Hopkinsons Limited Archive HOP

Dated 1824-2005

Extent: 270 boxes, 3 ledgers, 2 framed items, 1 poster, 2 valve boxes

Description
Records of Hopkinsons Limited, Huddersfield-based isolation and control valve manufacturer.

The archive comprises
Production records, including photographs, drawings, patents, factory production information and analysis records, and samples and equipment.
Corporate planning and administration records, including minutes of directors' and Board meetings.
Estates and facilities records, including site plans and photographs of premises.
Financial records.
Personnel records, including staff photographs, company magazines and newsletters, and staff social activities.
Marketing records, including product catalogues, photographs, exhibition awards and medallions, and company history.
Admin History
Joseph Hopkinson, born 1811 was the founder of Hopkinsons Huddersfield in 1843 and set up his business in East Parade. Hopkinson moved onto Spring Place, off Lockwood Road, Huddersfield using two four roomed converted cottages in 1845. In 1867 Hopkinsons's sons, John Addy Hopkinson and Joseph Hopkinson continued the business and renamed it 'J. Hopkinson & Co'. Following further success, they soon outgrew Spring Place and moved to a relatively large factory off Viaduct Street which was closer to the centre of Huddersfield, this was in 1871. The company stayed here for thirty-three years. During this time the company was made a Private Limited Company in March 1894 with a capital of £400,000 and was renamed 'J. Hopkinson & Co., Ltd.,.

In 1903 it was decided to move locations again, this time to a new site where they could build their own factory. In 1904, the new site in Birkby was opened and named The Britannia Works. Britannia Works expanded in 1912, 1920, 1923 and 1926 and by 1938 it covered eighteen acres. In 1912 the company constructed a new steel foundry which was later expanded in 1972.

By 1920 when they became a new Private Company (still keeping the old name) they had a capital of £600,000. Just six years later in 1926 the company became a Public company with a capital of £700,000 and changed their name to Hopkinsons Limited.

In the early 1950s the company expanded into the nuclear industry and furthered this in the 1960s by suppling main steam and safety valves in Britain’s nuclear submarines. By 1976-7 they employed over four thousand people and their sales totalled £32.9 million.

Hopkinson’s expansion was not confined to the Huddersfield, with their success the company expanded across the country and to other countries too. By 1910 there were depots and showrooms in thirty cities across the world including an office in Lille (France), Paris and St Petersburg. In 1973 Hopkinsons was the first British valve maker to be approved for the coveted ‘N-Stamp’ in the U.S.

In 1989 the Weir Group acquired financial control of Hopkinson’s Ltd and in 2002 Hopkinson’s Ltd became a brand name under the Weir Valves & Control division. In 2005 Weir Valves & Controls closed ending 101 years of manufacturing on the Birkby site.

Directors:
Allen Haigh Hopkinson (Director from 1896- 1926)
Frank Addy Hopkinson (Chairman from 1907)
Lawrence H. Hopkinson (Director in 1911)
John H. Hanson (Director in 1911)
R. Veron Rigby (Director in 1911)
Robert A. Hopkinson (Chairman and managing director in 1924)
Ian G. Hopkinson (Executive Chairman in 1977)


See HOP/MK/5 for "The Hopkinson Story"
Plus HOP/CP/1 minutes
See HOP/MK/7 for correspondence system/numbering (applies to photographs etc)

Access Conditions:
Original available for consultation by appointment

Related Material:
Included in online exhibition “Pressure Power and Patterns” exhibition at https://wakelet.com/wake/fc607dec-fa8f-4024-b364-033b379702a7