FRI 6TH DEC 2019


Bringing the family business community together

Fred Aldous LTD

Business Address: Fred Aldous LTD, 37 Lever Street, Manchester M1 1LW

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About Fred Aldous LTD

We've be supplying arts, crafts and hobby materials for over 128 years. Over 25000 items in stock today.

Our story began in Manchester in 1886 with a man called Fred. Fred had two things – a bright idea and a cracking beard. Fred had been working in a cotton mill, like many people in the city at the time, when he noticed that the cotton was being trundled around in baskets. This gave him the idea for a business, to start importing the cane for the baskets from abroad. Fred Aldous Ltd was born out of that idea. 

We’ve grown a fair bit over the last 128 years but we still do what Fred, aka Fred the First, did all those years ago – supply materials to people who make things.  We started off with just three products (cane, willow and yeast) selling to the cotton traders and master brewers of Manchester.  Now we stock more than 25,000 products and sell to customers all over the world.  

We began selling craft products when Fred the Second (Fred the First’s son) spotted that the city’s cotton industry was declining.  Fred the Second decided to ramp up the handicrafts side of the business and this genius decision not only saved us but transformed us into what we are today.  The fall of the cotton trade wasn’t the only obstacle we’ve had to overcome during the last 125 years. We’ve also had to cope with two and a half fires, a flood, a demolition ball, scam artists, two world wars and the invention of television. 

We’ve been successful because we’ve always had the support of our lovely dedicated staff, some of whom have been with us for almost 40 years (heads up Pauline), and our wonderful community of customers (you know who you are). For this, we thank you. Your relentless enthusiasm for our products and projects has fuelled creativity in thousands of people and made sure that we’re constantly growing and evolving.  

Inspiring new ideas and encouraging people are values that Fred the First instilled in the company when he began. We’ve flourished thanks to these simple ideals and we’re pretty sure that’s why we’re still a family run business after all these years.  Five generations of the Aldous family have led us over the last century or so and each generation has had the same passion for craftsmanship.  We just love those people who have that urge to pick up a pencil, brush or needle and want to create. If you’re one of these people we salute you and we figure that, if we still want to be around in another 125 years, we need to keep encouraging people like you to try out new ways of making things. That’s why we’re constantly developing fresh ideas and coming up with new schemes and that’s why we can provide the right tool or material for whatever project you might be working on. This first 128 years has been a blast. We reckon the next 128 will be even better!