A Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers

Jim Evans

this gazetteer is copyright Jim Evans, 2002



WORMOLD PATENT LOCKS CO LTD,  139 NORFOLK STREET,  SHEFFIELD

In existence in 1905 when they patented a padlock for use by the electricity and gas authorities for sealing pre-payment metersOver the years they specialised in this application with their self-locking meter locks.  They made lever locks with shaped keyholes, and nozzle locks with hinged shackels.  Still in existence in 1998.

 

DAVID WORRALL,  FLETCHERS LANE,  WILLENHALL

David Worrall was a relation of the family who owned John Worrall, where he worked until he set up on his own in Fletchers Lane, Willenhall, making mortice locks, in the late 1940s.

David died in the late 1950s and the business was carried on for some years by his wife and her sister Lucy, until his son Michael took over the running of the business.  He expanded the business to include a turned parts section, which became the major part of the business.  With the recession in the motor industry, they tried to resurrect the lock making side that they had let tick over in the hands of Davidís wife and her sister; but they were unable to raise enough business and closed down. (In existence in 1949 Willenhall Trade Directory.  In existence in December 1976 (AH records))

 

THOMAS WORRALL AND CO,  CATHEDRAL WORKS,  17 DOCTORS PIECE, WILLENHALL

Manufacturers of galvanised padlocks, also brass drawer, and brass and iron cupboard, locks.  In 1921 were at 48 Lower Lichfield Street.  In 1936 were listed as at Doctors Piece.  Existing in 1974.  Closed after 1974 and premises were later taken over by Quality Lock. (q.v.)

 

JOHN WORRALL AND SONS LTD,  THE CRESCENT LOCK WORKS, WILLENHALL

In 1815 a Charles Hartill produced padlocks in a cottage in the Crescent, Willenhall.  This cottage was later to become part of the firm of John Worrall and Sons Ltd.  In 1895 the Worrall family purchased the premises in the Crescent and John Worrall began to make locks about 1895 and was listed at the time as a manufacturer of rim and dead locks and patent four hand night latches.

John and his wife had nine children, most of whom worked in the family business at some time.  Ivor ran the business along with his father.  In the 1930s Len Llewellyn joined the company for a wage of 7/6 per week and Mr Cooper also joined as salesman.  He then married the bosses daughter and when John Worrall died Ivor, Len and Mr Cooper ran the business.  During this period the workforce grew to over 150 people.  Other members of the family also worked in the business at various times.  Guy later left to set up an architectural hardware business.  Lloyd set up in London, factoring locks and keys.  Thomas (q.v.) set up as a lock maker in Doctors Piece in the early 1920s.  And David set up as a lock maker in Fletchers Lane in the late 1940s. (Was there another brother who worked for the firm?)

When Ivor Worrall died, Mr Cooper set about acquiring all the family's shares and took over the running of the business with the help of Len Llewellyn.  Len would eventually become a 25% shareholder in the business when they became a limited company on the 7th February 1963.   Mr Coopers son, Harry (born 1925), joined the business in about 1962 and took over the reigns from his father when he retired.  Harry continued to run the business along with fellow director Len Llewellyn.

The original workshops consisted of a row of cottages, a brew house and a two storey workshop at the rear of the cottages.  A new workshop was built in 1925 behind the original cottages.  In 1935 part of the row of cottages was demolished when a new frontage, and extra workshops including a brass casting shop, were built.  The remaining cottages were kept as a store.  Further new workshops were built in 1968 to allow the company to concentrate on the production of five lever mortice locks and padlocks.

In 1985 there was a work force of about 45 but pre war the numbers had been as high as 100. Harry Cooper and Len Llewellyn retired in the 1980s, leaving their sons Dominic Cooper and Andrew Llewellyn to run the company.  Andrew resigned as a director in the early 1990s, finishing 60 years of service by the Llewellyn family at John Worrall and Sons Ltd.  Harry Cooper died on the 24th December 1999 at the age of 74, leaving Patricia A Cooper and Dominic J Cooper as directors.

In April 1999 the firm employed about 12 people, and in May 2000 they employed 11.

On the 31st March 2000 they took over the manufacturng rights and tooling of all cabinet locks previously made by H E Fletcher (qv). (Industrial Heritage Winter 1985)( Blackcountryman Vol. 4-1) (Dominic Cooper)

Read an account of  John Worrall and Sons

YALE AND TOWNE CO,  WOOD STREET,  WILLENHALL

Read the history of the Yale Towne Co.

 

EDWIN J. YATES & CO., MERRIDALE LOCK WORKS, WOLVERHAMPTON

This advert, from the catalogue of the 1884 Wolverhampton Arts and Industry Exhibition, is the only known reference to this firm.

 

YOUNG AND GLOVER, BELL STREET, WOLVERHAMPTON

This advert is from the catalogue of the 1884 Wolverhampton Arts and Industry Exhibition.

If the advert is to be believed the company must have been founded in 1834 or earlier.

Nothing else is known of this company.

ZENI

"Zeni" is a trade name of Walsall Locks Ltd., q.v.


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