B1-479: Donald Hanson: an Extraordinary Life


Donald Hanson: an Extraordinary Life
Date Created
Smith, Maggie
Booklet: 'Donald Hanson- An Extraordinary Life' by Maggie Smith (2013), self printed with a spiral binding. Biography of Donald Hanson who was manager of Salts Mill whilst it was owned by Ilingworth Morris
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Copyright Maggie Smith
Only viewable in the Saltaire Collection
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Gift: Hanson, Donald
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To view the full story please contact the Saltaire Collection
Donald was born in 1925, in Slaithwaite near Huddersfield, to a family who had many connections with Salts Mill and Saltaire from the 1850’s onward. Donald’s father, however, worked at Globe Mills in Slaithwaite and Donald was able to get an apprenticeship there.

During World War Two he was called up and served in the Royal Navy. He returned to Globe after the war and his ‘after work’ studies at a Technical College resulted in his qualifying as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators. Globe Mills were part of the Illingworth, Morris Textile Group and Donald was soon spotted as being a highly talented ‘wool man’.

He quickly rose through the ranks and came to know the majority shareholders – the Ostrer brothers – of Illingworth, Morris very well. He was made a director of the company and after spells at senior management level at Salts Mill and elsewhere, in 1980 he was appointed as Chair of the Board and Joint Chief executive of the company (whose headquarters had been Salts Mill from 1958).

Extraordinary drama was to follow after the heir to the Ostrer brothers shares in the company – Pamela Mason, a Hollywood chat show hostess – became increasingly hostile to the ‘Yorkshire Directors’. The drama was the subject of much global news and ended in some very surprising outcomes.
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