LA TROBE HANDCUFFS LTD. OAKWOOD PARK, CONWY,
||A company set up by Peter La Trobe, a descendant of the
La Trobe family who ran Hiatt, (q.v.) to manufacture handcuffs in the
They only ran for a short time and ceased production in
JOHN LAVENDER, WOLVERHAMPTON
||This is a miniature safe (note the Coke can for an
indication of its size). The brass plate reads "John Lavender
This name has not (yet) been found in the
category "Safe Makers" in the Wolverhampton Red Books during the
20th century, so the firm may be older. Nothing else is known
of the company at present.
Thanks to Steve Cannon for the photo.
WILLIAM & JOHN LEA, POOL STREET, WOLVERHAMPTON
An advert from 1851.
An advert from 1865.
J. LEGGE & CO. LTD. MOAT STREET, WILLENHALL
history of Legge & Co.
W. & R. LEGGOTT, SILENS WORKS, EAST PARADE, BRADFORD
The company was established in 1881. The firm was awarded a
silver medal at the Antwerp Exhibition in 1894 for machinery and
machine tools, and had an Honorable Mention for small machinery.
The company is listed in Whitaker's 1914 Red Book of Commerce as
brass and bronze founders, lock and window gearing
manufacturers, specialising in opening gearing for lantern
lights and ranges of skylights, locks, door furniture, door
springs, espagnolette bolts, wrought iron casements and stays
etc., fanlight and skylight openers, single and continuous.
There were 130 employees.
A. LEWIS AND SONS (WILLENHALL) LTD. 47 CHURCH STREET,
|Manufacturers of lever, brass box, till cupboard hook
bolt and wardrobe locks.
Founded in 1920 and still in existence today. Run by Terry Lewis, employing 2 people.
RICHARD M. LORD LTD. ALBERT WORKS, GOLDTHORN
||Established in 1868 to make safe locks, flat key locks
and brass safe fittings, sold under the "Scorpion" trade mark.
Existing in 1953. Not existing in 1970. Nothing else is known.
||The Lord safe that can be seen in
Hall 1, in the Rolfe Street Baths building, at the Black Country Living
Museum, in Dudley.
The safe plate that's on the safe in
the previous photo.
The other plate on the safe above.
LIPS SLOTEN, MERWEDESTRAAT 48, 3313 CS,
DORDRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS
Courtesy of Trevor Dowson.
|Lips was founded in 1870 and remained a family business
until 1973 when they were taken over by Chubb and became
Chubb Lips Nederland BV.
Along with the rest of the Chubb Group they were bought
by Racal in 1989 and became part of their security division.
In 1997 Williams Holdings bought the Security Division
Chubb Lips Nederland BV is split into three divisions.
Lock Division. T.O. Df 46 million p.a. with 235
employees. They make mortice locks; Cylinder Locks and safe deposit
Safe division. T.O. Df 60 million p.a. with 200
Electronics Division. T.O. Df 65 Million p.a. with
(MHE report 17/5/99) (See "Lock and Keys through the
Ages" by Vincent Eras)
LISTON PRODUCTS (BRIDGTOWN) LTD. UNIT 4,
UNION STREET, CANNOCK
Manufacturers of the "HODGES" Range of locks, bag
frames and brief case fittings. Set up by Mr Lisle and partner (Mr
Hinton?) to manufacture the locks etc. that had been made by Hodges
Locks (q.v.) / Samuel Wilkes (q.v.) after they went into liquidation in
Mr Lisle was the grandson of the Mr Edward Lisle who
made Star motorcycles and cars in Wolverhampton.
On the 27th May 1998 they moved to 17 Conduit
Road, Norton Canes, Cannock, to give themselves larger premises.
On the 1st June 2000 the company was acquired by C.W.Cheney &
Sons Ltd of Birmingham.
FRANK LOWBRIDGE, 103 BLOXWICH ROAD NORTH,
Key maker who used to cut cabinet keys in a small
factory opposite the school gate. Probably finished in 1950s.
Not existing in 1921 or 1970. Nothing else known.
LOWE AND FLETCHER, CHURCH STREET, WILLENHALL
Founded in 1889. Originally manufactured all types
of locks. By the 1960s there was still a family interest, the
company being run by Phillip Trevor-Jones.
The company had
become one of the major suppliers of locks to the motor industry,
with factories in Europe to serve the European car industry.
They were the first people to manufacture
a steering column lock as original equipment for the Hillman Avenger.
|In the 1960s they suffered a major fire at their
Church Street premises. As a temporary measure they moved
into a factory at Hatton Street, Bilson, while they re-built the
Church Street premises and they also built a new factory at
Aldine, Halesfield, Telford for the manufacture of cam locks and
locking devices for filing cabinets etc.
They also had a
division Fortress Interlocks Ltd, at Birmingham New Road,
Wolverhampton which manufactured key operated interlocking
systems for machinery. This was sold on in the 1980s.
Ironmonger Guide, 1950
A Lowe & Fletcher padlock.
|In 1976 they sold the car lock division to Chubb (qv),
who formed L & F Willenhall Ltd, who remained in the original Church
Street premises. Lowe and Fletcher Ltd moved into the premises
they had retained at Hatton Street, Bilston, where they made radial pin
tumbler, padlocks, safe and a range of furniture locks. They also
retained the Telford factory. As demand increased, another factory
was opened at Clothier Road, Brislington, Bristol where they set up a
new company Southern L&F Ltd.
By 1996 the Lowe and Fletcher group of companies
consisted of Lowe and Fletcher Ltd., Telford and Bilston; Lowe and
Fletcher Metal Finishing Ltd., Bloxwich; Southern L & F, Bristol;
Euro-locks sa nv, Bastogne, Belgium; Euro-locks sa, Folschviller,
France; Euro-locks gmbh, Sulzbach, Germany. They had a turnover of
£29,769,000 and employed 618 people. (Business West Midlands magazine
On the 10th August 1998 moved their
Bilston works to larger premises at Moorecroft Drive, Wednesbury.
This incorporated all the products that had previously been made at Lowe
and Fletcher, Bilston, plus some of the locking devices that had been
made at Telford. This allowed the Telford site to be developed for
the manufacture of window handles and locks.
L & F WILLENHALL LTD.
Formed when Lowe and Fletcher (q.v.) sold its car
lock division to Chubb Group in 1976, they remained in the original Lowe
and Fletcher works in Church Street Willenhall.
They were later amalgamated with C E Marshall (qv) and
eventually the Willenhall works became known by that name.
G. LUCAS & CO. BILSTON
||Originally the only record we had of this company
was this name plate, provided by courtesy of Tony Beck.
Photo courtesy of Tony Beck.
|Then Trevor Dowson provided the second name plate
(below) and the advert (right) which comes from Kelly's
Stafford Directory for 1884.
||The advert gives their foundation date as 1862 and
says that they make safes, chests and bullion boxes and
that they will gives estimates for large safes, iron
doors and strong rooms.
Trevor also notes the firm's appearance in the
directory for 1872, where their address is given as Staffordshire
Safe Works, Hall Fields, Bradley, Bilston. In the 1874
directory their address is given as Hall Fields, Daisy Bank, near
Bilston. In the 1884 advert shown above their address is given
as Daisy Bank, Bilston. As Daisy Bank can be seen as part of
Bradley, which itself is part of Bilston, it is safe to assume that
the site of the works was in fact the same all the way through.
Trevor finds the firm listed in the 1924 directory
but not thereafter. It is therefore likely that they closed at
about this time.
Matt Page has now kindly sent us
photos of his complete Lucas safe, which is shown below.
D. LYCETT AND SONS, LONG STREET, WALSALL
Run by the Lycett family, makers of locks and also
suppliers and fitters of security equipment.
In the 1960s were at Pleck Road, Walsall. They
moved into new premises in the 1970/80s in Long Street.
In existence in a trade directory of 1987. Put up
for sale in January 2000 for £175,000.
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