Ray,the Ilford nuclear emulsion division was still based in London when I had dealings with Ilford, that's where they made and distributed them too. They had only recently moved the Ilford headquarters to Mobberley.
In our original conversation (over lunch) we were discussing Rockland Colloids and I mentioned Barfen's Liquid emulsion, (which I never tried), I had to explain who Barfen were. The company was based around some Photographic surplus stores who had specialised in selling ex Military/Government surplus film, paper, and even cameras (A.W. Young, Marston & Heard, Harringay Photographic Supplies etc). The Ilford staff were all senior Sales Managers/Research chemists, we all wondered where Barfen were getting their emulsion and they wondered whether Ilford could supply them. A few weeks later during a business call I was told "by the way that Barfen Emulsion is actually one of our own nuclear emulsions" and that the Nuclear division was small self contained unit based in London.
I was told (at the time) that Ilford were concerned that uncoated emulsions could fall into the hands of a competitor, this was the reason I ceased using Ilfospeed Gd 3 emulsion, and presumably why Barfen changed too. Chemical analysis of an Uncoated emulsion will tell you far more than analysing a coated emulsion.
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers
2 or 3 years before I'd had a visit from an elderly Kodak sales rep, he'd been sent specifically to see what I (or rather my company) was doing. In fact he was a retired Emulsion chemist who'd worked at Harrow.
Back to Barfen, the Surplus shops specialised in selling off film & paper mostly Ilford, while still at school I often bought 100ft lengths of FP3 from them and even HP3, (FP4 & HP4 were then the current production) early resin coated papers obviously ex RAF, quite unlike the later consumer Ilfospeed. I think there was a common partner who had a stake in all the shops, he would probably have been the brains behind Barfen, which was just a Brand name first used for E4 then E6 slide films (of Fuji origin) and associated processing kits - made for them (Barfen).
I regularly bought film & paper from A.W. Young or Marson & Heard as a student and continued to use the Barfen E4 then E6 films until the mid 80's. I visited the stores on odd trips to London.
You ask too many questions Ray