Over the past few weeks we have been looking at some of the companies which made Warrington what it is today.

This week we are looking at Thames Board Mills which was based in Arpley Meadows.

Indeed the last remaining units, most recently occupied by Spectra Packaging, were only demolished in the past five year as part of the site is now the Centre Park link road and hundreds of new homes.

The rest of the site has long since been developed into the Centre Park business park which is currently home to the Warrington Guardian.

Janice Hayes, a much-loved Warrington historian, explains how the factory came into being.

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

At the time, The Warrington Examiner described the scale of the operations: “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 reported: “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.”

Janice added: “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 21st 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.”