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Avon Rubber p.l.c. is a British company that specialises in the engineering and manufacturing of respiratory protection equipment for military, law enforcement and fire personnel as well as milking equipment for dairy farmers.

Avon Rubber PLC
Public (LSEAVON)
ISINGB0000667013 Edit this on Wikidata
Founded1885 (1885)
HeadquartersMelksham, Wiltshire, England
Key people
David Evans Chairman Paul McDonald CEO
ProductsRubber and polymer-based products for personal protection (industrial and defence) and dairy
RevenueIncrease £165.5 million (2018) [1]
Number of employees
Approx. 800

Its corporate headquarters are 3 km (1.9 mi) south of Melksham in Wiltshire, England, at the Hampton Park West development. It has other manufacturing sites in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin; Cadillac, Michigan and Albinea, Italy.

In 1933, the company became publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is now a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index.


In 1885 Messrs E G Browne and J C Margetson acquired a rubberized cloth mill, known as Avon Mill, on the banks of the River Avon at Limpley Stoke, Wiltshire. The owners of the mill had been timber merchants, but had later diversified into the production of rubber goods.[2]

By 1890 the business had transferred to premises in Melksham and was named The Avon India Rubber Company Limited. Products at this time included solid tyres, conveyor belts and components for railways. By 1900, pneumatic tyres for bicycles were being produced, and by 1906 the first car tyres were advertised. In 1915 the company acquired the Sirdar Rubber Works at Greenland Mill in Bradford on Avon. In 1933 the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange.[2]

In 1956 the rival company of George Spencer Moulton (founded in 1848) was acquired, bringing with it Abbey Mills and Kingston Mills in Bradford on Avon, and a jointly owned plant in Paris. In 1959, production started on a range of inflatable boats. The company manufactured the S6 NBC Respirator, a gas mask used by the British armed forces, from the 1960s and in 1986 this was followed by the S10. Since 2009, Avon has supplied the M50 mask to United States forces.[3]

In 1994 the Llanelli-based marine business Avon Inflatables, Ltd was split-off and sold; since 1998, that company has been a division of Zodiac Marine, France.

In 1997 the Avon Tyres business was sold to Cooper Tire & Rubber Company of Findlay, Ohio in the United States, leaving the company to concentrate on its core businesses of automotive components, technical products and protective equipment. The Cooper Tires site remains a major employer in central Melksham.

In March 2000, Avon consolidated its activities at a £19 million manufacturing and head office facility at Hampton Park West at Semington, near Melksham and a £13 million purpose-built polymer mixing centre nearby at Westbury. As of January 2008, around 350 people worked across the two sites.

In June 2005, Avon purchased International Safety Instruments, Inc. (ISI), based in Lawrenceville, GA USA. Avon-ISI is a manufacturer of SCBA, APR, and thermal imaging systems for fire, law enforcement and industrial applications.

In August 2006, the Avon Automotive division was sold to a US-based management team and became a separate entity called Avon Automotive Holdings Inc.; this was the largest buy-out in the company's history. The aerosol division was sold for £1.75 million in March 2008 to Avon Group (an unrelated Bristol-based company), enabling Avon Rubber to concentrate on its core protective equipment, dairy and extrusions markets.[4]

In November 2008, the mixing plant at Westbury was sold to ATR Compounding Ltd, a division of SPC UK, a compounder of rubber based in Whitby.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2018". Avon Rubber. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Avon India Rubber Co". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  3. ^ Ficenec, John (18 November 2015). "Questor share tip: Hold Avon Rubber as gas mask orders rise on risk". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  4. ^ McNulty, Mike (25 February 2008). "Crosslinks to buy Avon Rubber unit". Rubber & Plastics News. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Obituary: George Pargiter Fuller". Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine. 44: 65–66. 1927 – via Internet Archive.
  6. ^ Obituary: Mr C. M. Floyd, The Times, 29 June 1971, p. 17.

External linksEdit