MEMORY LANE: Rabbit disease forced Grantham’s John Lee and Son to expand into a variety of ventures

A shot from John Lees jute works where bags and sacks are being printed only a few hours after receipt of customers orders.

A shot from John Lees jute works where bags and sacks are being printed only a few hours after receipt of customers orders.

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One of Grantham’s largest industrial players of the past was John Lee and Son.

The company began in 1845 when founder John Lee was a fur felt hat maker and would buy rabbit skins which were prepared, cut and supplied to hat makers of the world.

John Lees services included burning or saw-cutting steel to customer requirements.

John Lees services included burning or saw-cutting steel to customer requirements.

Myxamatosis put an end to that branch of the business, necessitating development into many other lines, including steel stockholders, machine tools and plant, demolition, ferrous scrap, jute sacks and bags, textiles and waste paper, salvage, and road haulage.

The John Lee photos and last week’s vintage lorry pictures were sent to the Journal from Sid Duffin of Swayfield, via Colin Holloway.

John Lees textiles cutting room.

John Lees textiles cutting room.