Ben Hughes hale barns, manchester united...

Where does the name Halecroft come from?

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Whenever we go to networking events we seem to be asked where the name Halecroft comes from nearly as often as we are actually asked about recruitment. We are always happy to speak about our proud history, but business comes first, so we wrote this brief history on the name.

A lot of people assume that we are named after our home village of Hale, although this is only partly true. The word Halecroft comes from Halecroft Park in the neighbouring village of Hale Barns. This is not just a case of naming a company after the local area, however, the story of Halecroft and the two men linked to it by history is very inspiring to any business person.

Halecroft Park itself is named after Halecroft, one of only 11 Grade 2 listed buildings in Trafford, that was originally the Manor of the grounds that now make up the park. Halecroft was built in 1890 after it was designed by the famous local architect Edgar Wood.

Wood was a famous architect from the late 19th/early 20th century. He mostly designed in the progressive-for-the-time Arts and Crafts Movement, which was an anti-industrial art movement that placed emphasis on traditional craftsmanship, rather than the mass production methods that were becoming popular at the time.

Wood was ever the artist and chose to concentrate on designing smaller buildings so that he could have complete control over the entire project. This level of quality lead to twenty-one of his buildings being listed. Edgar Wood was the kind of businessman that most of aspire to be, the kind who built his reputation through hard work and skill and could afford to only work on the projects that he wanted to.

Edgar Wood may have been the literal architect behind Halecroft, but he is not the first person to come to most people’s minds when they think of the park. That would be James W. Gibson, a Manchester-based businessman who is most famous for being ‘The Man who Rescued Man U.’

Gibson was such a successful businessman that his biography reads like a Dickensian character. He owned a textile company in Manchester at the start of the 20th century and had a contract to supply uniforms to the army during the First World War. This made him one of the richest men in the country at the time.

Gibson was born in Salford but moved to the Old Trafford area at the beginning of the century. Manchester United Football Club made a very similar relocation around the same time, causing Gibson to take note.

During the Great Depression, the Club was facing hard times, they had lost the majority of their funding and spent most of their time bouncing between the First Second Division year after year. Gibson took over the club in 1930, injecting £40,000 into the club, which would be around half a million pounds today. This may not sound like much in football terms, but it hadn’t quite become the gigantic industry that it is today.

James W. Gibson had an immeasurable effect on Manchester United and the football industry as a whole. He is the person who hired the legendary Matt Busby and the one who implemented the United Youth Academy, which produced the players who formed the famous Busby Babes.

James eventually moved to the manor at Halecroft that Edgar Wood had designed decades later, living there until his death in 1951. Today there is a memorial known as The Gibson Compass at the centre of Halecroft Park to remember the profound impact that Gibson had on not only Manchester United but the game of football and the whole of modern culture itself.

So, that is the story of the name Halecroft Recruitment, and why we are proud of it. If these two amazing men inspire you even half as much as they do us, why not get in touch and see how our recruitment services could help you build your own legacy.