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'200 years of history vanished in minutes' 40 jobs axed as the last card clothing firm closes down.



Byline: By HENRYK ZIENTEK Business Reporter

A COLNE Valley The Colne Valley is a steep sided valley on the east flank of the Pennine Hills in the English county of West Yorkshire. It takes its name from the River Colne which rises above the town of Marsden and flows eastward along the floor of the valley.  firm which has supplied the textile trade for more than two centuries has collapsed with the loss of more than 40 jobs.

Marsden-based James Holdsworth and Brothers Ltd has gone into liquidation after battling unsuccessfully to stay in business in the face of dwindling profits and the loss of markets to overseas competitors.

The company, founded in 1790, was the last card clothing company in the UK. The firm supplied carding equipment to customers in the UK knitwear knit·wear  
n.
Knitted garments.


knitwear
Noun

knitted clothes, such as sweaters

Noun 1.
, spinning and cashmere cashmere

Animal-hair fibre forming the downy undercoat of the Kashmir goat. The fibre became known for its use in beautiful shawls and other handmade items produced in Kashmir, India. The fibres have diameters finer than those of the best wools.
 processing industries.

Last May, the company moved from Station Road, Mirfield, to a 28,000sq ft purpose-built factory at Holme Mills, Marsden, as part of efforts to cut costs.

Greg Duffy, union representative for the Community Union, said the closure decision has left employees stunned.

He said: "We turned up for work as normal on Monday and did a morning's work, but were then called together at 2pm and told the place was in liquidation. Ten minutes later and the liquidator was in the place.

"The firm started in 1790, so 200 years of history vanished in a few

minutes.

"They told us to leave at once, no wages, no redundancy money, no holiday pay, no overtime. We are all stunned.

"We moved to Marsden last April and we lost about a third of the workforce at that point, but we seemed to be doing okay. There is a lot of competition from China, but we had no inkling things were bad."

Mr Duffy said: "We feel badly let down.We have been sacrificed for the sake of the directors with the workers hung out to dry. Many of the people there have worked there for up to 40 years and there was a real family feel to the place."

Peter Sargent, of Begbies Traynor in Halifax, said: "This was the last thing the management wanted to do and they are really distraught about the situation. It was with great reluctance that they called us in to place the company into liquidation."

Mr Sargent said: "It is really a case of loss of markets and the inability to make a profit at what they are doing.

"They have manfully man·ful  
adj.
Having or showing the bravery and resoluteness considered characteristic of a man. See Synonyms at male.



manful·ly adv.
 kept going as long as they can. This is a long-established local company which has survived the ups and downs ups and downs  
pl.n.
Alternating periods of good and bad fortune or spirits.


ups and downs
Noun, pl

alternating periods of good and bad luck or high and low spirits
 for many generations.

"Sadly, the company has succumbed. is also a sad day for the Colne Valley, which has lost another 40-odd manufacturing jobs."

Mr Sargent said the liquidators had already received a lot of interest in the plant and machinery, mainly from potential buyers overseas.

Steady decline of an industry

JAMES Holdsworth and Brothers Ltd is the latest in a long line of world-renowned textile names to disappear from the Huddersfield area - following such well-known companies as Globe Worsted, C & J Hirst and Huddersfield Fine Worsteds Its demise echoes the closure of Lindley-based English Card Clothing in 2006 with the loss of 40 jobs when production was transferred overseas. Estimates say fewer than 1,700 people are now employed in textiles in the town against 18,000 in 1970.

CAPTION(S):

LIQUIDATION: Joint managing director of James Holdsworth and Brothers John Murray Not to be confused with John Murry.
There have been several important people by the name of John Murray (roughly in chronological order):
  • John Murray of Falahill, a Scottish outlaw
  • John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl (1660-1724)
 (left) and Financial Director Martin Campbell at the new factory and (above) the old factory
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Article Type:Company overview
Date:Jan 31, 2008
Words:547
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