Villa Laboratories Ltd
Photo: David Pratt
C.T. Cardno was the owner and George Cardno the office manager. There was an entrance to Collier Lane via the lane between Timpsons and Pullars Lane. Polish was boiled in large tubs on a gas ring. Around 1944-45 a tub fell over and ignited the contents which spilled and ran into the lane and blocked drains in Botchergate when solidified. The Villa Laboratory also manufactured head-ache tablets branded Embex. This was done on the first floor near the office. Villa’s products were Villa boot polish, Darry Floor Polish, Spott Cleaner, Darry Silicones Cream, Darry Metal Polish and Embex Pain Relieving Tablets.
In 1942 a four minute film advertisement for Embex. It was produced by Empire Film Productions at Nettlefold Studios in Walton-on-Thames (a studio that prior to WW2 made quota quickies for US film companies and in the 1950’s became later Walton Studios and closed in 1961). The end credits said C.J. Taylor’s Embex – quite who CJ Taylor is and the relation to Villa Laboratories isn’t yet known – perhaps the brand name was sold on at some point.
In an office, a man points out mistakes in a letter that his secretary, Miss Smith, has typed for him. She retypes the letter as the voiceover describes how difficult it can be to concentrate with a headache. Her boyfriend calls but she turns down a date because of a headache. In different scene, a man in a factory struggles to operate a machine because of his headache. In a kitchen, a woman suffers while preparing food on a stove because of her headache. The voiceover describes a remedy to stop these sensations, and all the afflicted characters are shown taking Embex tablets and feeling relieved. The secretary rearranges her date with her boyfriend and has a good time, he gives her some Embex tablets, and she says that she must get some more for next week. Voiceover and end packshot show C.J. Taylor’s Embex Pain Relieving Tablets. End shot of a Union Jack flag, and the title “An Empire Film Production”
Crown Street end of Collier Lane.
Court Square end of Collier Lane (seen exiting vis the stone archway under the Hallmark Hotel).
An entry in the records of the Dollar Exports Council archive in November 1950 shows correspondence from Villa Laboratories Limited (manufacturing chemists; Carlisle) requesting address of Board of Trade official closest to Carlisle.