The old Albion Buildings have their origins back in the days when Nuneaton had a silk industry. During the mid 1800s, the building formed a series of silk weavers' cottages, three storeys tall with a tall row of windows in the upper story known as the Top Shop (see the original photograph). This upper storey is where historians believe that that the ribbon weavers' looms were located and driven by a steam engine.
The largest manufacturer in America today of silk clothing labels, Warners of New Jersey, stems from the Albion Buildings where Joseph Warner of Attleborough was the foreman for Leakes, who were silk manufacturers located in the buildings during the 1800s.
The buildings today house offices and have had the Top Shop removed to form a two-storey structure.

Liz Chater

They used to make tennis balls there at one time and they even made them for Wimbledon. They were still in production 8 or 9 years ago. The buildings were all ribbon factories years ago.

Jean Clayton and Cynthia Wilson

They fascinate me - they are really old and the people lived on the ground floor and the workshops were above them. It used to be the tennis ball factory years ago and before that they made Jip snuff.

David Parr

I can remember when it used to be three floors tall. I was an insurance company rep and had to do a risk assessment of the building. You could hardly breathe in the snuff factory and right next to it was a single room where a gentleman sat on a stool chopping firewood to sell in bundles. The tennis ball factory used to supply Wimbledon.

Warwick Wilson

After the war, a Belgian woman moved into Albion Buildings and my mum befriended her because I think she felt sorry for her living in a strange country.