Our family history

F.H.Brundle was established in 1889 by Frederick Henry Brundle, his success was based on careful product selection, keen prices and service.  He had an acute business brain and a benign personality, particularly towards his staff and customers, characteristics which have persisted through every generation, right down to the present day.  F.H.Brundle is still very much a family business, now owned and managed by Michael Brundle (fifth generation). Michael plays an active role in ensuring service levels are maintained, efficiency is upheld, whilst continually looking to widen existing ranges and introduce new products to help our customers.

Our transport fleet has now grown to a total of over 60 vehicles of all sizes operating across the UK, including smaller transit vans for deliveries to customers with restricted access. Artic lorries that can carry up to 44 tonnes, operate overnight to feed the branches from our Midlands distribution hub, giving us complete control on delivering anything from the smallest package, to our largest steel section. Still, after many years, F.H. Brundle offers free delivery on orders over £150.


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, Frederick Henry Brundle, 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, F.H.Brundle opened the doors of his business.

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 when he retired in the early 1920s, his eldest son, Frank Walter, assumed control of the company and business continued to flourish.


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 re-joined 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.


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.


Richard Frank Brundle MBE, joined the business in 1956 and worked in the business for 60 years. After Frederick retired in 1984, 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 faced some of the biggest challenges.

During the 1950s the trade saw almost overnight changes in its traditional markets. The dairies and other similar commercial users abandoned horses in favour of electric floats. Plastics, cardboard and palletisation were introduced which effectively killed off the use of wooden cases.

Changing the nature of the business was vital, a number of the new product lines were tested and evaluated. It wasn’t long before the company had moved into mild steel wires and welded mesh.


Michael Frank Brundle joined the business and the Head Office relocated to Stratford, East London.

Due to Stratford being redeveloped for the 2012 Olympics, 2007 saw the Head Office relocate once again, this time to Lamson Road, Rainham, where it is still based today.

Michael assumed sole control in 2018.


To release the pressure on the branches, F.H.Brundle opened a central distribution centre in Burton-on-Trent.

This 200,000 square feet of warehousing provides the business with the capability to re-supply the network’s branches and allowing F.H.Brundle to fulfil the company’s promise that “any customer should be able to receive the products they want, in the quantities required to an agreed time frame”.


Construction began on an extension to the Burton premises, to provide another 70,000 sq/ft of warehousing space. The extension will include additional hard standing yard storage and a new trade counter.

With a total of 270,000 sq/ft, the new distribution centre will allow the company to maintain stock availability levels of over 98%, ensuring that they can provide customers with what they want, when they need it.

Present Day

Today, the company continues its policy of careful product selection and diversification and has gone from strength to strength, with branches in Rainham, Ilkeston, Southampton, Newton-le-Willows, Birmingham, Glasgow and Cardiff.

With over 10,000 stocked products and a fleet of over 70 lorries and vans, F.H.Brundle can proudly claim to be the leading trade supplier in their product ranges – while still maintaining those traditional values first established back in 1889.

Family metal merchants since 1889