Bellerby & Co Globemakers
Today, the ‘Made in London’ badge is, sadly, all too rare, but it is not yet extinct. Last week, we featured three brands that design and manufacture within the M25. While it may seem impractical to fight rising rents and urban complications, these brands have found a purpose that is worth all of the effort. Peter Bellerby of Bellerby & Co Globemakers sums it up: “It’s important that cities like London don’t lose their locally made products and take the chance to employ local talent instead of always looking abroad.” For them, ‘Made in London’ also means “made by London,” and the emphasis on local talent and materials is essential to the process. Here are three more locavores worthy of attention:
Counting Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament amongst their esteemed customers, Handover have been making paintbrushes in their London and Welwyn Garden City workshops for over 60 years. The company was originally started by Mr and Mrs Handover who went door to door selling hand-made brushes and sundries. For the past 40 years or so, though, Michael Venus has owned the company grown the business into what it is today.
“Handover is very much a London business; it was born here, and it has grown up here, and a lot of our customers have lived here and shopped with us for almost their whole lives. This is what draws us to stay here,” explains Handover’s Sales & Communications Manager Charlotte Wormley-Healing. “All of our brush-makers live in London, and this is another reason to stay in the city!”
Indeed, Handover’s handmade brushes are at the top of every artist and craftsmen’s wishlist! Thanks to their staggering range, which caters to every decorating specialism including gilders, signwriters, and pinstripers. As well as brushes, Handover supplements its own production by stocking a comprehensive range of decorating tools, brushes, scumble glazes, gold leaf, signwriting enamels, varnishes, french polishes, universal strainers, pigments, and artists’ oil colours, water colours and acrylics—to name just a few!
Bellerby & Co Globemakers
British globemaking company Bellerby & Co was founded in 2008 by Peter Bellerby after a frustrating two-year search for a globe for his father’s 80th birthday present. Shocked by the dearth of quality options, he decided to make his own from his studio in Stoke Newington. Still based there, Peter and his team of trained globemakers continue to make work every day using traditional and modern globemaking techniques.
“We take pride in being able to employ talented locals artists, painters, designers, woodworkers, illustrators, metal workers, a cartographer, and an engraver right here in London,” says Bellerby, whose globes are now shipped to customers across the world and used on the sets of Hollywood movies. “Bellerby & Co is a British company with all locally sourced materials so we will always operate true to our brand. We have no dreams of focusing on how to do things cheaper or easier or being in a situation where we can’t oversee and touch every single globe before it is sent to the customer.”
With a 240-strong team operating out of a 86,182 sq ft-factory in Greenford, Brompton is the UK’s biggest bike manufacturer. Since 1975, the company has been producing the ubiquitous folding city bike. Andrew Ritchie first conceived of the idea in his flat in South Kensington, opposite the Brompton Oratory—hence the name. By 1977 he’d made the first prototype, and by 1981 it was in production.
Today, Brompton sells a staggering 45,000 of its folding bikes per year across 45 countries. The company has won numerous awards, has its own World Championship racing event, and has even sent a Brompton to the South Pole!
Each Brompton bicycle is hand-brazed at the London factory —a joining process that makes it tough enough to withstand the city environment. Stamped by the brazer’s unique initials, each bike is made using a range of technologies from 3D printers to automotive industry CAM machines.