Parkinsons’ Kilkof and Kures > A family business

The firm was founded by Richard and his brother in 1848.  Richard was born in Salterforth and spent much of his early life around there. It was when the firm moved to Burnley and under the influence of his two sons, William and Isiah, that the business thrived. They moved to a former mill cotton mill on Curzon Street in 1887 and manufacturing was based around here until closure in the 1980s. The illustration is from a booklet published in the 1890s Burnley Old and New. 

Home sweet home

As sales increased and profits rose, so the family was able to move to larger homes on Palatine Square and Ormerod Road. Eventually, William lived at Clevelands, 116 Manchester Road.  The house was nicknamed Pill Castle. ‘Medicine’ remained in the family when his daughter Maggie married a doctor. Dr Thomas Holt was Burnley’s Medical Officer of Health but it is not recorded what he thought about Parkinsons’ products. 

Life at the Mill

The company developed an integrated system of manufacture. They had extensive laboratories, packing, sales and transport facilities. This meant efficient delivery of their products to hundreds of sales outlets. 

Miss Parkinsons’

The firm was very adept at advertising. Old man Richard beamed out from labels and their name was emblazoned on many gable ends. The firm was probably tapping into the early 20th century roller skating craze by using this form of advertising. The lady would be very colourful but doesn’t look very happy. Perhaps a dose of ‘tonic pills’ would ‘strengthen and brace up her system.’ But who was she? 

Price List

As with their manufacturing process so the sale of products was co-ordinated. The list not only gave the cost price to the retailer but emphasised just why Parkinsons’ was so good and how ‘their popularity cannot be questioned.’ 

90 years

Purity, tradition, high standards – ‘quality and reliability first, price second’ were the watchwords. All backed up by a host of sales representatives.