How One Family Transformed The Excelsior Brand

October 20, 2017

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We’ve got a long history of plastic manufacturing behind us here at Excelsior. But before we were creating plastic products for our clients using our roto-moulding process, we were supplying mills with fibre products in the midst of the Industrial Revolution. This week on the blog, we’re taking a quick look back over that journey!

Humble Beginnings

The Excelsior Fibre Company, the forerunner to our business today, was founded in 1896 by two Swedish businessmen (whose names have sadly been lost to history). The original focus of the business was supplying fibre ‘sliver cans’ to spinning mills that were springing up all over the North of England, which was quickly becoming the country’s capital of manufacturing as the Industrial Revolution gained momentum. As you can imagine, Excelsior was a lucrative business!

In that very same year, John Fielding and his son Abraham founded a coal merchants business in Newhey, not far from Rochdale, again capitalising on one of the major resources of the day. In those days, neither company had access to quite the transportation infrastructure we have today, so all deliveries were made by horse and cart.

The Formation Of The Excelsior Brand

By the 1950s, both the Excelsior Fibre Company and John Fielding & Son were going strong. Excelsior was still supplying the mills – their fibre products had cornered the market, and their business were rarely (if ever) threatened by competitors. Meanwhile, John Fielding & Son had also continued to make great headway. Though John himself passed away in 1913, his son Abraham still had his hand firmly on the tiller as he guided the family business to ever greater success, absorbing a tidy number of smaller companies in the process.

Abraham eventually passed John Fielding & Son to his son Kenneth, who continued the family tradition of hard graft. Shortly after he took the helm, Kenneth sought and found a new business to invest in – you guessed it, the Excelsior Fibre Company. From that moment on, the Fielding family began to transform the Excelsior company into its modern incarnation, and descendants of the family continue to run it to this day.

Moulding The Company Into Something New

Under the leadership of the Fielding family, Excelsior continued to prosper with its business model of supplying mills with fibre products. However, in the 1970s, a new product began to intrude Excelsior’s section of the market: plastic. This is when the rotational moulding method started to take off as well, and demand was noticeably skyrocketing.

Excelsior responded swiftly, purchasing the assets of a small local company; this included a single moulding machine, six tools, and the expertise and knowledge of how to use them. All this totalled around £8000 – it might not seem like a huge amount now, but today’s equivalent would be in excess of £40,000. Quite a significant investment!

We quickly mastered the roto moulding process, and throughout the 1980s we branched out into making trucks, tanks and bins in all manner of shapes and sizes. Essentially, whatever our customers needed, we made for them – and continue to do so.

Producing Quality Plastic Products Today

Today, Excelsior remains a family-run company, managed and directed by Giles and Jonny Fielding, with Giles’ wife Karen also taking an active role in the business. Being a family-run business means that we take an exceptional pride and attention to detail in our work – after all, it’s our name on the line! We use a number of hi-tech machines and an enthusiastic and passionate team of experts to make your plastic products a reality.

If you’ve enjoyed reading about our history, you can catch this slideshow to see literal snapshots of our business as it evolves over the last century. Or, if you want to get cracking, you can give us a call on 0161 765 2010 to see how we can help you with your bespoke plastic product.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @excelsior_roto