Buckland Mill

Dover, Kent, UK

Timeline of Buckland Mill

1638

Paper was probably being made at Buckland Mill.

1746

Thomas Horne died, he had leased the mill from the archbishop of Canterbury.  The mill was inherited by his sons Ingram and Thomas Horne.

1770

Buckland Paper Mill from the churchyard.  Original painting by T Forest.

1814

Following a fire, the mill was rebuilt and considerably enlarged.  Paper was still produced by hand and the rags were boiled in open tanks.

1817

The Mill was for sale as 'A capital freehold paper mill having a large breast shot water wheel supplied by a powerful stream, capable of working six vats with presses, drying lofts, it has space for another water wheel and a reserved convenience for putting up a machine.

1822

George Dickinson brother of John Dickinson of Croxley, leased the mill at a time when a revolution was taking place in papermaking.

1823

A fourdrinier paper machine was installed and for Buckland Mill this marked the end of hand made paper and papermaking as a cottage industry.

1823

The house that we currently know as "Buckland House" was built for Thomas Horne.

1838

Buckland Mill was advertised to let as 'most eligible and desirable' and 'famed for the quality of it's paper'.  By now it was producing whites as well as the traditional blue and brown.

1849

Charles Ashdown bought the mill which was run by his son Henry.

1877

Henry Ashdown died, his brother Charles came into the business from banking, but with little knowledge of papermaking Henry Hobday (general manager at Snodland mill) was offered equal partnership in the mill and the business traded as Ashdown and Hobday .

1887

Fire - Buckland Mill was totally destroyed.

1887

No 1 machine was rebuilt and remodeled.

1888

Henry Hobday took the order for the first making of Conqueror London.

1888

Conqueror, the best known watermarked paper in the world, was first produced at Buckland mill and remained the mills premier brand for 112 years.

1890

Buckland Mill bought by Wiggins Teape for £20,000.

1893

PM2 was installed.

1895

Crabble mill was bought by Wiggins Teape and converted into a rag preparation and boiling department for Buckland mill.

1895

800 tons annual production on two machines.

1906

Crabble Mill burned down.

1906

A Social club was built at Crabble in recognition of valiant attempt to put out the fire by the rag sorters.

1906

Lewis Hobday succeeded his father in operating Buckland Mill.

1910

PM3 was built as the 'conqueror machine'.

1910

2300 tons annual production on three machines.

1913

3500 tons annual production on three machines.

1927

A new wet-end was installed at PM2.

1936

A steam turbo generator replaced the outdated steam engines and the mill was completely electrified.

1938

4285 tons annual production on three machines.

1940

On 28th July an RAF Spitfire crashed into the roof of PM3 causing considerable damage, this and the ever present danger from shelling caused a temporary closure of the mill.

1945

Buckland mill re-opened after the war.  see note.

1945

No 1 machine was was given over completely to making Plastic Base Paper.

1947

A new rag house was built and Crabble became a storage and export packing area.

1950's

Cutter register 'by eye' gives way to automatic control using war surplus electronics; reams were still finished by guillotine.

1954

No 1 machine is rebuilt.

1956

The old steam boiler house with it's six hand-fired Lancashire boiler was replaced by a Clark Chapman grate feed water tube boiler and for the first time additional electricity was brought into the mill.

1957

A new workshop was built to  to house the maintenance department.

1958

The various offices around the site were brought together.

1959

8086 tons annual production on three machines.

1960

Instrumental colour making began in the laboratory, using analog COMIC computer for plastic base paper.

1970

A new Conqueror warehouse and office block were built.

1984

Precision Registered Cutting (PRC) was developed, followed by PRIC.

1988

Buckland Mill is the first UK paper mill to Achieve the BS 5750 Quality Standard.

1989

No 1 machine was closed and sold to Tunisia; the plastic base business was transferred to James Bibby at Devon Valley.

1990

Dover wins the Arjo Wiggins Good Housekeeping competition Award.

1991

A broke handling system for both machines was constructed.

1992

A New Pemco wrapping machine was installed.

1995

Commissioning of the Combined Heat and Power Plant, this was a collaborative partnership between Scottish Hydro and Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers, the first between a public sector organisation and a private company - supplying Dover Harbour board and Scottish Hydro with electricity as well as meeting the mills electricity and steam needs.

1995

Gold Award for Occupational Safety from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA).  This fine achievement was repeated 5 years running (1995-99).

1995

Awarded the Aylesford Newsprint Environmental Awards for Kent Business.

1995

ISO 14001 accreditation.

1996

Investors in People accreditation.

1997

Buckland Mill wins the Process category of the management today Best Factory Awards.

1998

27500 tons annual production on two machines.

1999

PM3 Valmet process control, including fully profiling grammage, moisture, ash, thickness and automatic colour grade change

2000

June 30 Buckland Mill closes, papermaking on the river dour is now history.

2002

Areas of the mill are demolished as part regeneration of the site by SEEDA