Ball's Plastics Factory

On two sites

The Former Ball’s Plastics factory in Kennel Lane faced  farmland with the triangle of South Green beyond.

The main factory in Kennel Lane in the 1960s. Kennel Lane is at the bottom with Acors Farm below it.

A neighbour, the late Jim Braziser, worked there and said that this factory moved here from east London to get away from the blitz. It was built on land that was formerly part of Grange Farm, and was demolished in 1989. Countryside Properties Ltd then completely cleared the site, including the roads, for redevelopment. They approached Billericay Archaeological & Historical Society for suggestions for names of the new roads on this estate. They obtained a copy of some early nineteenth century tithe returns of the area from the Essex Record Office. They used the names of some of the former land owners and occupiers for the roads. An approximately rectangular green area lies immediately beyond the site, with a little known children’s play area, accessed from Passingham Close to the right. While the isolated area to the left remains almost inaccessible and undeveloped.

The fields of Grange Farm formerly extended across Mill Road up to the edge of South Green. In 1920, when it was part of Lord Petre’s estates, it was in sold in lots by auctioneer G B Hilliard. The lot on this side of Church Road became separated from the farm and has subjected to piecemeal development including ultimately Ball’s factory.

The former factory in Southend Road

Ball’s Plastics also built an additional factory on the outskirts Billericay which survived its closure. It is on the Southend Road and has been converted to a business centre. Both the front and rear have been extended.

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  • I worked there in the 70’s.
    Delivered the first batch of Leyland motor car badges, 500, the iconic blue stripes, from the factory to what is now the Holiday Inn just off the M1 at Hemel Hempstead. A guy who worked there, a metal worker I believe, offered me a replica sword that he made for £10 which I bought and gave to my dad for a birthday present. I got it back some years later and still have it.
    An example of the car badge:
    Austin Badge 70s
    The sword that I bought for my Dad:
    Replica Sword

    By Dave Tuting (06/03/2022)
  • I worked in the office at B.E.F. Products at Leigh on Sea in 1970 and one of our directors was Stanley Ball, the factory moved to the outskirts of Billericay where I worked also until 1971 when I left to have a baby. Mr Fairchild and his son Clifford lived in the bungalow at the front of the factory.

    By Rita Dempsey (was Storey) (17/09/2021)
  • Does anyone know a Robert Thompson or a Patrica Thompson, they worked in the Clacton on Sea factory in the 60s to 70s. We are looking to find my mums dad, she hasn’t seen him since she was 10 and we are desperately looking to find him.

    By Bethany (18/06/2021)
  • I worked at Ball Plastics (Clacton on sea), sister factory to Billericay, until it’s closure in 1985, I believe.
    I worked in the Quality Department and regularly travelled over to the head office in Billericay. Many happy memories of a happy workforce.

    By Steve Cooper (22/05/2021)
  • My name is Joanne I worked for Ball Plastics and married Danny Claridge who worked for Henry J Peter’s.

    By Joanne Claridge (28/02/2021)
  • I worked at Ball Plastics for 6 months in 1976. I had been made redundant from the printing trade so my mum who was in payroll got me a temporary job there making toilet seats.

    By Terry Walden (24/12/2020)
  • My mum Eileen Walden was the Social Secretary of the Social Club and used to arrange the dances, party’s and even holidays for the members.

    By Terry Walden (24/12/2020)
  • My mother worked here and I remember the New Year’s Dance they used to put on. The factory did a lot of plastic moulding, Car Steering Wheels was one item. I live at 100 Church street and I was head Choir boy from around 1965 at Mary Magdalene Church, Great Burstead .

    By William Barton (21/12/2020)
  • I started work as a junior in the drawing office in 1957. Working with Jim Wilkinson and Roy Fuller.

    By Roger Powell (13/12/2020)
  • Jim Brazier was my foreman in the toolroom there. As a trainee he was more than helpful to me.

    By Tony Schneider (03/10/2020)
  • My Father worked for Balls Plastics in the 60s..Clive Rolfe…he is 92 years old now in 2020.

    By Kim rolfe (08/06/2020)
  • I am Wally Ball’s daughter, the business moved to Billericay between the wars, although part of it remained in London for quite a while after, run by Ron Coleman I believe. The business was about engraving, but Jim and Wally took it into Bakelite.

    By Pat Woodward nee Ball (15/05/2020)
  • I worked for S.J. Carter Heating in 1971 at Ball Plastics as contractors, I was 17. The fitter I worked with was Mr. Bill Clough a ex naval man who was on KG5 in WW2. We used to sit in the boiler house at break times and really liked the atmosphere. Days gone by and missed 👍

    By David newman (02/04/2020)
  • Wow surprised to find anything about this. I worked in the Polystyrene factory there in 1968/69, I worked on the maintenance side looking after the steam boiler and the moulding machines. Mostly they produced insulation for building industry. I often helped out in the plastic moulding areas as well where their main product was toilet seats. I emigrated to Australia in 1969. I remember meeting all the Ball family.

    By Clint Bird (02/03/2020)
  • My father and his two brothers owned Ball Plastics. Daniel Ball, (my father) Jim Ball and Wally Ball. The whole family moved to Jersey circa 1971. I was born in Billericay as well as my four sisters, Jackie, Gill, Cathy and Debbie.
    Wonderful memories!

    By Renton Ball (19/02/2020)
  • This was my grandfathers factory, Walter Ball.

    By Elizabeth Ball (19/02/2020)
  • Wow, this photo makes me so happy! I lived in that house as a child with my parents and brother. My dad Peter worked in the factory and I used to ride my bike in there during the summer.
    I’m so sad the house has gone and would love a photo of it.

    By Lynn (01/12/2019)
  • I worked at Ball Plastics in 1977 in the vehicle controls dept. I can still remember one of the chaps that also worked with me, his name was Tim and he used to ride to work on a motorbike that was very loud, I think he was always working on it at the weekend. I can remember having to get big bags of Hostaform to fill the moulding machine hoppers up.

    By David Bird (24/10/2019)
  • Interested in any reference to this as my Great Grandfather started this business and I have taken the name (Ball & Co. in Windsor) to use as my business name. I believe he was an engraver by trade and moved into this new material with some success……..

    By Daniel Hodgkinson (16/12/2018)
  • Wow- I am the late Jim Braziers Grandaughter. I have just come across this as I’m catching up on my South Green history. I never had any photos of Balls so thank you.

    By Debby (03/04/2018)

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