Cedarblue Limited

Company Number: SC001298
Date of Incorporation:20 November 1883
Contact Details: 7 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, EH12 5AH
Operating Details: Dissolved 4 September 2009
Other names (if known): J & J Crombie Limited (1985-2004) Citan Limited (up to 1985)
Function of Company*: Holding companies including head offices (7415). Part of the Crombie Company, recreational clothing manufacturers (1822)
Headquarters/Base of Operations Location: Initially Aberdeen, later Yorkshire
Area of Operation: Sold clothing across the UK and overseas

*Taken from Standard Industrial Classification 2003, as used by Companies House in 2010


There appears to be no centralised record collection for this company, but there some scattered collections of extant records.

Records of JJ Crombie [sic] held at West Yorkshire Archive Service, Bradford. Part of the Illingworth Morris PLC Collection GB202 48D87
Scope/type: 1934-1950 correspondence; 1950s General report and files relating to investigation into company finances
West Yorkshire also holds correspondence files in other company collections that relate to this company. See here for details.

The NAS holds a plan of Grandholm mills, and a record of a court case involving J&J Crombie.

The records of the Crombie-Ross Trust 1920-1980 (see below) are open at Aberdeen City Archives. They include minute books, ledgers and financial information.

Company History

This company formed at least part of J & J Crombie, possibly the part of the company that managed and operated the mills at Grandholm. This company has dissolved, but the Crombie name has been continued by a newer company, Crombie Concessions Limited (05187484).

Crombie (formerly known as J&J Crombie Ltd, after its founder John Crombie and his son James) is a British fashion company, which produces high-end clothing and accessories. Crombie is most famous for its luxury coats – so much so that the word ‘Crombie’ is sometimes used by other companies to refer to their own coats produced in the style of Crombie’s most famous three-quarter length (usually wool) overcoats, although the Crombie company has been known to take legal action to prevent this trademark word from being used generically.

Crombie was founded in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1805, making it one of Britain’s oldest brands. It has manufactured from several different mills in Scotland and England over two centuries, initially at Cothal Mills in Aberdeen, and most famously from 1859 at Grandholm Mill also in Aberdeen. In 1990, production at the Grandholm Mill ceased, and was moved to other mills in Scotland and England. (The A-listed Grandholm factory site was converted into a residential project by the Cala Group in 2005. Part of the mill is now an Indian restaurant called The Spice Mill, which has maintained the original elements of the factory.)

Crombie began as a producer of luxury cloth, which it sold to cloth merchants and direct to London tailors. By the 1850s, Crombie had won quality awards from Queen Victoria and Napoleon III at the Great Exhibition in London and the Exposition Universelle in Paris respectively. Later, Crombie expanded from simply manufacturing the fabric for other producers, to creating coats under its own name.

A key factor in Crombie’s expansion, from the 1860s onwards, was the receipt of military contracts. Crombie supplied ‘Rebel Grey’ cloth for the Confederate Army in the American Civil War, and also supplied officers’ uniforms to the British Army and Royal Air Force in World Wars One and Two.

James Crombie (born in 1862 in old Machar Aberdeen, died 1932) built upon his father John’s success after graduating with an MA from Aberdeen University in 1882. It was probably under his influence that the company became incorporated in 1883. James was a generous benefactor to the University and was honorary doctorate in 1907 in recognition of his services. He also oversaw the establishment of the Crombie-Ross Trust in 1920 to provide a service to benefit the employees of the company. (see entries in the SCAN website for this information).

The founding Crombie family sold their interest in the company in 1928, to another British textile family, the Salts (famous as the founders of Saltaire in West Yorkshire). After the Second World War, Crombie became part of Illingworth Morris – at that time Britain’s largest woolen textile company, of which British actress Pamela Mason was the majority shareholder. In the 1980s the company was taken private by its Chairman. Crombie is also known to hold the rights to the Tommy Nutter brand name, having backed him financially in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The company continues to trade today, and currently has three stand-alone stores: in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. The company now operates out of Leeds, though its connection to Yorkshire goes back to when it was bought up by Illingworth Morris. Crombie also has concessions in certain House of Fraser stores, and sells some of its most premium coats exclusively in Harrods. Crombie also sells over its website.

Starting in the late 1960s or early 1970s, Crombie-style coats were popular within the skinhead and suedehead subcultures, although very few skinheads would have been able to afford a brand new Crombie coat. Crombie coats were also fashionable among mods, who saw them as a stylish item of clothing that enhanced their clean-cut image. It was an alternative to the popular fishtail parka or trenchcoat. Crombie has also enjoyed particular success in Russia, where it began supplying to the Tsarist court from 1880. Crombie lists King George VI, Winston Churchill, Cary Grant, Dwight D Eisenhower and John F Kennedy among its historic customers. From 1995-2004, Crombie also held the Royal Warrant as a supplier to the Prince of Wales.

Information taken from wikipedia () ) which in turn borrows heavily from the company’s website.