The Rother Boiler Company


Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham - 11.03.07 (2)

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham

William Charles at Wyvenhoe, Rotherham (Copyright Ros Templeman)

William Charles

William Charles, born in 1880 in Masbrough, Rotherham, married my second great aunt, Winifred Pinder, in 1908.

William co-founded both the Rotherham Steel Strip Company and the Rother Boiler Company.

Below are three articles pertaining to the Rother Boiler Company.


Rotherham in high places

Rother Boiler Company (advert) (2)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

DID YOU know there is a little bit of Rotherham in Windsor Castle and the House of Commons, and most probably up your street, too?

No, well neither did I, but we have and it belongs to a small firm with a big reputation…the Rother Boiler Company Ltd., celebrating this month 50 years of business since they became a limited company.

it was in 1919 that two Rotherham men, the late Mr. A. A. Charles and Mr. A. Milnes (father of a present day company director, Mr. Arthur Milnes), laid the foundations for the company’s existence.

They concentrated on the production of kitchen range boilers, and a pretty laborious process it was, too, in those days. Output of two men was limited to seven or eight boilers a day.

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham - 11.03.07 (4)

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham

Within a few years, Mr. H. Sowden joined them and introduced copper back boilers and cylinders – still a feature of their work today.

Into new premises

in 1923 they became a Limited Company and four years later they had outgrown their premises in Westgate. The search for new headquarters ended at a nine acre site on Meadow Bank Road.

Rother Boiler Company (advert) (4)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

There they are to-day and the staff has increased now to over 130.

They are specialists in calorifiers or heat exchangers, if you prefer it that way.

This means equipment of all kinds for many important uses. In hospitals, schools, flats, public buildings and hotels, not to mention their products used in industry.

Expansion is still the order of the day and the firm maintain they “have never been busier”. Busy or not, you can be sure that all their work is built with the care and thought that has made them a top name in the heating engineering world.


Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham - 11.03.07 (7)

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham

Heating Mr. Heath’s prize pool and lots of other V.I.P.s


The Sultan of Oman’s army barracks and the Russian Embassy in Tehran are just two exotic destinations of products from a Rotherham factory.

Every day, boilers and calorifiers (heat exchange units used to heat very large buildings) start out from the Rother Boiler Company’s factory in Meadowbank Road on journeys all over the world.

Rother Boiler Company (advert) (5)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

The Falkland Isles’ Radio Station, hospitals and the Radio Station in Singapore, hotels in Malta, factories in Russia and Thailand…these are just some of the faraway places where Rother Boiler products are installed.

Nearer home, they’ve an equally impressive list of famous public buildings to their credit.

Windsor Castle, the Houses of Parliament, French Embassy in London, British Museum, Westminster Abbey, Durham Cathedral, Palace of Westminster, Royal yacht Brittaina , National Theatre…the list is endless.

Prisoners up and down the country (including Dartmoor) have reason to be thankful for the company – they keep warm by means of Rother Boiler calorifiers.

Rother Boiler Company (advert) (1)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

All R.A.F. camps are supplied by the firm, as well as many hospitals and holiday camps.

The Prime Minister and diplomats from all over the world are going to enjoy the benefits of some of Rother Boiler’s latest products.

Specially designed calorifiers are to be installed in a new swimming pool at Chequers.

How does this local firm manage to carry off all these major contracts?

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham - 11.03.07 (1)

Rother Boiler Company, Rotherham

“I think we’re the only people who make calorifiers in both steel and copper, and we also make a reasonable job at the right price,” explained Works Director Mr. Arthur Milnes.

To keep up with demand, they turn out more than 200 tons of steel a month and about £16,000 worth of copper every week.

The company, which employs 120 people, was founded in 1918, and last month celebrated 50 years as a limited company.


Rother Boiler Company (advert) (3)

Rother Boiler Company (advert)

15 ‘new’ jobs?

The Rother Boiler Company has taken over its subsidiary Roebuck and Clarke (Galvanising), with plans for a £500,000 plant in Rotherham.

The expansion move will hopefully create 15 new jobs at Roebuck and Clarke’s Meadowbank Road site where the new galvanising plant is being built.

Rother Boiler, which has been established in the town since 1925 and employs 110 people, now wholly owns Roebuck and Clarke – a subsidiary company setup just two years ago.


Winter Crash

JMM - Mundesley (possibly)

John M. Mollekin

John Malcolm Mollekin (1931 to 2015), born in Listerdale, Wickersley, is my uncle and son of John Gilbert Mollekin and Edith Mary Pinder.

Below is a newspaper article pertaining to a car accident that John was involved in, in 1960 or 1961. The eye injury mentioned caused John many problems and it was removed in 1996.

The photo below, included with this entry, relates to another accident that John was unfortunately involved in.

Driver banned, fined £25 for winter crash

IN the worst hour of snow during the worst night of the last winter, two cars collided in Bawtry road, Tinsley, injuring three people, it was said at Sheffield today.

John M. Mollekin - Accident

Accident at Whiston, Rotherham

One of the drivers, 42 year-old railway clerk Reginald Eric Blackwell, of Valentine Road, Sheffield, was banned for a month and fined £25 with £11 costs for dangerous driving,

Mr. I Thomas, prosecuting, said Blackwell overtook a lorry moving at 25 m.p.h. and got into a skid, then collided with a car carrying two passengers coming in the opposite direction.


The driver of the other car, John Mollekin, lorry driver, of Melsis Road, Rotherham, had halted on seeing the car come towards him. He suffered a serious eye injury in the crash.

Blackwell told the court he had passed the lorry, but when he turned into his side of the road again, his car began to skid.

It skidded from side to side as he tried to correct it and then crashed into the car on the opposite side.

Mr. Roy Barlow, defending, said freak conditions existed on the road at that time.

He claimed Blackwell was safe in overtaking the lorry as the road was wide and his vision adequate.

The Rotherham Steel Strip Company

William Charles at Wyvenhoe, Rotherham (Copyright Ros Templeman)

William Charles

William Charles, born in 1880 in Masbrough, Rotherham, married my second great aunt, Winifred Pinder, in 1908.

William co-founded both the Rotherham Steel Strip Company and the Rother Boiler Company.

Below are a couple of articles pertaining to the Rotherham Steel Strip Company.

The 1937 Rotherham and District Annual

The Rotherham Steel Strip Co., Ltd., are manufacturers of cold rolled steel strip, and they works are at Westgate, Rotherham. The firm bought the Baths Foundry, which had been standing idle many years, and installed a cold rolling mill, work commencing in January, 1917.

Rotherham Steel Strip Company Limited, Westgate, Rotherham

Rotherham Steel Strip Company Limited (left-hand side)

The business was founded by Mr. John Beever, the late Mr. Arthur Beever, Mr. Alfred Charles, and Mr. William Charles. Mr. John Beever and the late Mr. Arthur Beever had had experience in this trade during the whole of their lives, and saw it grow from very small beginnings. For many years they were managers of a local cold rolling mill.

The members of the firm are all local men hailing from the Kimberworth district. From the commencement to December, 1920, things went very slowly, but in January, 1921, Mr. Beever gathered together several men who had worked with him before and who were fully experienced, and began to extend. There are now 24 pairs of cold rolls, six annealing furnaces, and ten slitting and pairing machine, and 160 men are employed.

Rotherham Steel Strip Company (advert)

Rotherham Steel Strip Company (advert)

The firm are doing a large business with the cycle and motor trades, and can keep the present mills in employment. There is room to extend, and as trade improves, more plant will be installed and the output increased. The present capacity of the works is about 200 tons per week.

The firm’s specialities are bright cold rolled strip steel for cycle rims, mudguards, etc., annealed steel for stamping and presswork, black hooping for packing cases and cable tape, corset steel, cold rolled strip steel for driving chains, etc., cold rolled steel for clock springs, and all classes of hardened and tempered steel; stainless steel, rustless iron, cutlery steel, goffing square, aircraft steel, including stainless, nickel, nickel chrome, in bars, sheets, and strips, flyer and spindle steel, and razor steel strip.

The firm have now installed plant for the manufacture of safety razor blades, and have one of the most up to date factories in the country. All the firm’s blades are manufactured at their works from the billet to the finished blade and from guaranteed Sheffield steel. They make blades to fit all types of holders at popular prices.

Rotherham Steel Strip Classic Blade - George Jarvis - 1937

Rotherham Steel Strip Classic Blade – 1937




It is estimated that £5000 damage was caused on Saturday night by a fire at the works occupied by the Rotherham Steel Strip Company Ltd., and the Rother Boiler Company, Ltd., Baths Foundry, Westgate, Rotherham.

After receiving the call at 8.35 p.m., the Corporation Fire Brigade, under Sergt. Briddon, found on their arrival that a two-storey building at the bottom of the yard was blazing fiercely, the roof being in jeopardy. Four jets from the street mains were directed on to the blazing building, and the fire was got under control in about half an hour.

It is fortunate that the flames were prevented from spreading to the adjoining shops, among which are oil and paint stores belonging to another firm.

Rotherham Steel Strip Company Limited (site of), Westgate, Rotherham - 14.09.17

Rotherham Steel Strip Company Limited (site of)

The manufacture of steel strips was carried on on the ground floor of the works involved, and the rooms above were devoted to boiler making in copper, etc. Damage was done to the plant and machinery, and about 20 men will be temporarily thrown out of employment.

It is thought that a defective flue was the cause of the outbreak.

In another part of the same works on Saturday morning a slight fire was caused by a quantity of oil becoming alight near a furnace.

The same evening the severing of a 2.5 inch gas main caused considerable trouble, a big blaze having to be dealt with before the supply could be cut off.

Clifford James Pinder

Clifford J. Pinder - 69 Bradgate Lane, Rotherham - Circa 1928 (Copyright James Pinder)

Jim at 69 Bradgate Lane, Rotherham, circa 1928

Clifford James Pinder (known as Jim), born in 1916 in the Rotherham district, is my first cousin, twice removed and son of Francis Thomas Pinder and Harriett Amelia English.

Jim, like his sister, Dorothy, was a Teacher in Rotherham, before moving to Lichfield and Burntwood to teach in the Staffordshire area.

Jim was a renowned organ player, a skill inherited from his father and grandfather.


Methodist Organist Leaving

Mr. James Pinder has announced that he is to relinquish the positions of organist and choirmaster at the Kimberworth Methodist Church to become organist and choirmaster at Conisbro’ Parish Church. He will commence his new engagement on Sunday February 13th.

Kimberworth Methodist Church, Kimberworth Road, Rotherham - 03.06.09 (7)

Kimberworth Methodist Church

Mr. Pinder, who is a native of Rotherham, has been a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists since 1952, and a Licentiate of the Trinity College of Music since 1948. he has held the joint offices of organist and choirmaster at Kimberworth since about 1946.

Mr. Pinder is also the Sunday school superintendent at Kimberworth, and has been a local preacher in the Rotherham Methodist Circuit for about eleven years. He is music-master at the Spurley Hey County Secondary School.

Saint Peter's Church, Conisbrough - 17.12.13 (2)

Saint Peter’s Church, Conisbrough

Mr. R. Newton, an assistant organist at Kimberworth, has been appointed to succeed Mr. Pinder as organist.

I only met Jim once, in 2009, and he passed away six months later.

Following Jim’s death, some of his music was sold in order to help the Lichfield & District Organists’ Association.

Price – Liversidge


Saint Bede’s Church

William Cecil Price, born in 1903 in Rotherham, is my first cousin, twice removed and son of Amelia Pinder and Alfred Thomas Price. William’s brother, Ernest Alfred, died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

In 1927, William married Florence Jane Liversidge and below are a couple of newspaper articles published shortly after their marriage.


PRICE – LIVERSIDGE. – On June 6th, at St. Bede’s Church, Masbro’, by the Rev. Father Horrax, assisted by the Rev. Father Gosse, William Cecil, third son of the late Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Price, of “Gavenny,” Kimberworth, to Florence, third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Liversidge, of 13, Garden street, Rotherham.


The wedding took place at St. Bede’s Roman Catholic Church, Station road, Masbro’, on Whit-Monday, of Miss Florence Liversidge, of 13, Garden street, Rotherham, and Mr. William Cecil Price, third son of the late Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Price, of “Gavenny,” Kimberworth. The Rev. Father Horrax, assisted by the Rev. Father Gosse, conducted the service, which was given with full Nuptial Mass.

Miss Gibson presided at the organ, and played the Bridal March from “Lohengrin” (Wagner).

The bride, who was given away by her brother-in-law, Mr. F. Bedford, wore a dress of cream georgette, embroidered with tiny seed pearls. She was attended by three bridesmaids, Miss Grace Price (sister of the bridegroom), Mrs. Amy Hopkinson (sister of the bride), and Miss Ada Bedford (niece of the bride), who were prettily attired in dresses of crepe-de-chene with figured insertions. The bride’s bouquet consisted of June roses and white heather. The bridesmaids had bouquets of pink carnations, except the youngest, who carried a French basket containing white carnations.

The best man was Mr. William Stenton (cousin of the bridegroom), of Woodseats, Sheffield.

A reception was held after the ceremony.

Winifred Pinder


Winifred Pinder

Winifred Pinder, born in 1882 in Rotherham, is my second great aunt and daughter of Francis Pinder and Hannah Berry.

In 1908, Winifred married William Charles and together they issued five children.

Below is Winifred’s obituary published shortly after her death.

100104 - Moorgate Road (Wyvenhoe), Rotherham (3)



CHARLES. – At her home, “Wyvenhoe,” Moorgate Road, on Saturday, January 28th, 1956, peacefully, after a long illness bravely borne, Winifred (formerly Pinder), dearly loved wife of William. Interred at Kimberworth Churchyard, on January 31st.


Saint Stephen's Church, Rotherham - 03.08.08 (9)

Saint Stephen’s Church

The death occurred last Saturday at her home, “Wyvenhoe,” Moorgate Road, Rotherham, after a long illness, of Mrs. Winifred Charles, aged 74, wife of Mr. William Charles, a company director.

A native of Rotherham, she leaves, besides the widower, two sons and three daughters.

The interment took place on Tuesday in the Kimberworth Churchyard, a service at St. Stephen’s Church, Eastwood, being conducted by the Rev. R. C. H. Saunders.


William & Winifred’s headstone

The mourners were Mr. William Charles, Mr. and Mrs. R. F. L. Charles, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Charles, Mrs. M. W. Whate (representing Mr. C. Whate), Misses B. and N. K. Charles, Mrs. E. Hunter, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Hunter, Mr. and Mrs. E. Early, Mr. F. Jarvis, Mrs. E. Green (representing Mr. L. Green), Mrs. C. H. E. Reading, Miss A. Charles, Mrs. M. W. Brown (representing Mr. G. Brown), Mrs. K. Bean, Mrs. E. Reading, Mrs. L. Charles (representing Mr. G. A. Charles and family), Mrs. M. Charles (representing Mr. H. W. Charles), Miss E. Charles, Mrs. W. Ball (representing Mr. D. G. Ball), Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Allott, Mr. D. Russell (representing G. R. Jones and Co., Ltd.), Mr. N. B. Winser and Mr. T. Holyoake (representing Rotherham Steel Strip Company), Mr. H. C. Renshaw, and Mr. C. Bryton (representing the Midland Bank). Also present from Rotherham Steel Strip were Messrs. W. Weldon, G. Burkinshaw, L. Riley, G. Scott, L. Beevers and H. Duce.

Jessie May Rodgers & Albert Victor Beaton


Fitzwilliam Road

Jessie May Rodgers, born in 1898 in Rotherham, is my second cousin, twice removed and daughter of George Rodgers and Gertrude Mary Pinder.

In 1920, in Rotherham, Jessie married Albert Victor Beaton. Together, they issued one child, called, Gerald Victor (1928 to 2006).

Albert died in Oakwood Hospital, Rotherham and Jessie in Sheffield.  Below are their obituaries.



Steel, Peach and Tozer from Blackburn Meadows


The death occurred on Sunday of Mr. Albert Victor Beaton, of 5, Oakwood Drive, Broom, Rotherham. He was 69.

Mr. Beaton, who was born at Fitzwilliam Road, Rotherham, had lived in the town all his life. Until his retirement, at the age of 65, he was employed at Steel, Peech and Tozer as a furnaceman. He had worked at the firm all his working life.

During World War One, he was a first class stoker in the Royal Navy.


Oakwood Hall

He leaves a widow, one son and one daughter.

Interment took place at the Moorgate Cemetery on Thursday, following a service at the St. Cuthbert’s Church, Herringthorpe, conducted by the Rev. S. Barker.

Mourners were Mrs. J. M. Beaton (widow), Mr. G. V. Beaton (son), Mr. and Mrs. H. France (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Mr. H. Barnsley, representing Mr. and Mrs. F. Barnsley (brother-in-law and sister), Mr. and Mrs. P. France (nephew and niece), Mr. and Mrs. H. Garrison, Mr. and Mrs. H. Trezise, Mrs. I. Crookson, Mr. M. Hatton, Mr. Emery and many other friends, former workmates and representatives of Steel, Peech and Tozer.

Moorgate Cemetery, Rotherham - 13.07.09 (4)

Moorgate Cemetery


BEATON. – Gerald and Sheila thank the France family, all friends and the neighbours of the Oakwood Drive area for their sympathy and help and for their kind donations to St. Luke’s Nursing Home.