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/ History & People / The Basildon Bond Story
The Basildon Bond Story
The name of Basildon Bond was coined by Percy Parminter, a director of Millington & Co., for a watermarked writing paper similar to that used for Treasury bonds. The name evolved after attending a house party at Basildon House near Reading, now in the care of the National Trust, but then the country seat of Mr Morrison, one of Millington’s financial backers. Parminter suggested Basildon Bond as a reminder of a happy weekend there and so the brand name was launched in 1911.
Millington’s were a progressive business having evolved from one founded in 1824 by William Leschallas, a paper and rag dealer in Bishopsgate. The first ready folded notepaper was an innovation that other companies were quick to follow, later Millington’s became a major manufacturer of envelopes through the introduction of the first high-speed rotary machines in the country. In 1896 Parminter bought a batch of machine glazed (MG) Manilla paper which had failed to meet its intended specification but was excellent for strong cheap envelopes for which there was an immediate and expanding market. Another major line introduced in 1905 was the OUTLOOK envelope made using an exclusive licence for the UK and its colonies from an American company. With these the address, printed on the correspondence within, could be seen through a window of transparent material. A newly built factory at Tottenham was built to meet all of these production requirements in 1903.
Millington’s main competitor, John Dickinson & Co., made an offer to buy the entire Millington share capital in 1918 with the final amalgamation taking place in 1932. As a stationer and paper manufacturer Dickinson’s then made the Basildon Bond paper at Croxley and by the 1950’s were making a range of air mail products, writing pads, envelopes, notelets and gift boxed writing sets under the brand name.