Local and Community History Month – 150 years of Trutex

Throughout May, it’s Local and Community History month. We’re proud to have been part of our community in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, for over 150 years.

Founded in 1865, in a small village in Lancashire called Grindleton, and originally named the Clitheroe Shirting Company, we began operating as Trutex in the early 1920s. In 1986, our head office moved to Jubilee Mill in Clitheroe and has remained there ever since.

We’ve grown to become the UK’s premier choice of school uniform supplier, with customers all across the country and internationally.

Just like our clothes, we’re made to last, and have grown and diversified to keep up with what’s important to customers and our local community today.


What’s Local and Community History Month and how do I get involved?

Local and Community History month was created by the Historical Association with the aim to support education and for the public to enjoy learning about the history of their local area.

Our area of the country has a rich history of clothing manufacturing – why not look at what your local area is famous for? If you live in a town or a city, is there someone who’s made it famous, or an industry it’s well known for?

Now’s a great time to get out and about and investigate your local surroundings with your children. When you’re next on your walk to school, take a look at the buildings around you and do some investigations. Are there old mill buildings? Are there houses with blue plaques on? Look at road names too – sometimes these give a clue to the history of the local area you live in.

If you live in the countryside, there might be a local forest with trees that are hundreds of years old or a local river with a rich history. Do you know how there came to be a settlement where you now live? Local libraries and even churchyards are also a great place to learn about the people who lived there before you.


Getting involved in your local community

Another purpose of the event is to encourage children to get involved with local community events. If your kids go to Guides or Scouts or are even part of a local sports club, they can access local community activities connected to your local history.

Historically, our employees have always taken part in community activities together. In 1958 the netball team were undefeated champions – if only we’d had our AKOA sports brand then!


Diversifying alongside our community

Over the last 150 years the world has changed a lot, and we’ve changed with it.

Around 1900, we started to produce finished garments, which coincided with a growing market for school uniform as more schools introduced a formal uniform.

Throughout the mid-twentieth century big department stores such as Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Selfridges wanted to work with us, and at one point in 1962 Trutex became a place in which everyone wanted to work – there were 270 applications for one job!

In 2012, we became the UK’s first carbon neutral schoolwear company and in 2020 we launched our ‘Nurture the Future’ campaign – a mission to reduce environmental impact on the planet and improve the lives of people who manufacture and wear Trutex Schoolwear around the world.

By learning about and getting involved in our local history we can provide a more promising future for our children and other children around the world.

Use the hashtag #localhistorymonth to share what you find out about the history of your community this year!