How it all started back in 1751

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BEATSON Clark can trace its history back to 1751, when four local entrepreneurs set up a glass works on land at Masbrough owned by the Earl of Effingham.

Former painter John Wright, Dr John Pearson, a local colliery owner called Hirst and Aaron Walker, whose elder brother Samuel owned a nearby iron foundry, seized the opportunity offered by the availability of coal and the recently completed canal sections of the River Don.

While the coal would fire their furnaces, the canal allowed glass products to be transported safely and securely to other parts of the country, including the port of Hull.

The company, known as John Wright and Co, began producing window glass and bottles, but hit financial problems 30 years down the line.

The plant was sold to John Beatson, from Emley, who wanted to set his son, William, and nephew, Robert, up in business.

Three years after William died, in 1825, his daughter Ann married John Graves Clark, paving the way for the creation of Beatson Clark.

The vast majority of the firm’s bottles continued to be ‘mouth blown’ even after semi-automatic machines were first installed in the 1920s but that ceased prior to the 1940s.

Production became fully automatic in the early 1960s when Beatson Clark also became a public company.

The firm became private again after becoming one of the early acquisitions of the Newship Group, a family-owned company founded more than 30 years ago which has grown into a £140 million business that owns manufacturing, distribution and hire companies operating in the packaging, construction, engineering and event hire markets across Europe.

Subsidiaries include Pont Europe, a pan-European distributor of glass and plastic jars, bottles, closures and accessories, with operations in Holland, France and Germany.