Spooner Industries, just celebrated 85 years in business, having been established by Ilkley resident, William Wycliffe Spooner in 1932. Initially developed for the textile industry, Mr Spooner’s revolutionary inventions for industrial drying equipment were soon applied to other industries including paper, converting, metals and food.
Mr Spooner was 50 years old when he established Spooner Industries. After spending a lifetime working as an engineer he decided the development of industrial drying equipment needed tackling in a scientific way.
He revolutionised the techniques of industrial drying in terms of speed and efficiency and eventually doubled the output of what had previously been achieved.
The first drying machines developed in the 1930’s for the textile industry were soon evolved to cater for the paper industry and by the late 40’s had been adjusted for the baking industry after Mr Spooner tested some bread on one of his dryers and discovered it not only tasted better but retained a longer shelf life.
Mr Spooner died in 1967 but worked well into his 80’s and was known to many as the ‘Industrial Peter Pan’.
Spooner is still privately owned and the same ‘Spooner Family’ work ethos is present at the £4million purpose built headquarters at the Railway Road site in Ilkley. Mr Spooner’s passion for innovation lives on with the continuous research and development of new products in the pilot facility within the new factory.
Today Spooner supply industrial ovens, dryers and coolers to businesses around the world for industrial processes including baking bread, converting non-woven materials, drying coated paper, curing paint onto metal strip along with reducing industrial air pollution through the environmental systems product range.