Turner & Newall

Turner & Newall

Infobox Defunct Company
company_name = Turner & Newall
company_logo =
fate = Acquired
Predecessor =
successor = Federal-Mogul
foundation = 1871
defunct = 1998
location = Manchester, UK
industry = Building materials
key_people =
products = Asbestos products
num_employees =
parent =
subsid =

Turner & Newall was a leading manufacturing business based in Manchester, United Kingdom. At its peak, it was a constituent of the FT30 index of leading companies on the London Stock Exchange.


The business was founded in 1871 in Rochdale as "Turner Brothers" by John, Robert and Samuel Turner to manufacture cotton cloth based packaging. [http://www.rochdaleobserver.co.uk/community/rochdale_150/work/s/510/510671_global_empire_of_crown_jewel_left_town_bitter_legacy.html Rochdale Observer article] ]

In 1879 it became the first business in the United Kingdom to weave asbestos cloth with power-driven machinery, and the company changed its name to "Turner Brothers Asbestos Company".

Shortly before World War I the business opened an asbestos cement plant at Trafford Park. One of its major products was "Trafford Tile" asbestos cement sheets, which were widely used for roof and wall construction in industrial and agricultural buildings.cite web| title=Turnall Fibre Cement | publisher="Turnall Fibre Cement (Pvt) Ltd" : Harare | year=2007 | url=http://www.turnall.co.zw/inside.cfm?pid=7 | accessdate=2008-04-17]

In 1920 it merged with the Washington Chemical Company, Newalls Insulation Company and J.W. Roberts to become "Turner & Newall" and became listed on the London Stock Exchange in that year. The company's "Turnall" brandname is a contraction of "Turn""er & New""all".The third (Sir) Samuel Turner (1878-1955) was chairman 1929-1944. He endowed a School of Industrial Administration at Manchester Municipal College of Technology as well as a Dental School at the Victoria University of Manchester. The companies development under the third Samuel was rapid. The company acquired Bells' United Asbestos Companies and several asbestos insulation companies around the UK. [Geoffrey Tweedale, Philip Hansen, Magic Mineral to Killer Dust: Turner & Newall and the asbestos hazard, Oxford University Press, 2000, ISBN 0198296908, p7 ]

From 1939 until 2001, the company operated an asbestos mine at Havelock in Bulembu in the Kingdom of Swaziland, Southern Africa. Since the company left, former employees have experienced sickness in their lungs because they lacked safety-wear to protect them from the hazardous material. The miners of Havelock have recently failed in their efforts to bring a legal action in Britain against the company. The attitude of management, the absence of trade unions or an effective regulatory authority meant that work conditions at Havelock were harsh. [cite journal | author=McCulloch J | title=Asbestos mining in Southern Africa, 1893-2002 | journal=Int J Occup Environ Health | volume=9 | pages=230-235 | year=2003 | url=http://hesa.etui-rehs.org/uk/newsevents/files/AsbestosminingSA.pdf | accessdate=2008-04-17]

It moved its Head Office to Manchester in 1949..

After World War II it diversified into components for the automotive industry including gaskets. [ [http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/rep_pub/reports/1970_1975/fulltext/066c03.pdf Competition Commission] ]

In 1953, the company bought "Porters Cement Industries Ltd", a major producer of chrysotile asbestos products, based in Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, and changed its name to "Turnall Fibre Cement (Pvt) Ltd".cite web| title=About us | publisher="Turnall Fibre Cement (Pvt) Ltd" : Harare | year=2007 | url=http://www.turnall.co.zw/inside.cfm?pid=1 | accessdate=2008-04-17] "Turnall Fibre Cement Ltd" still operates in Zimbabwe but as an independent company, mainly producing asbestos cement sheets and pipes. According to the company, "there is not an industrial, agricultural or residential area of [Zimbabwe] that does not have one or more of the company's many [asbestos cement] products in use or on display".

Demise of the business

In 1998 the business was acquired by Federal-Mogul [ [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-59666947.html Federal-Mogul Corp completes T&N buy] ] which itself got into financial difficulties and filed for Chapter 11 protection as a result of asbestos claims. [ [http://www.federal-mogul.com/en/Investors/FinancialRestructuring/ Federal-Mogul Financial restructuring] ] In the United Kingdom the business went into administration in October 2001 [ [http://www.insol.org/emailer/july2007_downloads/Legal_update_SNR.pdf Legal Update] ] leaving a pension fund deficit estimated at £400 million. [ [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/business-analysis-turner-amp-newall-pensions-crisis-leaves-questions-over-pound400m-bill-680211.html Business analysis] ]


ee also

* Bulembu

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