The first recorded paper mill in the United Kingdom was Sele Mill near Hertford owned by John Tate. Founded around 1488, this mill was visited by King Henry VII some 10 years later and a report of it was printed by Wynken de Worde. Sheets bearing John Tate’s watermark have been found in books printed in 1494.
Other early mills included one at Dartford, owned by Sir John Speilman, who was granted special privileges for the collection of rags by Queen Elizabeth and one built in Buckinghamshire before the end of the 16th century.
During the first half of the 17th century, further mills were established near Edinburgh, at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, and several in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey.
During the first half of the 18th century, the Hollander Beater (or rag-engine) was widely introduced into the UK, replacing the stamping mills that had previously been used for pulping rags. In December 1724, Henri de Portal was awarded the contract for producing the Bank of England watermarked bank-note paper at Bere Mill in Hampshire. Portals, now part of the De La Rue group, have retained this contract ever since but production has now moved to the Overton mill. In 1757 James Whatman developed a new ‘woven’ wire fabric for his paper mould leading to his production of the first Wove paper, a significant improvement on the Laid pattern of the earlier moulds. With its straight wires, the traditional mould produced paper with characteristic ridges that did not give a clear sharp ink impression when printed. The new Wove pattern provided the solution.
By 1800 there were 430 paper mills in England and Wales and less than 50 in Scotland, mostly operating a single vat, and, of course, producing paper by hand. Total output was just 11,000 tons (an average of 23 tons per mill) and the process is estimated to have consumed 24 million lbs of rags. UK demand for paper exceeded home supply and was supplemented by imports, mainly from the continent.
About the paper industry
The pulp and paper industry comprises of companies that use wood as raw material and produce pulp, paper, paperboard and other cellulose-based products.
The industry is dominated by North America (United States and Canada), northern European (Finland, Sweden, and North-West Russia) and East Asian countries (such as East Siberian Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea). Australasia and Brazil also have significant pulp and paper enterprises. The United States were the world's leading producer of paper until it was overtaken by China in 2009.
The pulp is fed to a paper machine where it is formed as a paper web and the water is removed from it by pressing and drying.
Pressing the sheet removes the water by force; once the water is forced from the sheet, a special kind of felt, which is not to be confused with the traditional one, is used to collect the water; whereas when making paper by hand, a blotter sheet is used instead.
Drying involves using air and/or heat to remove water from the paper sheets; in the earliest days of paper making this was done by hanging the sheets like laundry; in more modern times various forms of heated drying mechanisms are used. On the paper machine the most common is the steam heated can dryer.
What personnel are in demand who should contact us?
There are a wide variety of building services related jobs across a range of disciplines. Typically the following personnel can transfer with ease with a little assistance:
Project Managers, Project Engineers, Process engineers and designers, Piping engineers and designers, Electrical engineers and designers, Mechanical engineers and designers, HVAC engineers and designers, Structural engineers and designers, Instrumentation engineers and designers, Safety personnel, Technical Safety engineers, field and maintenance engineers, specialist technology provider engineers, operators, planning engineers, Technical sales engineers, document controllers, admin personnel.
There is also a demand for senior commercial and managerial roles (eg.. business development managers, country and sales managers, those with Technical Safety experience, environmental impact assessment, government relations and project management, in addition to this there is demand for HSE advisors.
In most instances no training will be required prior to placement, but we are able to assist where required. We will put you in touch with employers happy to engage you with your current skills and qualifications.