Over a hundred years of British engineering
Would you believe that Blaker has been in existence for well over 100 years?
Its earliest incarnation – Blaker Engineering Co. Ltd – was based in Islington, North London, and specialised in ‘Motor Aero. and General Engineers’. Mr A.A. Blaker was responsible for the formation of The Hallé Spring Wheel Syndicate Ltd. which developed The Hallé Spring Wheel. This praised innovation won gold medal status at the Liége Universal Exhibition in 1905. On March 22nd, 1905, The Daily Mail wrote:
“The first is the Hallé Wheel, the principle is which of that of three parallel rulers bound together with parallel links, &c. The device is suitable for all kinds of motor work , and is, perhaps the most practical of all types of spring wheels that have been forthcoming so far.”
The move to West Sussex
In the early 1930s the company purchased a blacksmith’s shop and garage in Dial Post, West Sussex, as a new axle and chassis repair business. Changing its name to Blaker Specialist Welding Repairs Ltd. in 1935, the company grew steadily but really expanded towards the beginning of the second world war.
During the second world war, Blaker undertook a huge variety of essential war work. Click here to read more about our war effort.
The distinctive Blaker vans were seen all over the South of England on their travels doing mobile chassis repairs on site. By 1946 Blaker employed around 30 people from the local area and was the ‘go-to’ company for all machinery and vehicle repairs. ‘Make do and Mend’ was the national mantra.
A new workshop means bigger projects
A middle workshop was added to the premises in the early 1970s and was used for the repairs of large lorries / earth moving machinery and fabricating large pieces of equipment for the utility industry. As the vehicle preservation movement grew, Blaker became a reputable service for vintage restoration and repairs to historic vehicles.
A new premises in Billingshurst
Blaker became part of the Charles Muddle group of companies in July 2005 and moved to bigger premises in Billingshurst near Horsham, West Sussex.
We are proud of our heritage and keep up with many of the old traditions; supporting local suppliers, recruiting a local workforce and treating every job with the same level of importance. Whether it’s repeat business with customers we’ve known for years, or the challenge of tackling unusual projects, including design and project management, we treat each job with the same level of care and attention.
We harbour a secret passion for repairing vintage and steam vehicles. With their superior build quality and masses of character, it’s always a treat to see one of these beauties come into the workshop. Curious? See our case studies to see what we mean.
Get in touch
Pay us a visit to see our workshop in action. As well as enjoying good cup of tea and seeing the projects we have on, you’ll notice the respect we have for our clients, our projects and each other. In common with those who worked in the original site back in the 1930s, we love what we do and always do our best.
What a project! We really enjoyed tracing the history of Blaker back to before 1900. Calling on the stories and memories of families of previous employees, it’s been wonderfully enlightening to take a trip down memory lane and see how Blaker developed over time. Special thanks to Alan Davis.
For more information call or email our team: 01403 783634