Wilkinson, Heywood & Clark Ltd

Client

Wilkinson, Heywood & Clark were manufacturers and suppliers of specialist paints and varnishes, based at 7 Caledonian Road, King's Cross, London. From 1874, when the firm was restructured, its partners were Joseph B. and John S. C. Heywood, and Alfred Aurelius Clark. 1 In the 1880s and 1890s, the firm had numerous European depots, among them Amsterdam and Zurich, and supplied products internationally, including 'do[ing] a very large trade in Bombay [now Mumbai] in French polish'. They were also contractors to the Royal Navy and Colonial Office. 2 In 1885, they commissioned premises in the Arts and Crafts style at 7 Caledonian Road, King's Cross, a five-storey building with a red brick and tile-hung street elevation, and in 1892, purchased premises in Cubitt Town, Isle of Dogs, previously owned by Scottish paintmaker David Storer. Storer's had employed the Glasgow contractor W. Lightbody & Son to build their London wharfage warehouses. 3 These same oil-stores, by then owned by Wilkinson, were damaged by fire in 1913. In 1923, Wilkinson, Heywood & Clark were wholly subsumed by Pinchin Johnson & Co. 4

In 1891, the firm advertised paints and varnishes to 'coach builders, decorators, ship builders', 'colours, dry, ground and in pulp ... colours in collapsible tubes ... paints in ... 7lb tins ... for domestic use', and also brushes and oils. 5 Between the 1860s and 1910s, they frequently exhibited at trade and agricultural shows, regularly winning medals (14 by 1914). 6 Success came at International Exhibitions in London in 1862 and 1878, 'for superiority in varnishes and colours'; at L'Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867; at New Orleans in 1884, where they won three golds; and at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 in the Chemical Industries section. 7 Wilkinson's were also innovative in weather-proofing valuable farm equipment. The company's specialist farm-implement paint products 'beautif[ied] perhaps half the machinery' at the Royal Agricultural Society's Show of 1881, replacing traditional reds and blues with 'imperial red and gold and silver bronzes'. 8

Notes:

1: London Gazette, 28 August 1874, p. 4217.

2: Western Times, 4 June 1880, p. 4; The Times, 4 May 1891, p. 3.

3: Bob Carr, 'King's Cross Gazetteer', 2008, in 'Waterloo – St. Pancras – King's Cross', News and Notes, April 2008, online newsletter, Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society Website, www.glias.org.uk/walks/kgx.html [accessed 1 December 2012]; Standard, 16 December 1892, p. 8. Storer's had employed a neighbour in Glasgow, William Lightbody, to construct their London wharfside warehouses. Cubitt Town: Riverside area: from Newcastle Drawdock to Cubitt Town Pier', in Stephen Porter and H. Hobhouse, eds, Survey of London: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs, vols 43–4, London: Athlone Press, 1994, pp. 528–32, at British History Online (Digital Library), Institute of Historical Research (University of London) and the History of Parliament Trust, www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46529 [accessed 2 December 2012]; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1883–4, pp. 332, 537, 816.

4: The Times, 2 May 1913, p. 10; The Times, 4 January 1924, p. 3; 13 March 1924, p. 22; London Gazette, 19 September 1924, p. 6936.

5: Illustration: 1891 Wilkinson, Heywood & Clark Advertisment, Company History for 'Wilkinson, Heywood and Clark', Grace's Guide: British Industrial History (online resource), 2007, www.gracesguide.co.uk [accessed 1 December 2012].

6: Illustration: 1914 Wilkinson, Heywood & Clark Advertisment, Company History for 'Wilkinson, Heywood and Clark', Grace's Guide: British Industrial History (online resource), 2007, www.gracesguide.co.uk [accessed 1 December 2012].

7: John Bull, 19 October 1878, p. 681; Morning Post, 19 October 1878, p. 7; Illustration: 1891 Wilkinson, Heywood & Clark Advertisment, Company History for 'Wilkinson, Heywood and Clark', Grace's Guide: British Industrial History (online resource), 2007, www.gracesguide.co.uk [accessed 1 December 2012]; London Standard, 20 August 1900, p. 6.

8: The Times, 18 July 1881, p. 4.