Emanuel Whittaker, Mayor of Oldham in 1873, established his company on its present site in 1837.  His father George was also a master builder, having built the Oldham Lyceum as well as many of the cotton mills in Oldham and surrounding districts.

Innovation and Growth

In 1849, Emanuel became the first person in Oldham to have steam power driven sawing and woodworking machinery, showing a determination to embrace new technology which has continued in the firm down the years.  As the business expanded, Emanuel won his first contract to build a cotton mill in 1853.

The firm of Emanuel Whittaker have managed to survive the hard times – the cotton famine of the 1860s, the 1930s recession, and timber rationing in the Second World War all played their part on our company’s history.  But in the face of such adversity, we found opportunity in substantial mill construction in the 1870s and in post-war building and expansion.  Good planning has enabled us to convert even apparent disasters into a benefit – following a serious fire in 1929, Emanuel’s son Frank took the opportunity to redesign and modernise the factory.

A Family Business

Emanuel Whittaker Ltd remained in family hands until our founder’s great grandson, Thomas Whittaker, sold the company in 2004 to current owners, Clive Newton and John Gallagher.  Having both worked for the company since leaving school, Clive and John are part of the fabric of the company, and have taken it from strength to strength, growing the business and investing in the long standing workforce.