Our Company, Webster & Horsfall Ltd, proudly celebrates its 300th anniversary this year. Established in 1720, the Company pre-dates the Industrial Revolution and was founded only 13 years after the Act of Union with Scotland, which helps provide a sense of scale to the achievement. The development of Patent Steel Wire, the manufacture of the armoured wire for the first successful Trans-Atlantic Telegraph Cable and exhibiting music wire at Prince Albert’s Crystal Palace Exhibition, are just a few of the landmarks in a deeply rich history. And yet, the real strength of the Company is not its history but rather it continuing ability to innovate as well as to seize and exploit opportunities.
Located in Hay Mills, deep in the industrial heartland of Britain, Webster & Horsfall draws on a highly skilled, deeply committed and innately flexible workforce. The current Directors, all direct 4th or 5th generation descendants of founder James Horsfall, share a powerful determination to see the Company continue to thrive. This same family resolve has seen the business survive the Napoleonic Wars, two World Wars and adapt to post war de-industrialisation and the difficult trading conditions of the 1960s and 70s. The demise of deep-shaft mining in the 1980s, once the route to market for a third of the manufactured wire in the form of locked coil winding ropes, required further re-balancing.
Today, the Company is emerging from yet another transformation, which has seen two thirds of the site re-developed as Tyseley Energy Park (TEP). This provides green energy from waste and low to zero carbon refuelling, along with collaboration through a purpose built Innovation Hub with The University of Birmingham. Webster & Horsfall’s highly efficient manufacturing operation has consolidated in the remaining third of the site where it continues to deliver some 5000 product lines; from specialist wire drawn on site; to supplying specialist wire and wire rope products made by strategic partners the world over.