Avon Rubber
Avon Rubber p.l.c. is a manufacturer of high technology rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

-based products for a number of manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 sectors. It is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index
FTSE SmallCap Index
The FTSE SmallCap Index is an index of small market capitalization companies consisting of the 351st to the 619th largest listed companies on the London Stock Exchange main market...

. Its largest divisions, namely Avon Protection Systems and Milk-Rite produce equipment and components for the armed forces, first response emergency services and the dairy/agricultural sectors, amongst several others.

Its corporate headquarters are located 3 km (1.9 mi) south of Melksham in Wiltshire, UK at the modern Hampton Park West development. Avon's research and design expertise is supported by ARTIS and locations throughout USA.

Avon's varied product portfolio includes CNBR (chemical, nuclear, biological & radiological) battlefield respirator
A respirator is a device designed to protect the wearer from inhaling harmful dusts, fumes, vapors, or gases. Respirators come in a wide range of types and sizes used by the military, private industry, and the public...

s, emergency response respirators, dairy milking liners, speed humps, aircraft chocks and tiling for military submarines.


In 1885 Messrs E G Browne and J C Margetson acquired a cloth mill, known as Avon Mill, on the banks of the River Avon
River Avon, Bristol
The River Avon is an English river in the south west of the country. To distinguish it from a number of other River Avons in Britain, this river is often also known as the Lower Avon or Bristol Avon...

 at Limpley Stoke
Limpley Stoke
Limpley Stoke is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, in the Avon Valley, between Bath and Freshford. The village is below the A36 road.The civil parish, which had a population of 637 in 2001, also includes the hamlet of Waterhouse, and the outskirts of the Somerset village of Midford. The 18th...

. The previous owners of the mill had originally been timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

A merchant is a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit.Merchants can be one of two types:# A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between producer and retail merchant...

s, but had later diversified into the production of rubber goods.

By 1890 the business had transferred to premises in Melksham in Wiltshire. Products at this time included solid tyres, conveyor belt
Conveyor belt
A conveyor belt consists of two or more pulleys, with a continuous loop of material - the conveyor belt - that rotates about them. One or both of the pulleys are powered, moving the belt and the material on the belt forward. The powered pulley is called the drive pulley while the unpowered pulley...

s and components for railways. By 1900 pneumatic tyres for bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

s were being produced, and by 1906 the first car
Auto, from Greek αὐτο- auto- "self, one's own", may refer to:*An automobile*An auto rickshaw*Auto, an Israeli car magazine*Short for automatic* Auto , a form of Portuguese dramatic play...

 tyres were advertised. In 1915 the company acquired Greenland Mill in Bradford on Avon
Bradford on Avon
Bradford on Avon is a town in west Wiltshire, England with a population of about 9,326. The town's canal, historic buildings, shops, pubs and restaurants make it popular with tourists....

 (Wiltshire). In 1933 the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...


In 1956 the rival company of George Spencer Moulton (founded in 1848) was acquired, bringing with it Abbey Mills and Kingston Mills in Bradford on Avon, and a jointly owned plant in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. In 1959 production started on a range of inflatable boats.

In 1994 the Llanelli
Llanelli , the largest town in both the county of Carmarthenshire and the preserved county of Dyfed , Wales, sits on the Loughor estuary on the West Wales coast, approximately west-north-west of Swansea and south-east of the county town, Carmarthen. The town is famous for its proud rugby...

-based marine business Avon Inflatables, Ltd was split-off and sold; since 1998, the company has been a division of Zodiac Marine
Zodiac Marine & Pool
Zodiac Marine & Pool is a French company known for its boats and swimming pools; however they are best known for their widely used small inflatable boats.In 1998, the company acquired the Llanelli-based competitor Avon Inflatables...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...


In 1997 the Avon Tyres business was sold to Cooper Tire & Rubber Company of Findlay
Findlay, Ohio
As of the census of 2000, there were 38,967 people, 15,905 households, and 10,004 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,266.3 people per square mile . There were 17,152 housing units at an average density of 997.6 per square mile...

, Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 in the USA, leaving the company to concentrate on its core businesses of automotive components, technical products and protective equipment. The Cooper Tires site remains a major employer in central Melksham.

In March 2000, Avon consolidated its activities at a £19 million state-of-the-art manufacturing and head office facility at Hampton Park West at Semington
Semington is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England. The village is about south of Melksham and about northeast of Trowbridge.The parish includes the hamlets of Littlemarsh and Littleton....

, near Melksham and a £13 million purpose-built polymer mixing centre at Westbury. As of January 2008, around 350 people worked across the two sites.

In June 2005, Avon purchased International Safety Instruments, Inc. (ISI), based in Lawrenceville, GA USA. Avon-ISI is a manufacturer of SCBA, APR, and Thermal Imaging Systems for fire, law enforcement and industrial applications.

In August 2006, the Avon Automotive division was sold to a US-based management team and became a separate entity called Avon Automotive Holdings Inc. This was the largest single buy-out in the company's history. Its aerosol division was sold to Crosslinks Ltd for £1.75 million in March 2008, enabling the organisation to concentrate on its core protective equipment, dairy and extrusions markets.

In November 2008, the mixing plant at Westbury was sold to ATR Compounding Ltd, a division of SPC UK, a compounder of rubber based in Whitby.

See also

  • Formula One tyres
    Formula One tyres
    Formula One tyres play a significant role in the performance of a Formula One car. The tyres have undergone significant changes throughout the history of Formula One, with different manufacturers and specifications used in the sport.-History:...

  • Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
    Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
    Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is a United States based company that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of replacementautomobiles and truck tires, and subsidiaries that specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires...

  • Formula 3000
    Formula 3000
    The Formula 3000 International Championship was a motor racing series created by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile in 1985 to become the final preparatory step for drivers hoping to enter the Formula One championship...

  • British Formula Three Championship
    British Formula Three Championship
    The British Formula Three Championship is an international motor racing series that takes place primarily in the United Kingdom with a small number of events in mainland Europe. It is a junior-level feeder formula that uses small single seater Formula Three chassis. Its current official title is...

External links

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