Histories of Courtaulds Ltd

notice board with messages about Courtaulds

Our volunteers across the UK have been collecting stories of life in Courtaulds Ltd. factories to capture and celebrate the legacy of the company and it’s employees. We will add these new resources below as projects finish their research.

Courtaulds in Coventry 

This film was developed by young people in Coventry to sit alongside the Radical Drawing exhibition in 2019, celebrating the ongoing links between the Courtauld legacy and the city.

Memories from Carrickfergus

Made by volunteers in 2021, this video is about the factory at Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland which opened in 1950. At its height the factory employed up to 2,000 people, many of whom lived in the local area. It includes the personal reminiscences of some of these people – their memories of the factory, the jobs they did and the friends they made there.

The film is accompanied by an exhibition at Carrickfergus Museum which can be accessed through a Smartify tour..

Courtauld Memory Project: Braintree

For Braintree Museum’s Courtaulds: Origins, Innovation, Family exhibition, volunteers interviewed former employees of the Courtauld mills in Braintree and Halstead. These audio recordings look at daily life in the workplace and the legacy of the company in the local area.

The recordings can be listened to on the Braintree Museum website.

Preston’s Courtauld Connection

In 2018, The Harris engaged with former employees of Courtaulds Ltd. in Preston to find out more about the experiences and the legacy of the factory. They recorded oral histories and included them as part of the exhibition of Boudin’s Deauville painting on loan from The Courtauld.

Inspired by the histories of migration and labour told by former Courtauld employees, in 2022 two local schools worked with artist Gavin Renshaw to design a mural to decorate the outside of the Harris’ building. This film records the opening of the mural and the voices of those involved.