Caroline Street, Glasgow, a street away from the city’s famous Mural Trail, stands the Henry Winning & Co. factory. The business started in an unassuming brick warehouse, back in 1880. Today, Winnings is the last remaining twine factory in the United Kingdom, supplying demand from all over the continent.
A huge range of ropes and twines are produced in the factory in Glasgow, so the staff based there have a lot to learn. There are around 30 staff employed by Winnings that work producing their exceptional twine, most of which are from Parkhead in Glasgow’s Eastend. One of those members of staff is Margaret Croly.
Margaret started working for Winnings over 40 years ago after she left school at 15. “I didn’t think I’d be here that long, but the years have just passed by, so here I am.” Margaret’s sister, mother, son, and daughter have all been employed by Henry Winning & Co. at some point or another so for her, it has been a huge part of her and her family's life.
Out of all of the factories that were once based in Glasgow’s Eastend, only Henry Winnings and one other remain. The area has modernised significantly in recent years and many industrial units have been demolished or repurposed. However, during the late 19th century the district was at the heart of Glasgow’s industrialisation. As the city experienced rapid growth during the Industrial Revolution, overcrowding became rife in poorer areas, which led to ill health and a lower life expectancy. High Street, Gallowgate, and Saltmarket, all of which are in the Eastend, were at one time home to around 20,000 people. These families were crammed into run-down housing and squalid slums.
With so many people living in such a concentrated area, small businesses began to pop up overnight, as families tried everything they could to make a living during such difficult times. It was at this time when Henry Winning set up shop manufacturing and selling various types of twine and rope across the city.
Winning’s venture was hugely successful and today Henry Winning & Co. is one of the largest twine manufacturers in Europe, having received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise and several other accolades.
Still based in that very same factory on Caroline Street in Glasgow, Henry Winning & Co. have continued to manufacture the same exceptional twine that was being produced in the 1880s. We’re incredibly proud of our history and everything we, as a company, have achieved in the last 140 years.