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Original Text (Annotation: eaw015181 / 899485)

' F W Harmer & Co, Havers Road (factory opened 1947) William Harmer went into partnership with a Mr Rivett in 1825, later joined by William's son to become "Rivett, Harmer and Son", joined in 1850 by Frederic William Harmer - the business bought material and sold it on to purchasers whose tailor would make it up. The firm started to make cloth up into suits at a small factory on Bethel St (demolished to make way for the new City Hall in the 1930s). By 1887 Frederic was mayor of Norwich and further expansion required a new site- in St Andrew's Street. (Destroyed by enemy action in 1943). In 1909 the wholesale clothing trade became regulated by the government. F W Harmer and Co as it now was was used to making uniforms for the War Office and as WW1 came along stepped up output, supplying two tons of uniforms daily. After the 1943 destruction a new site was required- on Good Friday, 1946 the markers were set for the new factory at Havers Road and by mid-1947 production was in full swing again. By 1975 the firm had other factories at other factories at Diss, Fakenham, Stradbroke, Syleham and Watton. By 1984 there were problems finding skilled workers and in 1987 the firm stopped making jackets/blazers to concentrate on trousers. Business declined and liquidation followed, by 1990 the factory was being demolished, now used for housing. There are several books giving the history of the firm especially commemorative books published ah the 100 and 150 year mark. Also The Story of a Norwich Industry: Commemorating the Opening of the New Clothing Factory of F W Harmer & Co. Ltd., at Havers Road Norwich. '