Delmore Limited began life in the Chiswick High Road in a small factory above a hardware shop next to the former Chiswick Empire, one of London’s best loved music halls. The business was started by a Mrs J.E.M. Munro who took over the factory from her former employer, the British Carbon Industries Group, in order to set up in business on her own in 1942, an unusual step for a woman to take by herself in those days.
The factory had been involved in the manufacture of quality fountain pens, silver propelling pencils and propelling pencils where, twisting the top one would change the colour of the lead in the pencil four ways. The new business started out making army uniforms for the war effort and other work wear such as boiler suits, bib and brace, firemen’s uniforms and heavy moleskin trousers. In addition the company began to make Hillman Minx and Sunbeam Talbot seat covers for the Roots motor car manufacturer, together with plastic sales banners for Walls Ice Cream and the Evening Standard.
The business grew and a lease was taken out on a second factory on the adjacent side of the Chiswick Empire which was considerably larger having several shops running alongside the building which were included in the leasehold premises. There was a small notice above the entrance door which advertised Delmore Limited’s existence with a bolder, second notice underneath stating “you will need a map – up two flights of stairs around a bend, up another flight of stairs and down into the bog”. This notice remained until the company vacated the building in 1967 to move to Mildenhall under the GLC overspill scheme which was set up with the purpose of encouraging businesses to move out of London. By this time the company was manufacturing a wide variety of products from Tiger Tails for Esso, Gonk sponge bags for BHS, women’s dressing gowns for M and S, Dorothy Perkins and Woolworths and passenger flight bags for BEA and BOAC, a majority part of which were sewn together with the help of the inmates of Her Majesty’s prisons, namely Wandsworth, Wormwood Scrubs and Cardiff.
Mrs J.E.M. Munro’s daughter, Elizabeth Munro joined the business and with her sewing knowledge was helping to instruct Mira Hindley and the naval spies, Helen Kroger and Ethel Gee on how to rivet the flight bags in Holloway’s secure E wing. She had some personal success within the company with her plastic beach bags, which she designed and sold to the John Lewis Partnership and which were highly commended by Katharine Whitehorn in the Weekend Observer “as the best buy in London”.
The move to Mildenhall was an exciting venture for the company although unknown to the Directors was the fact that 60% of all businesses moving out of London under the GLC scheme failed or changed ownership within the first 2 years of setting up. Delmore rented a Council factory for 18 months while its own 6000 sq. ft. factory was being built close by. After the move into the new premises in Chiswick Avenue (more than a coincidental connection with the London borough where the company had originated) on the Industrial estate, the business prospered manufacturing blouses as a subcontractor for M&S, the ladybird label of children’s clothing for Passolds and coats and dresses for C and A. The work for British Airways continued, added to which were plastic dust covers for household appliances, cash registers and specialist hospital machinery.
In 1968 Elizabeth, who was missing London, left the business to join Freemans Mail order company in Clapham as a Senior Textile technologist for six happy years. In 1974 with the help of Copley’s Bank, Elizabeth took over the smaller plastic side of the business whilst the larger clothing section was sold as Delmore Distributors to the Amber Day Group, a CMT customer of the company whose chairman, for a short time, was the entrepreneur Philip Green.
Elizabeth decided to set the business on a new course manufacturing passenger requirements for as many airline companies as she could, using her experience and contacts from the time she had been employed as an Air Stewardess with Caledonian Airways. The company continued manufacturing for the next 10 year for the world’s leading airlines including British Airways, British Caledonian Airways, Laker Airways, Dan air, Iran Airlines, Iraq Airways, Malaysian Airlines Systems, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Philippine airlines and many others besides.
In the early eighties the business gradually disappeared to China and Elizabeth had to find something else to manufacture. She started with holdalls for individual schools, bicycle panniers for Raleigh and then progressed to non-slip disposable foam slippers for the NHS and private hospitals which remains the core business of Delmore Ltd today. In 2008, further expansion led to a move from Chiswick Avenue to 94 Hampstead Avenue on the same industrial estate.
As a British based manufacturing company, 85% of Delmore’s products are made in the UK and the company hopes that this will continue to be the case. Delmore has earned a reputation for having a flexible approach and is therefore able to design to customers’ individual requirements within a reasonable space of time and at competitive prices.
The company takes pride in its efforts to carry out research and careful design in order to produce a quality, marketable product. Whilst the company is always interested in finding new customers, it is fair to say that its current customers have demonstrated their commitment and loyalty by purchasing Delmore’s products over many consecutive years.
The company ethos is “protect the customer, who is the lifeblood of the business, at all times”.
We are pleased to announce that Delmore Ltd complies with the Labour Standards Assurance System, LSAS which was designed by the National Health Service Supply Chain (NHS SC), in conjunction with the Departments of Health and Industry bodies and covers new ethical requirements for its suppliers. The objective of LSAS is to reduce the risk of labour standard abuse within the supply chain going undetected and/or without resolution.
To see a copy of our LSAS Policy please Click Here
And to see our ISO 9001:2015 Certificate of Registration please Click Here