The Palatine Paints Story: Company History

Palatine Paint Front of Business Shop Entrance

This year (2021) marks 75 years of paint making at Palatine Paints. The company history has been briefly documented over the years and we’ve added our last few years to keep it updated. Here is Palatine Paints’ company history, we hope you find it interesting.

1930s – The Original Flat Oil Paint

Palatine Paints’ origins go back to the 1930s with Hull based paint manufacturer Keystone, which manufactured a revolutionary product,  “The original Flat Oil Paint”.  Struggling during the Great Depression, the Hull company was actually attracted to Lancashire by government grants. At that time, government assistance was available for businesses moving to designated “depressed areas” and taking advantage of this programme, Keystone was given free charge of a part of Prospect Mill, a weaving shed in Platt Lane, Hindley. Paint manufacturing commenced at Hindley in around 1937 with a newly recruited local workforce, together with workers who had made the move from Hull.

1940s – In the Midst of World War 2

The advent of the second world war brought with it new Ministry of Defence contracts and the company soon expanded sufficiently to utilise all the space at Prospect Mill. During this period, London based company Louis Berger Ltd, fearing bomb damage in the capital, sought shadow premises in the North of England and purchased the Keystone company in Hindley..

The company continued without much influence from the London Berger HQ for several years but after the war ended Berger became more involved, ruffling the northern management’s feathers and eventually forcing them to form a separate business. In 1946 Palatine Paints was born – the two managers, a Lancastrian and a Yorkshire man named this newly created paint business Palatine Paints due to its location in the “County Palatine” of Lancashire. The Tudor rose was adopted as the trademark, the white rose of Yorkshire and the red rose of Lancashire reflecting each manager’s origins. Palatine Paints continued with small scale manufacturing whilst also distributing the Keystone products.

1950s – Skilled Chemist, Alan Everingham Joins the Company

Around the mid 1950s,  Alan Everingham, a skilled Chemist unhappy in his role at Beaver Chemicals in Aintree, placed an advert (under a box number) in the “Paint Oil And Colour Journal” offering his services. Palatine Paints responded to the post and were delighted to find that it was Alan, whom they had been eyeing for some time. Alan’s remit at Palatine Paints was to improve and increase production capacity (a batch of white gloss was just five gallons at that time) and to expand the product range.

1970s – A Fire Remoulds the Future

The company expanded and continued production happily until 1973 when a fire broke out. The cause of the fire  proved to be the cause of a fall out between the management team and almost the downfall of the company which went into voluntary liquidation. Alan Everingham started his own company, Everingham Paints & Chemicals ltd. Having purchased the Palatine Paints registered trade mark, Everingham Paints and Chemicals continued and flourished. Much of this success was attributed to Alan Everingham’s business acumen and skill as a chemist.

Shiny vintage Rolls Royce with black fabric roof
Palatine Paints two hour gloss paint – Vintage Rolls Royce

2000s – Everingham Retires

On Alan Everingham’s retirement, Everingham Paints was sold to Talke Chemical Co Ltd based in Congleton, Cheshire. The Leigh manufacturing facility here in Lancashire along with its staff was retained with the Lancashire site being managed by Jason Huyton. Talke Chemicals combined its own Carbo brand range with the Palatine brand to offer customers a greater range of industrial and decorative coatings.

2010s – Jason Huyton Buys the Company

In June 2011, and after joining Everingham Paints in 1994 as a sixteen year old, Jason Huyton purchased the Leigh manufacturing site and became the Managing Director of Palatine Paints & Chemicals Ltd. Under Jason’s leadership, with his passion and vision for Palatine Paints, the company continued its proud tradition of manufacturing top quality own brand coatings.

Palatine Paint Front of Business Shop Entrance
Entrance to Palatine Paints

2019 -2020 – Another Fire and a Global Pandemic!

Throughout the 2010s Palatine Paints continued to develop and innovate with ongoing investment into the development of new products. As well as an extensive range of own brand coatings, the company began stocking a wider range of complementary products and to sell direct via its website. 2019 brought with it another challenge in the shape of a factory fire in July which created damage to one of the buildings rendering out of action for some time.  Fortunately nobody was seriously injured (despite the MD running into the burning building to turn off a gas supply) and the emergency services were here promptly, doing their usual fantastic work. Smallbrook Lane remained closed for several hours, which of course attracted attention locally. Despite the damage, with team work and ‘grafting’, the clean up operation was underway the next day and with help from local businesses (supplying generators etc) things were soon back up and running. This was however, a set-back the business could have done without.

Man with goggles shovelling burnt waste into large empty containers
Cleaning up after the fire

With things slowly returning to normal, the focus was on growth for the future, but in March 2020, Covid_19 struck. With companies UK-wide revising plans to accommodate working from home or even closing down, Palatine Paints still had regular ongoing orders of industrial coatings to business customers to fulfil. With high demand for IPA and hand sanitiser, processes were shifted around to accommodate that too. Following advice from the British Coatings Federation, the online business remained open and soon demand rose once people decided to use their furlough/ enforced home time to paint! Teamwork (and hard work) again got the company through the next few months. At the time of writing this, the pandemic is far from over, but Palatine Paints is acclimatising to the ‘new normal’ and focusing on the future.

That’s the company history so far! And so it continues…

Do you remember?

If you remember the ‘old days’ of Palatine Paints, we’d love to hear your stories, there are some great comments below already. Drop us a line via our facebook page, the Contact Page or post a comment below. We’d also love to see any old photos you have.

6 thoughts on “The Palatine Paints Story: Company History

  1. jason says:

    Thanks Bill. Thankfully we don’t operate at night times any longer and we are glad your Uncle Lou finally found the treatment he needed to help alleviate the mental health issues caused by his terrible wartime experiences. Fortunately these days there is help for those suffering from anxiety, depression and mental health problems such as Mind, Young Minds, NHS, and for military specific help, Combat Stress

  2. Polly Parsons says:

    Hi just stumbled across this blog it brought back some memories. My Mother worked here in the 70s. She was the cleaner and a key holder. The morning of the fire I was woken by a fire man knocking on my bedroom window. To get my attention They needed a key. Mum was deaf so I guess the window was the best option she wouldn’t have heard them knocking. It’s strange what you can remember from years ago, Irrelivent things that stick in your mind. Today as clear as anything I recall a calendar, it was hung in the old stock room. The image for April was a picture of a world being held in the palms of two hands. This calendar was different than the one in the other room, that calendar had a woman on it.

    I also remember playing at the back of the paintworks I have a framed photograph of all the local kids all sat on the barrels. Are there any more photos of the old building, then of the New one I would love to see any .

    • jason says:

      Thank you for taking the time to share your story Polly, it’s lovely to hear about your memories. The fire incident must have really stuck in your mind, sounds like it’s a good job you woke up! We’d love to see your photo and we’ll also have another root around to see if we can find any other old pictures to post here.

      • Polly Parsons says:

        Hi Jason. Yes the morning of the fire is still very clear in my memories. The whole street where out, some from corner lane, all from smallbrook lane, The cans of paint where blowing up like bombs, we where told the explosions where heard in Atherton. We had firemen in our house, I’m sure mum was making cups of tea, a very British thing to do. I think she felt it her duty being an employee. I also recall being told not to play by the brook for a time after, maybe it was because of spilt paint. ( I don’t know if that was the case for sure) I do know how the incident happened. It was all a mess and a sad time i guess.
        But the big building with the big windows was replaced by the building that’s on the site now. My Mother carried on her job cleaning until she became unwell and passed away in 1975. I would happily share the photo, but as I’m not the only one on the photo I will ask permission off the others. Yes we are all still in touch 49 years later. So will get back to you with outcome I’m sure it will be a yes. I do hope you find some old pics it would be awesome to see them.

        • BILL PartingtoN says:

          Hay Jason way back in my memory box I remember my uncle Luther Partington that lived next door in the large house .As a small child I was taken there by my dad Hinchciffe ( Cliff ) to visit grandma Rose and uncle Luther.After the fall of Singapore 15 Feb 1942 Nile Lou was incarcerated by the Japs in Changhi to work on the infamous railway ,like many others he suffered from the Japanese badly ,He returned home after war a broken man minus a leg and with a severe shaking twitching condition ( brought on by his harsh times ) !!! DURING the daily running of the works, lorries delivering stuff to the works would park their wagons inches away from his front ( which he complained about ) also DURING the night a loud drowning noise would eminate from the works which caused him much distress ( sleepless nights ) and 1 night with his mental state being a bit frayed uncle Lou broke into the works and set them on fire then retired to the Bull And Butcher .He admitted what he had done without question and in court it was brought up of his mental state due to his treatment by the Japanese and was placed in the hands of social services and had to attend like a Mencsp programme at Atherleigh Hostpital 3 days a week which just loved .After all that I still carry a great affection for uncle Lou after all these years .my HERO

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