Company pioneered stainless steel goods
NIGEL Wiggin’s grandfather, William Wiggin, was one of the five sons of James Thomas Wiggin of the Bloxwichbased company J & J Wiggin.
James Thomas started the company in 1893 with his eldest son, James Enoch, as hardware manufacturers for the saddlery trade of Walsall, then moved on to bathroom accessories in chromium plating.
Eventually all of the family were involved and everything from 1918 became known as Olde Hall.
The name is derived from a Salvation Army Mission Hall, known as The Old Hall, into which the company moved in 1904 when the stable at the rear of the Wiggin family home became too small for the expanding business.
Old Hall stainless steel tableware started when Nigel’s grandmother asked his grandfather why he couldn’t make tableware out of that new-fangled stuff being produced, rather than silver which took some polishing.
It was William who in 1928 took his wife’s suggestion seriously and obliged by making her a toast rack. So, the first stainless steel tableware was born.
This was followed in 1930 by what is thought to be the world’s first stainless steel teapot.
Nigel is the proud possessor of this stainless-steel teapot, which cost 25 old shillings then and is priceless now.
The company’s original trade mark, registered in 1922, was Olde Hall.
This continued on tableware when production began in 1928. In 1934, a new trade mark of Ye Olde Hall Quality was introduced in conjunction with a drawing of an old hall on all company literature, but this had to be withdrawn the following year when it was deemed that this combination was too similar to a trade mark already being used by a Sheffield cutlery manufacturers.
So, in 1935, the trade mark reverted to just the words Olde Hall. This continued until 1959 when, to present a more modern image, the ‘e’ was dropped to become Old Hall and this remained in use until the company closed down in 1984.
Nigel will be speaking at the Rochdale Antiques Society at 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 11. The society meets at St Vincent’s Community Centre, Caldershaw Road, Rochdale.
Take any items of Old Hall tableware and Nigel will be delighted to examine these items and share his knowledge.
New members and visitors can be sure of a warm welcome. There is a small charge of £5 for visitors.
For more information visit rochantiquesoc@ hotmail.com.
●●Old Hall’s stainless steel toast rack, made in 1928 and teapot, made in 1930
●●A range of goods made by Nigel Wiggin’s family at Old Hall