Enquiry Answered: Was there ever a paper mill?

Enquiry: Were there/are there Anstey businesses using cardboard (for boxes) and paper, e.g. Anstey Wallpaper, Artisan Press, Suburban Press, Ulverscroft Large Print Books. Where did the paper/cardboard come from originally? Was there ever a paper mill? (as in Papermill Row, Paper Mill Close). I’m aware of Broughton’s Timber Yard – was the timber used for construction or was it ever a source of paper?

Brian Kibble Replies: Cardboard was used extensively by the village’s boxmakers for the many Anstey and Leicester shoemakers – Bosworth and Wrights which still exists, Pollards, Kenilworths and an early one shown on attached picture of Gearys.  I do not know who supplied the cardboard .  A lot of the paper used by the businesses you listed was quality printing paper –( not uncoated newsprint) –  with a china clay coating (some from Cornwall) and came from all parts of the country and overseas such as Finland.

I was apprenticed at The Artisan Press.

There was indeed a paper mill in Anstey – I was born in three addresses in 1935 in 31 Papermill Row (local name) – picture attached, 31 Poplar Terrace as shown on the period OS map and my insurance policy and 31 Church Lane as on my birth certificate – take your pick – all the same place. The row was built for the workforce of the mill which was a short lived project by a Manchester group 1875-7 making brown wrapping paper  – the building at 25 Church Lane later became the Anstey Adult School and is today occupied by a printing company.

Paddy Broughton’s timber business at various sites during it’s lifetime – Bradgate Road opposite the Crown Inn, Rosebery Road and Edward St – I attach just two of the dozens that I have in the collection – Alan Broughton still operates the sawmill in Lincolnshire. The timber was never used for papermaking –only for construction – the supplied the timbers for the crash barriers when the M1 was first built in the 1960’s.

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