This company was a wholly owned subsidiary of its American parent company, pioneering the development of grinding wheels and other abrasive products. In 1929 Hugo Beth, Herb Stanton and Frank Emery set out to find the perfect UK site under the instructions of Charles Allen - an ex-president of Norton Company - "I don't care where you build the plant, but I want it to be erected in a locality where the workers will have good homes, good surroundings, and room enough for a garden ... I want it to be a model Norton plant.'' The site chosen was Welwyn Garden City. When the Norton team first visited WGC it had only 9,000 of a planned 50,000 population. Norton was the second multi-national company to locate in the town and, when finished, its factory would be the largest and occupy an 11 acre site with its own rail sidings. By 1939 the company had 500 employees and with WWII brewing the plant was turned over to a British Management team. Grinding wheels were so essential to the war effort that Norton Abrasives Ltd was designated a key industry. From 1939-44 Norton ran its plant on a 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week timetable. As men left for active duty they were replaced by women, eventually over one-third of the work was done by women. Norton helped keep "wheels turning" in more ways than one! Women joined the 'Norton Knitwits' to sew and knit socks, sweaters and gloves for men in the services. Norton sent monthly packages to the soldiers including homemade cakes, chocolates and cigarettes plus a newsletter to keep them up-to-date.

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Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd awarded the Norton Service Emblem to Kathleen Addy for 10 years loyal and faithful service to the company. Dated 28th December 1940 and signed by senior staff including Herbert Stanton who was one of the original team sent over from the USA in 1929 to select a suitable site for the company's UK subsidiary. Digital donation by Kay H who kindly loaned her aunt's certificate to the Trust so that it could be scanned and added to the archive.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd awarded the Norton Service Emblem to Kathleen Addy for 15 years loyal and faithful service to the company. Dated 28th December 1945 and signed by senior staff including Herbert Stanton who was one of the original team sent over from the USA in 1929 to select a suitable site for the company's UK subsidiary. Digital donation by Kay H who kindly loaned her aunt's certificate to the Trust so that it could be scanned and added to the archive.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
The Norton Spirit published in 1935 - commemorating 50th anniversary of the founding of the Norton Grinding Wheel Company in USA. Page 44 - list of Welwyn Garden City staff which includes Kathleen Addy. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sue G as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton labels that were attached to the finished grinding wheels. Items donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Irene O as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd

Members of Norton's Keep-Fit team. Undated photograph donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive during the 'Where Do You Think We Played?' project.

Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd - service emblem award to James Cochrane after 10 years at the company 30th January 1943. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd - service emblem award to James Cochrane after 15 years at the company 30th January 1950. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd - annual award dinner at Parkway restaurant. James Cochrane 3rd row extreme left. Photograph donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel staff meet entertainer Bob Monkhouse (wearing dark bow tie) and his wife (wearing fur coat). Photograph donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Irene O as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd - children's party. Photograph donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Jane O (pictured at back of circle looking at the camera) as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd - darts team 1943-44. Standing from left to right: Norman Smith, Cecil Parker, Bert Greatrex. Seated right: Bill Turner, Sid Parker. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd - retirement presentations. Edgar Evans is seated on the far left on the front row. Thanks to Terry for this donation to the Trust archive as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd

Norton Grinding Wheels Ltd emblems presented to James Cochrane. The wording reads Norton Company - Service Loyalty, two figures are pictured seated holding a large grinding wheel with the factory's iconic 'beehive kilns' in the background. Kindly donated to the Welwyn Garden City heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.

Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd dinner for the 4th Battalion Home Guard held at the Norton Canteen on 22nd September 1945 - menu and list of those attending. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Paul W as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd dinner for the 4th Battalion Home Guard held at the Norton Canteen on 22nd September 1945 - menu and list of those attending. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Paul W as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd - Home Guard Platoon. Front row: 4th right Mr Graves, 5th right Jim Cochrane, 6th right John Morrison. Postcard donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd - Home Guard Platoon photograph dated 1943. Capt. J.Cochrane - 3rd row (centre with glasses), Major Morrison - 2 places left of Capt. Cochrane. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel pantomime - children of employees also took part! Photograph donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Irene O as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd factory postcard dated c1930. Image from WGC Library Local Studies Collection.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd - staff relaxing at a pub. Front row: Unknown, Soderberg, Jim Morrison. Second row Bert Greatrex, Jim Tooley, Unknown, Jim Cochrane, Unknown, Bill Roberts. Photograph donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd - service emblem tie clip awarded after 10 years loyal service to the company. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Irene O as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd - front entrance. Front row left to right: Bill Turner, Lily Poole, Ethel Taylor, Janet Jenner, ? Behind from left to right: John Morrison, Doug Teague, M.Herring, Charlie Wood, George Mass, Bill Roberts, Jim Cochrane. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd

Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd - Thames outing. From left to right: Unknown child, Doris Turner, Bill Turner, Jim Cochrane, Mrs Davis, Bill Roberts, Si Davis, Cecil Parker, Mrs Parker, Doris Roberts, Betty Cochrane. Two girls in front left to right: Lesley Cochrane, Christine Roberts. Photograph donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Shirley K as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.

Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd factory exterior close up - undated. Image from HALS in Hertford.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd factory in Bridge Road East. Image from the WGC Library Local Studies Collection.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company football team of 1934-5. Edgar Evans is 2nd right in centre row. We are grateful to Terry who donated this picture to the Trust's archive.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company football team. Edgar Evans was the team captain. We are grateful to Terry who donated this picture to the Trust's archive.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company football team. Edgar Evans was the team captain. We are grateful to Terry who donated this picture to the Trust's archive.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company football team displaying their trophies. On the left of the front row is Edgar Evans. We are grateful to Terry who donated this picture to the Trust's archive.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company - factory interior - undated image from the WGC Library Local Studies Collection
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
This photograph of staff at the Norton Grinding Wheel Company was donated to the Trust by Terry E. Note the A.R.P. (Air Raid Precautions) sign on the right.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
A Norton Grinding Wheel Company pantomime dating from the 1950s. Donated to the Trust by Sarah L.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd - Edgar Evans wage slip from 1940s. Thanks to Terry for donating this to the Trust archive.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd - retirement presentation for Edgar Evans. Thanks to Terry for this donation to the Trust archive.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd - the Social Club Bar. Image donated by Terry E.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd

Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd - "Grits & Grinds' leaflet. From the WGC Library Local Studies Collection.

Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd

Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd - leaflet for 'Norton' Non Slip Floor Products. From the WGC Library Local Studies Collection.

Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd

Norton Grinding Wheel Company Ltd - leaflet on 'Norbide' Norton Boron Carbide - 'The Hardest Material Ever Produced by Man for Commercial Use'. From the WGC Library Local Studies Collection.

Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
The Norton Spirit - commemorating 50th anniversary of the founding of the Norton Grinding Wheel Company in USA in 1885. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sue G as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
The Norton Spirit - commemorating 50th anniversary of the founding of the Norton Grinding Wheel Company in USA. Page 44 - Welwyn Garden City staff. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sue G as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
The Norton Spirit - commemorating 50th anniversary of the founding of the Norton Grinding Wheel Company in USA. Page 45 - Welwyn Garden City staff (continued). Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sue G as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
The Norton Spirit - commemorating 50th anniversary of the founding of the Norton Grinding Wheel Company in USA. Page 50 - Indian Hill - built by Nortons as a model planned town for its workers in 1915 - photographed in 1935. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sue G as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
The Norton Spirit - commemorating 50th anniversary of the founding of the Norton Grinding Wheel Company in USA. Page 51 - Indian Hill - built by Nortons as a model planned town for its workers in 1915. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sue G as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
The Norton Spirit - commemorating 50th anniversary of the founding of the Norton Grinding Wheel Company in USA. Page 53 - Indian Hill - built by Nortons as a model planned town for its workers in 1915 - photographed in 1935. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sue G as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Norton Grinding Wheel Ltd
The Norton Spirit special edition - commemorating 50th anniversary of the founding of the Norton Grinding Wheel Company in USA. Page 57 - Norton Products list including:Abrasives - Abrasive Grain for: Polishing, Paper and Cloth Manufacture, Pressure Blasting, Lapping, Glass Grinding, Levigated Alumina.Bonded Abrasives: Grinding Wheels, Cylinder Hones, Mounted Wheels and Points, Bricks, Sticks, Blocks and Segments, Sharpening Stones.Pulpstones for Pocket, Magazine and Continuous Grinders.Refractories and Porous Mediums: Raw Refractory Materials, Electrically Fused Magnesia, Laboratory Ware, RR Alundum, Cements, Kiln Furniture, Furnace Linings, Bricks, Blocks and Plates.Porous Plates, Tubes and Diaphragms.Machinery: Universal Tool and Cutter Grinding Machines, Precision Grinding and Lapping Machinery, Dynamic Balance Indicating MachinesNorton Floors: Alundum Floor and Stair Tile, Ceramic Mosaic Tile, Aggregates and Safety Treads. The book was donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sue G as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
 
 
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