Document ReferenceBDA
TitleRecords of Dalkeith Knitwear Ltd, 1953-1985
Extent8 boxes
AbstractThe collection comprises records accumulated by Dennis Walton during his time as managing director of the company between 1963 to 1979 and includes fashion photographs, knitwear catalogues, correspondence, reports, and financial papers relating to the marketing, management and performance of the company.
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers with the exception of files in the series BDA 6 which contain personal information and files in the series BDA 13 and 14 which require further sorting and cataloguing.
Admin HistoryAlfreton Knitting Mills was incorporated on 11 January 1951 by Mr Walter Hambleton and a group of local people. The company began operating in a disused schoolroom in Alfreton, Derbyshire using knitting machinery that dated from the 1890s. In 1958, the company purchased land in Nottingham Road, Alfreton and the creation of a new purpose-built factory commenced. The firm expanded its production and entered the Canadian market in 1953 through the efforts of Mr Fred Edy of what became Dalkeith Agencies Ltd, Canada.

Alfreton Knitting Mills changed its name to Dalkeith Knitwear Ltd soon after Dennis Walton took over as managing director in April 1963. In 1964, the company merged with Dalkeith Agencies Ltd, its Canadian agents. Also in 1964, the firm extended its premises on Nottingham Road and equipped it with Bentley-Cotton knitting machines. At this stage, it employed 470 people, over 400 of whom were women.

The company used fine gauge machinery (mainly 27 gauge machines that produced a greater yarn count) to manufacture premium knitted garments such as sweaters made from high quality yarns.

In 1965, the firm bought Hawick Knitwear Ltd, a manufacturer of lambswool and cashmere knitwear which had been incorporated on 11 January 1928. Hawick Knitwear Ltd was sold to Jaeger's Hawick subsidiary in 1983-84 and closed.

Dalkeith Knitwear Ltd merged with Coats Paton (UK) Ltd in 1969, becoming part of Coats Paton's Knitwear Division along with Donaldson Brothers (Alloa 1937) Ltd (Donbros), Herbert L. Driver Ltd, Jaeger (Holdings), and D. Byford Ltd.

Dennis Walton was managing director with Dalkeith at Alfreton from 1963 to 1979. He was born in Watford, Hertfordshire in 1920 and studied for a degree at Emmanuel College Cambridge. The second world war interrupted his studies and he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in March 1941. He won the Military Cross during an attack in Italy in 1944 and he ended the war as a regimental second-in-command with the rank of major. After the war, he completed his degree and joined Tootal Broadhurst Lee, a Manchester based textile firm, as a production management trainee. He left, as special adviser to the board, after 17 years to join Dalkeith as managing director.

While at Dalkeith, Walton became president of the Nottingham and District Hosiery Manufacturers' Association and remained a member of the Territorial Army until 1967. He was married and had two daughters.
Custodial HistoryThe collection was given to The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts in two parts; in December 1986 and October 1987. It contains records accumulated and kept by Dennis Walton during his time as managing director of the company. The existence or whereabouts of other records relating to the company are unknown to the department.
DescriptionThe collection comprises:

Memoranda and articles of association, September 1960-May 1967 (BDA 1).

Draft agreements, 1953-1969 (BDA 2).

Annual accounts, December 1962-December 1985 (BDA 3).

Annual general meeting agenda papers, May 1968-May 1978 (BDA 4).

Reports, 21 March 1963-February 1978 (BDA 5).

Administrative, salary and personnel records, 1974-1976 (BDA 6).

Correspondence, January 1963-May 1977 (BDA 7).

Subject files, 1968-1978 (BDA 8).

Printed product catalogues, 1966-1978 (BDA 9).

Pension and assurance scheme booklets, 1962-1973 (BDA 10).

Assorted printed, typescript and manuscript papers about the company, 1964-1979 (BDA 11).

Photographs, c.1964-c.1979 (BDA 12).

Newspaper cuttings, 1965-1978 (BDA 13).

Personal papers of Dennis Walton, 1963-1983 (BDA 14-15).

The records in this collection are essentially the private papers of Dennis Walton and relate directly to his management of the company's factory in Alfreton and the marketing of its products. Despite the absence of formal meeting minutes and a comprehensive run of annual reports and financial statements, the collection provides a good record of the firm's constitutional history, business activities and products during the period when Dennis Walton was managing director, 1963-1979. The collection has general relevance for studies of the British clothing industry during this period. The product catalogues and fashion photographs would support research into fashion or clothing design history.
MgtGroupBusiness records
MgtSubGroupHosiery and Textiles
ArrangementThe collection has been divided into 15 series by document type. Within these series, items have usually been arranged chronologically where it has been possible to date items.
TermKnit goods - England - Alfreton
Knit goods - Scotland - Hawick
Knit goods industry - England - Alfreton
Knit goods industry - Scotland - Hawick
Advertising - Fashion
Hosiery industry - England - Alfreton
Hosiery industry - Scotland - Hawick
Knit goods - Canada - Marketing
FindingAidsThis description is the only finding aid available for the collection and copyright on the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

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CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA28Dalkeith Knitwear Limited; clothing manufacturer
NA29Walton; Dennis (1920-fl 1987); Colonel; managing director of Dalkeith Knitwear Ltd1920-fl 1987
NA28Dalkeith Knitwear Limited; clothing manufacturer
NA30Dalkeith Agencies Limited; clothing distributor
NA31Hawick Knitwear Limited; clothing manufacturer
NA32Alfreton Knitting Mills Limited; clothing manufacturer
NA33Donaldson Brothers (Alloa ) Limited; 1937; clothing manufacturer1937
NA34D. Byford and Company Limited; clothing manufacturer
NA35Herbert L. Driver Limited; clothing manufacturer
NA36Dalkeith Knitwear Sales Limited; clothing sales company
NA37Coats Paton ( UK) Limited; clothing manufacturer
NA38Coats Paton ( UK) Limited; Knitwear Division; clothing manufacturer
NA29Walton; Dennis (1920-fl 1987); Colonel; managing director of Dalkeith Knitwear Ltd1920-fl 1987
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