For over a hundred years Leicester was the centre of the hosiery trade in Britain. Rapid expansion took place in the 1960s and 1970s, helped by the influx of labour from Commonwealth countries. This was followed by changes in the market in the 1980s – competition on the high street inevitably caused major UK brands, previously supplied by Leicester manufacturers, to seek cheaper overseas merchandise. This lead to the demise (or corporate restructuring) of a number of major Leicester manufacturers.

Wolsey Chimney, Abbey Mills, Leicester

The Wolsey factory was built in the 1920s with the business taking its name from the nearby burial place of Cardinal Wolsey, the close aide of King Henry VIII, who was buried in 1530 at Leicester Abbey.

Demolition work began in 2009, only two chimneys (one bearing the Wolsey name) and the tower now remain.

Wolsey Tower, Abbey Mills, LeicesterHosiery Factory, Leicester

Above right, and images below taken at factory locations around Frog Island.

Hosiery Factory, Leicester

 Cash and Carry, Leicester