John Stell, our founder, designed and built an automatic tube winding machine which gave him an immediate competitive advantage for the supply of cardboard tubes. In 1872, 27 year old John set-up in partnership with his younger brother-in-law, Joseph Jackson and his father’s friend Charles Lister. Lister, Stell and Jackson, wool combers and paper tube makers, were henceforth based at Worth Mill in Keighley and so began our 150 years of cardboard tube manufacture.
In 1892 the business purchased its Holme Mills site which became its home for the following 123 years. The business rode the boom in local Yorkshire and Lancashire textile manufacturing and as this market declined then died, it was able to diversify into making cardboard tubes for modern packaging and converting industries and now, latterly, with retail packaging following the birth of its Encircle Packaging division in 2022.
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