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The Prestige Era (1970 - 1982)

By the end of the 1960s, Old Hall was growing so rapidly that significant additional finance was needed over and above the resources of the Wiggin family.  The outcome of this was that in February 1970 the family sold the company to The Prestige Group Limited, who were the world's largest manufacturer of housewares outside the USA and who had the finance and the desire to take Old Hall forward.  Mr Leslie Wiggin retired from the company in 1971, thus ending the Wiggin family connection with Old Hall.

Throughout the 1970s, Prestige made great efforts to develop Old Hall, with a major emphasis on marketing and the introduction of new products.  This included the development of new packaging designs, display aids, merchandising support and frequent promotions.  New products introduced included a range of high quality stainless steel cookware pans in 1971, a selection of Robert Welch designed silver plated giftware items in 1975 and a collection of beautiful Staffordshire Enamels boxes in 1979.

The creation of a new catering division, which combined Old Hall’s own products and sales people with those of British Silverware Limited, was an important development.   The company’s coffee pot became probably the world’s airlines’ favourite beverage server and was bought by most of the major airlines.  A new and extensive range of lower cost tea and coffee pots called Europa was developed specifically to meet the worldwide demands of hotel, hospital and catering groups.

Staffordshire enamels

Attendance at the Atlantic City Gift and Tableware Fair in the U.S. was an attempt to break into the American market.  The lack of success there was perhaps a portent of things to come.  Americans regarded stainless steel as a material more suitable for functional applications and so was more likely to be used in the kitchen.

Sadly, despite all the above measures and major cost reduction programmes throughout the works, the advent of cheap stainless steel tableware from the Far East in the late 1970s had such an adverse affect on the Old Hall market that life became more and more difficult.

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