Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 23, 2019
Webpage updated: September 23, 2019




The Plymouth business house of Messrs Clarke, Doble and Brendon Limited, printers and paper bag manufacturers, was founded in 1946 by Mr Robert Edwards Harvey Brendon, the Grandson of Mr William T Brendon.

It appears that Mr Brendon acquired the assets of Messrs Clarke, Doble and Company Limited, paper bag manufacturers, because on August 18th 1947 that business was put into voluntary liquidation following the sale of its assets.

Furthermore, Mr Brendon seems to have also taken over their premises, known as Oakfield Mill, at Cattedown, which gave the new business its Oakfield Press title.

In 1955 the business moved into new, purpose-built premises fronting Elliott Road, Cattedown.  It was an extension to the old works in Oakfield Terrace Road, which were being retained in order to increase production of printed and plain paper bags.  Covering an area of 25,000 square feet, the machinery was on the ground floor and there was a balcony above it from which administrative staff in their glass-fronted offices could see all that was going on.  The canteen had space for sixty diners.

The main contractors for the building were Messrs Staverton Builders Limited, of Totnes, and the architects were Messrs Body, Son and Fleury, of Lockyer Street, Plymouth.  The steel work was designed, fabricated and erected by Messrs Blight and White Limited and Messrs Johnson and Baxter (Plymouth) Limited installed the oil-fired central heating.  The Oakfield Press emblem at the front of the building was carved in natural Portland stone by Messrs Cantell and Endacott, of Camel's Head, Devonport.  All the electrical work was undertaken by Messrs W G Heath and Company Limited.

By 1959 there was need for even more space and an extension of a further 20,000 square feet was opened in 1960.  The Company was then operating a double day shift on the composing machines from 5.3am until 10.30pm.

In 1963 a subsidiary company, Oakfield Reproductions Limited, was formed.

By 1967 they had acquired Messrs Hiorns and Miller Limited, whose stationery shop and printing works used to be in Marlborough Street, Devonport.

A move to even newer premises took place in February 1969, when the Company moved into Burrington Way, where 200 people were to be employed.  It was officially declared open on Tuesday April 15th 1969 by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Alderman Ivor Lowe, who was later presented with a silver ewer for the collection of silver plate.

In preparation for his retirement, Mr R E H Brendon relinquished the post of managing director in October 1976 and handed over to Mr G F Cleaver.  He continued as chairman of the Company.

Messrs Clarke, Doble and Brendon Limited apparently ceased trading in 1980 after announcing redundancies due to falling sales.

The last member of the Brendon family to be involved in the Company was Mr Hugh C Brendon, who joined their London office in about 1967.

Mr Robert Edwards Harvey Brendon died at the Saint Francis Nursing Home, Plympton, on Saturday July 20th 1991 at the age of 80 years.  The funeral service was held at the Church of Saint Michael and All Angels, Cornwood, Devon, on Friday July 26th 1991.