CWS Tobacco Factory

The former CWS Tobacco Factory occupies a site above Angel Meadow on Ludgate Hill.  The factory's name is still emblazoned on  the sides of the building.

The image below shows the factory in its heyday with activity around both of the buildings.  Today those buildings are quite changed.  An art deco extension has been added to one of them, presumably while it was still a CWS factory. 

In the Co-operative Society of England and Scotland's Annual Report for 1900 they included a description of their Manchester Tobacco Factory.  They said that, "The establishment of this factory was due to the rapid growth of the trade, which appeared to promise a profitable investment for the members of the  C.W.S., the annual trade in tobacco, cigars, and snuff amounting to £215,000. Of this sum no less than 70 per cent represents the proportion paid for common tobacco of the class retailed at about 3d. per oz.

The Wholesale decided in 1896 to commence the manufacture of tobacco, and after mature consideration a building in Sharp Street, within easy reach of Balloon Street, was acquired, and fitted with all the necessary equipments for the business. Very soon after work was started it became apparent that extension would be imperative, and considerable additions have already been made to the original premises.

The result of the first 15 weeks' working was a profit of £351. This was a remarkably good beginning, as it is not always possible to show a balance on the right side of the account during the first period of the working of a productive department. For the first year ending June, 1899, the profit realised was £3,312. At the present time (June) nearly eleven tons of manufactured tobacco are sent out every week, and the factory has secured more than half of the trade of the societies.

These facts afford weighty testimony to the excellence of the varieties of tobacco, and it is hoped that all Co-operative worshippers at the shrine of "baccas" will see that the incense they offer as a burnt sacrifice comes from the Sharp Street Factory."


In more recent times the factory has been converted into an apartment complex.

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