October 7, 2022

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Liverpool’s loved and lost factory that employed generations

These fascinating images capture what life was like inside a loved and lost Liverpool factory.

Located in Woolton, the Bear Brand Hosiery factory employed generations across Merseyside and had a long history in the area until the site’s demolition in the late 1990s.

The businesses trade name was American in origin. Mr Howard Ford started in the hosiery business by importing stockings, some from the Bear Brand Hosiery Company of Chicago. He eventually bought the trade name Bear Brand for use in the United Kingdom and Eire, and started manufacturing stockings in Liverpool.

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Bear Brand employed hundreds of people at one time, making ladies tights and stockings. Hitler’s World War II bombers failed to blitz the old Bear Brand factory at Woolton as it turned out thousands of parachutes for the war effort.

At one point, Liverpool playwright Willy Russell worked in the Woolton factory and an annual cruise would also take place for staff.

For beautiful, historic images from the past have a look at memorylane.co.uk/ and see what you can discover

Fast forward to 1997, work began to demolish the factory to make way for a Tesco supermarket. Villagers fought a big battle to halt the plan and won support from the council. But Carter Commercial Development appealed and a government inspector decided the scheme should go ahead, the ECHO reported August that year.

While the site has now been gone for some time, it is still alive in the memories of those who worked there.

Did you work at the Woolton factory? Let us know in the comments section below.

These images, unearthed from our archives, Mirrorpix, have been unseen for years and offer a glimpse into the lost factory and those who worked there.

Here are 20 fascinating photos of Woolton’s Bear Brand factory decades before.

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What do you miss most about the past? Attractions, lost venues or perhaps the way of life. Take a look at our nostalgia survey

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See more nostalgic images from the Bear Brand Hosier Factory at PicStory Where you can also search for more local photos