place and tannery
Commemorated on 1 plaque
The Tanneries. There were many small farmyard tanneries in Runcorn in the 18th Century, but in the 19th Century and for the first half of the 20th Century, tanning was a major industry in the town. Indeed, we were once the largest producer of leather in the country. However, by 1968 tanning had ceased in Runcorn, mainly because of the availability of cheap non-leather substitutes. The most important tanneries were the Camden, Puritan, Astmoor, and Highfield tanneries. Runcorn Docks were important for important for importing the materials used in tanning and for exporting the finished goods. The larger tanneries were positioned along the Bridgewater Canal, and it was by way of canal that they received their coal, raw hides and tanning materials (imported from overseas via Liverpool Docks). A plentiful local supply of hides came from the Cheshire dairy industry. Our tanneries also used the North Wales to Liverpool water supply which was of a high purity and of great benefit in the tanning process. Runcorn's tanneries supplied the leather for the war effort in both World Wars. Runcorn Association Football Club and the Highfield Male Voice Choir have their origins in the tanneries. An early nickname of the football team's was 'The Tanners', and the choir's emblem has three figures carrying three 'bends' of leather, each 'bend' consisting of half an animal hide after tanning. According to tradition, a Runcorn tannery supplied the leather used to make the boots for the Duke of Wellington and his army at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. This plaque hangs on the former site of the Puritan Tannery, which closed in 1964. Its owner, Francis Boston, once lived in what is today Runcorn Town Hall on Heath Road, which for a time was known as Boston Grange. He lived there from 1904 until his death in 1929.
Bridgewater Garden/Craft Centre, Halton Road, Runcorn, United Kingdom where it sited