Monday, 22 February 2016

St Cuthberts Mill 
mentioned in the book 'Somerset Voices'

Opening bales of esparto grass from North Africa at St Cuthberts Mill, Wookey, 1935.
Sometimes snakes were found!

“When I started, the main ingredient for paper was esparto grass and that mainly came from South Africa and North Africa, hundreds of tons and that used to come in by boat to Bristol. It looked like straw, the same colour, but it was rough, coarse grass and that was the main ingredient of paper in those days. We used to make all kinds of paper from Basildon Bond writing paper to paper for office uses. Different companies had their own watermarks. In the 1960’s it became very competitive and we could not compete in that type of paper. At that stage esparto grass was phased out and wood pulps from all over the world took over. One of the first industrial papers that we started making was for the Formica table-tops, which had to be strong and absorbent to absorb the resins that was added.”

Eddie Stubbins (b.1927) was employed at St Cuthberts Mill and Wookey Hole Mill on the edge of the Mendips. He worked in various departments making both hand-made and industrial paper.

Somerset Voices: A Celebration of Memories
Book by Liz Snelgrove and Louise F. Clapp

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