The Story So Far.... Carr and Westley History
The last place one would expect to find a clothing manufacturer is in a country mill where corn was ground in the 11 th century. But for the last 57 years clothing of a special kind has been made at Bourne Mill, Hadlow.
The mill that we call home was built in the late 11 th century and was used to grind and crush corn until just after the Second World War. The old grinding stones can still be seen outside, used as a door step for our front entrance.
For Carr & Westley is an institution steeped in history. Established during the back end of WW1, we began by manufacturing classic day wear from a small workshop in East London. Over the prevailing years our name grew, becoming well known for our ‘faux’ leather coats and ladies’ occasion dresses.
At the height of WW2, the company moved to St Ives, Cornwall after our factory was bombed out during the Blitz. After looking for closer links to London in the aftermath, however, we discovered the Bourne Mill site and re-located to the Garden of England.
To make Bourne Mill fit for purpose, the original mill machinery had to be moved out and sewing machines and cutting tables were installed. Local girls were recruited and given intensive seamstress training - a tradition we have kept ever since with all of our workshop staff employed from the local community.
From it’s inception, the philosophy of Carr & Westley was to provide made-to-measure garments at off-the-peg prices. And while we now supply other brand labels, all Carr & Westley label skirts, trousers and dresses are still designed and made on site from a converted watermill in Kent. Just as they have been for almost 60 years.