Clays Limited Of Bungay, Printers
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- Held At: Suffolk Record Office
- Reference Number: 1289
- Date: 1816-1976
- Level: COLLECTION
- Description: SUMMARY OF CONTENTS:
1289/1 CORPORATE RECORDS
1289/2 DEBENTURE AND SHARE RECORDS
1289/3/2 Cash and other account books
1289/3/5 Private ledgers
1289/4 PREMISES, PLANT AND STOCK
1289/5/1 Joint Advisory Council
1289/5/2 Wages and salaries
1289/6 TRADING AND PRODUCTION
1289/6/1 Printing records
1289/6/2 Work in Progress books
1289/6/3 Sales Day books
1289/6/4 Daily orders
1289/7 FLETCHER & SON LTD
1289/7/1 Corporate records
1289/7/2 Debenture and share records
1289/7/4 Premises, plant and stock
1289/7/6 Trading and production
The company was founded by Richard Clay (1789-1877). He became manager of a London printer, Burton & Briggs, in 1818, acquiring the business in 1827, and retiring in 1868. His sons Charles and Richard formed a new partnership, R Clay, Sons & Taylor. In 1876, they bought the Bungay business of Childs & Son. The firm was renamed the Chaucer Press.
After World War 1, although still general printers, Clays concentrated more on book-printing. They printed some of the first Penguin paperbacks. In the 1970s, they moved into export markets, mainly Scandinavia, and in 1980, opened a plant in Singapore. They became a public company in 1956. Several other firms were purchased , including Fletcher & Sons Ltd of Norwich in 1961. In 1985, Clays joined the St Ives Group. The Bungay site is the largest owned by the group.
For further information see:
- 'Suffolk Enterprises' by Christine Clark and Roger Munting (Centre of East Anglian Studies, 2000, pp 79-81) (Local Studies Library reference 338.7094264) (from which the synopsis above is drawn)
- 'Clays of Bungay' by James Moran (Richard Clay & Co Ltd 1978). (Local Studies Library reference 338.768620942641).
The records in this collection are those of Clays Ltd of Bungay and Fletcher and Son Ltd of Norwich. For Clays Ltd there are minutes 1888-1961 (1289/1/1), and debenture and share records 1888-1959 (1289/2). Some account books survive from 1816-1837, but the main series of accounting records in sections 1289/3-5 date from 1902-1976. There are private ledgers from 1888-1976 (1289/3/5).
Section 1289/4 contains records of Clays premises, plant and stock 1887-1956. Wages, pensions and other staff records, mainly 20th century, will be found in 1289/5. Printing and trading records are fairly comprehensive from 1896 to 1975, and there are a few earlier items (1289/6). The sales day books (1289/6/3) give full details of all work done from 1905.
Section 1289/7 contains records of Fletcher & Son Ltd. These are mainly corporate, debenture, share and accounting records from 1898 onwards (1289/7/1-3). There are some items relating to premises, plant and stock, and to staff (1289/7/4-5). There are also two scrapbooks of book reviews 1844-1868, 1873-1881 (1289/7/6/2-3).
- Related Material: See also Accession 995, Papers of the Childs Family of Bungay
- Access Status: Open
- Contact: Suffolk Record Office Lowestoft Branch, The Library, Clapham Road South, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR32 1DR
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