Thornber Brothers Limited

Thornber Brothers Limited were poultry producers of Mytholmroyd.

In 1906, during a strike in the fustian industry, Edgar Thornber bought 12 hens and began rearing chicks for sale. When the strike ended, Edgar carried on his thriving poultry business and moved to Newhouse Farm, Mytholmroyd. His brother Ralph joined him.

They built a chicken hatchery, and the sales of livestock soared to 2 million chicks per year within 12 months.

In 1920, they bought Square Works, Mytholmroyd and set up a saw mill and factory for building equipment for their industry. On 13th July 1928 a serious fire broke out as workmen were cleaning out the furnaces which heated the property, causing £10,000 worth of damage.

By 1930, the annual production exceeded 1,000,000 million chicks, making the company one of leading poultry breeders in the world

In 1935, when Ralph died, Edgar was joined by Ben Stansfield.

In 1944, Edgar died, and his son, Cyril became chairman.

In 1958, Thornber's became a public company.

They joined forces with A. & H. Barker of Hebden Bridge and were able to offer cages for chickens to their customers.

In 1962, Ben died.

In 1962, the company announced a computer system to analyse the egg-laying performance of their hens to identify birds which will become champion layers.

In 1963, the company expanded into sheep breeding, with Thornber-Colburn Sheep Limited. In 1964, the company expanded into pig breeding.

They had a subsidiary branch in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

In 19??, they moved into property development.

There was a fire here on 5th September 1992.

In the early 1990s, the company ceased production.

Mytholmroyd Community Centre and Mytholmroyd Business Park were built the site

See New House, Mytholmroyd and Robinwood Mill, Todmorden

© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 14:35 / 23rd June 2022 / 4521

Page Ref: MMT763

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