Southcombe Gloves Established 1847


Southcombe Gloves is one of the oldest of the original core of glovemakers which, for a number of years in the second part of the 19th century, made Yeovil and area the global centre of gloving. Based in Stoke-sub-Hamdon the Company continues to thrive. It supplies several diverse and distinct markets – industrial to high fashion.
Southcombe Family Photograph

Taken at Brock’s Mount in 1898 this family photograph shows at centre the wife of the founder Richard Southcombe who came to Stoke-sub- Hamdon in 1837. Richard Southcombe began making fabric gloves in 1847 from the old coaching inn at Cartgate on the Fosse Way. By the time of this photograph Richard had died. Sydney Southcombe, seated first left was the grandfather of Michael Southcombe.

In the 1960’s Michael becomes the Manging Director of J.M. Reed & Co. Ltd of Kingsbury Episcopi, taking over the reins from Millicent Reed.
Photograph Hamdon Community Arts Project.

By 1873 Richard Southcombe was building the factory above in Cole Lane, Stoke-sub-Hamdon. It remains the centre of the firm’s activities.
The following few extracts from the local press of the time help to give a perspective of the work of the family in the area at this time.
1864 Saturday 5th March : The Western Gazette

1872 Wednesday 12th June : The Taunton Courier

1875 Friday November 19th 1875 : The Western Gazette.

At the time of this book’s publication in 1995 the company owned six factories situated at Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Crewkerne, Gillingham, Shaftesbury and two wholly-owned subsidiaries, J. M. Reed and Company Limited at Kingsbury and the Tintinhull Glove Company Limited. The Company had acquired the factory of Thomas Ensor & Sons established 1808 in Milborne Port as far back as 1889. By the 1990’s, altogether, the Company employed approximately 250 full-time employees plus a similar number of self­ employed outworkers. There was also one wholly-owned tannery where the principal product was leather suitable for glove production.

Michael Southcombe at Riverview in 2005.

1890 – 1980 Southcombe Brothers Est.1847 : A collection of old photographs.
2017 Southcombe Glove Factory : A visit to the factory at Stoke-sub-Hamdon – photographs

Film 2017 : Initial leather preparation : Southcombe Gloves.
Film 2017 : Creating Glove linings : Southcombe Gloves.
Film 2017 : Sewing Gloves : Southcombe Gloves
Southcombe Gloves Website