British made tennis balls
J Price (of Bath) Ltd was set up by Joseph Price in 1936 and is the only surviving tennis ball factory in Britain and the Western World, based in Box on the outskirts of Bath. Each week it produces 10,000 tennis balls alongside many other sports balls such as squash balls, racket balls, paddle balls, Irish handballs and more. They also make personalised tennis balls, over printed tennis balls, specialist learner balls for children, traditional white tennis balls, balls for mini tennis, yellow or white scented tennis balls smelling of freshly cut grass, or roses or lavender, tennis balls with different coloured seams, glow in the dark tennis balls, tennis balls for pets, throw down markers for sports coaching, bowls mats, mini-tennis ball key-rings made with reject materials, and promotional balls for high-end brands. The firm also produces custom rubber mouldings such as anti-vibration mounts, boat trailer rubber parts and rubber grips and all types of rubber components. Over the years the business has had its fair share of challenges such as in WW2 when trading almost ceased as tennis balls were such a luxury product. Work carried on producing rubber components for the Ministry of Defence, developing anti vibration units for ships engines, compressors, and generators, which are still made today. The 1980s saw manufacturing in the Fast East grow significantly, highly undercutting British manufacturers. Before that Prices made balls of all kinds for most known brands such as Dunlop. Wilson, Head, Prince, Donnay, Spalding, Rossignol and 40 others across the world, until they moved to cheap Far East suppliers. This made a dent in the factory’s profits, but the firm is still going today, currently employing around 12 people. There’s a short video about the company from 2011 on the BBC and a detailed 2015 article about the company in the Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire. Balls are available from their website, on Amazon and on notonthehighstreet – http://www.jpricebath.co.uk
Urofoam (ukstressballs) in Cheshire, founded in 1988, make stressballs in England. Not just stress balls but stress balls in a wide variety of custom shapes. They sell these as a promotional items to companies for marketing campaigns. Urofoam say they are “the leading manufacturer and distributer of stressballs and foam balls in the western world…” Urofoam make foam footballs, indoor and outdoor foam sports balls, footbeds for shoes, car components, operating theatre equipment, medical furniture, playground equipment, baby changing mats, branded bar furniture, wheelchair cushions, mobile phone holders and specialised foam mouldings. At one point they also made shoes (as Softwalker Ltd from 2001 to closing the operation down in 2010). They say they “…produce everything in-house..”. They say that they are the only manufacturer of stress balls in Europe and they say “our stressballs are manufactured completely in the UK for maximum quality.”. Their factory is in Askam-in-Furness in Cumbria. They are also the maker of the gripsta mobile phone holder or stand, which they say is “completely UK manufactured”. They describe this as a fun and squidgy phone accessory that fits iPhone, HTC, Blackberry, Samsung, LG, Nokia and all other leading smartphone models. The Gripsta is a stand for your iPhone, other mobile phone or iPod made of foam (the same foam you’d find in a stress ball.). I should imagine it is great for watching films, as a mobile phone shoulder rest, and as a soft grip mobile phone holder, for use at home or in the office. In bright colours, Gripsta could also be used as a car mobile phone holder I think. It measures approximately 100mm x 70mm x 55mm and I imagine it would fit over any bumper and screen protector you might be using. On their website they say “Gripsta is a new gadget made in our own factory here in the UK” – http://ukstressballs.co.uk – http://gripsta.co.uk
British made golf posts
British made cricket bats and cricket accessories.
All Gunn and Moore (GM) English Willow cricket bats are designed and produced from English Willow in the GM factory in Nottingham, England. Their Kashmir bats are from India. They are not very forthcoming on their website as to the origin of their other cricket related products and I suspect they may be made abroad. This is equally true of other manufacturers such as Gray-Nicolls and Salix who do not state where most of their products are made, although again they appear to make their bats in the UK. I also understand that Warsop Stebbing bats are made in Essex and that most of the willow comes from J S Wright also in Essex (thanks to Mark for pointing this out).
So, you should have no difficulty finding a UK made bat from these or other companies but if you want a UK made bat do check it is actually manufactured in the UK (many brands manufacture their bats outside of Great Britain).
As for your other cricket gear check the labels or ask the supplier and you might be able to get UK made kit. Most suppliers are not very forthcoming on their websites about the origin of their other cricket related products. You can no longer assume that most cricket gear is made in the UK, so please check country of origin before buying.
Smart Turnout sell a range military, old school and university cricket jumpers (cricket seaters) made in England from pure wool and a range of university / military made in the UK 100% wool cricket caps.
Reader cricket and hockey balls. Many things have changed within the game of cricket and elsewhere in life since the first cricket balls were produced at Teston by the Alfred Reader Company in around 1808. One thing that has changed worse is that most Reader cricket balls are now cheap imported balls and the company is now owned by Australian company Kookaburra. Readers continues as the largest supplier of cricket balls in the UK and balls like the Reader Sovereign Special County are still made in the UK. I understand that their England made balls say “made in England” on them. Their other balls are made abroad. I’m not sure if they still make hockey balls and as they have no website it hard to find information on Reader cricket balls.
Tiflex Limited are manufacturers of rubber and cork products undertake high volume production as well as the manufacture of bespoke items for oil and gas, machinery mountings, structural bearings, railway track products, industrial flooring, marine decking and cricket balls. They have a manufacturing site, based at Liskeard in Cornwall. Oxbridge cricket balls by Tiflex are made in England and the range includes mens, ladies, junior, indoor, and hi visibility cricket balls – http://www.tiflex.co.uk – https://www.oxbridgeballs.co.uk
Luke Eyres has been supplying traditional made-in-England British fashion accessories such as college and university style scarves and wraps since 1894. They supply sports clubs and societies, as well as corporate and academic institutions with scarves, cricket / tennis sweaters, cricket caps, ties, and mascot bears (I very much doubt the bears themselves are made in England). Minimum order qualities apply. In 2002 Luke Eyres acquired Frederick Theak’s collar business and they now also produce an extensive range of traditional starched collars. On their website they say they are “a Cambridge based company dedicated to preserving and delivering the best of British craftsmanship traditions” and at the top of their website it says “Double Blue Luke Eyres Since 1894 Made in Cambridge, England”, so, whilst information about where they manufacture is sparse on their website, one gets the impression all their products are made in England (nevertheless, you would do well to check before ordering) – https://www.luke-eyres.co.uk
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