Mike Baldwin briefly owned 25% of the company after marrying the owner Peter Ingram's widow Jackie in 1991. Mike gave up his stake in the business as part of his divorce settlement from Jackie. Jackie then sold up to Ralph Dobson's company. Ivy Brennan was among its workers on the factory floor. Alcazar Holdings, a subsidiary of Ingram's Textiles, was the lease holder on Jim's Cafe for a period in 1991.
Under Peter Ingram
The factory was established in the late 1980s and was operating at full capacity by the end of the decade, with Peter Ingram as company director, Ralph Dobson as sales manager, and Sandra Rogers as Peter's PA.
In January 1990, Mike Baldwin asked Peter if he could take any work off his hands. Peter contracted Mike to make 1000 travel bags at his factory, Baldwin's Casuals. When Peter discovered that Mike's factory had in fact been demolished some months earlier and Mike was hiring outworkers, he placed further orders with a cooperative of Mike's workers led by Ivy Brennan and Emily Bishop, who offered to produce the bags for less money. Mike responded to this by offering the travel agent a cheaper deal than they had with Ingram's, resulting in them pulling out of their rolling contract.
In March, Peter hired Mike as a sales rep. As a safeguard, Peter presented Mike with a contract forbidding him from setting up in business in the same lines as Ingram's or using Peter's contacts for five years, and as he was desperate for work, Mike had no choice but to sign it. After five months, Mike was fed up with working for somebody else and established Phoenix Fabrics with the intention of installing a manager who would be the face of the company. Peter sussed Mike out but decided to give him one last chance, moving him inside the factory as work's manager where he could keep an eye on him.
A few days into his new position, Mike was arguing with Peter in the manager's office when Peter collapsed with a heart attack. He died in hospital the next day. His widow Jackie, who had never been involved in the day-to-day running of the factory beforehand, left Ralph Dobson in charge, keeping Mike where he was.
In September, Jackie decided to sell the factory. Seeking to curry favour with Jackie, Mike supported her decision at first, reversing his position after the first buyer who showed an interest, Charlie Travers, put in an insulting offer. Dobson tried to convince Jackie to keep the factory on the market, but following Mike's advice she chose to run the business herself until it was a seller's market. Concerned about Jackie's lack of business experience, and Mike's influence over her, Dobson decided that he could no longer support her and resigned. Unbeknown to either of them, Travers was a mate of Mike's who had posed as a buyer as a favour to Mike. Mike then pretended that he'd been offered a new job to coerce Jackie into offering him the position of general manager to persuade him to stay.
Under Mike Baldwin
One of Mike's first acts as manager was to sack Sandra Rogers, who hated him through loyalty to Peter. Amanda Worsley was Sandra's replacement as PA.
Jackie kept close tabs on the factory and would sometimes overrule Mike, much to his annoyance. In the last few months of the year, Mike and Jackie fell for each other and moved in together. In March 1991, they got engaged. Jackie was advised by her solicitor Gordon Barrett to make Mike sign a pre-marital contract keeping the factory out of his hands in a divorce but when Mike made her feel ashamed for putting it to him, she had Gordon draft a new contract giving Mike 25% of the business on their wedding day, which satisfied Mike.
In April, Mike set up Alcazar Holdings, a subsidiary of Ingram's Textiles, which he passed off to Jackie as a tax dodge. Mike then used company money to take out a five-year head-lease on Jim's Cafe, which was run by his ex-girlfriend Alma Sedgewick. Mike had done so to offload his guilt for cheating on Alma with Jackie.
A month before Mike and Jackie were due to be married, the recession hit Ingram's and some staff were laid off. A few weeks later, one of their biggest customers, Mellors, went bust owing Ingram's £50,000. Out of the blue, Ralph Dobson contacted Jackie and made an offer on behalf of his firm to buy Ingram's, promising her a fair price. Jackie accepted, pending Mike's approval, but in the event Mike was totally opposed to the deal, particularly as Dobson had ratted him out to Jackie after finding out the true nature of Alcazar Holdings.
Jackie agreed to keep the factory if Mike could save it, and he promptly delivered the goods by clinching a three-year deal with Wrightson's. Unfortunately for Mike, as payback for not giving his best man Phil Jennings a loan, Phil went to Jackie and blew the whistle on all of the schemes Mike had enacted to get his hands on her factory. Jackie finished with Mike after being married to him for a week and paid him £100,000 in exchange for his 25% of the factory and a quick, uncontested divorce. Mike also took ownership of Alcazar Holdings as part of the settlement. Jackie then went back to Ralph Dobson and accepted his offer to buy Ingram's.
Ivy Brennan was taken on as cutting room supervisor in June 1990. Ivy also organised the staff Christmas party that year. In May 1991, Jackie heard Ivy slagging her off and immediately summoned her to her office to sack her.
That same month, Ingram's was looking to recruit a new sales rep and Deirdre Barlow was one of two candidates shortlisted for the job. Mike favoured Deirdre, who had applied following her defeat at the council elections and the loss of her position as councillor. Deirdre was ultimately passed over in favour of Jackie's preferred applicant, who was younger and more experienced in sales.
Under Peter's regime, Ingram's sales reps drove 1600cc Fords. When Mike was employed as a salesman, he turned down a company car in favour of his Jaguar.
- Peter Ingram (Company director)
- Jackie Ingram (Company director)
- Mike Baldwin (Sales rep, works manager, general manager)
- Ralph Dobson (Sales manager)
Ingram's Textiles appeared in 70 episodes between 1990 and 1991 (full list).