1960: Miller Weblift was formed
1961: This video walks us through the coop factory in 1961 that produced a wide range of knitwear including jumpers, cardigans and tank-tops. The garments flew off the production lines as the cones and bobbins whirled through miles of yarn. The skilled workers hand-cut patterns with darting scissors at the Co-operative Society works, manufacturing Leeknit for the Lanfield range of knitwear. A fashion show amongst the machines brings these, now desirably vintage, patterns and styles to life and shows that there’s a woolly for every member of the family. The video then goes to the division in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent where the garments are finished.
Early 1960’s: An entrepreneur Peter Held teamed up with the dye works of Eric Bridge, the company then became known as Alberton Limited where the factory began to produce narrow fabric webbing.
1963: Marling Leek was formed
Late 1960s: Our PP webbing was used by Miller Weblift producing small lifting slings but Miller Weblift needed something innovative. Using a new thesis of ‘Unitarization’, the Cloverlift was invented. Subsequently, a big expansion began with companies including Marling & Evans and Marlin PLC. It was from these companies, Marling Leek got its name. (Companies house says 1963)
1990s: With the increasing safety legislation, the firm’s business doubled overnight when rear seatbelts were introduced. All of the webbing produced at the factory has been subject to stringent testing since the beginning – destruction tests show it to be so strong that the seatbelt buckle breaks before the webbing.
1998: Ridgegear was formed.