Sub-fonds MS 94/1 - Thomas C Keay Ltd

Identity area

Reference code

MS 94/1


Thomas C Keay Ltd


  • 1914-1975 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3.00 linear metres.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The firm was founded in 1880 by Thomas Cook Keay, and became a limited company in 1917 as Thomas C Keay Ltd, mill furnishers and engineers at Baltic Street and North Machine Works under the direction of Thomas C Keay in partnership with his son William Foggie Keay. In 1925 William F. Keay became chairman and managing director on the death of his father. In 1955 Thomas C Keay Ltd, then owners of Baltic and Densfield Works, went public, with a capital of £210,000. In the late 1950s the company diversified into paper sack machinery, producing the Union Special range. Looms, beaming machines and calenders were manufactured at Lawside while Densfield produced hard fibre cloth lapping, cutting and folding, bag sewing, turning and printing machines, bobbins and shuttles and paper sack machinery. Densfield Works was expanded in 1966 and a new office block was built to accommodate the head office at Baltic Street, demolished along with the mill furnishing warehouse in 1968. The same year Thomas A Colin Keay became chairman and managing director on the death of his father William F Keay. Thomas C Keay Ltd ran into financial difficulties and in 1974 Stephen R Rowlinson, an English management consultant, acquired a controlling interest. In 1975 a reorganisation took place whereby Thomas C Keay Ltd and its subsidiary companies became autonomous operations within the newly established TCK Group Ltd. In April 1977 the receiver was called into most of the group's companies, including Thomas C Keay Ltd. Attempts to find a buyer were unsuccessful and in October the machinery and plant at Densfield Works were auctioned off.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Minutes 1962 1972; shareholding records 1917 1966; financial records 1914 1975; purchase/sales records 1960 1970; order books 1959 1972; machinery costings and quotation files 1953 1972; stock records 1952 1969; sales reports 1969 1972; miscellaneous c.1955 c.1972.


Not expected

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act (2018), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018) and any other relevant legislation or restrictions. Clinical information is closed for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges may be made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply; please check with the Duty Archivist.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Paper. May require conservation

Finding aids

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Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

MS 94/1

Rules and/or conventions used

Description compiled in line with the following standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description; International Council on Archives, ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families; National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997



Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English



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