Q1. I was contacted today regarding the recent article which outlined some of the history of Webbs Works – my friend was rather upset that my father in particular did not feature in the article. These premises had been owned by members of my family since 1949. Indeed I have a copy of the Chislehurst & Kentish Times which has an article on the front page which begins” A glass factory, believed to be the only one of its kind the county, and certainly the only one in the district, has been operating for the past six months within a stone’s throw of Chislehurst High Street.
Named “Ebcol” a contraction of the names of the two men concerned in the project, the factory is situated in what was once a church school in Queens Passage, Chislehurst and is mainly concerned with the manufacture of scientific and medical glassware.” My father, William Collier was half of the partnership that operated from there. Mr T Ebdon was his partner – hence Ebcol.
The partnership was dissolved later on and the company became known as Collier Scientific Ltd. and continued until my father retired.
In June of 1981 ACT Printing rented the premises from my father and after his death from my mother. After Alan and Charles Theobald retired another printer took over the lease. Upon my mother’s death in 2002 I inherited the property and it was leased to the plumber. There was never any contact with carpenters or furniture sales to my knowledge.
The car park was formerly three cottages I believe which were demolished (I am unsure when that was).
I would like to say that my parents would have been absolutely delighted to know that “the factory” had been sold to the Chislehurst Society. They loved Chislehurst – they lived in Heathfield for many years and I had a bench placed near the pond in their memory.
Q2. I am the archivist for the Institute of Science and Technology, Sheffield. As part of a series on laboratory suppliers, I am writing a short history of Collier (Scientific) Ltd for the journal of the British Society of Scientific Glassblowers. I would very much appreciate any pointers to who might know something about the company.
Collier (Scientific) started about 1957 at Webbs Works, Queens Passage, Chistlehurst High Street and went out of business before 1986. They were stockist of Pyrex laboratory glassware. Apart from these facts, I have discovered little else about the firm. Regards, Alan Gall.
A. Thank you to both enquirers. We will use this information to complete our knowledge on the history of the old chapel to use for our visitors.