Soon after, the firm Arthur Brown offered to buy a 51% share in the business in order to accelerate growth. Having accepted the offer, Arthur Brown invested in the business by renting the shed next to the air raid shelter as a way of expanding production and storage. In spite of this, the company lost money for the first six years and Arthur Brown began to lose patience with Kerax. Eventually they insisted that Tom put in some more of his own money, something that was impossible at the time. However, Arthur Brown were themselves bought by an American company with its own manufacturing plant and no interest in British based Kerax. This provided the opportunity Tom needed and he promptly bought back the rest of the business.

Over the following months and years, more profit was re-invested into the business and Kerax began to grow. A new tanker was bought that was the pride of the company. In 1974, Kerax had expanded sufficiently to move to a new location in Chorley, Lancashire which remains the site used by Kerax to this day. Where there had once been a terrace of Victorian houses, Kerax built an office block and Phase One of the warehouse buildings where the wax was blended and stored. However, the year after the move, disaster struck when a fire broke out in the new buildings in the middle of the firemen’s strike. Fortunately nobody was hurt, though the fire did cause considerable damage. Finding themselves in need of some assistance, Kerax asked some of their competitors in the industry if they would help them get back on their feet, to which they agreed, a display of industrial compassion and  solidarity which is difficult to imagine happening today. With the help of some of their competitors, including Astor, Kerax managed to recover from the fire in a matter of months-although this did allow the helpful competitors to get a good look at Kerax’s wax-blending processes!


1850

  • The Dussek Bros. company is founded.

1870

  • The Campbell Company is founded

1886

  • The Burmah Oil Company is founded.

1899

  • Duckhams is founded by Alexander Duckham

1909

1922

1951

1956

1960

1962

1966

1969

1971

1974

1975

1979

1982

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