Friday, March 25, 1966

A SOFT drinks manufacturer is to close down after almost a century of trading in Radcliffe.

It was announced this week by managing director Ernest Riley that Riley's Ltd., of East Street, will be making their final deliveries on April 2.

Although the only firm of its kind in the town, Rileys has been steadily downsizing for several years, said Mr Riley, and the time has now come to close down completely.

He told the Radcliffe Times: "There is no longer any room in the trade for a small firm.

"Over the past few years, brewery mergers and the decline in the number of small corner shops have reduced our market.

"In view of this, I decided it was best to close down."

The company's premises in East Street are to be sold, as is their manufacturing equipment, and Mr Riley said he expects to incur a loss on the bottles owned by the company but held by consumers.

An old-style family business, Rileys was founded in in 1873 by Mr Riley's grandfather, Edward. A small cottage near the British Queen pub in Stand Lane was their first office and works.

After expanding for around 30 years, the business moved in 1911 from Stand Lane to their current base, before Mr Riley's father, Harry, took over.

Looking back over the firm's history, he said that the most successful period had been during the years immediately preceding the Second World War.

At that time, Rileys employed a large staff and had three lorries making regular deliveries.

After joining the family business when he left school in 1922, Mr Riley worked for his father for several years but left in 1929 at the time of the financial slump.

He returned to the firm three years later and has been there ever since, taking complete control of operations after returning from service in the armed forces at the end of the war.