Started in the early 19th century by Nathaniel Corah the company eventually expanded to the point where it employed thousands of people in a large development at St Margaret’s. The company developed close links with Marks & Spencer but eventually closed in the early 1990s. The building has survived and hosts a variety of small businesses. Read more about Coarh and Sons Ltd.
Click here to view a booklet called 'Corah: Profit - Not Without Honour' a publication detailing the financial approaches taken by the company.
Click here to view a website all about Corah by hosiery mechanic, Matt Allen.
The face of Cardinal Wolsey still looks out from the front of the former premises on Abbey Lane (now flats). Started in 1755, the company moved to a steam powered factory in 1859 and adopted the name ‘Wolsey’ in 1897 after Cardinal Wolsey (who was buried in Leicester). The Abbey Meadows site was developed from 1910 and the company still retains links with Leicester.
Click here to see the history section of the Wolsey website.
In 1951 Kelly’s trade directory listed over 170 hosiery manufacturers in Leicester (and this doesn’t include many more associated companies). It would be impractical to list all of them but a few of the well-known names were Brewin, Burridge, Byfords, Driver, Frisby Jarvis, Gee & Co, Harrison & Hayes, Hirst, Johnson & Barnes, Morley, Palmer & Kemp, Peck, Pick, Pool Lorrimer & Tabberer, Russell, Stretton, Swann, Yates.
Current companies include Next, Boden, Pantherella and many smaller concerns making high quality clothing and specialty textiles.