• 1876

    Till & Whitehead Founded

    A partnership between Thomas Till and Frederick Whitehead was formed to serve the cotton mills supplying tacks to pulley belts to drive the cotton machines.

  • c.1880

    Product Expansion

    A T&W manufactured bed iron frame

    The late Victorian period saw the business manufacturing "Crucible" fire grates and baskets as well as cooking ranges and iron frames for beds (see left).

  • c.1885

    Manchester Ship Canal

    The Company supplied the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal.

  • 1896

    Limited Company incorporated

    There was an acrimonious break-up between the two original founders of the business and the limited company was formed in February 1896. Thomas Till retained a partnership interest (below 50%), and subsequently less than 50% of the Limited Company shareholding from 1896. The original partnership document which was drawn up included a clause which resolved that in the event of a "falling out" between the partners, the partnership could not be dissolved. Till invested in a builders merchant locally which was sold in the 1970’s to a major merchant group.

  • 1944-60

    Evolving over the years

    In 1944 a letter described the business as Contractors to Railway, Tramway, Electric Light, Power and Traction Engineers.

    By 1952 this was revised to Stockholders for engineers, and maintenance supplier.

    In 1960 the letterheads stated General Ironmongers and tool dealers, builders merchants and fireplace specialists. Cabinet makers requisites.

  • c.1960

    Building Repairs

    The original T&W building
    The original T&W building

    During the early 1960's former Managing Director and Company Chairman Bill Bradley remembered seeing that the floorboards in the upstairs front of the Company building were 4" away from the wall suggesting that the building was leaning into the road. The roof leaked water and upon reporting to Willie Whitehead and asking for funds to re-roof the property he declined and stated that the roof would "see his time out". This prompted Bill Bradley to ask what was the future of Till & Whitehead to which the response was "There will always be a Till & Whitehead".

  • 1966

    A new home

    In 1966 the former premises on Chester Road were the subject of compulsory purchase order and the business had to build a new property. A Board meeting agreed that provided the necessary funds could be obtained the Company would do this. Bill Bradley, as Managing Director, went to the Midland Bank and gave his case for a facility of £100,000. The Bank Manager's response was that £30,000 was the maximum allowable. This was insufficient and the Manager asked for the production of the last three years balance sheets. Armed with these the response was £50,000! Bill Bradley said the Company needed £100,000 or they would have to wind up the Company. The Manager asked for two to three days to consider the matter further and then the £100,000 facility was agreed on the condition that the Directors stood as guarantors. The Board response was to wind up the Company! A further visit to the Bank, explaining that the Company should receive £30,000 compensation, disruption of business allowance etc and the offer of the deeds as security brought the agreement to the facility.

  • 2000-Present Day

    Tills in the New Millennium

    A new building on Ellesmere Street was the home for the business until it was sold in 2008.

    Bolton branch opened in 2001 and relocated to Lonsdale Road in 2004.

    Cheltenham branch started trading as UK Fasteners in 1983 and became part of Till & Whitehead in 2006.

An Invoice from 1891 (click image to view)

This invoice from 1891 was found at the back of a drawer when a customer was clearing out old furniture. They kindly offered it to the Company.

Manchester Ship Canal (click image to view)

Part of the minutes from the Manchester Ship Canal, listing Till & Whitehead as successful in tender for the supply of ironmongery (1894).