THIS year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Earlier this month, lockdown celebrations were held to mark VE Day – the end of the war in Europe.

During our coverage, we reflected on the loss of life at a summer fair held at Thames Board mills.

Thames Board was one of the most important companies in the town during the 20th century, employing thousands of workers over the years.

It manufactured paper, cardboard boxes and packaging.

But what is the history of the firm and what was its impact on Warrington?

In 1936 Thames Board Mills expanded their operation from Purfleet in Essex by opening its huge purpose built factory at Arpley and creating almost 300 new jobs locally.

The Warrington Examiner described the scale of their operations.

A report from the time said: “Hundreds of tons of raw material such as wood, pulp and waste paper arrive by barge and lorry, to be picked up by gantry cranes and run into the huge storage sheds.

“Then the raw materials proceed directly to the first process of manufacturing. The whole mill is thus a model of industrial planning and secures a direct flow-through from raw materials to the finished product.”

Inside the mill the latest machinery was installed and the Examiner again enthused:

“The new machines at Warrington run at higher speeds than have previously been secured on plant of their type.

“The entire mill is marked by the latest technical features.”

Increased speed of machinery and the sheer scale of the operations brought increased risk of injury. Thames Board Mills was proud of its Health and Safety record and its personnel relations.

By the twenty first century Thames Board and the associated Thames Case works like Alliance Box and Chadwick’s had closed down as a result of changes in the market for goods and globalisation of production.

The factory took up most of Arpley Meadows, where the current Centre Park business park is, and was bounded by the Mersey along Chester Road to one side.

Do you have memories of Thames Board?

Then get in touch with us here at Yester Years.

You can email us via Please don’t call as our offices are currently closed.