Clulite (Cluson Engineering) make very good quality torches. Clulite have been manufacturing and distributing high powered rechargeable and battery torches since 1970. All the products they make themselves are manufactured in Cluson’s own factory in England, but they are also distributors and sell foreign made torches, so you will need to check country of origin directly with them. The tiny torch in the picture gives an incedibly bright 150m beam from just a single AA battery. “All products are manufactured to an extremely high standard of specification in Cluson’s own factory” – quote from their website 29.12.12.
Dragon Lights torches and spotlights was founded in 1978 and is the leader in searchlight equipment; used globally by police, emergency services and the military, as well as by the likes of walkers, farmers, tradespeople and suchlike. They make rechargeable heavy duty hand-held torches and spotlights and they say on their website “most importantly, all our lights are made right here in the UK.” In their Q&A on the website in answer to the question “Where are the lamps made?” they answer “We manufacture the Dragon Lights in Wellingore, Lincolnshire, UK. All our lights are made and sent to you from here”. There’s an interesting review of torches used by the British police here and the below light is used by British police forces – http://www.civil-defence.net
Dragon Delta 50w/20w (charger sold separately). Made in England.
Samalite portable lighting solutions say on their website “As a British company, every single one of our top quality lighting solutions are designed and manufactured in the UK.” Used by the emergency services including paramedics, CSI teams, police, search and rescue and fire crew; the military, the rail industry, utility companies, farmers, tradespeople, mechanics, road builders, sports and leisure users and suchlike. The company say “Invest in top quality portable lighting solutions from Samalite. Made in the UK, we guarantee hard-wearing, durable and extremely powerful equipment you can rely on – anytime, anywhere.” Their range includes LED re-chargable floodlights, head torches, searchlights, hazard lights and related accessories. No prices are given but I guess you can ask and I found there products on the web from a company called LED 4 Lights, who appear to be neighbours of Samalite in Chobham Woking Surrey, as they both have the same postcode of GU24 8AS; neither site refers to their nearby neighbour though. Both also sell torches or flashlights by LED Lenser; they do not tell you but this is a German company and these torches will be foreign made – http://www.samalite.com
I recently purchased the right angle torch in the picture below from eBay (in May 2014). It’s made by a company called Linpac Materials Handling in Walsall, England / Lin Pac Mouldings of Witton, Birmingham and was described as new / unused. Probably old stock and no longer made, although there is a packaging company called Linpac that I found on the net. Linpac Mouldings closed down in 2004. It is very well designed with the right angle head, as well as being tough and water resistant, but it is not especially bright. It takes 2 x D Cell batteries. I had exactly this torch years ago and found it to be excellent. The base of the torch says “Made in England” and has the initials SA on it. Possibly SA stands for Shimwell Alexander, a (now defunct?) company who used to make or at least supply torches. Could SA be the manufacturer rather than Linpac? I have found a company on the net called SA Equipment who manufacture and supply equipment for hazardous areas , but it is not clear if there is any connection between this company and my torch. The 4 photographs below are of the Linac torch and of an old yellow torch by Shimwell Alexander (also found on eBay; June 2014)
Linpac Right Angle Torch Olive Drab Green Military Issue Torch. Made in England.
VINTAGE 10″ YELLOW SA6061 HEAVY TORCH – by Shimwell Alexander; made in England (1)
VINTAGE 10″ YELLOW SA6061 HEAVY TORCH – by Shimwell Alexander; made in England (2)
VINTAGE 10″ YELLOW SA6061 HEAVY TORCH – by Shimwell Alexander; made in England (3)
Hope Technology (IPCO) Ltd make bike components and lights and they say the majority of their products are made in England. Their torches include hand held, head torches and handlebar mounted (some with separate battery packs), are suitable for biking, climbing, running and walking. They do not specify country of origin against specific products on their website, so please check if what you want is actually UK made. That said the company told me by email today (9/6/14) that “all our lights are made here in the factory in Barnoldswick, Lancashire”. I assume their rechargeable batteries and the batteries in their battery packs are foreign made – http://www.hopetech.com
Exposure Lights by Ultimate Sports Engineering (USE) for cycling, outdoor activities and marine use are all, as far as I know, made in England, but do check before buying. On the Facebook page for Exposure Lights it says in About “Exposure Lights are designed and manufactured in the UK by Ultimate Sports Engineering” but it does not say this on the Exposure Marine Facebook page. Ultimate Sports Engineering encompasses design and production of: Cycling components (USE), Cycle lighting (Exposure Lights) and Marine Lighting (Exposure Marine). Many USE products are made in the UK. Some USE products, such as their clothing, are undoubtedly foreign made, but unfortunately country of origin is not always given against individual products on their website. It would be advisable to carefully check that the particular product you are interested in is actually made in the UK.
Exposure Marine XS Work Light. Made in the UK. There’s a review of this mini torch here.
Lumicycle bicycle lights are made in the UK. Modular system bike lights with separate battery packs – http://www.lumicycle.com
See.Sense, founded in 2013, have their ‘smart’ re-chargable by USB bicycle lights made in the UK. They say their Icon lights, which were launched in 2016, are “Designed and manufactured in Northern Ireland (UK)” and of their ACE lights, launching in 2018, they say “We have established manufacturers in the UK…” so hopefully these will be made in the UK too – https://seesense.cc
Hiatt & Co. of Birmingham used to make police Bullseye Lamps, handcuffs, truncheons, etc but closed down in 2008. More information on Hiatts can be found here. Fortunately, another company TCH took over their factory and continue to make handcuffs, batons and other restraint equipment for the likes of the police and Border Force. The bullseye lamp is mentioned (and can be seen) by Sergeant Dudfoot (played by Will Hay) in the 1939 film “Ask a Policeman“. It’s a portable oil lamp and is talked about in this video and pictured below. Other companies such as J & R Oldfield Ltd. (Birmingham) also made these portable police lanterns. J & R Oldfield Ltd also made railway and car lanterns, dynamo sets, and lorry mirrors and I assume they have now closed down as I can’t find any current information about this company on the internet but the company were certainly around from 1913 until at least 1937.
A classic example of a police bullseye lantern. This type of oil fuelled light was used by police officers for several decades. The centre of the lamp could be rotated to cut off the light from the flame, thus effectively ‘turning out’ the light. This allowed officers to hide in the shadows and throw light on offenders at the vital moment with a mere twist of the wrist. For this reason, the lights were often referred to as dark lanterns. The design was effective but had a few major faults……
J & R Oldfield Ltd. (Birmingham) Portable Police Lantern: oil lamp with clear lens, shutter to darken flame without extinguishing it, three stack chimney, folding handles and clip to back. Patent No.14027. Height 20cm, lens diameter 6.5cm. Crack to lens.
Companies like Eveready, GEC and Pifco used to make their torches in the UK, but not anymore and these days torches by companies such as Eveready are foreign made.
VINTAGE EVEREADY 1960’s BICYCLE LAMP. Made in Britain. This is an exceptionally well designed and well made light. Sadly Eveready no longer made bike lights in the UK.
VINTAGE MAGNET BAKELITE ELECTRIC TORCH BY GENERAL ELECTRIC MADE IN ENGLAND c.1930’s (3)
VINTAGE MAGNET BAKELITE ELECTRIC TORCH BY GENERAL ELECTRIC MADE IN ENGLAND c.1930’s (2)
VINTAGE MAGNET BAKELITE ELECTRIC TORCH BY GENERAL ELECTRIC MADE IN ENGLAND c.1930’s (1). Appears to take a No.8 battery, which are difficult but not impossible to find.
What about batteries for your torch? The sad news on this front is that I have yet to find any current British made batteries 😦
Companies like Eveready used to make batteries in the UK, but now they are all foreign made. For example, the last Eveready UK factory closed in 1996 after the company went back to American ownership.
Vintage Eveready batteries. Made in Britain
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