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Fox Brothers hunts for history in ‘Great British Fox Hunt’

Fox Brothers hunts for history in ‘Great British Fox Hunt’

Date Added: 26th Jul 2010

West Country woollen and worsted luxury cloth mill asks public to help with historic textile and document archives

Fox Brothers & Co. Ltd, the West Country woollen and worsted luxury cloth manufacturer established in 1772, is asking members of the public to search for old and possibly rare examples of its cloth, as well as company documents and other items of interest, which may be lurking at the bottom of an old wardrobe, cupboard or drawer.

Referred to as the ‘Great British Fox Hunt’, new owners Deborah Meaden and Douglas Cordeaux decided to launch this community initiative after they received a multitude of letters of support from local people and former employees when they acquired the mill, often with mention of a loved garment made from Fox Brothers’ world-renowned cloth. If a piece of clothing was not mentioned invariably an interesting family connection to the mill was, Fox Brothers used to employ nearly 5,000 people at its peak.

“Local people and employees have always played such a valuable role in making Fox Brothers what it is, a small, luxury English cloth manufacturer with a large global reputation. We’re asking people to get in touch if they have cloth, clothing or indeed any documents which might be of interest, as we restore the valuable archives discovered at the Tonedale mill in Wellington,” said Managing Director Douglas Cordeaux.

Initially people are asked to email a photograph of their treasured item(s) and then a selection of people will be invited to Afternoon Tea at Fox Brothers in Somerset on Thursday 19th August, when they can reminisce about their links to the mill with hosts Deborah Meaden and Douglas Cordeaux, as well as show their items to Fox’s archivist and historian.

Described as "the most important textile (company) archive in the British Isles", Fox’s archive of Hessian bound books dating back to the seventeenth century are frequently viewed for inspiration by designers and style conscious individuals when coming up with contemporary adaptations of classic cloth.

If you think you have something of interest, please email an image of the item and any other information to:

Alternatively, please post a photograph to: Great British Fox Hunt, c/o Cass Stainton, 139 Whitfield Street, London, W1T 5EN, enclosing a SAE if you wish the photograph to be returned.

Notes to editors:
Military puttees are not required unless with proven provenance, there’s an abundance of them at the mill already. If a reader is not sure however, we’d encourage them to get in touch anyway.


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