The Shirley Institute was established in 1920 as the British Cotton Industry Research Association at The Towers in Didsbury, Manchester as a research centre dedicated to cotton production technologies. It was at the Institute that Ventile was invented.
Dr Douglas Hill was Director of Research of the BCRA before the merger and led the new organisation. The Director of the BRRA, Leonard Albert Wiseman became Deputy Director. Len Wiseman became Director on Dr Hill's retirement in 1969 and held the post until 1980.
Origin of "Shirley"
- Robert Howson Pickard FRS, director 1937-1943 who expanded the technical facilities extensively in 1936.
- "Technologies of work". Manchester University, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. Archived from the original on 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- Textile Council (Dissolution) House of Commons debates, 14 December 1971
- Hansard, written answers, 9 February 1961
- "Shirley Institute, Wira Technology merger planned. (Wira Technology Group)". Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- "Didsbury St James Conservation Area". Manchester City Council. Retrieved 2017-02-19.