Tintawn and Binder Twine: The Story of Eric Rigby-Jones and Irish Ropes

Author(s): Eric Rigby-Jones

ISBN: 9781781557914
£24.50 £35.00
The untold story of an iconic and world-famous Irish business and the pioneering Englishman who founded it.
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  • Well-illustrated, it draws heavily on unpublished family documents as well as new research in British and Irish archives

  • Reveals many intriguing but little-known sides to Anglo-Irish relations during the Second World War

  • A story in microcosm of the first fifty years of an independent Irish state

  • ‘A triumph of brain and effort’: the story of an exceptional man who introduced new concepts in industrial relations to Ireland

In the 1920s, Eric Rigby-Jones had to leave his wife and young family behind to risk everything on establishing a new factory in the Irish Free State. He was still an officer in the Territorial Army when he leased a former British cavalry barracks in Co. Kildare from the Irish government in 1933. It had lain derelict since the departure of British troops in 1922.

Within four years, his company, Irish Ropes, was supplying nearly all of Ireland’s rope. When war came in 1939, Ireland remained staunchly neutral and faced both German invasion and a British trade embargo. With the government determined to make the country self-sufficient, Eric had to resort to increasingly desperate measures to ensure that Irish farmers never ran out of twine to gather the harvest.

This is the untold story of the foundation and eventual demise of an iconic Irish business known around the world for its Red Setter twine and Tintawn sisal carpets, and of the pioneering Englishman who founded it.

BOOK ISBN 9781781557914
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 360 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 112 black and white images



John Rigby-Jones was educated at Sherborne School and read classics at Oriel College, Oxford. After qualifying as a chartered accountant, he spent 35 years in the private healthcare industry before retiring at 60 in 2015. Since then, he has spent much of his time researching his family’s history and in particular the life of his grandfather, Eric Rigby-Jones, who died before he was born. His first book, Best Love To All, about Eric’s experiences as a young officer on the Western Front, was published by Helion & Company in 2017.