Tag Archives: WHSmith

British Made Diaries and Calendars – Please choose a British made diary

A proper paper diary is silent and unobtrusive in use; it has no batteries to go flat; it doesn’t break if you drop it or tread on it; it helps you remember things because you have actually written them down; and you can write in it during meetings and so on (when your smart phone will be outside or turned off!).

When you are getting your next diary, planner or calander please choose a British made one. Before buying, check the inside or back cover and see where the diary you are looking at is actually made (printed and bound).

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Companies that unfairly trade on their so called Britishness

Companies that unfairly trade on their so called Britishness. In other words, companies who actively market their British Heritage but actually manufacture abroad.

There’s a tendency amongst many firms to claim British heritage in a way that misleadingly implies manufacture in the UK.

Lonsdale London (boxing) clothing is all foreign made, despite the name and the prevalence of little Union Flags on their products.

Christy Towels emphasise their long British heritage on their website and somehow give the impression of the towels being British made, whereas in fact this Indian owned company now makes all its towels in Gujarat, India having moved its operations there in 2010.

Clarks and Start-rite were both made in the UK, but sadly not anymore. Judging by some of the comments I have had, people think these shoes are still made in the UK when this is not the case.  Neither company has gone out of its way to tell customers that their shoes are now foreign made and are more than happy to mis-lead their customers. Start-rite ceased production in the UK in 2003. Clarks ceased production in the UK in 2005.

Boden (clothing) emphasise their “great British style” and somehow give the impression of their items being made in the UK, whereas everything Boden sell is actually foreign made.

Some Charles Tyrwhitt formal shoes are made in England. Regrettably all the other products (shirts, etc.) they sell are foreign made; this despite them using the name Charles Tyrwhitt Jermyn Street London, having a store in Jermyn Street, talking on their website about their British charm and about how Jermyn Street is famous for its craftsmen making shirts.

Hotpoint was a British manufacturer of domestic domestic appliances (white goods).  It is now owned by Italian company Indesit who have since closed down most Hotpoint UK factories. Hotpoint products are now generally imported, but I understand that some tumble dyers are still made in the UK. I asked Hotpoint / Indesit about this and they were less than forthcoming about where their products are made, but did confirm that some production still takes place in the UK and in Europe. They also stated that they are unable (read unwilling) to tell their customers where a particular product is made. There is a separate Hotpoint company in the USA making similar products but independent from Hotpoint in Europe and these products are not made in the UK.

An old Hotpoint made in Great Britain refrigerator, still in full working order in August 2013. Sadly Hotpoint do not manufacture in the UK anymore.

An old Hotpoint made in Great Britain refrigerator, still in full working order in August 2013. Sadly Hotpoint do not manufacture many of their products in the UK anymore. Photo by author.

Hoover (vacuum cleaners) is another company who have closed all their UK factories.

Dyson now make all their products abroad too.

Anglepoise (formerly Herbert Terry) used to strike me as a very British brand and they used to manufacture everything in the UK, but sadly no more. Anglepoise now only make the Giant 1227 lamp in the UK. All their other lights are made in China under license. Interestingly new Anglepoise lamps are very expensive to buy, whereas you might expect otherwise now that Anglepoise are cheaply made in China.

An old Anglepoise desk lamp, still in full working order in August 2013. Made in England. Sadly Anglepoise desk lamps are now made in China.

An old Anglepoise desk lamp, still in full working order in August 2013. Made in England. Sadly Anglepoise desk lamps are now made in China. Photo by author.

Price’s Patent Candle Company – Is a company I assumed still made their candles in the UK, however all their products are now foreign made. In 2001 Price’s Patent Candle Company filed for administration. An Italian company, Cereria Sgarbi Sp.A., bought the company before, in turn, being bought two years later by SER Wax Industry in the summer of 2003. Production was subsequently moved to Italy. In fairness to Price’s they, unlike many companies, do not attempt to circumvent telling people their products are now Italian made.

Whittard of Chelsea stress their British heritage but as far as I can tell all their teas are packed in Germany.  Some of their products do not state the country of origin.  They do though sell some British made tea pots and the like in their shops.

Lyle & Scott stress their British (Scottish) heritage, but nearly all their clothing is made abroad in countries such as Romania and Turkey, even their jumpers. Lyle and Scott in fact have two ranges at the moment all made in the UK (Scotland). These are the 140 range celebrating 140 years, and the 1960 range. Hopefully this is a trend that will continue, and they bring all their production back to these shores.

Hunter Boots (Hunter Wellies) are another company deceiving the public who naturally assume they are made in the UK (in Scotland). After all they are an iconic bit of British kit with a long British heritage. Not so. Although at least Hunter, unlike many brands, have the decency to admit making their wellies abroad on the website (unlike many others!). Anyway, Hunter boots (Hunter wellies, Hunter wellingtons) are not made in the UK.

As one of the best known stationery brands in the UK, the long established Basildon Bond stress their so called Britishness, but in fact their writing paper and envelopes are now “made in the EU”.  In other words their products are NOT made in the UK anymore.  Basildon Bond are now part of Hamelin Brands Limited.

Richardson Sheffield is a major supplier of kitchen knives and scissors to the UK market. It is owned by the Dutch Amefa group. Their knives used to be made in England (I have a set of Richardson kitchen knives that were made in England) but production is now in the Far East. The company retains ‘Sheffield’ in its name which is an outright deception of British consumers and should not be allowed.

Mason Cash – These were top quality bowls made in England; sadly now they are made abroad :-( – I asked the company and they responded as follows “Many thanks for your enquiry; please be advise that none of the Mason Cash range are made in the UK.”

Cornishware by T.G.Green and Co. is no longer made in the UK, since 2007 when the factory closed after its original parent company went into administration. Whilst you might expect pottery with the name Cornishware to be made in the UK, it is in fact now made abroad.  The new owners have been careful to avoid mentioning this on their website, although they were  very helpful when I asked.

Jack Wills Fabulously British Chinese – In fairness Jack Wills do sell a few things that are made in Britain, but not very many. They do for example sell a limited range of British made shoes made for them by NPS. Most of their products appear to be made in China though. Jack Wills actually have the audaciousness to say on their website “Britishness anchors all that we do”.

Barbour – I think there is an assumption among consumers that everything Barbour sell is made in England. Not so. Only their classic waxed jackets are made in England (and a few hats and scarves are made in Scotland). Everything else is made abroad. Even some wax jackets are now made abroad. If there is no made in England label on a Barbour, then it is foreign made.

Belstaff are worse though.  Belstaff talk about their proud British heritage, but non of their products are made in England anymore.  They do however state the origin of their products on their website (most are made in Italy).

Marks and Spencer – In 1999, Marks & Spencer became the last major high-street retailer to transfer its production overseas, despite sustained pressure from the government to stay in Britain. The company buys 70% to 80% of its clothes from factories in three key “hubs”: Turkey, China, and a hub that includes India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Is it just a coincidence that since M&S moved their manufacturing abroad UK manufacturing has been in decline and M&S themselves have been struggling to survive? I think not! Interestingly autumn/winter 2012 saw the introduction of a small collection of items 100% designed and made in Great Britain, at M&S. See – http://social.marksandspencer.com/fashion-2/made-in-england-menswear/ and autumn 2013 saw the introduction of their Best of British Collection.  Interesting moves from Marks and Spencer, a company that was almost single handedly responsible for the demise of British clothing manufacture.

A label inside one of my old jackets saying St Michael Made in the UK. Until 1999 pretty much everything in M&S was UK made; now, excepting foods, pretty much everything in M&S is foreign made.

A label inside one of my old jackets saying St Michael Made in the UK. Until 1999 pretty much everything in M&S was UK made; now, excepting foods, pretty much everything in M&S is foreign made.

Marks and Spencer food halls still have lots of great British made foods to choose from.

I was looking at gifts in M&S last Thursday (22.11.12) – lots of Chinese tat but I did find these great made in England mugs and the wrapping paper I got in there was made in the UK 🙂

Made in England mug from M&S 22.11.12

Burberry – Burberry do still make their raincoats in the UK (they have 2 factories still in the UK in Castleford where it makes raincoats and a smaller one at Keighley) but Burberry has been shedding British jobs and closing British factories of late. Most of its clothes are made abroad. This article is interesting – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/16/burberry-china-british-carole-cadwalladr

The Body Shop – Body Shop products were always made or packaged in the UK but lately many of their products seem to be made abroad. Check what you are buying is made in the UK. That said many Body Shop products are still made in the UK.  Check the packaging and only buy British made Body Shop products.

Souvenir Shops – Pretty much any souvenir shop in the UK sells tat that is made in China. Now if you go to say Poland and buy a souvenir fridge magnet it will be made in Poland. In the UK it will almost certainly be made in China! When you travel you should buy locally made gifts I think and I would encourage tourists in the UK to do the same. My personal pet hate is anything with a Union Flag on it or anything celebrating events like the Queen’s Golden Jubilee that is made abroad. If it has a Union Flag on it, then it ought to be made in Britain! If it has a picture of the Queen, then it should be made in Britain or the Commonwealth! If you are buying such products, please check they are British made.

WHSmith have a long British heritage but everything I have seen recently in WHS has been expensive and made abroad (even some of their books!).  WHSmith now no longer label their own brand products with their country of origin which means they are are NOT made in the UK anymore.

Boots the Chemist have a long British history but I note many of their own brand products no longer label the country of origin. For example Boots multivitamins and Boots kitchen soap do not state the country of origin.  If their products do not say made in the UK on them we can assume they are made abroad. Some Boots own label products, such as some Boots moisturisers, Boots suntan cream which is made in the UK and their Botanics range some of which is made in the UK, are still labelled with the country of origin and they sell other UK made products such as Rimmel London too some of whose products are UK made.  When shopping in Boots check the packaging and only buy British made products. Boots themselves are now an American owned company.

Boots essentials moisturising cream cucumber 100ml. Made in the UK. Photograph by author.

Boots essentials moisturising cream cucumber 100ml. Made in the UK. Photograph by author.

Boots essentials moisturising cream cucumber 100ml. Made in the UK. Photograph by author. Bottom of tub label view.

Boots essentials moisturising cream cucumber 100ml. Made in the UK. Photograph by author. Bottom of tub label view.

Alan Paine have now closed the last of their UK factories. On their website they talk about their proud heritage supplying knitwear to Edward VIII, making sweaters during the war for the navy and being worn by George Mallory. No-where do they mention the factory closures and subsequent impact on people’s lives or the fact that all their clothing is now made abroad. Although some Alan Paine knit fabrics come from Z Hinchcliffe and Sons in Yorkshire, Alan Paine knitwear is made abroad, in places such as Madagascar.

Heinz HP Sauce is made in the Netherlands! Don’t think they should be allowed to call it British or for that matter to have the Houses of Parliament on the bottle.

Start-Rite children’s shoes bang on about their British heritage on their website, but since 2003 they have outsourced all their manufacturing to companies in India.

D.C. Thomson and Co annuals have discontinued great comics like the Topper and the Sparky and the only comic books they now sell, the Beano and the Dandy, are now printed in Italy.

Double Two shirts no longer manufactured in the UK. To quote from the companies website:

“In more recent years, production in the UK has become extremely expensive and the Group has gradually moved its production offshore and now manufactures throughout the Far East, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe. Only repairs and alterations are now done at Wakefield, although some garments also have embroidered logos added there.”

At least Double two are honest and open about where they make their shirts on their website, unlike many heritage brands and all credit to them for that.

Wilkinson Sword were a British company, but they no longer make swords and their razors are now made abroad. You can find a brief history of the company here in my article about razors.

Aspinal of London – Despite the name, Aspinal of London products are nearly all foreign made. On their Facebook page they say “Aspinal of London’s covetable contemporary classics are all handcrafted in the finest factories in Europe. Some families of bags and all of the brands stationery and notebooks are made entirely in England, some with English hardware, leather and fabric linings.” Their diaries for example are made in England but most products are foreign made.

Radley London – Again, despite the name, Radley London purses and bags are foreign made.

Links of London jewellery – made in Thailand, despite the name!

Beatrix Potter products  – the books (sold by Penguin under the name of Frederick Warne and Co.) are now printed outside of the UK – the pottery by Wedgwood is now made outside the UK – Penguin are spoiling the name of Beatrix Potter’s creation Peter Rabbit by having everything associated with it made abroad. I suspect Beatrix Potter would not approve.

British Made Diaries and Calendars – Please choose a British made diary

A proper paper diary is silent and unobtrusive in use; it has no batteries to go flat; it doesn’t break if you drop it or tread on it; it helps you remember things because you have actually written them down; and you can write in it during meetings and so on (when your smart phone will be outside or turned off!).

When you are getting your next diary, planner or calander please choose a British made one. Before buying, check the inside or back cover and see where the diary you are looking at is actually made (printed and bound).

Letts (Letts Filofax Group Ltd. / Charles Letts & Co Ltd. / HSGP Investments) offer a wide range of diaries starting the week on a Sunday or starting the week on a Monday, day-per-page, and so on, some of which are made in the UK. Letts have manufacturing facilities in Scotland and abroad. Until recently Letts products have not generally stated country of origin, so you had to ask them direct if a product is made in the UK or not. I am pleased to say that from 2014 diaries Letts are clearly identifying which of their dairies are made in the UK with the words “Made in Great Britain” on the back. If buying from the Letts website you will still need to ask whether the diary you want is made in the UK as provenance is not shown on their website. Letts also produce calendars, notebooks, address books and visitor books; again you will have to look at the products or ask to find out if any of them are made in the UK.

All Filofax inserts and covers used to be made in the UK.  Sadly this is no longer the case and many of their products are now foreign made. However Filofax have told me that most of their diaries and papers are still printed here in the UK (but, annoying they no longer seem to put country of origin on their paper insert products) and that their Original range of organisers are also produced in the UK, so it is not all bad news. A few of their note books are made in the UK. With careful shopping you can still get a UK made filofax – look for the words “made in England” before buying. There’s a filofax size guide here. Filofax do a Sunday start week-on-2-pages diary insert, in Personal size for example, but most diaries are Monday start.

http://www.letts.co.uk

http://www.filofax.co.uk

This website provides a bit more info on the Letts Filofax Group – http://madeintheuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/letts-filofax-group-ltd-diaries.html. Filofax was bought by Letts in 2001. In 2012 the company was acquired by HSGP Investments, which is owned by Canadian entrepreneur Harolde Savoy and British entrepreneur, and chief executive of Letts, Mr Gordon PreslyPhilofaxy in France did a tour of the Letts Filofax factory in Dalkeith, near Edinburgh, in 2013 and there is a write-up and some pictures of the factory on their website. Letts produced the world’s first pre-printed diary in 1812, calling it the “Commercial Diary“. The origins of Filofax go back as far as the First World War.

Letts P3EP 2014 diary. Made in Great Britain.

Letts P3EP 2014 diary week to view Sunday start. Made in Great Britain.

Letts Ladydate mini pocket week to view Sunday start pencil gold. Made in Great Britain

Letts Ladydate mini pocket week to view Sunday start pencil gold. Made in Great Britain. Height 102mm, width 68mm, depth around 6mm.

Letts LADYG Ladydate Mini Pocket Diary 2015. Made in Great Britain (front view).

Letts LADYG Ladydate Mini Pocket Diary 2015, week-to-view across 2 pages, Sunday start, with pencil. Made in Great Britain (front view). Photograph by author.

Letts LADYG Ladydate Mini Pocket Diary 2015. Made in Great Britain (rear view). Photo by author.

Letts LADYG Ladydate Mini Pocket Diary 2015, week-to-view, Sunday start, with pencil. Made in Great Britain (rear view). Photo by author. The words “made in Great Britain” on the back can be seen. Photograph by author.

Filofax Original Patent Personal Organiser in black. Made in the UK

Filofax Original Patent Personal Organiser in black. Made in the UK.

LADYDATE MEDIUM POCKET WEEK TO VIEW DIARY - ENGLISH. Medium Pocket Gold product code: 16-TLADYSLIM. Sunday week start. Front view.

LADYDATE MEDIUM POCKET WEEK TO VIEW DIARY – ENGLISH 2016. Medium Pocket Gold product code: 16-TLADYSLIM. Sunday week start. Front view. Height 148mm, width 80mm. Includes an innovative pencil hidden in the spine.

LADYDATE MEDIUM POCKET WEEK TO VIEW DIARY - ENGLISH 2016. Medium Pocket Gold product code: 16-TLADYSLIM. Sunday week start. Inside view.

LADYDATE MEDIUM POCKET WEEK TO VIEW DIARY – ENGLISH 2016. Medium Pocket Gold product code: 16-TLADYSLIM. Sunday week start. Inside view.

Smythson diaries seem to all be made in England. They do not specify country of origin for the inside papers on their website but Smythson told me in August 2015 that they mill their own paper in United Kingdom, and that the printing and hand binding is produced just outside of London.  Also, they told me that their “Feather weight paper has been specially milled for use with a fountain pen.” All the Smythson dairies I have seen on their website start the week with a Monday and they are not able to offer a Sunday start instead. Country of origin is not given on their website for their leather organisers. Their organiser refills (Monday week start only; personal and pocket sizes) are all made in England. Smythson page-per-day diaries give a whole page for Saturday and a whole page for Sunday. Their pocket Memoranda diaries have a week-to-view facing a notes page, as do some of their mid-sized diaries. They also do desk diaries in various layouts. Their diaries run from November to January (e.g. November 2015 to January 2017). Some of their diaries are rather exclusively priced. You can presumably see their diaries in their shops, for example at their New Bond Street shop in London. Their diaries can be personalised with initials and little pictures. Disappointingly, Sunday week start diaries are not available from Smythson. You can also find other made in England products on their website, such as their correspondence cards, but many of their other products are foreign made – http://www.smythson.com

Smythson Bijou organiser 2015 diary refill, week-to-view, Monday start. Made in England.

Smythson Bijou organiser 2015 diary refill, week-to-view, Monday start. Made in England.

Smythson black 2016 Memoranda diary. Monday start with notes page facing. Made in England.

Smythson black 2016 Memoranda diary. Monday start with notes page facing. Made in England.

Aspinal of London – Despite the name, Aspinal of London products are nearly all foreign made. On their Facebook page they say “Aspinal of London’s covetable contemporary classics are all handcrafted in the finest factories in Europe. Some families of bags and all of the brands stationery and notebooks are made entirely in England, some with English hardware, leather and fabric linings.” Their diaries for example are made in England. Of their diaries on their website they say “Leather Diaries from Aspinal of London are individually handmade in England in our own workshops by genuine leather and bookbinding master craftsmen and women.” They do not mention the country of origin of the diary innards. The country of origin of the leather used is either not specified or Italian. They do not give country of origin for their personal organisers and their organiser refills look foreign made. Day per Page or Week to View (Monday start only) formats. Pocket, A6, A5, or A4 sizes. Can be personalised with initials. – https://www.aspinaloflondon.com

National Trust calendars and diaries are all made in the UK” (for 2016 in any case). Most of the calendars I have looked at on their website started the week with a Monday, but some start on the week on a Sunday, or start the month on the 1st in a list view. Their 2016 year planner diary (week-to-view) starts the week on a Monday. Their slimchart diary does not say what day of the week it starts on. Their small pocket (week-to-view) dairy starts on a Sunday. Their family dairy starts the week on a Monday. Their engagement diary starts the week on a Monday, as does their 2016 desk diary – http://shop.nationaltrust.org.uk/calendars-diaries/c225

National Trust 2016 Small Pocket Diary. Sunday start. “Exclusively made for the National Trust in the UK.”

National Trust 2016 Small Pocket Diary. Sunday start. “Exclusively made for the National Trust in the UK.”

Weeks view of the 2016 National Trust Small Pocket Diary. Sunday start. “Exclusively made for the National Trust in the UK.”

Weeks view of the 2016 National Trust Small Pocket Diary. Sunday start. “Exclusively made for the National Trust in the UK.” 108mm (h) x 80mm (w) x 10mm (d).

2016 National Trust Family Organiser. Made in the UK. I like the simple innovative use of colums in this calendar.

2016 National Trust Family Organiser. Made in the UK. I like the simple innovative use of columns in this calendar. 1st of the month start.

Paperchase diaries are mostly made in China, but the odd one is “printed in the UK”. It’s worth checking out the diaries in their shops as the year progresses and looking for UK made Paperchase dairies. For example I  found a 2016 A6 page-per-day diary in Paperchase in Dubai in August 2015. Sadly country of origin is not generally given on their website. Most products in Paperchase are foreign made – http://www.paperchase.co.uk

Organiser Papers (by Office Insource Limited) make functional paper inserts. All their products are produced in the UK. On their website (as of 5th April 2015) is says “All our products are created and produced by ourselves here in the UK…” The Marvellous Miss Jones range is their retail range of filofax compatible personal or A5 sized inserts and products include weekly planners (Monday-Sunday), to do lists, budget planners, milage record sheets, exercise planners, diet planners, expenses forms, appointment logs, weekly timetables, etc – http://organiserpapers.com

Toad Diaries are “made in Britain” according to the first page of their website. Toad bespoke allows you to personalise the cover, format and date ranges of their diaries, planners, organisers, and notebooks. For individual consumers or branded for businesses and organisations. “Any start day, any start month, any duration”. There should be no trouble in getting a Sunday start diary from Toad then. Toad (which stands for ‘today or any day’) belong to TG Media Visions Ltd. Sizes available are A5 (148 x 210mm), Quarto (237 x 177mm) and A4 (210 x 297mm); no A6 (105 x 148mm) or pocket size. Toad told me, in August 2015, that they hope to be able to offer a pocket size option in the future, but at present the only sizes available for one-off online purchases are A5, Quarto and A4. Wiro bound. You can have a diary with a note page opposite a week-to-view, which few British manufacturers offer, week-to-view on 2 facing pages, page-a-day, and more options. You can start the week on any day. You can specify the duration of your diary and the start date. They also sell off-the-shelf diaries and some foreign made items such as Swedish made pens and Collins organisers. There’s a review of Toad custom made diaries here – http://www.toaddiaries.co.uk

Photograpghs of an A5 Slim Diary, in Fuchsia, made by Toad Diaries for the Clearly Bex review mwnioned above. 1 week to 2 page view starting from January 2015 to run for 13 months.

Photograpghs of an A5 Slim Diary, in Fuchsia, made by Toad Diaries for the Clearly Bex review mentioned above. 1 week to 2 page view starting from January 2015 to run for 13 months.

Go Stationery make wire-bound and bound diaries in London, England. Go Stationery, together with their other brands, also make notebooks, ring binders, address books, note cards, postcards, gift wrap, placemats, coasters, calendars, products for museums, greetings cards, etc and do printing generally on paper and plastics. Page-per-day or Monday start week-on-2-pages dairies. A5 and A6 sizes. Very nice diaries. There is a review here and here and also here. Go Stationery 2016 diaries are available via their website, on Amazon and in stores such as John Lewis.

Go Stationery also do a bespoke service for diaries and other stationery and make branded diaries for many well-known retailers and well known museums. Of their bespoke diaries they say “GO Stationery produces bespoke stationery in small or large quantities…” and “Everything is designed and made by us in London, nothing is sub-contracted and nothing is on the slow boat from China!”. As they say they will produce in small quantities they might make a diary specially for an individual customer, although one may be too small a quantity for them?

http://www.gostationery.net

Go Stationery Animal Friends - Dogs A6 2014 full year diary page per day. Made in England

Go Stationery Animal Friends – Dogs A6 2014 full year diary page per day. Made in England.

Go Sationery 365 Cerise A6 2016 full year diary.

Go Sationery 365 Cerise A6 2016 full year diary.

Go Sationery 365 Cerise A6 2016 full year diary, page layout.

Go Sationery 365 Cerise A6 2016 full year diary, page layout.

 

 

Go Stationery 2014 Hearts Diary, weekend page layout. Note the weekend is combined onto one page. From a review at Everyday Concepts

Go Stationery 2014 Hearts Diary, weekend page layout. Note the weekend is combined onto one page. From a review at Everyday Concepts

Go Stationery Stag - A6 2016 full year diary. Page-per-day layout (Saturday and Sunday on one page). Elastic closer. 140mm x 105mm.

Go Stationery Stag – A6 2016 full year diary. Page-per-day layout (Saturday and Sunday on one page). Elastic closer. 140mm x 105mm. This Stag diary and their owl and pheasant diaries see a donation being made to the Woodland Trust by Go Stationery.  A matching chunky notebook is also available. The pheasant diary is also available on the Woodland Trust website.

Organise-Us make diaries, address books, notebooks, visitors books and so on. It states on their facebook page “A range of beautiful products to organise busy lifestyles. All of our stationery is proudly Made in England and is complemented by lovely leather goods” and on their website it says “All of our diaries are made in England”. They told me in August 2015 that “everything is printed, bound and finished in England”. All their diaries are made in England then, but perhaps not their leather goods and other products, as no country of origin is given for many of these. They say on their twitter “Our stationery is made in England” implying everything else is foreign made. Their Botany House Candles are made in England. Their dairies all start the week with a Monday. Organise-Us do not make Sunday start dairies which is a shame. Nice looking diaries – http://www.organise-us.com

Leathersmith of London make their beautiful diaries in England. Mini dairies, pocket diaries, desk diaries, and 5-year diaries. It is good that they do Sunday start diaries, as well as Monday start diaries, although most of their dairies start the week on a Monday. A few desk diaries are page-per-day (with full pages for Saturday and Sunday). Leathersmith quality leather bound books, diaries, leather gifts & accessories, have been manufactured in England, since 1839. On their website they say “Our books are crafted and bound at our own bindery in Essex, just outside London, using high quality soft leather, our trademark light weight Azure paper, gold stamping and edging.” Diary personalisation is available for an extra fee. Leathersmith of London belongs to Neale Dataday Limited (see below) – http://www.leathersmith.co.uk

Leathersmith 313R-R The Windsor Diary - Week to View. Sunday start. The Windsor is their smallest diary at 76 x 51 mm. Made in England. Inside view.

Leathersmith 313R-R The Windsor Diary – Week to View. Sunday start. The Windsor is their smallest diary at 76 x 51 mm. Made in England. Inside view.

Leathersmith 313R-R The Windsor Diary - Week to View. Sunday start. The Windsor is their smallest diary at 76 x 51 mm. Made in England. Front view.

Leathersmith 313R-R The Windsor Diary – Week to View. Sunday start. The Windsor is their smallest diary at 76 x 51 mm. Made in England. Front view.

Neale Dataday Limited (aka Canvey Island Bindery Company Limited). I wrote to this company in August 2015 to ask whether all or some of their dairies, planners and calendars are made in England, but disappointingly they have not bother to respond. They have their own bindery in Essex, so some products may be made in the UK. Their Leathersmith dairies (see above) are made in England. They sell a wide range of dairies, calendars, and year planners, including both Sunday and Monday start diaries. They Neale Corporate brochure says the following “whilst focusing its efforts on Marketing, Sales and Distribution, the Company continues to maintain a small but highly skilled bookbindery producing high quality products” suggesting most of their products are made elsewhere and presumably foreign made. Their Datedly site, their Lloyd’s Diaries site, their Sherwood Diaries site, and their Diaries Direct site, all fail to give country of origin information. I think then it can be safely assumed that the vast majority of Neal Dataday diaries, planners and calendars are foreign made, excepting their Leathersmith range.

Debrett’s diaries (leather bound, Monday start, with etiquette information, desk or pocket sized) are all UK made and bound. This was confirmed to me by email on 28 August 2015, but is not mentioned on their website – http://www.debretts.com

Lily Matthews diaries look nice. From their facebook page it appears everything is British designed and made, but do check before buying as I have no experience of this company. I’m not sure that Lily Matthews are selling diaries since 2013 – http://www.lilymatthews.co.uk

Under Cover make a small variety of leather bound diaries and organisers in the UK. They don’t give much information about them on their website though. Week-to-view (Monday week start only) or page-per-day dairies. They do not give much detail about the contents and they do not say where the contents are made. These leather bound dairies come in a wide choice of colours and are very reasonably priced. They can be personalised with text but that will cost you an additional £15. Under Cover make a wide range of leather goods in the UK. Purses, notebooks, travel goods (travel organisers, luggage tags, passport holders, travel card holders, travel games, make-up bags, sketchbooks, notebooks, pouches, book marks, leather envelopes, document holders, tidy trays, messenger bags, tote bags, i-phone covers, keyring, earphone cases, etc.), photo albums, notebooks, address books, leather envelopes, guest books, portfolios, pencil cases, diaries, bags, tote bags, clutch bags, coin purses, etc. Most items are made in the UK – http://www.undercoveruk.com

Oh So Cherished have a few UK made 5 year diaries. I’ve not seen one but they look nice on the net. Oh So Cherished own brand products are generally made in England and they say on their website “All our own products are designed and handmade in England which means a lot to us.” Many products they sell are foreign made though and it’s hard to tell which of their products are their own brand products – http://www.ohsocherished.co.uk

notonthehighstreet.com have a small range of British made desk planner pads, diaries, journals, calendars and notebooks (mostly 5 year diaries). Look for the words “made in Britain” when choosing. NotOnTheHighStreet also have quite a few other British made products on their website and again you should look for the words “made in Britain” to find these – http://www.notonthehighstreet.com

Hope House Press make personalised leather bound diaries, journals and notebooks. Bound in Italian leather in the UK. No information is given about the country of origin or content of the pages. A5, A6 and odd sizes – http://www.hopehousepress.co.uk

Clare Loves has a British made weekly planner pad (Monday through Sunday; made by Lollipop Designs; see below), British made notebooks and lots of other nice British made things – http://clareloves.co.uk

Weekly Planner Pad by Lollipop Designs. Monday through Sunday. 21cm x 30cm. Made in England. Simple innovative use of colums in this desk calendar an ideal family organiser.

Weekly Planner Pad by Lollipop Designs. Monday through Sunday. 21cm x 30cm. Made in England. Simple innovative use of columns in this desk calendar pad make it an ideal family organiser.

Lollipop Designs seem to produce quite a few of their stationery products in the UK. Their website does not work properly Apple Safari so you will do better to open it in Firefox. British made products include their mini ‘keyboard’ weekly planner (Monday to Friday, although there is space to start the week on a Sunday and end on a Saturday), yearly wall planner posters (starting at the beginning of the month; full year or academic year, poster size (50 x 70cm), portrait-orientated), weekly desk planner pads (21cm x 30cm, Monday through Sunday), magnetic to do lists and notepads, origami note sets, rubber stamps, mailing labels to re-seal envelopes, and fancy parcel tape – http://www.lollipopdesigns.co.uk/

Lollipop Designs 2016 year planner. Poster size (50 x 70cm), portrait-orientated. You can just make out the words “carefully printed in the UK…” bottom right of the photograph.

Lollipop Designs 2016 year planner. Poster size (50 x 70cm), portrait-orientated. You can just make out the words “carefully printed in the UK…” bottom right of the photograph.

Lollipop Designs mini 'keyboard' weekly planner. Printed in England.

Lollipop Designs mini ‘keyboard’ weekly planner. Printed in England.

Silvine make British made stationery – notebooks, pocket notebooks, exercise books, sketch pads, jotters, shorthand notebooks (reporter’s notebooks), scrap books, refill pads, record cards, postcards, raffle tickets, writing paper, envelopes, exercise books, memo books, cash books, duplicate books, triplicate books, receipt books, educational planners, petty cash vouchers, water resistant outdoor notebooks, etc. You can view their full range in their catalogue on their website. Nice quality stationery. There’s a review of a Silvine memo book here. British made. Good prices. Silvine paper products are made by Sinclairs in Yorkshire, who were established 1837, and also make bespoke own-branded stationery for companies. All their products are made in the UK. On their website they say “The Silvine brand has undergone many changes through the years, but some things will always stay the same. Like the ethical way we do business. And our insistence on manufacturing all our stationery right here in the UK.” Their stationery factory is in the ancient market town of Otley, in the Yorkshire Dales. Available in locals shops, good stationers, and online (for example on eBay, Amazon, and the Post Office). Their range includes undated student planners, teacher’s planners, lesson planners and homework diaries – http://www.silvine.com

Silvine Acadamic Planner/Record - Blue

Silvine undated Academic Planner/Record – Blue.

Silvine Classic Memo Book. British made. Quality lined paper. Quality red jacket. Pocket sized. Lightweight. Ref 042F. 10 x 16 x 0.5cm.

Silvine Classic Memo Book. British made. Quality lined paper. Quality red jacket. Pocket sized. Lightweight. Ref 042F. 10 x 16 x 0.5cm.

Silvine ‘Police’ Pocket Notebook. Elasticated strap. Stiff Cover. 160pp, 75gsm paper, 82x127mm / 3.25"x5”. Made in the UK.

Silvine ‘Police’ Pocket Notebook. Elasticated strap. Stiff Cover. 160pp, 75gsm paper, 82x127mm / 3.25″x5”. Made in the UK.

For more British made notebooks click the hyperlink.

The Green Gables sell a UK made year wall planner, various to-do lists printed in the UK and various other UK and foreign made stationery. On their website, the Green Gables say they “…strive to make the green gables‘ products in Britain, wherever possible, to keep down the number of miles products travel and to support other British businesses.” Some products are foreign made and you should look for UK made labelling before buying – http://thegreengables.co.uk

Barabara Wiggins diaries are made in the UK – http://www.barbarawiggins.co.uk/index.php?cat=13&sec=66 Unfortunately this company appear to have now closed. As of August 2015 their website says “The Barbara Wiggins web site is now closed”.

London Transport Museum online shop has some (but not all) calendars that are printed in Britain. Some designs are Sunday week start; some Monday start; some start on the 1st of the month as a list. No country of origin is given for their dairies though, so these are probably foreign made, although in the past they have stocked British made diaries made for them by Go Stationery. You may also find other British made items in their shop, such as their Routemaster Moquette Dog Collar – https://www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk/gifts-and-souvenirs/calendars-diaries.html?Action=Cookie

London Transport Museum Vintage Sporting Posters Wall Calendar 2016. Back view. Bottom left it says “designed and printed in Britain”. Sunday start calendar. Made by J Salmon Ltd (see below).

London Transport Museum Vintage Sporting Posters Wall Calendar 2016. Back view. Bottom left it says “designed and printed in Britain”. Sunday start calendar. Made by J Salmon Ltd (see below).

Evocative Cornwall say on their website “All of our products are made in Cornwall”. They sell a range of Cornish themed calendars, dairies and greetings cards. They do not say if their calendars are Sunday start, Monday start or 1st of the month start, so you will need to ask. Their A5 spiral bound diary is week to view but they do not say if it is a Sunday or Monday week start dairy, so again you will need to ask – http://www.evocativecornwall.co.uk

J. Salmon Limited is the oldest established post card and calendar publisher in Britain, founded in 1880. On their website it says “Salmon is proud to say that its product range is still entirely printed in Britain at its site in Sevenoaks.” Post cards and calendars remain at the core of the company’s publishing but other product ranges include guide books, gift books, recipe books, greeting cards, notecards, prints, placemats, diaries and other associated items. Their publications feature colourful photography, nostalgic transport and countryside images, retro and vintage posters and contemporary artwork. Salmon products are available in many retail outlets including stationers, card shops, bookshops, garden centres and giftshops. You can also buy their calendars, diaries, recipe books, placemats, prints, greetings cards, notecards, picture guidebooks and gift books directly from their website.

Salmon have a very wide range of calendars like the London Transport Museum one above featuring poster art, and pets, wildlife, heritage transport, humour, art, countryside scenes, flowers and gardens, scenic photographs of the British Isles, etc. You’ll need to ask whether they are Sunday or Monday start if buying from their website, as they do not say. They also have organiser calendars with innovative use of columns which make  for easy organisation – Mum’s Family Organiser (Monday start), the Family Organiser (1st of the month start), the Seaside Days Family Organiser (1st of the month start) and the Boldtype Family Organiser (Monday start). Salmon calendars simple and easy to read red coloured Boldtype range includes the aforementioned organiser calendar, large engagement calendar (start of the month start), desk calendar (Monday start), Weekly Appointment calendar (Sunday start), Monthly Planner (start of the month start), Monthly Appointment calendar (start of the month start), Monthly Engagement calendar (start of the month start), Large Boldtype (Sunday start, 3 months to view), Small Boldtype calendar (Sunday start), Small Engagement calendar (start of the month start), Cleardate Slim (start of the month start), and the Boldtype Engagement calendar (Sunday start, bold dates with Sundays and holidays highlighted in red and a useful write-on appointment date panel). They also do a handy pocket calendar (Sunday start, inch and  mm rulers on the back) and handy Calendar Date Pads. Calendar and diary prices (and postage) are very reasonable.

J Salmon diaries include their week-to-view Sunday start simple Boldface desk diaries in red or blue; month-to-view (1st of the month start, 3 1/8ʺ x 2ʺ / 79mm x 51mm) mini diaries featuring various scenic photographs on the covers; pocket diaries with cover designs including steam locomotives, lifestyle coastal scenes and garden birds, cats, dogs and flowers (5ʺ x 3 3/4ʺ / 127mm x 95mm, week-to-view, Sunday start, with hard-wearing plastic covers to protects the diary); slim diaries with various covers featuring animals or scenic photographs (5 1/2ʺ x 3ʺ / 139mm x 75mm, week-to-view, Sunday start); and large illustrated diaries (5 7/8 x 8 1/2ʺ / 148mm x 210mm, Monday start, two weeks-per-page, wire-o-bound).

http://www.jsalmon.co.uk

Salmon Calendars Seaside Days Organiser 2016. 1st of the month start. Designed and printed in Britain.

Salmon Calendars Seaside Days Organiser calendar 2016. 1st of the month start. Designed and printed in Britain.

Salmon Calendars Boldtype Engagement calendar 2016.

Salmon Calendars Boldtype Engagement calendar 2016.

Salmon Calendars Pocket Calendar 2016. Sunday start.

Salmon Calendars Pocket Calendar 2016. Sunday start. 6.5×9.5cm.

Salmon Calendars Pocket Calendar 2016. Sunday start. Rear view.

Salmon Calendars Pocket Calendar 2016. Sunday start. Rear view. 6.5×9.5cm.

Boldtype Diary Blue 2016. Inside view. 8 1/4ʺ x 5 7/8ʺ (210mm x 148mm). One week per page.

Salmon Boldtype Diary Blue 2016. Inside view. 8 1/4ʺ x 5 7/8ʺ (210mm x 148mm). One week per page.

Salmon Mini Diary 2016 - Coast. 3 1/8ʺ x 2ʺ (79mm x 51mm). Month to view.

Salmon Mini Diary 2016 – Coast. 3 1/8ʺ x 2ʺ (79mm x 51mm). Month to view. Beginning of month start.

Salmon Mini Diary 2016 - Coast. 3 1/8ʺ x 2ʺ (79mm x 51mm). Month to view. Inside view.

Salmon Mini Diary 2016 – Coast. 3 1/8ʺ x 2ʺ (79mm x 51mm). Month to view. Inside view.

Salmon Campervans Diary 2016. 5ʺ x 3 3/4ʺ (127mm x 95mm). Week to a page. Sunday start. Plastic cover.

Salmon Campervan Pocket Diary 2016. 5ʺ x 3 3/4ʺ (127mm x 95mm). Week to a page. Sunday start. Plastic cover.

Salmon Campervan Pocket Diary 2016. 5ʺ x 3 3/4ʺ (127mm x 95mm). Week to a page. Sunday start. Plastic cover. Inside view.

Salmon Campervan Pocket Diary 2016. 5ʺ x 3 3/4ʺ (127mm x 95mm). Week to a page. Sunday start. Plastic cover. Inside view.

Designed and printed in Britain logo, from the J Salmon website

Alex Clark Art calendars seem to all be made in the UK. You can just make out what I think are the words “Designed and made in the UK” next to a little mouse and Union Flag bottom left on the back of their calendars. It doesn’t say if the calendar layout starts on a Sunday or a Monday. Country of origin is not given against products on their website, so whether any of the other products on their site are made in the UK I don’t know – http://www.alexclarkart.co.uk/calendars-by-alex-clark.html

Alex Clark CAL0416 On The Farm Calendar 2016. Made in the UK. Back view.

Alex Clark CAL0416 On The Farm Calendar 2016. Made in the UK. Back view.

Dodo Pad diaries loose-leaf versions made for Filofax organisers are all printed in the UK (Personal, A5 and A4 sizes; no pocket or mini sizes; Monday week start only). Country of origin is not given on their website, but I was told this by email on 6th August 2015. The wiro bound versions of their diaries are all made in China. Their other products (such as mugs) I assume are foreign made. They told me “We are trying to bring ALL our diary production back to the UK but at present the wiro bound versions are too expensive to produce here. But we are working on it and hope that for the next production all will be printed/produced in the UK.” Let’s hope they manage that – https://www.dodopad.com

Sloane Stationery are selling two Monday start diaries for 2016 that they describe as being “handmade in England”. They also sell notebooks and the like, a few of which are made in England. Made in England products are labeled as such on their website – http://www.sloanestationery.com

The Parson’s Pocket Book starts the week on a Sunday. Country of origin is not stated on their website, but the company who sell it told me by email on 21st August 2015 that the Parson’s Pocket Books are printed and bound in the UK. The loose leaf version is printed in the same material, and is produced by the same company who print and bind the pocket book itself. The paper quality is 80gsm white offset – the same as or similar to photocopier paper. This very attractive diary is made by Atkinson Publications. The layout is week-to-view Sunday start with a notes page on the facing left page. The size is a handy 100mm x 162mm, and it has 224 pages with a robust case bound cover and a ribbon. Optionally you can also have pockets in the front and / or rear covers. In its 106th issue for 2016, this comprehensive diary includes the Lectionary (a list or book of portions of the Bible appointed to be read at divine service) for Common Worship for Sundays and weekdays and Holy Days with additional readings. As you can tell, the pocket book is squarely aimed at churchgoers and Anglican clergy. The Parson’s Pocket Book is available direct from their website and elsewhere. I found a 2015 version on Amazon where you can look inside the book. Most clergy diaries begin in Advent, the start of the liturgical year (which commences on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew’s Day (30 November) – in 2015 it’s Sunday November 29th) , and I assume this one is no exception to that rule. Atkinson Publications also make books about railways – https://www.atkinsonspublications.co.uk

The Parson's Pocket Book 2016 by Atkinson Publications Made in the UK. Sunday start, with notes.

The Parson’s Pocket Book 2016 by Atkinson Publications Made in the UK. Sunday start, with notes.

The Parson's Pocket Book 2015 by Atkinson Publications, inside view. Sunday start week-to-view with a notes page to the left. Made in the UK.

The Parson’s Pocket Book 2015 by Atkinson Publications, inside view. Sunday start week-to-view with a notes page to the left. Made in the UK.

The Parson's Pocket Book by Atkinson Publications. Inside view showing Lectionary. Made in the UK.

The Parson’s Pocket Book by Atkinson Publications. Inside view showing Lectionary. Made in the UK.

The Canterbury Church Book and Desk Diary 2016 (hardback / loose leaf) is printed and bound in the UK by the CPI Group in Croydon. This was confirmed to me by email on 24th August 2015, but is not mentioned on their website. These Church diaries by Canterbury Press for next year run from the start of Advent 2015 to the eve of Advent 2016. Designed especially for clergy, churchwardens and church staff, the church desk diary provides one page per weekday and a double page spread for Sundays. Desk diary in hardback or a loose-leaf personal organiser-sized or A5 organiser sized edition. Canterbury Press is an imprint of Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd – http://www.canterburypress.co.uk

Please note that Collins (Colins Debden) diaries are made in Singapore, including the dairies they produce for Unions such as the PCS diary and the ISU diary. Colins talk about their British history and their environmental credentials on their website, but they do not admit to manufacturing abroad on their website. As far as I know all Colins diaries and other products are foreign made. “In 1989 Wm. Collins & Sons merged with Harper and Row of the US to form Harper Collins publishing. In 1995 the stationery and diary division of Harper Collins, and the long established fountain logo was acquired by Debden to form the company we know today as Collins Debden Ltd.” (from the Collins website). William Collins & Sons have gone then, split into Collins Debden making diaries (but not manufacturing in Scotland anymore) and Harper Collins (part of News Corp of the USA) making books.

WHSmith diaries do not state country of origin in them and are presumably made abroad. WHSmith (Smiths) have a long British history and it is a shame they do not support British manufacturing by having their diaries made in the UK. WHSmith advise me that some of their diaries are made in the United Kingdom, with others being manufactured in South Korea or China, but unfortunately as they do not state country of origin in their diaries you cannot which ones are UK made.

Banner diaries do not state country of origin in them and are presumably made abroad. Banner was originally a division of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) before privatisation so it it is disappointing so many of their products are now foreign made.  The 2014 diary work have given me was supplied by Banner and country of origin is stated on that (it is made in India).

Office Depot / Viking Direct / Niceday do not bother to give country of origin for their office diaries. I suspect all their own brand diaries are foreign made.

In case you didn’t realise, Italian notebook brand Moleskin (which does Monday start or page-per-day diaries) are not made in the UK or even in Italy for that matter, but in China, Vietnam or Turkey.  Castelli diaries are made in Italy.  Quo Vadis diaries seem reluctant to say where their diaries are made on their UK website, but from what I can gather from their US website and elsewhere, the paper used is made in France, the diaries themselves are then made in the USA and the covers are made in Canada; in any case they are not made in the UK.

Sadly, the SPCK Church Pocket Book is not made in the UK. Nowadays it is made in India.

Doubtless there are more British made diaries and calendars out there, but you will need to check carefully to make sure it is made and printed in the UK and that what you are buying really is British.

Please note that when it comes to diaries the size given often refers to the size of the internal pages not the size of the overall diary plus cover.

Do weeks start on a Sunday or a Monday?

A quick look on the net gives opinions in favour of both. I think this is very much down to personal choice. For me the week starts on a Sunday because that’s when my working week starts and because that’s what I am used to I want a Sunday start diary. For others a Monday start diary or calendar might be the choice, for example because it keeps Saturday and Sunday together in a week-to-view diary. Traditionally the week starts on a Sunday in the UK from what I remember and this is evidenced by the photographs of old diaries below which start the week on a Sunday (although other old diaries may have started the week on a Monday). “Sunday, in the ecclesiastical numbering system also counted as the feria prima or the first day of the week” according to Wikipedia. The Parson’s Pocket Book (see above) starts the week on a Sunday. In conclusion, the week starts on a Sunday!

Thomas H. Flowers’ diary, 5 February: ‘Colossus did its first job. Car broke down on way home.’ Not sure who made this dairy but it looks good.

Thomas H. Flowers’ diary, 5 February: ‘Colossus did its first job. Car broke down on way home.’ Not sure who made this dairy but it looks good.

The calendar page from a 1940 diary, Sunday start. This particular diary is a page-per-day Charles Letts’s Diary, made in England for a British market.

The calendar page from a 1940 diary; Sunday start. This particular diary is a page-per-day Charles Letts’s Diary, made in England for a British market.

War-time prime minister Neville Chamberlain's diary, Sunday start. He marked the start of World War II by writing "War declared" on 3rd September 1939.

War-time prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s diary; Sunday start. He marked the start of World War II by writing “War declared” on 3rd September 1939.

The diary of Arthur Travers Saulez. I don’t know who made this rather smart Sunday start diary.

The diary of Arthur Travers Saulez. I don’t know who made this rather smart Sunday start diary.

British made diaries – UK made diary – UK 2014 diaries – Diary made in the UK – Diary made in Great Britain – British diaries – British made academic diaries – British datebooks – Diaries made in the UK – Appointment book – Engagement book – Organiser – Personal Organiser – Calendar – Agenda – Schedule – Filofax – British made appointment book – Mid year diary – Date book – Letts – Leathersmith – Go Stationery – Full diary – Sunday start diaries – Diaries made in the UK  – UK made diaries – UK diaries.