These Pictures were provided by Joe Gibbons. Joe's Father-in-Law, who died in 1996, was a tobacconist for many years in Ashington, Northumberland. His shop had been established by his father in 1902 and he inherited the shop later in the 1950's. Joe found these pictures in an envelope with the photo titles typed on the outside, together with an invitation letter (dated 19th July 1926) to Mr Docherty and the permit to enter the Wills Factory in Bedminster, Bristol which are also shown below.

We have since established that some of the photographs at least, are not linked to Mr Docherty's visit to Wills in Bristol in 1926 because they contain scenes from the Samuel Gawith and Company tobacco and snuff factory far the the north of England in Kendal, Cumbria and I am grateful to Bob Gregory of Gawith & Company for the following information:-

Picture 7 shows the production of Kendal Twist pipe tobacco at Gawith and Company

Picture 8 shows a Mr Nevison loading rolls of twist into a press; this equipment is not used any more but it is still in store in the factory.

Pictures 9 & 10 show the snuff grinding machinery which is still in the same position nearly 90 years later carrying out the same job.  

Visit the Gawith website here: and learn more about its interesting history

Mr Docherty must have arranged a trip to Kendal for himself back in the 1920's. as well as the Bristol trip.


1.   Sorting and Cutting tobacco for mixture

2.   Sorting and extracting the mid-rib from Virginia tobacco for cigarette making

3.   Cutting tobacco for cigarettes

4.   Cigarette machine producing 30,000 cigarettes per hour

5.   A corner of the machine room

6.Cigarette packing (each 'girl' packs 20,000 a day)

7.   Spinning Kendal Twist tobacco (at Gawith and Co., Kendal Cumbria)

8.   Store presses of Kendal Twist Tobacco (at Gawith and Co., Kendal Cumbria)

9.   Making Kendal Brown Snuff, process one (at Gawith and Co., Kendal, Cumbria) 

10.  Making Kendal Brown snuff, process two (at Gawith and Co. Kendal, Cumbria.)

Letter of invitation and permit for Mr Docherty to visit Wills in 1926



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