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Dye Works

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Bootle Dye Works

The factory operated just off Stanley Road.  This used to be the main site for ‘Johnsons Dyers and Cleaners’.  It all started in 1817, when the Johnson brothers set up a business dyeing silks in Liverpool. 


Their Bootle HQ was opened by Lord Derby in 1910.  Being so close to the docks was great for trade: supplies could be quickly delivered, and products easily sent off to other places.  Trade would have been cheaper and easier since the factory was so close to the docks.

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Did you know?

Health and safety wasn’t always up to scratch.  The biggest risk was breathing in benzine vapour from the dye on newly delivered clothes.  This toxin can cause shaking, loss of consciousness and even death!  


Johnson's Dye Works

Johnsons merged with two other companies in 1920 to become simply ‘Johnsons Cleaners’.  By the 1980s, the business had grown into the biggest dry cleaner in the country! 


By the 1990s, their Bootle HQ was closed.  There were plans for developing the area into a block of flats.  However, the ground still contains nasty chemicals from the dye – so nothing has been done for the time being. 


1940s Dye Vans

Did you know?

In 1948, one young worker was killed when he got caught in parts of the machinery; there were no railings to stop him being dragged in! 

Did you know?

The Johnsons factory kept a plaque to remember all their staff who were killed when fighting in the First World War (1914-1918).

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