Procter Bros History
The Procter business was originally established in 1740 by William Varley, with the business of today operating 5 separate divisions - Machine Guarding, Fencing Systems and Sliding Gates, Concrete and Fencing Products, Cast Stone Architectural Features. In all its business, Procter aims to combine the best aspects of traditional craftsmanship and care for its customers and employees, with up to date technology and production methods.During the 18th and 19th centuries the business was mainly involved in the manufacture of a wide range of agricultural and domestic wire products from a number of small factories in Yorkshire.
The trading name of Procter Bros was introduced in 1884 by John and Charles Procter, and it was under their control that the company really started to develop its identity as specialist wire workers. The company today is managed by John’s great grandsons Chris and Jeremy and his great great grandson, also called John is working in the business.
In 1897, a Leeds inventor called James Henry Atkinson invented a better mousetrap which he named “The Little Nipper”. He asked Procters to manufacture these for him and in 1913 the company purchased the rights for £2,000. This was the start of today’s comprehensive range of domestic pest control products.
With the outbreak of the First World War the company had gained considerably in stature and was involved in numerous government contracts, one particular instance being the supply of strong woven wire for use as a bomb proof guard over the roof of Buckingham Palace.
In the twenties and thirties the company continued to develop its manufacturing base with a wide range of products such as machine guards, riddles, sieves, fireguards and wire fencing being produced.
During the Second World War output was dramatically changed with the company supplying the military with parts for Bailey Bridges, parachute frames, and special wire mesh suitable for aircraft landing strips in sandy or marshy locations and fencing for virtually all the country’s aerodromes. A factory was established in Cardiff and later moved to it’s current site at Bedwas.
After the war the company reverted to its pre-war manufacturing base, supplying both the retail and industrial sectors through the fifties and into the early sixties.
In the mid sixties the business was restructured to concentrate exclusively on the specialist fencing and machine guarding sectors of the industry while continuing to manufacture its famous Little Nipper mouse and rat traps.
Today from its sites in Garforth, near Leeds and Bedwas in South Wales, the company is a market leader with it’s nationwide fencing and guarding services that integrate the best of traditional skills with the latest techniques and services.
Prestigious contracts in recent years include the railings and ornamental gates of Kensington Palace and major guarding projects for the London Underground Jubilee Lines and in the USA for Ingersoll’s Chrysler project.
New products have been introduced to broaden the range of the traps department and at Garforth a range of Cast stone architectural features is providing strong growth to supplement its traditional fencing products.
Still very much a family firm Procter Bros recognizes the need to develop it’s products markets and staff to meet the challenges of global business and to secure the future success of the business.