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In 1783 at the age of 14, Old Bim founded his clothiers business. Before long he was employing handloom weavers and had 4 packhorses to take his cloth to sell at Leeds City Hall. By 1810 he rented Cape Mills in Farsley. He died in 1836, the wealthiest man in the district.
Old Bim's grandson, 'Young Bim' married his boss's daughter and went into business with his father-in-law. Young Bim became a little eccentric and difficult following a blow to the head in 1900, and was eventually persuaded to leave the business in 1913 by his sons.
One of the sons and nephews of Old Bim ran and expanded the business as partners after his death. In 1854 following the death of the last remaining partner, Charles continued to run the business alone. On his death in 1875 there were no sons old enough to run the business, so it was sold to Reuben Gaunt, another grandson of Old Bim who was successful in his own right.
Gaunt studied textiles at Victoria College in Leeds and concentrated on running the worsted business from Temperance Mill. Together with his brother Charles he steered the mill through some turbulent times, notably a disastrous fire in 1936 that was closely followed by the second world war.
David & John Hainsworth
Reuben's two sons both entered the business after university. John was the force behind uniting the two divisions and changing the way the mill was run. He also rebuilt the mill following a devastating fire in 1955. David concentrated on exploring new markets and travelled the world selling the company's products.
Peter followed in his father's footsteps into the business and saw the mill through some very difficult times alongside his cousin Reuben. Following Reuben's sudden death, Peter was left as the senior director until he retired at 70, however he visited the mill daily into his 80s.
Born in Leeds in 1967 Thomas Hainsworth is the 7th generation of the Hainsworth family to run A.W. Hainsworth & Sons Ltd. He entered the business in 1992 following a period of globe trotting, working in Germany and India. Tom has continued to develop the fireproof manmade cloths his father developed whilst also developing a strategy to take the business into the 21st Century.
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