Turner family of Rochdale

This family of manufacturers was associated with Spotland UMFC church, Rochdale. The business of Turner Brothers was founded in 1871 by three brothers: John Turner (born.c.1834), Robert Turner and Samuel Turner (c.1840-1924). Originally manufacturing cotton-cloth-based packaging at their father's cotton mill, Clod Mill, in 1879 the business became the first to weave asbestos with power-driven machinery. Shortly before 1914 the name was changed to Turner Brothers Asbestos and then in 1920 with amalgamations became Turner & Newall. Premises at Trafford Park were used for manufacturing asbestos roofs and walls. The business was sold in 1998 and its demise came in 2001, with considerable litigation over asbestosis.

All three brothers were aldermen and mayors of Rochdale: John in 1895-97; Samuel in 1910-13; and Robert in 1915-17. Samuel was knighted in 1914. On his death at Harrogate in August 1924 he was interred in Rochdale Cemetery with his three wives, and a stained glass memorial window was installed in Baillie Street UM chapel, where he was an adherent but not a member.

His son, Samuel Turner Jnr (1874-1955), company chairman, 1929-1944, was the Treasurer of the United Methodist Chapel, Chapel Loan and Sunday School Building Fund 1924-1932, and High Sheriff of Lancashire, 1930. Extremely wealthy, but nevertheless generous, he endowed a School of Industrial Administration at Manchester Industrial Technical College and a Dental School at the University of Manchester. He donated the Binns organ in Rochdale Town Hall in 1913 and on his death 'Denehurst' was donated to the town for a public park. The owner of the yacht 'Halycon' 1929-1944, he died at Hughenden


Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person
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