Gloving came to Westbury as a result of the opening of the railway in 1848. In addition to the factories around the town, it was also carried on by piece workers in their own homes.
In 1871 William Boulton started his company and his “Boulton Cut Thumb” became world famous. In 1901 he bought and extended Bull’s Mill at Westbury Leigh. Large numbers of gloves were exported to the USA until the introduction of import tariffs in 1918 restricted trade.
Brothers A L and W L Jefferies opened a glove factory in Fore Street in 1883, later expanding into five other towns. They also carried out the tanning and dressing of leather. In 1908 they bought a disused watermill in Hawkeridge and by the 1930s had about 400 employees.
West Wilts Glove co-operated in Station Road from 1908 until 1960 and the firm of V C Boulton had a factory in Alfred Street.
The last surviving glove manufacturer in the town was Reynolds and Kent, which had workshops in the Oak Inn buildings in Warminster Road. Their factory closed in 1999.