The Samuel Cooke Group has been in existence since 1845, when Burnley brothers Richard and James Thomas expanded their chemist business to blend lubricating oils for the burgeoning Lancashire weaving industry. Some 20 years later the firm was bought by Samuel Cooke in an early example of a takeover. Now a national fuel distributor, with sales of £188.9m in 2005, the firm supplies homes, industry and petrol stations. This year chairman Frank Carroll gave all his staff a day off on their birthday.
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