It is important for historians of the future that information on the
lock making industry is collected while people who worked in the trade
are still alive. This gazetteer is my start to that collection.
This gazetteer is based on the lock and key makers listed in the 1953
edition of Kelly’s Directory, which is about the time of my first
connection with the trade. I can remember going round the
Willenhall area with my father, Horace Evans, as he delivered keys from
Arthur Hough and Sons to many lock makers and having to carry heavy
boxes and sacks of keys up long entries and up flights of stairs to
workshops in houses. I later joined Arthur Hough and Sons in 1960
and from then on had first hand contact with many lock makers both large
While compiling this gazetteer I have drawn on my own time in the
trade and on the reminiscences of many people who have been prepared to
answer my questions, together with articles from many sources.
The late Jim Evans.
|Although the gazetteer started life as a list of Willenhall and
Wolverhampton firms still in existence in 1953, it has grown to include
firms who had closed before 1953 and companies outside the area,
including some European firms, who have local connection.
included are a number of ancillary trades, without which lock making
could not have survived: malleable iron casting companies, factors
who distributed the products and even a file maker, without whom the
lock maker would have been unable to work.
List of Makers
The makers are listed alphabetically. Click on the
appropriate button to get to the relevant pages. Note that
where the firm's name consists of a first name and surname it is listed
under the surname. Many firms amalgamated, were taken over or simply
changed their names. Where possible cross references have been
inserted (but not cross links). Such firms are usually listed under the
latest name available.
|List of manufacturers for
|The Gazetteer, as it was first put on this site, was compiled by Jim
Evans. He got his information from many sources, especially the
records of his own company, Arthur Hough. But he also relied on many
interviews and had received a lot of material from many other people.
Much information and many illustrations came from Trevor Dowson. After
the Gazetteer was first put on to this site it was added to by Jim Evans
himself and also by further contributions from others.
Jim Evans. Courtesy of David Beere.
|It is with the greatest regret that the webmaster has to
mention that Jim Evans passed away in February 2003. His knowledge of the lock
and key trade was incomparable and he was always happy to share it.
was not only an historian of this trade, but also contributed greatly to this
site with his histories of locally made racing cars, a subject in which he
had a great interest. His enthusiasm and his friendly character is
Since Jim's death the gazetteer has been frequently
updated by Bev Parker.
|Any contributions, additions, or corrections will be most welcome, however small or large. Please send any further information to
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