Whilst PotteronPacs was formed in 2012, when custom case and bag manufacturer Potterton Cases came together with polystyrene and foam conversion specialists PACS, our rich history actually dates back to the 19th century. This is the story of how two industry experts joined forces and evolved to provide unparalleled expertise in transit, presentation, storage, and packaging solutions. Let’s take a step back in time to delve into the remarkable history and evolution that laid the foundation for the company as it is today.
A Potterton Ltd: The Early Beginnings
The roots of the Potterton legacy trace back to 1896 when A Potterton Ltd was established. Named after its founder, Arthur Potterton, the company specialised in manufacturing shoe sample cases. These meticulously crafted cases were vital in supplying the flourishing shoe industry in Leicester with shoe sample cases for travelling salesmen during that era.
As the years passed, A Potterton Ltd’s reputation for unparalleled craftsmanship continued to grow. The company’s name became synonymous with the highest standards of quality and precision. This reputation reached such heights that they were entrusted with a remarkable task – crafting shoe cases for the wedding luggage of H.R.H. The Duchess of York in 1929.
A Change of Ownership: The Jackson Era
In 1946, A Potterton Ltd underwent a change of ownership when it was purchased by Mr. Norman Jackson from neighbours the Potterton family. Mr. Jackson was a well-known businessman in Leicester, a shoe mercer, director of several other companies and a councillor renowned for his charitable works. However, it was under the leadership of Mr. Jackson’s son-in-law, John Pickering, who assumed control in 1957, that the true legacy of Pottertons Cases began to take shape.
John was well aware diversification was needed as the company entered a new chapter and under John’s guidance, Pottertons Cases as the company was now known began diversifying into new markets and industries after Quorn Speciality Foods approached him to make sample cases for sales reps to show customers samples of Quorn’s emerging range of convenience food. To accommodate the growth of new markets into various industries, a factory with modern production line machinery sourced during a recent trip to Europe as well as a visitor showroom were established at 80 Coleman Road in Leicester. Quickly outgrowing these premises and when a larger site became available just across the road at 103 this site was also acquired and this location remains the location of PottertonPacs.
John Pickering’s vision, determination, and dedication to maintaining the highest standards of craftsmanship propelled Potterton Cases to new heights. As John eventually transitioned into retirement, the legacy was passed on to his son, Tim Pickering. Tim, who had been trained in the art of designing and crafting leather goods, assumed the role of Managing Director, continuing the family tradition of excellence.
PACS Leicester: The Early Beginnings
PACS Leicester’s story started in 1892 when it commenced trading under the name B Wigley & Sons. Initially, the company specialised in export packing and the manufacturing of packing cases. Over the years, it honed its expertise in this domain, becoming a trusted name in export packing solutions. In 1941, B Wigley & Sons took a significant step by incorporating as a company, solidifying its presence in the industry.
The Birth of BWS Export Packaging Services
In 1968, BWS Export Packaging Services Ltd was established as a division of B Wigley & Sons Ltd. This division was dedicated to export packing services, serving as the specialised arm of the company. It played a crucial role in catering to the specific needs of clients involved in international trade.
PACS – The Evolution
As the functions of BWS Export Packaging Services evolved, the decision was made to reintegrate this division back into the main company of B. Wigley & Sons. With this transition, a new chapter began. BWS Export Packaging Services Ltd transformed into PACS, a specialist in foam and polystyrene conversion.
David Wigley: A Family Legacy
David Wigley, the great-grandson of PACS’s founder, Benjamin Wigley, took the company’s reins in 1987. Under his leadership, the focus shifted towards developing the specialist foam and polystyrene conversion part of the business.
PottertonPacs: A Merger Made in Heaven
The merger of these two industry experts in 2012 was a significant milestone in both of their journeys. With the birth of PottertonPacs, a new era of collaboration and innovation was unleashed, creating a powerful force in the protective and presentation packaging solutions industry.
Following David Wigley’s retirement in 2018, Todd Pickering has assumed a leadership role alongside his father, Tim, as Managing Directors of our company. Todd Pickering represents the fourth generation of the Pickering family to contribute to and uphold our enduring legacy. With this seamless transition, the Pickering family’s commitment to excellence and the ongoing success of PottertonPacs continues to thrive through the hands of capable and dedicated leaders.
As we look to the future, the story of PottertonPacs stands as a testament to adaptability, and innovation. Every project, from padded bags to specialist custom foam inserts, carries with it a legacy that has been refined over generations.
Be a Part of our Legacy
Experience the unrivalled quality of presentation or protective packaging today. Whether you need a durable protective case to transport equipment, a sample bag or case to showcase your products or a demo case for your sales reps, we will have a solution for you.
Get in contact with our team so we can get started helping you find a protective packaging solution for your needs. You can also visit our showroom on Coleman Road, where we have operated since 1946. There, you can see our years of craftsmanship with your own eyes.
We can’t wait to work with you!