Com­pany pioneered stain­less steel goods

Rochdale Observer - - WHAT’S ON WITH ALL ACROSS THE ARTS - Steve@aata.me

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

●●Nigel Wig­gin

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