Monthly Archives: July 2013

Large Electrical Items (White Goods) Made in Britain – Water Coolers, Dehumidifiers, Freezers, Refrigerators, Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers, Gas and Electric Fires, Hostess Trolleys, Cookers, Wood Burning and Multi-Fuel Stoves

British Made Large Electrical Items (White Goods)  – Water Coolers, Dehumidifiers, Freezers, Refrigerators, Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers, Gas and Electric Fires, Hostess Trolleys, Cookers, Wood Burning and Multi-Fuel Stoves, etc.

New World cookers (part of Glen Dimplex) manufacture their built-in ovens, built-in hobs, range cookers, splashbacks, and some of their freestanding cookers in the UK. Their range hoods, refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers are now foreign made. You can see which items are British made in their brochure – http://www.newworld.co.uk

New World NW-50HLGE freestanding cooker. Made in Britain.

New World NW-50HLGE freestanding cooker. Made in Britain.

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British Made Padlocks and Locks, Security Chains, and so on; and British Made Lockers

I started off searching for a British made combination padlock, but there are very few UK made combination padlocks available. Key padlocks are available, although they can be hard to find. According to some people keyed padlocks are more secure and the numerals on the thumbwheels of combination locks tend to become difficult to read over time, as general wear (or just weathering) cause them to deteriorate. This makes these padlocks particularly ill suited to use in poor light conditions or in outdoor locations. I read somewhere that a combination lock code with three numbers can typically be cracked in roughly 40 minutes and that while a key padlock can be picked, they are considered more secure than their combination counterparts. A padlock becomes more secure if the shackle can be further protected from saw or bolt cutters by being enclosed. Of course with a keyed padlock you have to carry the keys around and you might lose the key or someone might copy it. Most padlocks can be cut with tools like bolt croppers and angle grinders. Most suitcase type smaller padlocks are not very secure. Most locks can be picked.

These are the British made padlocks I have found so far.  Do you know of any more?

Reece Safety Products Ltd – http://www.reecesafety.co.uk/Padlocks.htm – All their brass key padlocks are British made. Various keying options – differently keyed padlocks, padlocks keyed alike (same key fits many padlocks) and differently keyed plus a master key. Serial numbered. Various body sizes and shackle lengths. Wholesale or individual orders on their website.  Prices on their website exclude VAT and delivery. Please note their combination padlocks are not made in the UK.

B & G Lock and Tool Co. Ltdhttp://www.bgpadlocks.co.uk – Founded in 1945, the range of brass padlocks shown in their website is entirely British made at the Chapel Green works under the trade names STA-LOK, STA-SECURE and B & G. The company is now owned by Guardian Lock & Engineering Co. Ltd. Various keying options – differently keyed padlocks, padlocks keyed alike (same key fits many padlocks) and differently keyed plus a master key. Serial numbered. Various body sizes and shackle lengths. Custom padlocks, colour coding, chains and engraving available. Please note their combination padlocks are not made in the UK.

STA-LOK padlocks. Made in England.

STA-LOK padlocks. Made in England.

B & G 3/4" Extruded small Brass Padlock (A100 BS). Warded Padlock. Made in England.

B & G 3/4″ Extruded small Brass Padlock (A100 BS). Warded Padlock. Made in England.

Guardian Lock & Engineering Co. Ltd. – http://www.imperiallocks.co.uk – Founded in 1982, they operate from the Imperial Works (built for Imperial Locks in the early part of the twentieth century) – Trade only – Mortice locks, latches, rim cylinder latches, various keyed padlocks, traditional padlocks, escutcheon plates, keys and other complementary products made in the UK and marketed under trade name IMPERIAL.

Davenport-Burgess make the majority of their keys and key blanks in the UK – http://www.davenport-burgess.com

Squire (Henry Squire and Sons Ltd.) – Still have a UK factory, but only their high end high security padlock range is made in the UK – e.g. their SS50 combination lock (which is a larger strong exclusive padlock), the Squire SS50S keyed padlock, Squire Snaplok (a carabiner shaped combination bicycle lock) and Squire wall / ground anchors are made in Britain. British made Squire products are listed with a little Union Flag against the products details in their UK price list – http://www.squirelocks.co.uk

Squire SS50 Combi Padlocks. Made in Britain

Squire SS50 Combi Padlocks. Made in Britain

Squire Snaplok Combination Lock - Black, 26 cm. Made in Britain.

Squire Snaplok Combination Lock – Black, 26 cm. Made in Britain.

A company called Insight Security sell three types of a hefty padlock called the Rotalok padlock. In the pictures on their website you can clearly see the words ‘Made in England’ marked on these padlocks although the write-up they give makes no mention of country of origin. Another company called locksonline also sell the Rotalok, which they refer to as the Federal Rotalok, and they do refer to it as being a UK manufactured product and again in the pictures on their website the words ‘made in England’ are clearly visible. I do not know who makes padlocks but it is possible that BRAMAH (see below) is the mysterious UK manufacturer of the Rotalock. They certainly make a smilier padlock called the Kaye-Rota padlock. The photos may well be old ones, so please check country of origin before buying. Both Insight Security and locksonline have confirmed that these padlocks are still UK made (thanks to Rob for the information). They also point out that there are inferior Chinese made copies on the market – https://www.insight-security.com/rotalok-padlocks – https://www.locksonline.co.uk/Federal-Rotalok–without-cylinder.html

A Rotalok Open Shackle Padlock, clearly marked ‘Made in England’.

Bulldog Security products are mostly made in the UK and include chains, ground anchors, tow bar locks, wheel clamps and security posts. These products are aimed at motorbikes, caravans, trailers and the home – http://www.bulldogsecure.com

Tklamp is a new product, a device is focused on locking a bike at the crank arm and chain stay, possibly destined for release sometime in 2014 and set to be made in the UK by the Man Group co-operative – http://www.man-group.co.uk

Sterling (Sterling Locks Ltd.) padlocks and other products are made in China.

Tri-Circle padlocks are made in China.

Master Lock are an American company and some of their products are partially made in the USA.

Abus is a German company and their padlocks and other products are made in Germany or China.

Chubb according to their website no longer make locks or safes. Chubb safes are made by another company called Chubb Safes (who belong to Swedish company Gunnebo).  It does not say on their website that they still have a factory in the UK, so I suspect not. According to the internet Chubb Safes are now made in Sweden and Indonesia. Chubb locks is now a brand name of  Mul-T-Lock, a subsidiary of the Assa Abloy Group and the Chubb name is no longer used on their domestic locks. I am not sure if Mul-T-Lok products are made in the UK, so please check before buying. Assa Abloy also own Ingersoll Security and again you should check if their products are UK made. Chubb Locks Custodial Services Ltd continues as a trading division of ASSA ABLOY Limited. They continue UK manufacture of custodial locks and handcuffs for secure establishments, but if you are a buyer for such products you should check if you what you need is UK made. These changes to Chubb apparently came about due to the expiry of the licence granted by the American multi-national company who actually own the Chubb name. Assa Abloy also trade under the Abloy name, selling door locks, but their website does not mention manufacturing in the UK. Assa Abloy are a Swedish company.

Yale and Union (Josiah Parkes) are also part of the Assa Abloy Group. The Yale & Union production facility is still operational in Willenhall. Some heavy duty Yale padlocks are still made in the Midlands, as are some of their other products. You’ll have to ask which of their products are UK made, as country of origin is not shown on their website. Yale do not make any of their travel padlocks in the UK. Union High Security padlocks and their brass cylinder padlocks are made in the UK, but you will need to check whether their other padlocks and other products are still made in the UK.

Union 3102 Brass Body Padlock. Made in England.

Union 3102 Brass Body Padlock. Made in England.

Epic Safes have provided Safes to domestic, commercial and hotel leisure clients for nearly 25 years. Their factory is in Telford. They make cash safes, computer and laptop safes, fire safes, secure rooms, security cabinets, wall safes, vault doors, underfloor safes locks, etc – http://www.epicsafes.co.uk

SMP Security Solutions are British safe manufacturers. They make cash safes, security cabinets, steel security doors, jewellery safes, underfloor safes, drugs cabinets, gun cabinets, etc. Their website has the Made in Britain marque and they describe their safes as a “quality British made product from a trusted security safes manufacturer” – http://www.smpsecurity.co.uk

For more gun safes please click here.

Phoenix safes are a “proper” old English brand who describe themselves as “A UK Manufacturer” & make use of the Union Flag on their site. In May 2017 they informed Rob (one of my contributors) that they no longer produce ANYTHING in the UK.

Hiatt handcuffs were made in England, but if you are procuring for law enforcement and you want to buy British you should buy from TCH instead. Hiatt handcuffs are now a part of the Monadnock brand, itself part of Safariland. Monadnock batons are American made. The story of Hiatt is a typical one actually. 200 year old plus successful British company purchased by a foreign company, shortly afterwards the factory is closed down and production is moved to the home nation of the buying company. This particular story has a couple of interesting twists though and unusually a happy ending! To start with it was a British company BAE who closed the factory. Hiatt Handcuffs in England was acquired by American company Armor Holdings in 2006. Armor Holdings was then acquired by British company BAE Systems. The Hiatt factory in Birmingham, England was closed in late June, 2008. BAE dropped the name Hiatt in favour of the rather ridiculous brand name for handcuffs of Safariland. The company was then re-aquired by what was effectively Armor Holdings again in 2012, who have since reinstated the name Hiatt, along with also reinstating some American names like Monadnock. This part of the story is better explained here. But what about that happy ending? Well, the old Hiatt factory was taken over by a new company and they are producing cuffs in Birmingham, England with the name “TCH” (Total Control Handcuffs UK Ltd). The range of cuffs and batons available is similar to what Hiatt used to offer and includes rigid cuffs, hinged cuffs, chain cuffs, disposable handcuffs, standard and large keys, and collapsible batons. Quality is second to none, the products themselves are subtly stamped “made in England”. Law enforcement organisations in the UK and worldwide are now buying TCH handcuffs and batons and TCH cuffs and batons are manufactured in the UK – http://www.tchuklimited.co.uk

TCH rigid handcuffs. Made in England. Photograph by author.

TCH rigid handcuffs. Made in England. Photograph by author.

For British made leather (or synthetic) accessories to go with handcuffs and batons, there is Price Western (PWL) for example, who make their handcuff holsters in Great Britain. Price Western leather and synthetic equipment for law enforcement and security professionals is nearly all made in the UK. They make uniform belts, holsters, pouches, handcuff holders, knife holders, equipment bags, etc for police, security, medical and military personnel. On the front page of their website they state that over 99% of their product range is UK made – “Proud of our heritage. UK Based design and production facility. We are proud to have a workforce in the UK that produces over 99% of our product range.” No country of origin information is given on their website, so you’ll have to ask for British made. Only available to security professionals. They also sell some foreign made items such as LED Lenser torches – http://www.pwluk.com

PWL RCP-7 B/14 right-handed leather handcuff holster. Made in England. Front view. Photograph by author.

PWL RCP-7 B/14 right-handed leather handcuff holster. Made in England. Front view. Photograph by author.

PWL RCP-7 B/14 right-handed leather handcuff holster. Made in England. Rear label view. Photograph by author.

PWL RCP-7 B/14 right-handed leather handcuff holster. Made in England. Rear label view. Photograph by author.

For British made police warrant card holders, try Heritage Leather Goods. Check these will be manufactured in England before buying. Heritage Leathergoods are a British manufacturer of high quality leathergoods based in Birmingham, England. They specialise in the production of an extensive range of tailor made corporate and promotional leather goods, leather items for law enforcement agents (such as warrant card holders), leather goods for the fire service, leather goods for train operators, coin purses, tobacco pouches, guitar straps, mens and womens fashion belts, corporate and promotional belts, and workwear belts. Items they make in England include leather security wallets, leather travel wallets, leather coin purses, leather tobacco pouches, various studded leather items, leather technology cases, leather belts, leather trinket boxes, leather photo frames, leather wallets, leather pen cases, leather pencil pots, leather guitar straps, and the like. They use the brand name “Rangemaster”. Trade only, but they also have an eBay store (where they also sell quite a lot of foreign made goods, so take care when choosing) and some products are available direct from the company online via their website – http://www.heritageleathergoods.co.uk

Peter Jones (ILG) Ltd industrial leather goods make leather carriage and protection systems for law enforcement use. Founded in 1967, their website says “We are manufacturers, not mere resellers, and all our holders are made in our own factory in the UK.” Best known for their Klick Fast system for carrying radios and other equipment and radio cases – http://www.peterjonesilg.co.uk – http://www.klickfast.com

Erebus (door locks) and Legge (locks and latches) and Briton (door locks) are now part of the Irish company Ingersoll Rand and there is no mention of UK production on their website. So, whilst I assume they are foreign made you should check with Ingersoll Rand if you are interested in their products.

Bramah manufacture Bramah padlocks and Rola locks for sash windows and the like, as well as selling the Bramah Kaye range of English made locks, and being a locksmiths – door locks, window locks, gate locks, at least one padlock and so on. Check with them before buying that the product you want is made in England. In their online catalogue Bramah say “The Bramah range of English Padlocks are all made in England”. Their factory is in Romford, Essex – http://www.bramah.co.uk

Banham Patent Locks Ltd. http://www.banham.co.uk/locks/padlocks/ – their exclusive keyed padlocks are made in the UK. I am not sure about their other products, so please check before buying.

P2005 Banham Open-shackled Padlock. Made in Britain.

P2005 Banham Open-shackled Padlock. Made in Britain.

ERA – http://www.era-security.com (GroupHomeSafe) – nightlatches, mortice locks, multi-point locks, window locks, other hardware for doors and windows.  Their traditional style padlocks are made in England. Check country of manufacture before buying. ERA also distributes Wordlock combination padlocks but these are made in China. Era padlocks are available from retailers such as locksonline – http://www.erahomesecurity.com

ERA Closed Shackle Padlock - 64mm. Made in England.

ERA Closed Shackle Padlock – 64mm. Made in England.

Pro-Lockhttp://www.pro-lock.co.uk – brass padlocks are made in the UK. Various keying options – differently keyed padlocks, padlocks keyed alike (same key fits many padlocks) and differently keyed plus a master key. Serial numbered. Various body sizes and shackle lengths. Not sure of the country of origin of their other products.  No combination locks.

Quality Lock Co. – http://www.qualitylocks.co.uk – rim locks, mortice locks, night latches, gate locks, brass ships locks, galley locks and furniture locks, fire escape locks, cell locks and hospital locks; plus repairs. Not padlocks. They are also the sole manufacturers of old James Gibbons Range of locks and keys. Please check before buying that what you want is made in the UK. The Quality Lock Company is a subsidiary of Kirkpatrick Limited. 

John Worrall and Sons – http://www.jworrall-locks.co.uk – Locks, keys and associated hardware, mortice locks, sash locks, cabinet locks, traditionally styled padlocks. All made in England as far as I can tell, but do check before purchase.

Abbey England, Royal Warrant holders , founded in 1982, own Abbey Foundry in Walsall which was formerly B B Stanley Brothers, of Walsall, the last remaining brass buckle foundry in the UK saddlery trade, the name and premises having been acquired by Abbey England in 2009. Established in 1837, Stanley’s brass foundry has built up a range of patterns over the years, covering all types and sizes of brass buckles, headcollar and harness fittings and fashion belt and bag fittings and vehicle fittings and more recently diversified into commemorative plaques and brasses, handles and fittings for vintage cars and boats etc, fridge door fittings and door furniture. The B B Stanley Brothers, of Walsall company was dissolved in 2013 a while after the takeover by Abbey England. Metals Cast are Brass, Nickel Silver, Aluminium Bronze, Pewter, and possibility of other non-ferrous metals if quantities are high enough for ongoing orders. The Casting Method is Green sand casting. The Casting Sizes are Box Size: 12″ by 18″ and Maximum Weight: Up to 1.5kg. Abbey England also own Liston Locks, a British brass lock maker, making trunk locks, briefcase locks, gun case locks, truck and briefcase corner fittings and so on. Abbey England are also importers, so many things they sell including some buckles, brass ware, vehicle restoration components are foreign made. Trade only – http://www.abbeyfoundry.co.uk

Walsall Locks Ltd. (ACE Locks; Zeni Locks) – http://www.walsall-locks.co.uk – manufacturers a traditional range of locks, assembles locks in the UK from imported components and sells imported products – mortice locks, safe locks, padlocks, cabinet locks, etc. You will need to ask if the product you are interested in is made / assembled in the UK. They have made in England keyed padlocks – close shackle and old English, armoured bodied and basic brass – confirmed by the company as all manufactured in the UK.  Walsall padlocks are available (trade only) at SKS Ltd. and on the internet and in shops.

Ace Old English 4 Lever Steel Padlock Made In England.

Ace Old English 4 Lever Steel Padlock Made In England.

1st Access Self Storage in Peterborough say they sell a combination lock that is hand made in the UK. I have not seen this product though.

Pragmasis (securityforbikes.com; formerly torc-anchors.com) manufacture in the UK ground anchors, security chains (suitable as bike locks) and shed shackles, useful for a variety of securing applications including securing bicycles and motorbikes. They also supply Squire padlocks to go with these products, some of which are made in the UK (you will have to ask which or better still ask Squire – only Squire high-end high security padlocks are made in the UK nowadays). The raw chain is from Europe but the specialised treatment – cutting, hardening, de-embrittlement and electro-plating are all done by companies in the West Midlands and the final cutting-to-length and sleeving at the unit in Tamworth. Each chain comes with a woven polyester sleeve – http://securityforbikes.com

Pragmasis Protector 11mm Security Chain. Made in the UK.

Pragmasis Protector 11mm Security Chain. Finished in the UK.

Almax security chains for for motorcycles, quad bikes, bicycles, cars, caravans, boats, trailers, etc are British made. In answer to the FAQ “Where are the Almax Chains made?” they say “We are proud that all our processes are carried out here in England, even down to the logo’s on our sleeves. We are a British Company and take pride in British engineering prowess.” Elsewhere on their website they say “All Immobiliser Chains are triple tempered, BRITISH steel, enhanced with carbon, manganese and boron, case hardened with 3 separate processes and zinc plated.” The padlock they sell to go with their chains is the British manufactured Squire (see above) SS65CS Stronghold closed shackle padlock. They also sell a ground anchor called the Defiant (or Rhino Defiant) Ground Anchor which they say is “Designed and manufactured in Britain!” (this is made by a company called Defiant Security Systems but I can’t find any more information about them on the net) – http://www.almax-security-chains.co.uk

Asgard provide a range of British made virtually theft-proof ALL METAL bike storage sheds made from heavy gauge steel with a range of approved locking mechanisms, and fitted with an integral metal floor – designed to deter criminals and keep your bikes safe. They also make secure garden sheds, motorcycle storage sheds and storage sheds for schools and other institutions – http://www.asgardsss.co.uk

Bison are a supplier and manufacturer of Ladders and Accessories, Cycle, and Security Products based in the UK.” They say on their website “All of our products are designed & manufactured in the UK”. They also stock products from other manufacturers and these are mostly foreign made. They also stock Youngman ladders. They are a manufacturer of metal tubing products based in Staffordshire and their own products include our cycle racks, tubing, and ladder accessories. British made items include high security hasps, telescopic and fold down security posts – these were the only items I could see on their website that were labelled as British made – but it would be worth asking about any product because they say all their products are manufactured in the UK (all their own brand products?) – http://www.bisonproducts.co.uk

I also know of these companies, who make lockers in the UK:-

http://www.staylock.co.uk – Staylock Ltd, locker makers, say on their website that they “are proud to manufacture in the U.K.”

http://www.link51.com – Link51 are based in Telford and are the biggest UK manufacturer of lockers and  also make Shelving and Pallet Racking. They buy some UK made locks and others from European or Chinese sources.

http://www.robinsonmeshproducts.co.uk 

http://www.premierlockers.co.uk

http://www.premierlimited.co.uk – lockers, cycle shelters, bus shelters, smoking shelters, etc.

http://www.probe-lockers.co.uk

If you feel the urge to lock up your wheelie bin, this company manufacture wheelie bin locks in the UK – http://www.oasisbinloc.co.uk/madeintheuk.php

http://www.zedlock.com – make farm gate locks in the UK.

John Lewis to ‘repatriate’ textile manufacturing in made in Britain push – Telegraph

John Lewis to ‘repatriate’ textile manufacturing in made in Britain push – Telegraph.

I originally saw this on the Tumblr blog by Spoke – http://spokefit.com – https://twitter.com/spokefit – Spoke have their men’s trousers made in London, England and the prices are reasonable.  Made using mostly Italian components.*

*Having looked at the spoke website and blog again today (22/11/14) I can find no reference to any of their products being made in England and on Facebook it says they are made in Europe, so this is wrong.  Spoke clothes appear to be foreign made after all, although they do say they use some British fabrics.

It would be nice if JLP really does increase their proportion of British made products they sell. If they can bring more textile manufacture back to the UK in doing so all the better.

Disappointingly John Lewis do not always label their products with the country of origin and where this is the case the products in question are foreign made.  JLP still have quite a way to go, as most of the products in their stores are foreign made.

The article also mentions “on-shoring” by other companies, including:

  • Topshop giving more work to British suppliers.
  • DFS increasing its UK production.
  • Hornby planning to make a new range of Airfix kits in Newhaven, East Sussex.
  • And online bathroom company Bathrooms.com giving more work to British suppliers.

Long may this trend continue.

 

Hairbrushes and Combs that are made in the UK

British made hairbrushes and combs.

Denman brushes are top quality and they still produce the majority of their products in the UK. Check the packaging and if it is UK made it should say so.  Unfortunately country of origin information is not given on their website (but country of origin labelling can be seen in some of the pictures). Some Denman products are foreign made, for example their JDMB55 Jack Dean Military Brush is made in the Far East and their JDCB Jack Dean Club Brush is foreign made too. I understand the Denman branded range of brushes are all made at their factory in Bangor, Northern Ireland. Denham combs seem to be made in the UK too, but do check the packaging to be sure – http://www.denmanbrush.com

Denman D14 Small 5 Row Styling Brush. Made in Northern Ireland.

Denman D14 Small 5 Row Styling Brush. Made in Northern Ireland.

Denman made in the UK combs on display in Tesco Flitwick 1 Feb 2017.

Denman made in the UK combs on display in Tesco Flitwick 1 Feb 2017. Photograph by author.

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Ironwork | Ironmongery | Metalwork | Door and Window Furniture | Architectural Ironmongery | Doors and Windows | Fireplaces and Accessories

The Blacksmiths Shop in Langley, near Slough manufacture hand forged Gates, Railings and Bespoke Metalwork, as well as selling fire grates (fire dogs), fire guards and fire accessories, often made in Britain, and are a stockist of Aarrow Stoves wood burning stoves and Kirkpatrick ironmongery – http://www.theblacksmithshop.co.uk

The Woodee produce “Handcrafted fire pits and artisan tools and stylish accessories for wood burners, open fires and fire pits designed and made in Herefordshire, England.” Freestanding fire pits/ground level BBQs, BBQ tools, fire irons and tools, log log baskets, and bellows – http://www.thewoodee.com

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British Made Glasses – British Made Spectacles – British Made Prescription Glasses – British Made Sunglasses – British Made Glasses, Lenses, and Contact Lenses

Are you glasses, contact lenses or sunglasses made in Great Britain?

I was at the opticians in June (in 2013) and I realised that it was not clear where most of the spectacle frames and lenses on offer were made. Most High Street opticians need to be more knowledgeable and more open about the origin of the products they sell. I thought I would do a bit of research so we can all buy British made glasses and British made sunglasses. This is what I have found so far. Are there any more glasses or contact lenses that are made in the UK?

Algha Group Ltd. (Savile Row Eyewear) – Wiseman’s – made in London – http://www.algha.com – metal frames – fabulous round (as in John Lennon’s glasses), panto, half-eye, oval, clip-on, rimless, aviator, etc. frames – available (with lenses) from stockists listed on their website – Frame prices from around £300. On their website they say “All of our frames are handmade in London”. Savile Row were founded in 1898 and are now part of the Inspecs group.

See this BBC article about Algha – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22766785 – the other manufactures I list here might dispute the claim in this video that they are the only frame maker in the UK!

Savile Row glasses - WARWICK MODEL OSRC8 (ROUND 'W' BRIDGE NO. 48 H/E) - made in England.

Savile Row glasses – WARWICK MODEL OSRC8 (ROUND ‘W’ BRIDGE NO. 48 H/E) – made in England.

Roger Pope and Partners – Independent Optician in London – Holders of a Royal Warrant By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen – Perhaps surprisingly Savile Row frames are the only UK made frames they stock. At Roger Pope you can though have bespoke spectacles made for you by two individual frame designers based in the UK. I know nothing more about their bespoke made frames than that. One UK lens manufacturer, Norville, is included in the lenses they use; the rest being foreign. The majority of their spectacle accessories are made in Germany or Italy. Eye tests. Possibly they do not do contact lenses. Open Monday to Friday 09.00 – 17.30.

http://www.rogerpope.co.uk

https://www.coronationfestival.com/the-event/exhibitor-news/119-new-bespoke-eyewear-launch-from-roger-pope-partners – Diamond encrusted specs by Roger Pope!

According to the internet (and I know nothing more about it) pq Eyewear are launching a range of 3D printed spectacles and sunglasses called “Springs” and they are described as being made in the UK – http://www.dezeen.com/2013/04/10/springs-3d-printed-glasses-by-ron-arad-for-pq/http://pq-eyewear.com. Their first ‘D’ frame collection was launched in March 2015 and is both sunglasses and optical glasses. No mention is made of country of origin on their website, but some of the pictures appear to show the words “Made in England” written on one arm of the spectacles, so if you are interested it would be worth asking where these glasses are made. No mention on their website of how to buy these glasses or how much they cost – http://pqeyewear.com

Haycyon manufacture British made motorcycle goggles in Hertfordshire, England – http://halcyonclassic.store.buegle.com/index.php/2/ – Haycyon also make motorcycle mirrors and classic car mirrors. Manufactured in the UK and based on the original RAF flying goggle of the 1940’s Halcyon Goggles are a popular choice for use with all styles of open face helmets. Leather or PVC. Wholesale or via their website. Prescription lenses can be accommodated with the Halcyon lens frame by your optician (+6 to -6 lenses) or Halcyon goggles can worn over prescription glasses.  Possibly you could wear Haycyon goggles for skiing / snowboarding over your prescription glasses?  Or I wonder if the likes of Premier Optical or Opera Opera could make you glasses / sunglasses suitable for skiing or other sports?

http://halcyonclassic.store.buegle.com/index.php/2/

Mark 49 Halcyon Goggles - Black Leather. Made in England.

Mark 49 Halcyon Goggles – Black Leather. Made in England.

I found Haycycon goggles on the Davida Helmets website. Davida helmets – stylish handmade open face helmets made in England. Davida are now the sole UK manufacturers of open face motorcycle helmets – http://www.davida.co.uk

Dr Who (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) in The Bells of Saint John, March 2013, riding a Triumph and wearing the Davida Classic helmet (sadly the goggles are French made).

Dr Who (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) in The Bells of Saint John, March 2013, riding a Triumph and wearing the Davida Classic helmet (sadly the goggles are French made).

Despite their protestations about being a British brand, I note that William Morris spectacles are in fact made abroad. Likewise, Cutler and Gross glasses are made in Italy.

There are many other ‘English’ brands also being sold using PR and hype to unsuspecting Brits, Europeans, Japanese and the Americans giving the impression that the product has been made in England. Frames now tend to be produced in China mostly and possibly in Europe.

Specsavers – frames and lenses supplied from Italy, France, China and Korea.

Dollond & Aitchison / Boots – lenses are possibly supplied by BBGR and possibly still made in the UK at a former D&A manufacturing operation or perhaps they are made in France. BBGR are a French company who bought the Dolland and Aitchison manufacturing operations in 2001. Dolland and Aitchison were subsumed into Boots Opticians in 2009. Boots Opticians is controlled by Alliance Boots, which holds a 58% share, while Italian company De Rigo holds a 42% share. Boots UK Limited (Boots the Chemist) is now American owned and part of what is now know as Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Boots frames are generally made abroad but some frames Boots claim are made in the UK – you should ask them for British made frames but I think they will be hard if not impossible to find.

Optical Express – didn’t respond to my enquiry about where their products were made but I understand their frames and lenses are made abroad.

Vision Express – frames and lenses are made abroad.

So basically the big High Street opticians only sell 100% imported frames (and possibly lenses too). There might be some very English names marked on inside of the temples but you will not find made in England glasses at these big retailers.

I asked some online opticians about where the frames and lenses they sell are made. GlassesUK.com suspect their fames are made abroad (and I suggest they are correct about this), although their lenses are apparently made by a firm in the Midlands; glassesdirect.co.uk (French optical group Essilor) believe some of their frames are made in the UK (I am not convinced this is the case and I have been told they are all made in Asia) but most are made abroad and again their lenses are apparently made in the UK; lensWay.co.uk (Vision Direct) appeared not to understand the question and we can assume all their frames and lenses are made abroad. Cubitts have all their frames made abroad, although they do use British made lenses. Well Dressed Dad explains what he considers the advantages of buying spectacles online (principally cheapness and avoiding the dominance of the Italian companies Luxottica and SafIilo who make most of the world’s “designer” frames).

The big eyewear manufacturing and retail companies, who make and sell the big designer name brands, the Italian companies Luxottica, SafIilo and Marcolin do not manufacture in the UK. There is some information about their brands (Armani, Oakley, Rayban, Paul Smith, Chanal, Gucci, etc.) here and here.

Opera Opera are a British company (established in 1978). They manufacture off-the-peg and bespoke custom handmade prescription glasses, spectacle frames and sunglasses in-house at their own English eye glasses frame making factory – using the brand name of Harpers. They make plastic frames only. They are able to make a one off copy of any vintage plastic frame. Supplier to theatre, television and film production companies. Made in England. As well as their own manufactured eyewear Opera Opera also stock European made spectacle frames and sunglasses, so check what you are buying is made in the UK. Opera Opera also stock Saville Row Eyewear. At 98 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9NR. Telephone 020 7836 9246. No internet sales. Eye tests. Not contact lenses. Near Covent Garden tube, open Monday to Saturday 10.00-18.00. Frame prices start at around £180 (sunglasses start at £205) and the average price of frames is £275 (plus lenses). Custom frames start at £425 (plus lenses). I note their retail business is up for sale which is a shame and asking for problems as they will potentially lose their only guaranteed outlet in the future. They moved at the start of 2016. After 33 years in Covent Garden, Opera Opera are now at 20 Percy Street, London, W1T 1DZ (on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Percy Street; near Russell Square Tube station and Goodge Street Tube station) and operate a by appointment only system – http://www.operaopera.net

Harpers Dean frames. Made in England.

Harpers Dean frames by Opera Opera. Made in England.

Opera Opera opticians - their new premises from the start of 2016 - on the corner of Tottenhamd Court Road and Percy Street (near Russell Square Tube station and Goodge Street Tube station).

Opera Opera opticians – their new premises from the start of 2016 – on the corner of Tottenhamd Court Road and Percy Street (near Russell Square Tube station and Goodge Street Tube station). Photograph by author.

Opera Opera opticians, London - window display, January 2016.

Opera Opera opticians, London – window display, January 2016. Photograph by author.

Opera Opera Opticans London - their old premises in Covent Garden (at 98 Long Acre), 2014 Google Maps photograph.

Opera Opera Opticans London – their old premises in Covent Garden (at 98 Long Acre), 2014 Google Maps photograph.

TEYES (pronounced “Ties”) magnetically connected eyewear “have been designed in London and Made in England” by a company called Magneteyes UK Ltd. Lenses can be replaced, they have extendable arms for a comfortable fit, they weigh 11g (without lenses), a headband to keep the glasses around the neck when not in use, they are screwless and magnetically fasten across the bridge of the nose. They come as off-the-shelf reading glasses with lenses included or frame only or with single vision prescription lenses for reading or distance lenses (with anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings for extra). Prices seem very reasonable (as of 3/6/16) with reading glasses for £35 and prescription glasses for £50-£65. Colours are black, red, blue, white and clear. They also do sunglasses at £40 and replacement lenses for £18 for readers and £25 for prescription lenses. Free UK shipping. One size. Available from their website – http://www.magneteyesuk.co.uk

TEYES magnetic glasses. Made in England.

TEYES magnetic glasses. Made in England.

Walter and Herbert are a company that is new to me. They are one of my twitter followers. Their twitter tagline is “Beautiful eyewear designed, manufactured and tested in England.” It appears the company was founded in 1946 as the Optoplast Manufacturing Company Limited and was once “the largest producer of spectacle frame sides in England”. Of production today they say on their website that their frames are “Skilfully crafted in our factory in England”. This implies they still have their own factory, but no information is given about a current UK factory although they do mention new machines arriving at a factory in Liverpool during 2014 on their timeline. They sell mostly acetate frames made from foreign sourced acetate, suitable for prescription glasses and sunglasses. I can find no indication on their website that they can provide lenses and their is no indication of price on their website. They have a shop in London near Covent Garden and their frames may be available elsewhere. At some point I will try to visit their London shop to find out more about this company – http://www.walterandherbert.com

Edward Gucewiczhttp://www.gucewicz.com/about/ – glasses frames made from horn and bone in the UK. Sunglasses or they can fit prescription lenses. Prices range from £600 to £1200.

Edward Gucewicz - horn 1 - real horn frame. water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). black - dark grey lenses. Handmade in London, UK.

Edward Gucewicz – horn 1 – real horn frame. water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). black – dark grey lenses. Handmade in London, UK.

Banton Frames (Banton Frame Works) eyewear is made in Britain, in Scotland. Their frames are made from wood, aluminium, and acetate This expanding companies website was launched sometime around 2014/15 and they are currently running a kickstarter campaign. Sunglasses and I assume frames into which you could get an optician to add lenses. They don’t seem to have prescription lenses fitting service – http://www.bantonframeworks.co.uk

Moat House Eyewear frames are made in England, made from wood. Stockists are listed on their website or you can purchase online via their website. All processes, including glazing, are done in-house – http://www.moat-house.com

Moat House wooden glasses frames on display in Buford Woodcraft. Photograph by author.

Moat House wooden glasses frames on display in Buford Woodcraft. Photograph by author.

Termite Eyewear frames are made in Britain, made from wood – http://www.termiteeyewear.com

Barrow and Flux wooden framed glasses and sunglasses are made in Dorset, England – http://barrowandflux.com

Premiere Optical – Make handmade spectacles, and sunglasses, and do spectacle repairs, and they are able to make a one off copy of any vintage plastic frame – made in the UK – retail or trade – basically at Premiere Optical you can have any style, any frame, any size, any colour & any lens that you want, including metal and rimless frames, but they very much specialise in plastic frames – available at selected opticians and online at the Premier Optical website – http://www.premiere-optical.co.uk – frames and lenses – Custom made or choose from one of their existing designs – Premiere Optical also make classic and / or modern glasses for the theatre, TV & film industry. Hand-made, bespoke glasses made in the UK in any style, frame, design, colour, size & lens. Their brand name is JB Handmades. Their range is split into “maids” (for women), “blades” (for men), “shades” (sunglasses) and “tailor mades” (custom made), as well as Michael Cain, Johnny Depp and Retro styles. Prices for frames starting from around £100. I would highly recommend Premiere Optical for excellent service and quality glasses – http://www.premiere-optical.co.uk

JB’s Michael Caines. Made in England.

JB’s Michael Caines. Made in England.

JB Handmades Tommy (Black). Made in England. (1)

JB Handmades Tommy Spectacles (Black). Made in England. (1)

JB Handmades Tommy (Black). Made in England. (2)

JB Handmades Tommy Spectacles (Black). Made in England. (2)

http://www.premiere-optical.co.uk

http://www.specrepairs.com – for spectacle repairs.  Also spectacle re-glazing.

Mills & Meyer bespoke have been producing bespoke, handmade glasses since 2015. They have a large collection of their own designs that customers can buy ‘off the peg’ or they can customise them to fit perfectly and even design totally bespoke frames for customers on a one to one basis. They are unique in that they 3D scan their bespoke eyewear customers building a virtual model of their head on a computer on which they design a pair of glasses to fit perfectly. Once  happy with the design, they 3D print a full size prototype so that the customer can try them and they can check for fit and style. Finally they hand make the frame. They specialise in handmade buffalo horn glasses but they can use any material from acetate to wood or even something more unusual. They are shortly going to be launching their e-commerce site so people will be able to purchase online. These are exclusive products, handmade in England. They use Italian acetates and naturally sourced Buffalo horn. Their website mentions visiting their shop which I assume is in Westerham in Kent. They do not mention fitting prescription lenses on their website – https://www.millsmeyer.com

LARKE Optics glasses frames are made  in England (from Italian acetate). They will provide lenses but they do not say where they are made. Stockists are listed on their website or you can visit their London showroom. Off-the-shelf or bespoke – http://larkeoptics.com

Tender Sunglasses are a new line from Tender and are hand made in England.  Available online only from The Trestle Shop, but they may become available in stores. Non-precsription dark lenses, but an optician could probably insert prescription lenses. I am not sure who makes these for Tender. Priced £445. I discovered these on The Tweed Pig. I think Tender produce low volumes and and therefore have limited availability.

Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses are made in Italy, Japan, Germany and England. Stockists are listed on their website. I’m not sure how you tell which ones are made in England, except perhaps by asking, and I think it is just their bespoke and custom sized frames that are made in England. I am not sure who makes their UK made bespoke frames for them. Presumably one could have prescription lenses fitted in their sunglasses if required.

Fan Optics – I came across this company on the internet and don’t know much about them, but they appear to manufacture plastic glasses frames and sunglasses for men and women in the UK (using Italian acetate). They do not offer a pescription lens fitting service for their frames, but stockists are listed on their website. Interestingly they say they are “designed in Amsterdam and handmade in England” – http://fanoptics.bigcartel.com

The only UK stockist of Fan Optics is Mcclintock Eyewear, an opticians who have a shop in Covent Garden in London. Fan Optics is not mentioned on the Mcclintok website though and this opticians do not stock any other British made brands. C.W. Dixey & Son frames, which they do stock, are made in France, as are YMC v Mc Ginn frames and so to are Kirk Originals. Paul Smith frames are made in Italy or Japan. It has been suggested to me that Brian (Bonafide) McGinn glasses are made in the UK, but actually they seem to be made in France according to McClintock Eyewear – http://www.mcclintock-eyewear.co.uk

Established in 1777, C.W. Dixey & Son of London claim to be the oldest independent eyewear company in the world and distinguished clients have included various Royalty, Sir Winston Churchill and James Bond creator, Ian Fleming, but sadly their frames (and lenses?) are made in France according to their website.  However, their Facebook page claims their glasses are made in England and France, so it might be worth asking them for made in England glasses.  I did ask them; all their frames are made in France, although they can offer bespoke glasses that would be made in England.  I note C.W. Dixey no longer have physical premises, but retail online and though other opticians.  http://www.cwdixeyandson.com

E B Meyrowitz in the Royal Arcade, Old Bond Street, London show a pair of made in England glasses on the front page of their website (picture below). Off the shelf or bespoke, most frames are acetate although water buffalo horn and shell are also available. The three E B Meyrowitz practices in London, Paris and New York are independent of each other. There is an interesting article about  E B Meyrowitz dated April 2011 on the Gentleman’s Gazette site.  Frames are made in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Morocco, India and possibly even England. Try asking for English made frames and lenses; as they show English made frames on their website’s homepage they might have some  – http://ebmeyrowitz.co.uk

EB Meyrowitz Home Page picture, June 2014

EB Meyrowitz Home Page picture, June 2014

The Eye Company in Soho, London only stock foreign made off-the-shelf fames, mostly from Japan, Italy and France. However, they also offer a bespoke service and it says on their website that they have their own “master frame-maker’ and can make frames to a customer’s chosen design or replica frames.  Having checked with them, their bespoke acetate frames are made for them by a frame maker in Norfolk, England – http://www.eye-company.co.uk

Anglo American Eyewear apparently closed their UK factory down years ago and now make their frames in China. However, according to their website they do still have a facility in London that can hand make a copy of an existing frame for customers (although strangely this service is only advertised on the Anglo American US (.com) site and is not advertised on the Anglo American UK (co.uk) site). Anglo American Eyewear spectacle frames do have the word “England” on the arm, but that does not mean they are made in England! They did not repond to my enquiry about country of origin. Anglo American Optical Company LTD was founded in London in 1882.

David Cox Bespoke Eyewear offers an exclusive bespoke frame making service to opticians. All frames are produced by hand and made to order. David Cox can make frames to a customer’s chosen size or replica frames. He has worked for many of the London opticians mentioned in this article. If you are an optician I can put you in touch with David Cox.

British spectacles manufacturers Cambridge Optical and Paul Green Eyewear have long ceased as manufacturing enterprises and appear to have closed down now.

Sunwise sports sunglasses list some of their sunglasses as being ‘made in Great Britain’ on their website. My understanding (from comments on a British Family article) is that they are assembled in Great Britain, but the parts made overseas. As James at British Family says “it is a fine line between assembly and manufacture” but it seems in this case that these sunglasses are not actually ‘made’ in Great Britain, so I feel the Sunwise website is a bit misleading – http://shop.sunwise.co.uk

You could also consider vintage eyewear. I got a couple of old English made frames at the Sunday UpMarket in London at a very reasonable price. Except perhaps with sunglasses, you will of course have to pay to have them re-glazed, and if you are buying online you might not actually like them when you wear them for real. You might try http://lunetteslondon.com (they have a stall at Brick Lane vintage market and some other stockists, so you can try them on or you can buy online; country of origin is not given online so you would need to ask) for example or online only http://www.deadmensspex.com (re-conditioned frames; country of origin is not given so you would need to ask; they also sell on eBay) or Roope Vintage (who sell some unused vintage glasses & sunglasses, as well as modern foreign made reproductions; they can also arrange to fit frames with prescription lenses; unfortunately they don’t give country of origin information so you would have to ask). Retro Spectacle specialise in the sale of vintage spectacles – if known they will specify the country of origin. Many of the frames they have were made in Britain. As they are also opticians we can provide any prescription lenses. Online only as far as I can tell. Retro Spectacle also attend vintage fairs and events giving people the opportunity to try on frames and allowing them to dispense more complex prescriptions .

Occles make blackout sunglasses in the UK. Blackout sunglasses basically block the sun completely while sunbathing while allowing you to tan without the usual white lines traditional sunnies might make. Additionally they can aid relaxation by allowing you to effectively block out light and get some much-needed rest, for example if you are travelling or after working a nightshift. At £22 a pair (+£3 postage) they are a bargain. Occles went into production at the start of 2015 and are available in white, carbon or aqua – http://www.occles.co

Occles being used for sun protection

Occles being used for sun protection

Occles being used on an aeroplane

Occles being used on an aeroplane

Polaroid Eyewear is now part of the Italian Safilo Group. They have manufacturing plants in Italy (x 3), Slovenia, Scotland, the United States and China, and production is also outsourced to third-party manufacturers in Asia, Italy, and the U.S. ‘PLR Ecommerce, LLC’ own what is now a separate company who appear to be making Polaroid cameras again. My understanding is that Polaroid was an American company previously. Polaroid cameras used to be made in Scotland but not any more. Some Polaroid lenses are still made in Scotland, whereas their frames are all foreign made. Presumably Polaroid lenses are available in opticians, but no mention is made of this on the Polaroid website; it just sells various sunglasses and no country of origin information is given. I guess some of the sunglasses on the site might be fitted with lenses made in Scotland, but there is no way to tell from their website. There’s an interesting history of the Vale of Leven Industrial Estate in Dumbarton and Polaroid here.

http://polaroideyewear.com/uk/

http://www.polaroidsunglasses.co.uk

Norville spectacle lenses are (all?) made in the UK. They have manufacturing facilities in Gloucester, Bolton , Edinburgh, Harrogate, and Seaham. They also sell foreign made frames and so on – http://www.norville.co.uk

Scotlens contact lenses are made in the UK.  Manufacturers of ‘Nocturnal’ lenses, ‘K-Contour’ contact lenses and ‘One-8’ lenses. Presumably available at some opticians.

Daysoft contact lenses are made in the UK and are very reasonably priced. Available online – http://www.daysoftcontactlenses.com. They also sell glasses on their website but these are foreign made. However, the lenses for their glasses are glazed to the required prescription at a UK laboratory, which is located just a few miles from the Daysoft contact lens laboratory in Blantyre.  The glasses frame and lenses are then assembled in the same lab before being despatched. http://www.ronhamilton.co.uk – the blog of the Chairman of Daysoft.

Does anyone know of any other glasses, glasses lenses, or contact lenses that are made in the UK?

For glasses cleaning cloths why not use SELVYT cloths which are made in England. For well over 100 years SELVYT has been the world’s leading brand in quality polishing cloths for the jewellery, watchmaking and silversmiths trade. Also cloths for glasses cleaning, plasma screen cleaning, cleaning guns, cleaning cars, cleaning brass or wooden instruments, household cleaning, etc. Manufactured in the U.K. SELVYT is a division of Edmund Bell Ltd a British textile company established in the 19th century, who supply curtain lining and blackouts.

Selvyt Spectacle Cloth. Made in the UK.

Selvyt Spectacle Cloth. Made in the UK.

SELVYT MICROFIBRE POLISHING CLOTH MADE IN ENGLAND.

SELVYT MICROFIBRE (MF) POLISHING CLOTH MADE IN ENGLAND.

There is also Town Talk Polishing Co. Ltd. – 98% of their products are produced at their factory in Bolton, Lancashire. They source the sonic unit machine and the microfibre cloth from overseas although these are finished and packed in the UK which is something. All the Town Talk polishes, silver and gold polishing cloths, jewellery cleaners and household cleaning products are 100% made in England. Check the packing when thinking about buying for the words made in England.

TouchscreenKleen by Screen-Kleen Ltd is made in the UK and is a solution and cloth for cleaning touch screens. I am not sure if the whole product, including the microfibre cloth, is made in the UK – http://www.screen-kleen.com

Ally Capellino sell a small selection of British made small leather goods (glasses cases, glasses chain, key fobs, wallets and suchlike) and British made umbrellas. They do not say where the leather for these items are sourced and their other items are foreign made. To find these items I searched the word “British” on their website. They also use British waxed cotton in some products, although the products themselves are foreign made – http://www.allycapellino.co.uk

Notonthehighstreet have a number of British made soft spectacle cases (note not all their glasses cases are British made).

Small Castle make some leather glasses cases.  Made in England.

Raw Leather make some leather glasses cases.  Made in England.

Alfie Douglas leather goods are made in England and they sell some glasses cases – http://alfiedouglas.com

Does anyone know of any other UK made spectacle accessories – glasses cases, eyewear holders, etc? I wonder where the free case you get with a new pair of glasses is made? – they don’t label this on the cases you get and I suspect the answer is China.

For magnifiers and magnifying glasses, please see that category on the right or click the links in this sentence.

Here is a blog all about specs. – http://www.spectaclesblog.com

Looking after your glasses. I saw a variation of the following care and cleaning tips for glasses on a leaflet from Specsavers Opticians:

  • Clean the lenses with an appropriate cleaning spray and micro-fibre cloth
  • Avoid putting your glasses face down on any surface
  • Use both hands to remove your glasses to prevent undue stress on the side of the frame
  • Keep your glasses in the case provided whenever you are not wearing them. This will further reduce the possibility of scratching, protect against breakage and will help maintain a comfortable fit
  • Avoid leaving your glasses in extreme temperatures.

Buy British made eyewear – Buy British made spectacles – Buy British made glasses – Buy spectacles made in the UK – UK made eyewear – Eyeglasses made in the UK – Buy a pair of glasses made in the UK – British made prescription glasses – Prescription glasses made in the UK – English glasses – British made open face motorcycle helmets – British made goggles – British made spectacle cleaning cloths – Buy a pair of British made glasses – Where to buy British made glasses – Specs – Lens – Lenses – Frames – Spectacles – Eyewear – Glasses – Eyeglasses – Made in the UK – Reading glasses made in the UK – British made reading glasses – UK Made Glasses #BritishMadeGlasses