AboutDevon Valley Limited
In Saxon times, prior to the Domesday Record of England in 1086, Hele had been a small settlement on the River Culm in Devon. Later it had a Grist Mill, powered by the flow of the river, and in 1762 the new activity of hand paper-making was started in a redundant barn. It succeeded exceptionally well with the establishment of professional papermakers – culminating in the West Country family of Dewdney, who gained a gold medal for the invention of glazed writing-paper at the Great Exhibition of 1851.
The company was at the fore-front of technical innovation installing turbine power and newly invented paper machines for continuous paper production, and the discovery of deeper sources of water of the high quality necessary for exceptional quality water-marked paper. This led to them making the paper for bank notes, both at home and for currencies throughout the Empire of that time. From this the Mill continued a highly profitable and renowned business, providing highly specialised papers to the present day.In 1920 the family-owned mill was purchased to become part of the Wiggins Teape Ltd paper empire. This continued the high valued output of various papers but was bought out by British American Tobacco Co. in 1987 to then become the Devon Valley Mill.
A new No. 5 machine was designed and installed which expanded the range and volume of products, but success was affected by world market conditions. Several changes of ownership ensued during the rest of the twentieth century until the present owners acquired it early in the twenty-first century. Cromptons Papers, under the Purico (June 2006) group, has, under its General Manager, Horst Blum, re-defined and refined the business, concentrating on specialised paper for the food industry and laminate surfaces, supplying world markets.