During the late 1890's London, with a population of 5.5 million, was the largest city in the western world. It had recently seen the first issue of the Financial Times, the opening of Tilbury Docks, the infamous crimes of "Jack the Ripper" and was about to witness the opening of the first 'tube' railway and the building of New Scotland Yard. Exports were booming and, as a result, the box and packing case trade was experiencing enormous growth.
|Against this background a young man arrived in London from Canterbury, where he had served his apprenticeship as an ironmonger.|
Initially working for a company supplying the tea trade, it wasn't long before Frederick Henry Brundle saw his opportunity and in 1889, at the age of 31, with the courtesy of a small loan from his father FH Brundle opened the doors of his business.
At first, he limited himself to selling nails and ironmongery but soon horseshoes and farriers sundries were added to the range. Around the turn of the century, the London dairies alone employed over 3,000 horses and their shoes needed replacing every month. FH Brundle supplied the majority of these, along with the tools required for the farriers and blacksmiths to ply their trade.
The original premises were in the city of London, in the Ward of Cripplegate Without, the site of the Barbican today. As the business expanded it was necessary to move to larger premises, although it still remained in the Paper Street area of EC1.
Frederick Henry Brundle had eight children in all and the eldest son, Frank Walter, assumed control of the company in the 1920's and business continued to flourish.
|Like his father before him, Frank took an active part in the civic affairs of the City of London and both were invited to 'stand in line' for Lord Mayor, but for business reasons they both declined. However, Frank was later awarded the CBE for his chairmanship of the Civil Defence in the City, before and during the second world war.
During this period the Paper Street premises were completely destroyed in the blitz of 1940 and the company was forced to relocate to the borders of Islington and Hackney where the firm remained until 1998.
Frederick Frank Brundle, representing the third generation of the family, entered the business in 1935 after spending six months in Belgium at a steel and wire nail works. The war years interrupted his career in the company and he rejoined later in partnership with Charles Henry, Frank's youngest brother. Charles retired in 1960 and Frederick in 1984 when his son Richard assumed sole control.
Each generation of the family will have had their fair share of management problems that is the nature of business. Arguably, however, Richard Brundle, who joined the firm in 1956 and is now the current proprietor, was to face some of the biggest challenges.
Changing the nature of the business was vital, and a number of new product lines were tested and evaluated. It wasn't long before the company had moved into mild steel wires and welded mesh.
Following this early success the company has continued its policy of careful product selection and diversification and has gone from strength to strength.
Today, FH Brundle can proudly claim to be leading wholesale suppliers in their product ranges - but still maintains those traditional values first established back in 1889.
To maintain the personal touch, the business has always delivered on their own fleet of trucks. Today with branches at Rainham, Ilkeston, Southampton, St Helens, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow, we deliver to most areas of the country.
Brundle lorries can be seen in Bristol and Brighouse, Dover and Doncaster, Leeds and London - wherever we have customers, the goods are delivered fast.