Stafford Tool & Die


A worker operating a Stafford Tool & Die clicking machine at the Lotus Ltd shoe factory on Longton Road, Stone, 1968 (Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service)

A worker operating a Stafford Tool & Die clicking machine at the Lotus Ltd shoe factory on Longton Road, Stone, 1968 (Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service)


Stafford Tool & Die factory, Stafford, 1968.

Stafford Tool & Die factory, Stafford, 1968.


In 1957 the Engineering division of Lotus Ltd was subject to a management buy out, and a new company, Stafford Tool and Die, set up a factory on Rowley Street, Stafford. The company continued to supply the shoe industry, specialising in making machines and tools, including clicking presses, punching and perforating machines and drying machines.

The company soon outgrew its premises, moving first to Fancy Walk, before settling in the former Frederick Riley ‘Gainsborough Works’ shoe factory in St. Patrick’s Place around 1962.

Lotus Ltd continued to be a major customer, but the company also had a thriving trade around Britain, and exporting to Mexico, Canada, Australia and Pakistan. At its height the company employed 99 people.

The decline of the local shoe trade, and the development of the Chinese manufacturing industry in the 1990s and early 2000s meant that the company struggled to compete. By now known as Stafford Tool & Machine, the company closed early 2004.

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