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Suppliers 1938

We were looking in any corner, any deep or hidden space on our vessel during her restoration. Everything what we found was gently investigated. Everything relatively very old or originally mounted on a vessel was searched in Internet or we were looking for a people to give them a questions. We have many things - all of them Made in England. Many of suppliers for Trinity House London still exist. Some of them are doing still the same, some changed a names or production profile. But to find all of them was very exciting for all of us. In 1938 to be a supplier for Trinity House was so kind of a honor. Only the best suppliers were selected to co-operate. We tried to find all of them. What was very pleasant - after our mail with pictures in most cases we received a very kind and pleasant e-mails.

So please look at our results ...

Eve Witness, Sheffield
One day we discovered something ...

in the billges...

It was a nice silver plated spoon.

There were something on it. On the front we found:

 There were four letters THPS - what means Trinity House Pilot Ship. It was a prove that this spoon was lost during a Trinity House ownership. Wow we said.

During further cleaning we started to see a back marking of our spoon:

It was not so readable but we tried. Yes it was Eve Witness from Sheffield. Sheffield is a capital of England concerning a production of cutlery. From a centuries in Sheffield many cutlery makers was producing the most famous English cutlery - known not only in UK but all around the World.
We even found their history on their web site:

So we started to look for that producer. And ... we found them. We were not so sure but we sent them an e-mail. The answer was very fast and friendly:

Dear Rafal
Thank you for sending us the pictures.
I`m sorry to say but we have no records going back to the age of your spoon.
The spoon was made in our factory in Sheffield.
I particularly like the detail on the join between the bowl and the handle.
I think you could be right about the spoon`s age.
I think the spoon was silver plated rather than solid silver.
Just like our spoon our company is still here you can see our products of today on our web site


Eve Witness in Sheffield still produce a high quality cutlery. In the same way like in 1938 when Trinity House placed an order to equip their new vessel Bembridge.
Ayr Engineering and Construction Co.


Boarding Boats for Trinity House

THE Ayr Engineering and Construc­tion Co. arc building six boarding boats for the Pilotage Department of Trinity House. The craft are 18 ft. in length, with a beam of 7 ft. and a depth of 3 ft. Each is driven by a Morris Mark V Vedette lifeboat engine, equipped with fresh-water cooling with an internal heat exchanger, and 2-1 reduction gear. The craft are to be carried on the Trinity House pilot cutters stationed at the Isle of Wight, Dover and Harwich, and their work is to transfer pilots between the cutters and ships in all weathers. Ministry of Transport trials of the first two of these boats took place recently. The craft were ballasted to a weight equivalent to 12 people (about 18 cwt.); with the engine turning at 1800-2000 r.p.m., a speed of 6-7 knots was attained. These first two boats are being carried on the new Trinity House pilot cutter "Pathfinder,"
which was lately launched at Dartmouth.

One of the 18-ft. Morris-engined boarding boats

The engines were supplied by the sole London distributors of Morris marine engines, Stewart and Ardern, Ltd., Morris House, The Vale, Acton, London. W.3.

Arrangement of the six boarding boats which are being built by the Ayr Engineering and Construction Co. for Trinity House.

Constructional details of the six boarding boats which are being built by the Ayr Engineering and Construction Co. for Trinity House.
Sankey - Sheldon Ltd
When we saw for a first time our Bembridge in Gillingham on January 2009 we saw on the bridge such a steel chair.

Nothing nice, isn't? Yes we thought the same.

The look was not very impressive, it didn't look old. Just something like office chair from 60' or 70'

As you see there is a lack of armrests

On the back side we found a small label. But that time we were not interested to find what thats mean. When Bebridge arrived to Szczecin we started to clean whole vessel before a ship yard works commenced. Everybody wanted to place this chair to a garbage container. But like with all equipment found on a vessel everything was placed to a huge old grain warehouse of my father-in-low. For a long time we forgot about this chair. Anyway it was only one chair on whole vessel.

Than one day we received a several pictures from Hugh Ferguson. One was presentiung a pilot mess room which is on the bow - just behind of fore peak. I am writing "is" because this part of the vessel survived in almost not changed look. We were forced to make a full space empty for welding works. But whole equipment is preserved and is waiting to come back after a hard shipyard works. Please look on the pictures received from Hugh:

On a first one you can see a pilots during a resting time - on the left lower corner you see a known shape but with armrest.

The second picture was much more interesting. Is is really the same?

Than we made a cut and zoom:

Comparison of two chairs - original one and our found on the bridge

And we compared with a pictures made of our old chair. And than all doubts disappeared.

Than once again we took our old chair and we checked a label visible on a rear steel bar.

A label from our chair

Than we started to read: Sankey - Sheldon LTD,  Sankey - Royal, London - England. And than we started to look at our not so beautiful chair with full respect.

So we started to look in the Internet for a company Sankey - Sheldon LTD from London. It was not so difficult.

It was not so difficult to fing that web site:

And just here we found as follow:

Joseph Sankey & Sons Ltd.

Albion Works, Bilston

A short company history

Sankey's were big. They started off by being big in Bilston, then they got to being big nationally and internationally. They ended up as part of the GKN Group. It seems that if it was made out of metal, they made it. They were popularly known for domestic hollowware, for Sankey-Sheldon steel office furniture, and for Sankey vending machines but their range of products was much wider than that.

This history of the firm has been constructed mainly from George T. Lawley, History of Bilston, John Price and Sons, Bilston, 1893; and from a history of the firm, doubtless provided by the firm, in the Wolverhampton Official handbook for 1953.

According the firm's own history Joseph Sankey was born in 1826 and became a workman in a blankshop in Bilston making and japanning tea trays. A blankshop was a factory, usually a small one, which made items, usually of domestic ware, taking them up to the point where a finish was to be applied. These blanks were then sold on to other factories where a finish, such as lacquer or enamel, and any decoration, was applied. Blankshops often made only one sort of blank and there seems to have been a tremendous demand for tea trays. In view of Sankey's later history it seems most likely that this blankshop made tin trays, stamping them out of sheet iron. The alternative would have been papier mache.

Sankey's most used trade mark. It is not known when the mark was first used nor why the sphinx was adopted.

The company's history says that at some point Sankey and two other workmen, Hartill and Jackson, set up on their own account in Dudley Street, Bilston, presumably also making blanks. Hartill died in 1854. In that year Jackson took Joseph Sankey into partnership. Lawley's version, which is practically the same, is that "the business was founded many years ago in a small blank tray manufactory, near High Street, which was owned by Messrs. Hartill and Jackson, and was eventually transferred to its present site, in 1854, where new premises were built and the business continued on a more extended scale by Messrs. Jackson and Sankey."

In 1861 this partnership was dissolved and Sankey took over sole control with Jackson as his foreman. The firm's history says "the business prospered and the range of products increased from the original tea trays to embrace many kinds of hollow-ware such as frying pans, bake pans, shovels, kettles, etc.".

Lawley continues the story: "In 1878, Mr. Sankey took into partnership his eldest son, Mr. John William Sankey, who had for some years previously taken an active part in the management, and who on the death of Mr. Joseph Sankey, in 1886, took over the entire control of the business. In this year, the old-established business of the late Mr. J. P. Whitehead, blank tray manufacturer, of Bow Street, was bought by Messrs. Sankey, and ceased to exist as a separate concern". By 1874 the firm employed 65 people.

The company history records that "About 1886 it was becoming evident that armatures for dynamos would in future be made from charcoal sheet iron instead of solid wound cores and early in 1887 Sankey's booked their first order for stampings of this nature for Siemens through a merchant firm in London, Harold and Jenkins. It is believed that their first stampings were made form the scrap centres of rims of the new bicycles which were coming into vogue at that time.... That was the beginning of the Electrical Laminations business. In February 1899 Sankeys bought this business outright from Harold and Jenkins, who subsequently acted as their agents".

Lawley says that "In 1890, the firm patented a new process for the decoration of tin plates, and during the last two years an entirely new branch has been added in the manufacture by this process of their patent "Neptune Art Ware," comprising trays, waiters, candlesticks, bread baskets, &c., in various shapes and of different designs." To judge by a catalogue issued by the firm in 1910 this was a system of embossing designs onto sheet metal which was then used to manufacture domestic items. The catalogue offers such items in "coloured" form, so the process may have included a way of adding some sort of permanent colour to the metal or parts of it.

In March, 1891, Frederick E. Sankey, and George H. Sankey were admitted into partnership. Presumably these are sons of J. W. Sankey. But according to the Victoria County History of Staffordshire, Volume 2, p.56, "the incursion of [Joseph Sankey's] sons John and George into the electrical field dates from 1886 when they pioneered the manufacture of electrical laminations for motors, dynamos and transformers". This lead to expansion of the Albert Street works in 1893 and the purchase of the Bankfield works in 1900. All electrical stampings were moved there.

Sankeys Neptune trade mark.It is not known when the mark was first used nor why this figure was adopted.

In his 1893 book Lawley describes the company as follows:

Among the chief manufactories of the town should be mentioned the Albert Street Works of Messrs. Joseph Sankey & Sons, who are now large makers of wrought-iron stamped and pressed hollow-ware, comprising frying pans, basins, bowls, milk pans, baking tins, tea kettles, shovels, &c., besides various special descriptions of iron stampings for the different Foreign and Colonial markets, such as rice bowls, dished sheets, &c., as well as paint kegs and oil drums, for which they have special machinery and plant adapted to the rapid turning out of large quantities. The oldest branch of their business is the manufacture of blank trays and waiters, which is peculiarly a Bilston trade, being closely allied to the japanning trade, for which the town has long been noted. ... There has always been a cordial relationship subsisting between the firm and its employees, of which a substantial proof is afforded by the erection and furnishing early this year of a large and comfortable room, which is given to the workmen for their own use as a Mess Room and Recreation Room, and in connection with this a Workmen's Library has been founded

The company history says: "Early in 1900 a large proportion of the Albert Street factory was engaged in the manufacture of brass and copper jugs, hot water cans, fern pots, trays, etc., decorated with embossed artistic designs. Later this department was turned over to the manufacture of oil cookers and heaters".

In 1902 the firm was turned into a limited company with J.W. Sankey as chairman.

In 1904 the Manor Iron works were purchased from Stephen Tompson & Co. Ltd. in order to acquire production facilities for the silicon steel sheets which were needed for the electrical laminations business. These works were two miles away from the Bankfiel works but had a direct canal connection. Here the company later produced Sankey Silicon Steel Sheet, under the brand names Lohys, Stalloy and Crystalloy, which were sold throughout the world.

The company's later history seems to have been one of expansion and diversification.In 1909 they started stamping steel body panels for Arrol-Johnston cars. They produced the first pressed steel artillery wheel, which replaced the wooden wheels which vehicles had used up to that time. In 1910 they acquired the Castle Works, Hadley, Telford and switched all automotive related production to that site. It was there that the company also developed Sankey-Sheldon office furniture and produced agricultural implements.

The advert below dates from some time in the early part of the 20th century.

By this time they had two works in Bilston, one in Ettingshall, and one at Wellington. Note too that they were diversifying into such things as filing cabinets, and were keeping up with newer developments by producing goods for the electrical trades, as well as vehicle wheels and brake drums.


In this advertisement the trade mark they mention is "Neptune". This trade mark may originally have been used only on those products made using their patented process (whatever that was).

This is the company's letterhead in 1910 (by courtesy of Reg Aston):

and this is an enlargement of part of it showing the three trade marks Sankeys were using:

In 1929 the company was taken over by, and became a subsidiary of, John Lysaght Ltd., which was shortly afterwards acquired by G. K. N.. But Sankeys maintained its original name.

In 1929 the company acquired the Bath Street Works in Bilston. The company's history claims "much of the pioneer work in connection with the fabrication of jet engine combustion chambers was carried out at Albert Street many years before jet aircraft flew". But the components for jet engines were actually made at the Bath Street works.

The inter-wars years were kind to Sankeys. As the VCH says: "the development of the national electricity-grid scheme created a large demand for laminations for dynamos and transformers, whilst the advent of broadcasting and the subsequent demand for wireless receiving-sets called for large quantities of small electrical stampings".

The company also seems to have continued its attempt to have "a cordial relationship subsisting between the firm and its employees" for on 6th June 1936 a new sports ground was opened:

This copy of the programme (by courtesy of Reg Aston) also indicates that there was a Sports and Social Club, sports teams and a brass band. There were long service medals to be presented to people from all four centres, something which reflects the old idea that a job was for life and, perhaps after a fair bit of moving around in younger days, people settled into one job and stayed there.


The reverse of the programme shows the sports ground between Dudley Street and Bankfield Road, Bilston (north is not at the top of this map); that the ground had a pavilion - and a car park that would doubtless soon become too small - and a miniature golf course.

Sankeys had always been into export in a big way. In 1943 they set up Sankey Electrical Stampings Ltd. in Bombay (Mumbai) to produce electrical laminations. In 1950 another factory for electrical laminations was set up in Calcutta (Kolkata). In the same year an electrical laminations factory was started in Newcastle, Australia, and steel furniture factory was opened in Johannesburg. In 1952 a factory for both electrical laminations and steel furniture was opened in Canada.

Stainless steel hospital ware at the Albert Street works. (This and the next two pictures are from 1953).
Electrical steel laminations at Bankfield

Aircraft propeller components as Albert Street. According the the VCH, Sankeys co-operated with de Havillands during WWII in the development and production of jet engines.

Mary Mills and Tracey Lewis (in "Bilston, Tettenhall and Wednesfield", Tempus, 1998, record that "by the 1950s Bankfield Works was described as the largest and best equipped in Europe for the production of laminations for the electrical and allied industries".

advert from 1950

advert from 1953

Mills and Lewis also record that "following the closure of the Bilston Steel works, was Bilston's largest employer. However, hundreds of workers at the Albert Street brewery products, engineering works, vending machines and electrical laminations plants at Bankfields were made redundant during the 1980s in an effort to survive huge financial losses".

Sankeys no longer exist in Bilston. Their local demise was a part of the collapse of manufacturing industry in the 1980s. The Morrisons superstore now stands on part of the old Sankey site.

Next page was about Sankey's Art Metalware.

It was here:

So here you have a content:

Joseph Sankey & Sons Ltd.


Art Metalware

The information on this page has been assembled by Frank Sharman. Some of the material has been gleaned from , the art metalware web site. We are grateful to Gregory J. Kolojeski for permission to use this material. Readers of this page should visit that site. Except where otherwise acknowledged all photos on this page are from a private collection in Wolverhampton.

When Sankeys started to produce art metalware is not known but it seems possible that they did so about 1890 when, according to the 19th century Bilston historian, Lawley, "the firm patented a new process for the decoration of tin plates, and during the last two years an entirely new branch has been added in the manufacture by this process of their patent "Neptune Art Ware," comprising trays, waiters, candlesticks, bread baskets, &c., in various shapes and of different designs." The art nouveau styles found on many pieces tends to confirm this as a likely date. Gregory Kolojeski has noted Sankey's registered designs from 1896 through to 1914.

In July 1932 Sankeys sent out this letter with a catalogue. The letter says "We have decided to liquidate our present stocks of all lines of Art Metalware" and it says the prices "have been reduced very considerably". A sticker attached to the catalogue gives the discount as 50%. The letter also says "We shall be unable to repeat the present prices when the stocks are cleared".

Whilst this leaves open the possibility that production of art metalwares was to continue, this is far less likely than this being the last fling.

The catalogue which this letter accompanied is shown right. It is dates May 1932 and contains 26 copiously illustrated pages. Whilst not every one of their known art metalware products is listed, a very large number of them is and from all categories. This confirms the statement that they were liquidating all stocks and that 1932 is the best date for the end of production of these goods.

(catalogue and letter from a private collection)

Sankeys used three trade marks: the Sphinx, the figure of Neptune and the letter S in a diamond pattern. The Sphinx and Neptune have both been found on art metalware but the commonest form of marking seems to have been variations of the letters JS&S or JS&SB. It is possible that the "B" stands for Bilston.

The two marks, top left, appear on ewers (in a private collection in Wolverhampton). The other two marks are from the Artmetalware web site.

Note that another Wolverhampton company, John Shaw and Sons, also sometimes put the letters J S & S on their products. But these were a different class of product and, so far as is known, Shaws never made art metalware. The letters JS&S have been noted on, for example, a brass blow lamp.

Sankeys produced a wide range of art metalware items and the full extent of their production is not yet known. However a catalogue produced by the company in 1910 probably covers most of the items produced. (Wolverhampton City Archives, call number DX302). The catalogue is titled "Stamped and Pressed Holloware. Art Metal Work. Embossed and Engraved Sheets".

It starts with a wide selection of practical, utilitarian domestic wares. It then comes to what might be termed art metalware. It is not clear as to what items are produced in what combinations of materials, finishes and designs. However those mentioned are copper, brass, caspian silver, electro-plate, nickel-plate and oxidised silver.

There is a separate section headed "Neptune Art Ware" and this must be the patented process referred to by Lawley. Nearly all of the items in this section are waiters but there are also fruit dishes and, surprisingly, dust pans. It appears that this ware consists of metal sheet embossed all over with elaborate patterns. Amongst the items are round and oval waiters which are offered in a silver finish or "coloured and silver" or "coloured and gold" and some are "coloured in relief". There is no mention of what colours are available. But the entries suggest that this Neptune process could include some sort of finish in colours but, whether the colour is enamel or what, there is no way of telling.

Neptune art ware is also available as embossed sheets. This suggests that Sankeys were selling the processed sheets to anyone who wanted to have a go at producing art metalware themselves.

To give a list of what the catalogue offers in copper, brass and other metals and finishes would be very boring. So here goes.

cake baskets, breakfast trays, afternoon tea trays, crumb sets, scoops and brushes, bread trays, bread boards, tea pot stands, finger bowls, cheese butter and biscuit dishes, hot water jugs (mostly with or without lids), hot water cans, match holders, ash trays, fern pots, panels and finger plates, photograph frames, string boxes, desk pads, fire guards, umbrella stands, waste paper baskets, toilet trays, brushes, mantle strips, tea caddies, candle sticks, coal boxes and scuttles.

The following illustrations show at least something of the range.

A tray in copper. These large and weighty trays, especially those with some sort of art nouveau or arts and crafts attributes, are much beloved by antique dealers, who charge fancy prices for them.


To judge by the numbers still around, these jugs or ewers were a popular line. The catalogue refers to them simply as "hot water jugs". They came in at least three finishes, shown here, from left to right: hammered, art nouveau and lizard skin. (photo courtesy the Englishmetalware site)


This lizard skin hot water jug, size 3, has the Neptune trade mark on its base.


To modern tastes these plain versions may look more elegant than the patterned ones. Above are two copper jugs, one size 4, the other size 3. To the right is a copper jug, size 3.



Presumably all designs were available in both metals. Here are size 4 lizard skin hot water jugs in copper and brass.


These hot water jugs came in at least five sizes. The size number usually seems to be stamped on the base. There were also two handle designs, shown here on brass art nouveau jugs. (photo courtesy the Englismetalware site)


A further variation was provided by a flip top lid, available, according to the catalogue, on nearly all sizes and styles of the hot water jugs. (photo courtesy the Englishmetalware site)


These look like tankards but are called hot water jugs in the catalogue. They came in both metals, at least two handle and thumb catch styles, and at least two decorative patterns. (source of photo unknown. interested parties please contact the curator)


These tea caddies (courtesy of the Englishmetalware site) show both metals, two patterns and two sizes. There may have been more variations.


A chamber candlestick (courtesy of the Englishmetalware site). At the time it was produced such a piece was for practical use in lighting your way to bed.


This copper hot water can is plain but is also known in a honeysuckle design. (courtesy of the Englishmetalware site)


A large crumbtray in brass.(Frank Sharman's collection). Crumbtrays could usually be bought with or without a matching brush. The most usual practice was to use a crumb tray with a folded napkin, not a brush. The catalogue shows brushes with all crumb trays but there are fewer designs of brush than there are of crumb trays - it seems that the nearest match was used to make up a set.


A plain crumbscoop in brass. (Frank Sharman's collection). This very plain style does not appear in the catalogue but it is marked JS&S.


This crumb tray may be in the original Neptune art metal. It is embossed with an overall pattern. It also has to be said that the finish is unnaturally bright and very red.


Two cache pots, each about 4" high. left: on three bun feet and with lily of the valley frieze. right: pierced frieze and with oak leaf and acorn frieze.

It is difficult to say where art metalware ends and an attractive design of a utilitarian piece begins.

This is said to be a pub tray. Stamped into it is a line drawing of two men in roughly 18th century clothes, seated on a chair and a settle.

It was found in Australia. It may have got their with an immigrant's effects; or Sankeys may have exported the stuff.


A Sankey's jug in the same design as the copper and brass versions but in bright chrome. Clearly of a much later date and showing the Sphinx trade mark on its base.

This is the trade mark on the base of the chrome ewer. It is just as faint in the original, being only very lightly impressed.

At some point Sankeys also started to produce stainless steel utensils of a plain but attractive design:

Stainless steel frying pan, bowl and tankard (from Kath Kiely's kitchen)

Thats all. We hope it was tha same interesting for you like for all of us.

Richard Pickersgill & Sons Ltd.

Label of Richard Pickersgill & Sons Ltd.

Mr. Richard Pickersgill

The factory on Silver Street in Stockton-on-Tees

Factory shop offering a wide range of their production

Original stamp of a Company used in advertisements published in the press and catalogs

The second advertisement stamp

C. W. Wastnage Ltd. - today FLAG Paints Ltd
One day we started to make an order in fore peak. I was over there with Waldek Hlobuczek - a boss of Forkor - our shipyard. In one moment Waldek said: Look at that:

Oh, a can of old paint! But how old is it?

So we took it to our office.

After a lond cleaning we saw a whole label ...

And on the bottom we saw a producer:

One detail was interesting - a phone No. LEY 2263 - so typical number for a handy phone centrals used before and during a WWII. Such a centrals disappeared in 50's - so it was definitively a very old paint.

Like usually we started to look for in in Internet. And ... we found.

We sent of course an e-mail with all pictures. After a short time an answer arrived:

Dear Rafal,
Thank you very much for your email. We've done some investigating and the best that we can offer is that the product was manufactured prior to 1960 (it could have been anytime between 1940 and 1960!). It was an Oleoresinous Floor Seal. We don't have anything similar nowadays but we have various different types of new floor varnishes, in both water and solvent based formulations.
Good luck with the restoration, it would be great to see some more photo's when she's done.
Kind regards,

Martin Noon
Sales Director
FLAG Paints Ltd
Springfield Industrial Estate
Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, CM0 8UA
Samuel Taylor and Sons Ltd.
One day during cleaning of Bembridge after her arrival from UK we found in one cabin just under a wheel house a nice amount of documents and books prepared for a "new owner" by one of members of Essex Yacht Club in Leight on Sea.

This cartoon label was on the top of that papers

He prepared it in 2004 and nobody found it from a new owners - only we done it.

A great moment - we were more than happy!

It was on 26.02.2009.

Among the others we found many drawings. One was extremely interesting one:

The davits drawing found on Bembridge

Here we saw for a first time how looked original davits for a Pilot Boarding Boats. One of them is visible on a right side. So we received enough info to know how they were constricted, mounted and equipped. What is very interesting davit visible on a left was newer mounted on her deck. It was for life boats. In Smiths Dock they prepared all screw holes for such a type but finally all these holes was covered by steel plate and they mounted standard forged arm davits - simple and to be turned handy only.

When we started to look very gently on that drawing we found in the bottom right corner a full data about one company:

A stamp on the drawing

Who they were? The designer? Maybe a producer? Yes - finally we discovered that Samuel Taylor and Sons was a company which produced davits.

Full name of our davits producer

We started to trace internet but we found only e few data about them. It was strange - because later on we found that their davits were quite popular in shipbuilding industry in UK in XX century.
Why they disappeared?

A name of their famous product

Samuel Taylor and Sons brand disappeared in 1966 when the last davits were produced. We are still trying to discover their history but ... it is very difficult.

Only what we know from their history is what we found in internet: Incorporated in 1914 and liquidated in 1966. Acquired total control of Welin, Maclachlan Davits in 1958. The business was owned by Hingley's from 1914 and the limited company was incorporated ostensibly under the control of the Taylor family to hide the fact.

One day by really coincident we found on Ebay this nice brochure:

Here you can find whole brochure

We were very happy because we received a next amount of important details. Now we know - we are looking for Samuel Taylor and Sons davits, an in our case: columbus LUM type davits.

Who can help?

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