James Gibbons Ltd. from 1939 onwards
An advert from 1953.
|In the 1950s lock making was becoming a
smaller and smaller proportion of their work. Their catalogue
of "Architectural Fittings", dated 1952, is mostly concerned with
door and window furniture and also shows balustrades and wrought
But it also shows that they were well established
in making these sorts of things before the war and received a number
of distinguished commissions, which continued to come in after the
There is a link to extracts from the catalogue at the
foot of this page.
|In an advertisement, probably
from the 1950s, Gibbons made great use of this picture, said to be
of one of their workmen.
They were exploiting the fact that
they were very long-established and that they retained the old craft
skills as well as using modern production methods.
there always was a place for the hand craftsman not only in locks
but also in many of their other products.
As Frank Spittle has related, the firm was converted into a
limited company in order to give employees a chance to share in it.
This eventually had the result of enabling the company to be taken over, by
Radiation, a London based firm.
After a few years Radiation was in turn taken over by the
Tube Investment Group who, in 1975, changed the name to T.I. James Gibbons
Ltd. The company was then split into two divisions:
TI James Gibbons Windows, specialising in the supply
and installation of high performance windows, together with other major
products, including the "Slimline" range of aluminium doors, screens and
shop fronts; and
TI James Gibbons Ironmongery,
specialising in the supply of an extensive range of architectural
ironmongery, including the "Format" range of door furniture and
By this time they had virtually finished making locks; what
locks they were selling with their door furniture were being made by Evered
Security Products Ltd. In 1978 they sold the sole rights to the
manufacture of James Gibbons Locks to Evered Security Products Ltd (formerly
Erebus Manufacturing Co. and later Erebus Ltd) (qv). On the 18th April
1988, Erebus Ltd sold on the sole rights to Quality Lock Ltd. (qv)
By the beginning of 2005 the two parts of James
Gibbons were both members of the Send Group plc and both had their
premises at Vulcan Road, Bilston. James Gibbons Ltd.
made roller shutters, remote control garage doors, curtain walling,
windows, structural glazing, planar, shop fronts, doors.
James Gibbons Format Ltd. produce architectural ironmongery.
Contracts included work on the Barbican Centre, the Old Bailey, the
Channel Tunnel, Changi Airport and Molineux Stadium.
In May 2005 Col-Secure Facades Ltd, of Old Heath
Road, Wolverhampton bought out two divisions - James Gibbons Systems
and James Gibbons Windows - which produced much the same products as
Col-Secure. In June 2005 it was mistakenly announced in the
press that James Gibbons Format Ltd. was ceasing production.
The report was, according to the company "utter rubbish".
Which is good, as it means this venerable company is still in rude
Gibbon's products, such as the brass keyhole
plate, left, were often marked only with the company name and
location, as on the back of the plate, shown right.