This blog was created on behalf of Mr Brian Cook, an ex-worker at Barnet Combs in Welwyn Garden City.

He has provided all of the content and photographs, for which I am hugely grateful.

“When Barnet Combs was taken over by Holpak (a subsidiary of Unilever), they had a production factory built on the out skirts of Glemsford, not far from Lavenham. One of the main products was the Ski yoghurt pots, Fairy liquid bottles, Parazone bottles, Domestos bottles and injection moulded products. There was a small repair tool room, but if a major breakdown occurred then a toolmaker / toolmakers would be sent from here in Welwyn Garden City, often overnight stays,weekends too (production came first). The factory site was by the banks of the river Stour, on the Clare –  Long Melford road, (the factory is no longer there).”

“It was a very good company to work for, it was so interesting being involved in the for front of the new development  of plastic articles . I can still remember the advertisement in the Evening standard whilst  living in London, Tool makers required in the Plastic Industry,training given. Barnet Combs paid travelling expenses, mine was Finsbury Park to Welwyn Garden City weekly ticket £1-7-6d old money. At the time there were about half a dozen tool-makers travelling from London; one of my pals travelled from Greenwich every day. When a Development Corporation house became available one was notified to look at it. If refused one had a second chose when it came up. I travelled for eight and a half months , my pal from Greenwich 18 teen months; we now own our houses. We never take for granted living in Welwyn Garden City, and so close to the country side, a great place to live.”

“I worked as a toolmaker working on bottle moulds and injection moulds from 1960 to 1969 where the name changed to Holpaks;  a subsidiary of Unilever’s. I have many internal  photographs of the tool room, the toolmakers, the moulds and  the machining processes. Also from time to time, we (the toolmakers) would have a pub crawl, together with photographs that I took. They were very happy days for me and for my work colleagues, some of which my wife and I meet every 6-8 weeks at the Goat pub for a pint and lunch in the village of Codicote. We talk often of our days at Barnet Combs. I am now 79 and have fond memories of my working life, I shouldn’t think there are to many people that can say that”.


2 thoughts on “About…

  1. This is really lovely to read. AR Holloway was my grandfather and he worked hard his whole life to build up the company and develop the cosmetics side of the business in Lavenham. He is no longer with us, so it is especially nice to read you comments. Many thanks. X

  2. I’m very pleased that you enjoyed the blog. A few years ago I googled E R Holloway and came up with practically nothing; it was as if the place never existed, so I decided to put my own memories down so that there was finally some information on the world wide web about the factory so that future generations can find out about it from people who actually worked there x

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