limited, from 7% to 5 per cent, caused some surprise and has led to some fall in the quotation for the shares”.

The last entry from the India Rubber World Magazine nicely sums up Leyland industry in 1911.

James T. Goudie & Co., Water proofers and India-rubber Manufacturers merged with the L & B in 1908
149 and 151, Argyle Street. Glasgow.

        This well-known firm of water proofers and India-rubber manufacturers was founded in 1868 under the style of Blacklock, Goudie & Co., in Jamaica Street. That title remained until 1880, when it was altered to James T. Goudie & Co., the sole principal was Mr. James T. Goudie Senior until his death in 1896. It then passed to his son, James T Goudie Junior who negotiated the merger with the L & B in 1908.

The firm remained in Jamaica Street for 12 years, then moved to the premises in Argyle Street. The works were known as the Kent Works, and were situate in Garscube Road, Maryhill. The city establishment at Argyle Street and 3 St. Enoch Square constituted the commercial headquarters and was devoted to the wholesale, retail, and export trade.    

A brief enumeration of the leading manufactures included machine belting in India-rubber and gutta-percha, hose for all purposes, tubing for gas and chemical uses, buffers for railway carriages, &c., valves for engineering purposes, sheet rubber, washers, piston-packing, and canvas sheet, solid rubber cord, wheel tyres, and cylinders for wringing-machines, coats, leggings, hats, piece goods, and all waterproof textiles generally ; bed and hospital sheeting, water-beds, pillows, &c., foot-warmers and air-proof goods, carriage-aprons, fishing-stockings and trousers, horse loin covers, travelling bags, tourists’ cases, portmanteaus, gas bags, play balls, rubber overshoes, gun covers, India-rubber solution, stationers’ rubber, gutta-percha in sheet, bathing tents, stack covers, and a host of sundries of every description.

India Rubber World – December 1909
“Mr. James E. Baxter has retired from the board of the Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Co., Limited, and Mr. R. T. Byrne has been elected chairman in his place. It will be remembered that Mr. Baxter, to whose initiative and energy is due the great development of the Leyland factory from a comparatively insignificant concern, retired some years ago from the active control, but resumed his position at a later date by the express desire of the shareholders.

I may state that Mr. Baxter's withdrawal from the board is due to the multiplicity of his interests and engagements. These include directorships in two goods or three rubber planting companies, on the boards of which he can, of course, speak with a knowledge of the trade in all its bearings”.

So Goudie got his way and Baxter was ousted to go and spend more time with his own company and at his new home, Oaklands in Moss Lane with Janey. Though he did not have long as he died on 5th February 1916, Janey would live on until 9th February 1946 after which Oaklands became the Convert only recently vacated by the Nuns (2016)

But Goudie did not take over, it was Byrne who became Managing Director until at least 1922 commuting from Birmingham, so was he more full time!!!

Goudie died in 1925 but at least the name was remembered as Goudie was used by L&B as a trade name for their sports products until 2002.  

James Edgar Baxter

Born 1862 Dublin, Ireland

He had risen through the ranks to be Managing Director, though seemed to like being in charge and when faced with a stronger board in 1898, decided to resign while he got the measure of them and then returned.

In 1900, set up his own company with a specific product Dialene but was running both L & B and the firm that would soon change its name to J E Baxter Co Limited.

Net Profit of £33,019 0s 6d

Todays value (2016) £2,719,252.23

Suggestion that workers should invest in shares, ahead of time !!!

Fulford Hall, near Dickens Heath, Solihull, Birmingham .
Home of Robert Taafe Byrne

1908 - J T Goudie & Co

India Rubber World – October 1908

AT the last annual meeting of the Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Co., Limited (Leyland August 15), Mr. James E. Baxter, the chairman, informed the shareholders that the year's trading had been the best in the history of the company.

He reviewed the history of rubber prices as affecting the manufacture of rubber goods, but personally he did not anticipate a repetition of the extreme fluctuation in the prices of crude rubber such as they had experienced during the past few years, particularly when they considered the rapid strides which had been made in the planting of cultivated rubber.

The price would necessarily settle itself down to a regular one, which would handsomely pay the planter, and which, at the same time, would enable the manufacturer to produce at a fair profit, and also to largely extend his business.