http://Leslie WrightRecent donations of archive material to RDHT’s Butterley Company Archives.
Thanks to the efforts of Tim Castledine and Mike Frost the Trust has received scores of new photographs, documents and sound recordings about both the Wright family, the one-time sole owners of the company, and the Butterley Company itself.
Charles Melville Wright, a direct descendant of Francis Wright, the first of the Wright family to own the company in the 1840s, invited Tim and Mike down to his home in Warwickshire where he encouraged them to copy whatever material they considered to be relevant in the Trust’s bid to put together both a comprehensive Butterley archive and to complete it’s documentary on the company.
Amongst the material copied where hitherto unseen paintings of the Wright family as well as the originals of the well known engravings and photos of the family that the Trust has presently on record.
Various books and pamphlets about the Wright family were also copied which shone more light on, in particular, the character and deeply felt religious fervour of Francis Wright, which together with his dedication to the Butterley Company and his philanthropy made him probably the most important Victorian Industrialist and Philanthropist in Derbyshire.
Other material included over two hours of tape recordings with a Company Secretary recorded in the 1950s revealing much about the management style of the directors at the time and their attempts to Butterley a big ‘happy family.
The Trust has also copied some documents and photos supplied by Steve Grudgings, a keen collector and supporter of the UK’s Industrial and Mining Heritage. Amongst the new material we now have are photos dated around 1915 of Butterley products with details and anecdotes of the personnel involved. Also donated by Steve Grudgings were letters to Butterley’s 1840 Chief Engineer, Joseph Glynn advising him to sell Butterley’s Marine Engines to the French Navy and suggesting that Butterley buy the Steamship SS India.