Page under development
& Loach Archives
All that remains of a
once thriving metal pressing and tinplate factory in Birmingham is in
black metal deed boxes of their own manufacture. Three contain examples
of their wares, and the fourth a few scanty documents and traders
samples. Founded in 1840, flourished throughout 2 world wars but
finally closed in the late 1950s.
In 1840 Mr Thomas Walker set up
the firm and in 1880,
with his son Albert,
was joined by my great
grandfather Thomas Loach, who already had an established experience in
the weighing scales industry with Messrs W & T Avery, as well as
considerable experience in the lamp manufacturing industry with Tongue
Having been started in the Old
Priory, the firm operated from Great Charles Street for a time before
building a new works in Erskine Street during the 1880s.
Contracts for supplying 60,000
wireless cabinets per annum were obtained (possibly for Cossor) while
motor parts for various uses were manufactured with heavy presses.
There was a steady trade in deed and cash boxes and all types of oil
cans, lamps and lanterns.
In 1934 Mr Anthony Loach, son of
Mr Percy Loach, following in the footsteps of my grandfather John F
Loach, came into the business and he represented the fourth generation
to turn his efforts to running the firm.
In 1937 the firm received full
approval from the Air Ministry for the production of aeroplane parts,
and was duly registered under the reference No. 614542/37 Part 1,
Catagory D. The wartime ARP called for a huge demand in every type of
lantern and for storage boxes and surgical necessities.
The firm moved to modern premises in Belmont Row during 1954 but the
end of the fifties saw closure.
You will not find the factory
name on any of their products (to my knowledge) as they seemed to make
items comissioned by, or only for sale to wholesalers who would sell
under their own brand name.
The factory is known to have
stamped some of those wholesale names on products, for example, the
Mac-Stan oil cans have the distinctive mark as below
Also lamps were made stamped with the
Veritas brand name. I have some examples of tiny black
tin money boxes stamped underneath "St Helens Corporation Gas Works"
guess were supplied to them on contract to give to their customers to
help them save to pay their gas bills. But in general the only other
identifying mark likely is the Made in England Logo thus
I cannot be sure this
was unique to Walker and Loach, of their own design, or if it was used
by any other manufacturer. That is something to which I may never know
a definitive answer. But if you see a black tin deed box with this mark
underneath, I would lay bets that it is likely to be made by my
Finally, for now, I have discovered that Albert Walker &
Thomas Loach won a patent No 16804 in 1910 for "Improvements in
huricane lanterns". I am not yet clear as to what the advantages were,
but the lantern appeared to be a combination of the ideas embodied in
both a cold blast and a hot blast type of lantern. The main difference
appears to be in the way air is drawn down the side tubes from the top
cylinder and recycled into the bottom of the burner combining both hot
and cold air flows. So far I have no idea if any of these lanterns were
ever made, and it is not obvious how one might tell the difference from
looking at it less than very carefully. I guess it should have the
patent number stamped on it. Did Veritas make any? Perhaps you know?
This is a drawing from the patent specification. At first glance it
probably looks like a cold blast lantern, but the detail is in the
rings marked f and b.
m and n are also critical in detail being a sandwich through which air
can pass in a baffled way.
For full details of the patent see
to European Patent Office Document
This is my grandfather and his brother at work
This is a corner of the workshop, note the large oil/gas
engine nearly hidden at the back of this shot
This is a small press made by Mr Loach in 1887 still in use
This is one of the largest presses in use during 1940,
considered a masterpiece by My Loach
An example of a modern press bought in during
This is a period advertising sign for one of their products
And another advert from "Yachting World", 1930 for an unusual
Click here to return to my
This page is maintained by Martin