|Undated article from an “Evening Telegraph Special Supplement” titled “The Good Old Days”
Hundreds worked in an Ideal world
The clothing industry in Northamptonshire has given employment to generations of local people since the turn of the century.
One of the largest companies in the area was Ideal Clothiers of Wellingborough, founded in 1900 by Lewis Jessop, who previously had a factory with 100 workers in
The firm made men's and boys' suits, overcoats and blazers, ladies' coats and dresses, hats and caps and school uniforms and made electrically-heated suits for airmen during the Second World War.
Its first Wellingborough works were built on the corner of
Branch factories were also opened in Burton Latimer, Woodford, Finedon, Raunds and Thrapston. The
In the 1960s and 1970s Ideal still employed more than 600 people. However, its Wellingborough and Raunds operations closed in 1981 due to falling orders, with the loss of 200 jobs.
These premises were demolished in March this year to make way for new development.
During the Second World War the firm made almost 100,000 service garments for the WAAF and WRNS as well as 30,000 pairs of RAF trousers.
At one time Wallis and Linnell also had branch factories in Cottingham, Brigstock, Woodford, Burton Latimer, Rothwell, and Gretton. It closed in 1979.
The firm had many proud boasts - it was the first in town to use a typewriter, install internal phones, and adopt a Tannoy system.