Our story began in Manchester in 1886 with a man called Fred. Fred had two things – a bright idea and a cracking beard. Fred had been working in a cotton mill, like many people in the city at the time, when he noticed that the cotton was being trundled around in baskets. It gave him the idea for a business; he would start importing the cane for the baskets from abroad. Fred Aldous Ltd was born out of that idea.