Nott's Industries

Nott’s Industries

Nott’s Industries 150 150 Frome Heritage Museum

J.H. Nott & Sons Ltd. of Swansea bought the old Silk Mill in 1923.  The firm became Notts Industries and manufactured Carley Life Floats and Buoyant Apparatus.  In spite of it being many miles from the sea it rapidly became the biggest manufacturer in the country of these floats and the mill became the Carley Works.

The floats consist of curved tubular metal cylinders wrapped in fabric, with the addition of wooden parts and rope nets.  During the Second World War years over 11,000 floats were produced for the British Admiralty alone, with life saving capacity of around 250,000 persons.

In 1938 the company developed its engineering side, dealing in sheet metal pressings.  By 1957 it had the largest press shop in the West of England engaged on commercial pressings.  Power presses ranging from 6 tons to 200 tons produced parts for various industries at a rate of 1.5 million parts per month.  These were supported by an up to date tool room and finishing departments dealing with all types of electro-plating and ‘Parkerizing’, a phosphate process.

The company were still making car components until 2012 when the factory closed. Some components can be seen encapsulated in the glass blocks in Library Square.