A History of YALDING, Kent, England



The Chronicle section states how this was started by E A White a local farmer at Beltring.


1912       Chiswick Soft Soap and Polish Company

       1914       Yalding Manufacturing Company Ltd

1921        McDougal and Yalding Ltd

1927        Cooper, McDougall and Robertson Ltd

1937        Plant Protection Ltd

1964        ICI Agricultural Division

1975        ICI Plant Protection Division

1987        ICI Agrochemicals

1993       Zeneca

2001     Syngenta

                                                           2003 (Dec) Company Closed.


The Yalding works can truly be considered the ‘fons et origo’ of Agricultural Chemicals since a factory producing crop protection products had been established on this site for just over ninety years.

Interest in crop protection developed when it was discovered about the effectiveness of soft soap in controlling aphids on hops.


A major producer of soaps, the CHISWICK POLISH CO LTD, perceived an opportunity for development, and in 1912 purchased a triangular site at Yalding (No 7 site) which was well served by road, rail and river, on which they built a factory for the manufacture of soft soap.


In 1914, the Chiswick Polish Co Ltd sold out to a consortium consisting mainly of local fruit and hop growers, and became known as the YALDING MANUFACTURING CO LTD. This was established to continue manufacture of their well known Imperial Brand Soft Soap, and to extend their range to include fruit and hop washes, fungicides and insecticides.


Then, following the discovery by Professor Ian McDougall of McDougall Bros of Manchester of the insecticidal properties of derris, the Yalding factory merged with McDougall in 1921 to become McDOUGALL AND YALDING LTD.

Finally three firms, William Cooper and Nephews of Berkhamstead, McDougall Bros of Manchester, and Robertson of Oban, who up to this time had been largely involved in animal health products, were brought into the crop protection field following the discovery that copper compounds used in sheep dips were also effective as general fungicides, particularly against potato blight.


This resulted in a series of amalgamations and in 1927 the firms of McDougall and Robertson, William Cooper and Nephews, McDougall and Yalding Ltd, Tomlinson and Hayward Ltd and Abol Ltd merged to form COOPER, McDOUGALL AND ROBERTSON LTD.


In the following years, ICI was also beginning to develop interests in crop protection chemicals, which were conflicting with those of Cooper, McDougall and Robertson Ltd. In June 1937 these interests were merged in a new company, PLANT PROTECTION LTD. At this stage the manufacturing side, including the factory at Yalding came under the control of ICI Dyestuffs Division. This responsibility eventually transferred to ICI General Chemicals Division (subsequently Mond Division) who had become heavily involved in the manufacture both of active ingredients and of formulations such as 'Perenox'.