The modern traveller, hiker or person about town can still carry or ship the right bag or luggage; a British-made bag, rucksack, suitcase or trunk. In no particular order, here are some great British made bags, handbags, rucksacks, suitcases, wallets, pouches and trunks.
I started off searching for a British made combination padlock, but there are very few UK made combination padlocks available. British made 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 if not all locks can be picked. With combination locks I have found it is possible to accidentally alter the combination without noticing and end up not knowing what the combination is and these locks are quite easy to pick, so I have moved to a keyed lock in most situations including on my suitcase.
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. Ltd – http://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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Pro-Lock – http://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.
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
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.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.premierlimited.co.uk – lockers, cycle shelters, bus shelters, smoking shelters, etc.
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.