The Tatham family were connected with needle and lace manufacturing in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, from at least 1835. Benjamin, Edmund and Amos Tatham bought Kensington House in Ilkeston in 1859 and turned it into a lace making factory. Edmund Tatham extended the company’s premises with further purchases of nearby land over the next fifteen years. The Kensington Works on Nottingham Road were built in 1887. The Tatham family also owned a house and outbuildings at 14 High Pavement in Nottingham, which was used as a lace warehouse. Tatham and Co. went bankrupt in 1893, but a new company, Tatham and Co. Ltd, was incorporated in 1894 with Allen Tatham as Chairman.
Allen and Eleanor married at the Parish Church of St. John the Evangelist, Spitalgate, Grantham on June 17th 1891.
Allen died on March 12th 1932 at 7 Magdala Road, Nottingham, aged 76, then styled by the Derby Daily Telegraph as the Managing Director of Tatham & Co. Ltd., lace manufacturers of High Pavement, Nottingham, and Kensington Works, Illkeston.
In his will Allen left his home, his household and personal effects, his motor car and the majority of his other property to his wife Eleanor, whilst leaving shares in the company to his only surviving sibling, Lizzie Jane, and her husband Samuel Swinscowe Dobbs. His daughters Nellie and Nora also received bequests on trust.
Eleanor died on October 22nd 1950.She was the Company Chairman from the death of her husband until her own death.
Allen Tatham died in 1932 but the company remained family-owned throughout its history. Successive Chairmen of the company were Allen’s widow Eleanor Tatham (1932-1950), his daughter Nellie Tatham (1950-1961 and 1963-1968), Mr T. Ashton (1961-1963), and his granddaughter Miss Jennifer N. Jones, the last owner of the company (1968-)
The Kensington Works were leased to other companies from 1947 onwards, and were destroyed by fire on 15 October 1963 when the factory owner was Miss Jennifer JONES
The original Tatham and Co. Works continued to be used for lace and textile manufacturing, despite being damaged by another fire on 25 February 1980. Several antique lace machines, which would have been donated to local museums, were destroyed in this blaze. The company remained in business until the early 1990s.