The UK has a long tradition of manufacturing which in some respects has fallen from interest in recent years. The focus was on the financial industry, especially in London.  However, the economic upheaval of the last few years has brought about a renewed interest in manufacturing as a sector of importance in today’s British economy.  As one of the oldest manufacturers in London still in operation today, we at Aianos are obviously pleased to see our industry coming back into focus!  Last year’s inaugural UK Manufacturing Summit was a success, and the second year’s installment occurred this week.

In honour of the summit, we thought we would highlight some other historic UK manufacturers.

  1. Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Our neighbours! They’ve been around since 1570, making bells in the heart of the city. World-famous for their history and high quality work.
  2. Durtnell. Not quite a manufacturer, but a builder and thus close to our hearts nonetheless! Founded in 1591, they are still going strong down in Kent.
  3. Lyons. Didn’t quite make it into the 21st century, but this family food manufacturer was one of the older ones around, lasting from 1887 to 1998.
  4. Kemble.  The last UK piano manufacturer to fold, Kemble had been making fine English pianos since 1911 but finally closed under Yamaha’s ownership in 2009.

If you know any other UK manufacturers with a long or interesting story, please let us know!

Update: the BBC’s recent mini-series “Made in Britain” is a great addition to the conversation on British manufacturing. Read more in this article from The Engineer.

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