Bradley & Co. Ltd

Mount Pleasant, Bilston

This company, founded in 1872, was originally called Bradley & Co. Ltd., but changed its name to that of its famous trademark, becoming Beldray Ltd..  It closed in 2005.  It mainly made domestic holloware, branched out into art metalware, became famous for its ironing boards and finally added safety equipment to its range. 

The story of the company and its products is told in the following pages.  You can access each page in any order from the list below; and, from the buttons at the foot of this and each of the other pages, you can read the pages in sequence. 

1.  Walter S. Bradley and the founding of the company

2.  The company's early range of goods

3.  Art metalware:  brass and copper goods

4.  Up to World War 1

5.  The Interwar Years

6.  World War 2

7.  1945 to 2005: the products

8.   1945 to 2005: company history

9.  The Beldray Ghost

10.  Workers and the company social life

11.  The Bradley Family

Sources and acknowledgements

The only known historical accounts of the company are two typescripts by Mary Southall; and those by two other ex-employees, George Phillpott and Brian Davies, both of which were written for, and first appeared on, the Black Country Memories Club web site. Considerable assistance has also come from Jaap Arriens, of the Netherlands, whose great grandfather was Walter Smith Bradley, the founder of the company; this material includes much material about the family.   Harold Marriott, Winifred Roberts, the Booth Family and other local people have also provided information.  Michael Doubleday has provided all the information about is grandfather and father, Harry and Norman Doubleday, which shed considerable light on the period at the beginning of the 20th century.  We are grateful to all of them. 

This account of the company has been produced by Frank Sharman using the material mentioned above, a few other sources mentioned in the text and a cache of documents relating to the company, including catalogues, photographs and Mary Southall's typescripts.  That cache came into the hands of Frank Sharman, who deposited it in the Wolverhampton City Archives.

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