Over a century of success is Taylor made for Redditch manufacturer


At the turn of the 20th century Queen Victoria was in the final years of her reign and the UK had a ‘cast iron’ manufacturing base. In fact it was the workshop of the world.

The year is 1896 and Samuel Taylor Ltd (STL) was established. By 1899 it was bought by the predecessors of the current family owner-managers and 2014 marks the 115 year milestone. 

Manufacturing has witnessed significant change during this time, good times and bad encompassing battles, wars, boom and bust.

One constant during this period is that Samuel Taylor has always had innovation at its heart. From pioneering the first electrically-driven rolling mill in the early part of the 20th century to becoming the first UK company to start electrical-contact welding in the 1960s.

Now in the 21st century electric vehicle components are made there alongside other pioneering products destined for the consumer market.

Director Alastair Gordon, a fourth generation owner-manager, explains: “We’ve adapted to change over time and most recently of course, the bust of 2008 was a challenge for the entire industry. However, we’ve continued to innovate and crucially we’ve also invested in apprentices and new equipment during incredibly tough times but that strategy has worked for us.”

So in the year of their 115th anniversary there is plenty to celebrate. Samuel Taylor was included in the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report last year. Illustrating how their futuristic outlook and global approach to manufacturing and delivering quality is paying dividends.

Gordon continued: “We thought carefully about how to approach overseas challenges with a pragmatic and everything-is-possible attitude. By providing innovative, precision engineering products developed by highly skilled engineers we now directly export to markets in almost 30 countries across Europe, the Far East, Middle East, South Asia, America and Africa”

As a world-class manufacturer, STL has built up an unrivalled reputation for quality products and technical excellence. These products are often complex electromechanical parts produced on highly specialised equipment and tooling designed and built in-house.

STL is currently reviving its traditional links with the rail industry utilising accumulated know-how dating back to the 1960s, coupled to the needs of the 21st century. Rail has been identified by government as being the greenest way for the public to travel and is therefore the focus of a huge amount of investment in projects such as the Thameslink programme, Crossrail and HS2.

Finally, in a drive for continuous improvement the company is planning to achieve TS 16949 in 2015, an automotive driven quality system focused on reducing cost and improving efficiency throughout the business.