The story of Chadwicks of Bury can be traced back to the humble milk bottle top.
In 1935 Ronald Chadwick began work as a general supplier to the farming community around Bury. He offered them everything they needed for their business – eventually including foil tops to cover bottles of milk filled on local farms. A punching machine was bought to produce the metal lids quickly and easily and, unwittingly, Ronald Chadwick began our journey as the world’s leading producer of pre-cut lids.
1960 to 1980s
In the late 1960s new food products started to arrive in shops, such as yogurts, that could make use of aluminium lids. Demand increased for our lids and by 1975 Chadwicks, now being run by Ronald’s son Tom, ended agricultural supplies to focus solely on lid manufacture.
But there were limitations to the foil lids that became clear as consumerism grew – without being sealed they could be bent back into shape meaning light-fingered customers could sample products in store and then place them back on shelves seemingly untouched. As the phenomenon of supermarkets spread across the UK the need for tamper-evident packaging became a top priority so we shifted production towards heat-seal lids that offered the security that consumers and retailers required.
1980s to Mid 1990s
By 1987 we moved things one step further and began printing our own lids as well as punching them. It became a pivotal moment in the company’s development as we opted to invest in pioneering new flexographic printing technology rather than the roto-gravure process as the emphasis was placed on short-term flexibility and efficiency.
The following year we built an additional production site opposite our main building in Villiers Street, where we had been based since the mid-1950s, as demand for lids increased. That included worldwide requests as exports began in 1989. By 1993 they had developed so well we received the Queen’s Award for Export in recognition of our international trade success.
Late 1990s to Present
In the late 1990s – at around the same time as the company became part of the global Clondalkin Group – we took another key step which kept us at the forefront of pre-cut lids as we began to produce polyester as well as aluminium and laminate lids. The new material allowed greater puncture and tear resistance as well as being able to handle additional printing demands and allowed us to expand the range of applications for our lids.
Our development has been built on a belief in taking progressive steps, reinforcing our reputation for innovation and high standards. In 2009 we invested in shrink sleeves technology to expand our offer even further and began the next chapter in our story – from the humble milk bottle top to the latest in shrink sleeves, the history of Chadwicks continues to evolve.
“We are now at the forefront of developing more environmentally friendly lidding products including RPET lids with 30% recycled content and offering “lightweighting” in the form of a 36 micron base film reducing film consumption by 28% from the standard 50 micon gauge.