Celebrating 150 Years

Croft Architectural Hardware

Celebrating a family manufacturing history of 150 years.

1847Reuben Clifford, who would become the first generation of the Clifford family to manufacture in Willenhall, is born in the Nechells area of Birmingham.

1868R. Clifford and Sons, manufacturers of Builders Hardware and Ships Brassfoundry, begin trading in Wolverhampton Street, Willenhall.

From our archives, an early photo of Reuben and his wife Sarah.

1899Clifford Brothers is founded in Little Wood Street, Willenhall. Formed by Reubens four sons Charles, Alfred, John and Albert and starting the 2nd generation of the family business.

An early Clifford Brothers bank book, dated 1899.

Charles the eldest, like his father, was a foundryman, Alfred a locksmith, John a wood turner, and Albert was a patternmaker.

1908Booming business leads to a new factory being built in Villiers Street, Willenhall. Clifford Brothers are now one of the leading producers of brass sash fittings in the country.

Home of Clifford Brothers from 1908, Villiers Street, Willenhall.

1910Reuben Clifford dies on the 17th January aged sixty three.

An original letter to Reubens wife Sarah, dated 1910, regarding the future career of Albert Clifford.

1912Patents are acquired for a number of products, including letter plates and a postal knocker. Adding to the patent acquired for a sash fastener in 1908.

Original patent documents

First World WarItems are manufactured to help with the war effort. Various employees, including the sons of the founders of Clifford Brothers, go off to fight for their country.

An original order book from the archives, dated 1921.

1930Reuben Clifford, named after his Grandfather and now third generation, joins Clifford Brothers.

1932A fire starts in the wood turning department and destroys the factory. The whole factory is rebuilt.

Second World War The factory again assists with the war effort as some employees go off to fight for their country.

1953Peter Clifford, Alfred’s youngest son, joins the firm.

An early collection of Clifford Brothers brochures.

1960Gerald Clifford, Reuben’s elder son, joins the business.

Traditional lathe work.

1961A new unit was purchased in Colliery Road, Wolverhampton and became Deansfield Metal Finishing Company the electroplating and anodising division.

1964Chris Clifford, Reuben’s youngest son, joins the family business.

1972Reuben leaves Clifford Brothers and set ups Permentra Metalware, manufacturing builder’s hardware at the Croft Yard, Croft Street, Willenhall.

Early Croft Manufacturing brochure.

1975Permentra Metalware is renamed Croft Manufacturing Co.

1988Premises are acquired in Lower Lichfield Street, Willenhall where the company still is today.

Croft premises, Willenhall.

1989Chris Clifford becomes Managing Director of Croft following the death of his father Reuben Clifford.

1991Croft purchase E. Whitehouse and Co, originally formed by Arthur and Charlie Clifford, who move in to the Lower Lichfield Street premises.

A member of our skilled workforce.

1993Croft become a limited company, changing the name to Croft Architectural Hardware Ltd.

2012Fred Dennis Ltd of Tamworth, manufacturers of Barrel Bolts, is purchased and moves in to Lower Lichfield Street.

2013The purchase of The Quality Lock Co. of Leve Lane, Willenhall is complete and is now operating from the Lower Lichfield Street premises.

2017Croft becomes a registered trademark of Croft Architectural Hardware Ltd.

Croft throughout the years, a small selection on archived brochures.

Present DayThe fifth generation of the Clifford family to work in manufacturing in Willenhall, current Directors Paul and Nick, joined in 1999 and 2007 respectively. Employing 60 people, and with a night-shift in operation, Croft operates from a 16,000 sq foot factory based in the heart of Willenhall.

So after one hundred and fifty years of proud heritage, manufacturing by the Clifford family continues with Croft Architectural Hardware Ltd building for a successful future.

Croft factory and CNC workshop, 2018.

Read the full story

Lower Lichfield Street, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 1QQ, England   Tel: +44 (0) 1902 606493   sales@croft.co.uk

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Croft are the parent company of ‘The Quality Lock Company

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Croft is a registered trademark of Croft Architectural Hardware Ltd.
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