03-26-2012, 12:52 PM
#1
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Guys

Thought this a good first historical thread for Simpson Brushes...

I get asked quite a lot about 'our old factory' in Southampton - we never were based in Southampton! I guess this was a 'cyber rumour' started a while ago which is still doing the rounds. So I hope you guys will read this timeline and now take this as 'Gospel' and the only true record regarding our ownership up until 1990 when David Carter acquired the business.

1919-
1st Factory opened at Macaulay Road, London E6, just off the Barking Road (not far from the home of West Ham United Football Club). Simpson branded brushes made and sold for the first time and our old family brand name 'Bajer' still being made and sold. Brushes made from ivory, bone, horn and vulcanite.

1929-
The business grew out of its original location and moved to new premises at 53 High Street, Clapham, London SW4. 'Bajer' branded brushes still being made alongside 'Simpson' branded brushes with newer brands 'Simie', 'Alexsim', 'Simbal' and the stand alone 'Wee Scot' being added, although Wee Scot brushes had been made since 1919.

1938-
'Bajer', 'Simie', 'Alexsim', 'Simbal' and 'Wee Scot' brand names dropped with 'Simpson' being the sole brand name used by the family from now on.

1940-
Due to World War II, Great Uncle Alex moved large quantities of stock (ivory, horn, hair, silver and gold) out of London to one of my grandfather's houses in Warfield, Nr Ascot, Berkshire (UK).

1941-
Clapham Factory hit by German bombs which wrecked the whole building.

1941-
Agreement made between Coates Brushes Ltd and Great Uncle Alex for Simpson to move lock, stock and barrel to Nimmer Mill to share the factory. Simpson had been the sole maker of Coates branded brushes since they first appeared on the market so it was an easy arrangement. Also Coates were struggling and part of the agreement was for Simpson to buy out Coates within 1 year of moving to Nimmer, Somerset.

1942-
Simpson take over complete ownership of Coates Brushes Ltd.

1957-
My Great Uncle Alex passed away on 4th November. Sole ownership passed over to my Grandfather, Tom.

1961-
My father, Jim, took on the role of General Manager of both Simpson and Coates Brushes. My mum, Cherry, took on the role of Office Manager for both companies.

1971-
I was born!! (Just thought I would add this one in!!Biggrin)

1979-
First full brush made by me under the supervision of both my Grandfather and Dad.

1989-
My grandfather, Tom passed away suddenly, 23rd December. Ownership passed to my parents.

1990-
Family ownership ceased - both companies acquired by David Carter.

Well that is the basic timeline for the business during the family's ownership. I am sure there is plenty there that you have not known about previously - especially the other brands that were ours!

Gary

0 213
 03-26-2012, 01:35 PM
#2
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Thanks for this great timeline, Gary. It was an interesting read with the highlight, of course, being the year 1971. Wink

2 11,211
 03-26-2012, 01:42 PM
#3
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That's a fantastic summary. Thanks so much for sharing.

0 419
 03-26-2012, 01:44 PM
#4
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That's great information, Gary. Thanks.

184 12,003
 03-26-2012, 01:54 PM
#5
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Gary- Great info. Care to comment on why the company was sold? Must have been an emotional time for all of you.

9 333
 03-26-2012, 02:03 PM
#6
  • seixi
  • Junior Member
  • Spain
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Great document, thanks for sharing!

0 42
 03-26-2012, 02:03 PM
#7
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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BRILLIANT and PRECIOUS information,Gary.Thanks a lot for sharing it here with us.

86 7,123
 03-26-2012, 02:43 PM
#8
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Thank you very much for sharing this, Gary. This is precious information! Smile

2 5,532
 03-26-2012, 08:41 PM
#9
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Great story Gary. I am curious if you have aware any changes in brush trends? What were the big sellers in the 60's vs 80's vs now etc.

2 697
 03-26-2012, 09:03 PM
#10
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Gary, thanks for the history and timeline. I don't know much about the David Carter era but I believe the brand is in good hands now.

173 23,547
 03-27-2012, 12:12 AM
#11
  • Colcurinho
  • Member
  • From the land of Semogue, Musgo Real, ..
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History! ClapThumbup

Thanks Gary!

0 106
 03-27-2012, 05:06 AM
#12
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Thanks Gary,

It's nice to see the Simpson history laid out in one timeline.

As a World War II history buff, I'm struck by what it must have been like for people to go to work one morning and see their workplace destroyed.

I'm assuming that no one was in the building when the bomb struck. but it must have been terribly stressful event for both owners and workers.

Good move on Uncle Alex's part to move materials out of the likely path of German bombs.

3 452
 03-27-2012, 09:02 AM
#13
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Thanks for sharing the information! Do you still have your first brush that you made?

75 20,883
 03-27-2012, 12:04 PM
#14
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
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Gary, thanks for sharing this story.

9 541
 03-27-2012, 01:01 PM
#15
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Now its time to put some pics of Simpson brushes to that time line!BiggrinBadger

86 7,123
 03-28-2012, 04:48 AM
#16
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The history of the company is wonderful in itself, thanks Gary. There is real heritage in the brand and your Uncle Alex made it all happen - Great man that Uncle Alex! Wink

Mark

1 630
 03-28-2012, 07:12 AM
#17
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Welcome to the Nook Mark! Glad to have you!

31 7,914
 03-28-2012, 07:20 AM
#18
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Great to be here ... real nice crew.

(03-28-2012, 07:12 AM)SharpSpine Wrote: Welcome to the Nook Mark! Glad to have you!


1 630
 03-28-2012, 08:46 AM
#19
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Quote:freddy Wrote:
Thanks for this great timeline, Gary. It was an interesting read with the highlight, of course, being the year 1971. Wink

Couldn't agree more!!

Gary

Quote:Chicagotrim Wrote:
Gary- Great info. Care to comment on why the company was sold? Must have been an emotional time for all of you.

A combination of factors really. Sales were getting drastically low towards the end of the 1980s - mainly due to guys heading down the route of cartridge razors and canned goo.
Also my grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and suffered a massive seizure which he never woke from. At the same time my dad suffered prolapsed discs and crumbling vertebrae in his neck which resulted in him having to go through 2 major operations. These ops put him out of action for many many months.
And yes, it was a very difficult and emotional time for the family. Seeing something that was completely and utterly ours being handed over to a stranger.

Gary

Quote:SteelTown Wrote:
Great story Gary. I am curious if you have aware any changes in brush trends? What were the big sellers in the 60's vs 80's vs now etc.

From the 50s through to the end of the 80s the popular brushes were always the Dukes and the Chubbys (not much changes there eh?!).

Gary

Quote:redrako Wrote:
Thanks Gary,

It's nice to see the Simpson history laid out in one timeline.

As a World War II history buff, I'm struck by what it must have been like for people to go to work one morning and see their workplace destroyed.

I'm assuming that no one was in the building when the bomb struck. but it must have been terribly stressful event for both owners and workers.

Good move on Uncle Alex's part to move materials out of the likely path of German bombs.

Luckily it was a night time bombing raid so the building was not occupied.

And yes he was a very astute businessman - no flies on my Great Uncle that's for sure!

Gary

Quote:celestino Wrote:
Thanks for sharing the information! Do you still have your first brush that you made?

Yep I most certainly do - and its still going strong 33 years later!

Gary

Quote:Teiste Wrote:
Now its time to put some pics of Simpson brushes to that time line! Biggrin Badger

I am sure, in time and work permitting, I can get that sorted...

Gary

Quote:Simpson1919 Wrote:
The history of the company is wonderful in itself, thanks Gary. There is real heritage in the brand and your Uncle Alex made it all happen - Great man that Uncle Alex! Wink

Mark

Yep he was! It sometimes gets forgotton though, or at least overlooked on the forums, that my grandad played as major a role as Alex did in the early days. Obviously because it was Uncle Alex's 'name on the door' so to speak!
They were both remarkable men in my eyes and you know mate I am very proud to be descended from them.

Gary

0 213
 03-28-2012, 03:00 PM
#20
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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Great timeline! Thanks.

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