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Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Choosing the correct Ironmongery for your home is vitally important because as well as being functional it can also be decorative and it will add the finishing touch to the look that you have spent so long trying to achieve.


Perhaps the most basic item on a door is the hinge. The type of hinge you choose will depend upon a number of factors including the style of the door and its frame and also the weight of the door. The most basic type of hinge is a butt hinge which is designed to be cut into the frame and the door so that it is largely hidden from view when the door is closed. Thought should be given to the weight of the door in question as heavier doors may require additional hinges. Hinge fronts or dummy hinges can be added to the door as decoration.

More ornamental hinges are also available and are particularly suited to ledged and braced doors.

Consideration will need to be given to whether a Door Knob or Lever Handle is preferred for opening and closing the door. You will need to decide whether the door is going to be locked or not. Generally, (but not always), internal doors are not locked so a normal latch plate on a lever handle will suffice. On more traditional properties a Thumb Latch can be used for securing a door. These are available in a number of different designs. 

Lever handles will also be available with a privacy bolt for bathrooms, for example. 

External doors will require a lock. A traditional lever handle will operate a 5 lever mortice lock. A modern front door may have a multipoint locking system which can also be operated by lever handle.

Door knobs can be more difficult to operate by anyone of restricted mobility and consideration should be given to this. Door knobs can be used in conjunction with Rim locks. Additional security can be given by the use of a separate British Standard 5 lever mortice lock and by the use of rack bolts.

The finish and style of your door furniture will complement the age and style of your home. It will also be possible to match your door furniture to a certain extent so that a handle and a letter plate on a front door will match.


Similar consideration will need to be given to your choice of Window fittings. The type of fitting will depend upon your window. Window fasteners, for example can be fixed with a Hook Plate or Mortice Plate depending upon the style of frame. In addition, they can be lockable and can also operate a three point locking system. Window fasteners can generally be matched with a stay. To add to security locking pivots are available. Sash type windows will require different fittings.

If uPVC windows have been specified it is still possible to give a period feel by the use of specially adapted stays and fasteners. Additional variations also cater for night vents. It is also possible to add further security by the use of window rack bolts.

Certain considerations need to apply to both window and door furniture. Care instructions are generally included with most products and these should be adhered to so that your furniture retains its look and functionality.

Because Door and Window furniture is both functional and decorative it is always advisable to look for the highest possible quality. In recent years the UK market has been flooded with products with English sounding names but which are actually imported from India and China. However, it is still possible to obtain much higher quality British products.  They will last longer and look more authentic.

Look out also for matching cabinet furniture and general internal ironmongery.

Friday, 27 July 2012

The London Olympics

Well, its Thursday night and its time for a Blogg I think. Space Shanty by Khan is on the Hi-Fi, I have a can by my side for support so here goes.

For the past few weeks I have had to endure seeing that bloody Olympic Flame being carried around the country for no real reason. I can sort of see why it may be carried from Greece to wherever the Olympics are being held but why does it need to go via every major Town in the UK?  Actually, I learned this week, (and I am not afraid to say I didn’t know of this….anyone who says that they cannot learn anything about anything is deluded), that the modern Olympics which we are “celebrating” at present actually had its starting point in Shropshire and a guy named William Penny Brookes. Simply put, without him we would not have the Olympic Games as we know them today. Is that good or bad?

Anyway, perhaps it would be more pertinent to send the flame from Much Wenlock to London.
I have no real issue with the people who carried the flame, personally. I am sure that they are all fully deserving of whatever recognition carrying the flame gave them. I do question, however, the gigantic cost of doing this. Everyone seems to have had their own torch, (I actually met one of the Torch bearers today and had my photograph taken with it….), everyone, presumably had their own designer tracksuit. A BMW seemed to be trailing the torch every time I saw it, plus a crowd of heavies. Not to mention all of the backroom staff. Just how much did this cost? Who paid for it? The answer to the last question is me, and you and every personal or corporate taxpayer in the UK. Plus all of those who buy a National Lottery ticket each week. I visited somewhere this week that is a place of national importance which is looking to set itself up as a Museum. It was suggested by one or two people that they ought to seek funds from the National Lottery. Of course, they had, only to be informed that there were no funds because they had all gone on supporting the Olympics.

Now I agree that some of the lottery money should be spent on supporting some of our athletes, particularly those who compete in the less glamorous sports but what will be the legacy of the Games? I understand the need to inspire people, particularly the young but telling them that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity is not the way to do it. I am old enough to remember the 1966 World Cup in the UK. I remember World Cup Willie, (was it Lonnie Donegan?) and I remember watching the games including the Final in Black & White TV. OK, it was a great event made even more memorable by the fact the England won but has it really had that much influence over me since then or the Nation as a whole except for the English to feel that as we invented the game then we should always be the best at it? I certainly don’t remember my Teachers urging us to watch the games or laud the players. They were more concerned with making sure we were proficient in English, Maths and (…..OK, Latin, but it certainly give you an insight into the way our language developed).

The point I am trying to make is that most people don’t care that much about the Olympics. Yes, just like me they will watch them but it is just entertainment. Most people don’t really care that much about the X Factor, but like myself, they will watch it because it is entertainment. The vast majority of people in the UK don’t really care that much about soccer, cricket, F1 or any other sport you would care to name.  Just look at the viewing figures. The majority of people in the UK never tune into the big events on TV and neither will they while the Olympics are on.

For months now there have been arguments going on about what will happen to the Olympic venues after the Games. Whatever happens in the Games they will soon be forgotten, whatever happens. There may be one or two highlights and undoubtedly it will provide great entertainment. But that is all it will be. Entertainment. I consider myself to be a reasonably active person who would rather be out doing stuff rather than sitting at home watching it on a 50” screen. Neither the Olympics nor the World Cup inspired me to be this way. I don’t know where it came from, maybe from “within”, maybe from my parents or maybe from a “do it” rather than a “watch it” attitude which developed over the years. There are millions of people with such an attitude, I hasten to add. I just wish I could be a better guitarist….

In conclusion, all of the money spent on the Olympics seems to have been spent on the premise of inspiring Young People. If it does then that is great. If it inspires them to work harder so that they can be independent of State support, so that they can provide for their own retirement then we can’t ask more than that.

I heard it said a number of times that this is a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to be involved in the Olympic Games. OK, that may be so but in a few years time I, as am Employer, may be able to offer the same young people a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to be employed by my Company and to have a job/career  for life. Which of these do you think is ultimately more important and where should the Government be concentrating its efforts?
Over to you……

Monday, 11 June 2012

As if its not difficult enough dealing with depressed demand during this recession, this week we have been faced with additional problems. Firstly, we were called to a site visit where a customer (end user) had an apparent problem with some of our products. (Note that we attended, rather than our stockist or distributor).

It turned out that they were not our products but those of one of our competitors. The end user in question had specified our products and was naturally annoyed that she has been supplied with a cheap, inferior, imitation product. When she complained to the supplier she was told,

“Oh, these products are all the same. They are all made in the same way”.


On another, separate occasion, a customer, (end user), was told by the stockist that one of our competitor’s products was from the UK.


We make the claim that our Kirkpatrick Malleable Iron Black Ironmongery is the only range still made in the UK. If someone can prove otherwise then we will withdraw this claim but as far as we are aware it is a reasonable claim. If you go back 30 years there were three Companies all within a mile of each other in Walsall all making similar products. In a way it is sad that Kirkpatrick is the only one to have survived. At around this time imported copies started arriving on the UK market. These designs were never patented so there wasn’t a lot we could do. We have taken action against Companies in India using our images to promote their ranges, however.

Imported products are marketed so that they sound British. British sounding names like “Ludlow Foundries” or “Black Country Metalworks” give the impression of originating in the UK.


Some products are promoted using the fact that they are made using “traditional English methods” but they don’t state that they are actually made in India or China.

It’s a similar marketing technique to that used in the Vodka market. Smirnoff and Vladivar both sound Russian but you can bet that they don’t originate from Russia.

We are not seeking special treatment. We certainly don’t rest on our laurels and think that just because we are British we are owed a living. All we seek to do is to point out and educate the public both at home and abroad that our products are made in the UK. They are of the highest quality and the most authentic in both look and feel. Because they are made of Malleable Iron, they are the strongest and toughest. We say this to people all the time but if you want an independent viewpoint follow this link and see what an end user thinks.

What we don’t want is for the public to be sold an inferior copy when they have specified ours. Neither should retailers claim that all similar products are the same. It is a bit like claiming that an Aston Martin and a Tata are the same. True, they will both get you from A to B and there is a market for both. But which would you prefer?

We try to educate our stockists and distributors and the vast majority promote our products because they recognise the quality of our range and they want to be associated with this. Occasionally, whether through ignorance or just plain laziness we get a situation like that outlined at the start of this blog.

So, we are doing what we can to spread the word. Please help us. Support British manufacturing!

Monday, 23 January 2012

UK Manufacture

Visited Interiors show at NEC yesterday. It was a good show with loads of stands with loads of exhibitors. It made me wonder, though,  exactly how much of the stuff there was manufactured in the UK. There were one or two stands flying the flag, obviously displaying UK manufactured items. There were some old UK "household names" there but I wonder how much of what they were showing originated in the UK.

I am strangely drawn to the Union Flag when I see it displayed on a product. I like to see who else is with us trying to stem the flow of imports and actually making stuff which people can buy, which generates wealth which helps the economy. I was drawn to one flag but was quite shocked to see that rather than saying, "Made in the UK", it boasted that the range was "Stocked in the UK". I know that we all have to use whatever tools we can to get our products noticed but, really, what does the consumer gain from knowing that the product is stocked in the UK? Maybe if I put a "Led Zeppelin" sticker on our products because once in the 1980's Robert Plant came to our factory to pick up some hardware? I am sure that all it would do would be to alert Zep's lawyers that someone was using their trade mark without permission. So who looks after the trademark of UK plc? Shouldn't someone be policing the use of the Union Flag? I guess all that would do would be to add a few more civils servants to the numbers we already have to support.

So, we are in it by ourselves, guys. All us UK manufacturers should stick together.There was a report on the radio this morning that Asda are to create 5000 new jobs. That's good news but Asda can't keep growing unless:

a) they take business off Tesco and the other supermarkets, (which we may be seeing with Tesco's latest figures).

b) we create new jobs in manufacturing and sell more stuff from the UK to people overseas so that we create more wealth which enables us to buy more from Asda.

Let's get this message across. Buy a product manufactured in the UK, wherever possible. Medium and long term we will all be better off if we do.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Well, hello again. Apologies for the lack of blog (bloglessness) recently. Here we go and again its not necessarily concerned directly with the manufacture of the finest Antique Black Ironmongery but its just something that needs to be said....

The Kirkpatrick Blogger went to a gig recently. Now that in itself is nothing new but it has to be said that 2011 has not been a good year for gig-going. It did occur to me, however, that it was probably 40 years to the month, (give or take a week or so), since I went to my first gig at exactly the same venue. Who and where, you may be asking?. Well, seeing as you asked so nicely it was King Crimson at Wolverhampton Civic. So to be standing in the same venue 40 years later was an occasion worth marking, I thought. What made it extra special was that my son had asked me to go with him and had given me the ticket and he refused to accept payment for it. How cool is that? Which sort of got me thinking that it would have been unheard of 40 years ago to go to a gig with your Dad. Not that my Dad would have appreciated King Crimson but its amazing how things have changed. I actually remember that my Dad picked me and my sister up from the Civic in 1971 and even that was frowned upon by my more worldly, super cool friends who would just button up their ex RAF great coats and disappear into the night on foot, their loon pants mopping the pavement as they went.

Anyway, I digress. The gig was great, largely down to two pretty damn good supports, (Ghost and In Flames). The headliners were Trivium. Good but not great but really not a band I would have chosen to go and see. Just as an aside, its amazing how bands, particularly American bands have fallen quite easily into being entertainers. The gig is now referred to as a "show". I suppose it is, but back in 1971 a show was what you saw at the seaside at the end of a pier. I doubt that a King Crimson gig in 1971 was referred to as a "show" and they certainly wouldn't have thought of themselves as entertainers. They were serious musicians, man. They had sufferred for their music.....and now it was our turn.

So back to 2011. What amazes me, (and it is something I have noted for a few years now), is the number of people who go to a gig and insist on trying to have a conversation most of the way through. Now, in case you don't know, Trivium are towards what I would call the more extreme end of metal. Thrashy, growling vocals, double kick drum beats, I'm sure you all know what I mean......Anyway, they are reasonably loud, so trying to have a conversation is nigh on impossible so why try? The other thing, of course, is a ticket these days is quite expensive, (did I tell you my son bought mine?), so if you are spending £30-40 on a ticket why waste that money by ignoring the band and trying to chat? King Crimson in 1971 was 50p, by the way.

The other thing is why do people also try to make and receive phone calls throughout a gig? Crazy! You must have heard them....

"Hi mate, can you hear me? Hi mate....hello...can you hear me? I'm at a a gig.... Sorry, what was that? Can't hear you mate.....I'm at a what?....sorry mate, can't hear you....see ya......"

Again, sending texts, e-mails, playing games....anything but taking in the gig. I have to admit here that I did get my Gooseberry out once to see what time it was but I couldn't read it without my glasses....Oh, the joys of getting older!

So, there we go. That's another rant over and another thing sorted. Rock and indeed, Roll, man.

"they said it wouldn't last, but baby please lets face it....
they just don't know what's going to replace it...."

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

First blog

Welcome to the first official "blog" from the Kirkpatrick "blogger". The thoughts or opinions represented here do not necessarily represent the views of Kirkpatrick, its Directors or its Employees, but then again they might!

What we hope to do here is to generate some discussion, maybe some debate, provide information on our products and maybe, just maybe, have a little fun from time to time. After all, there is more to life than Black Ironmongery, although sometimes it doesn't feel this way.

So we are approaching the Festive Season. The shops are crowded. They are selling huge tins of biscuits, chocolates. Ferrero Rocher are being advertised, (do they sell them at any other time of the year....and do people really like them?). There is so much tat and junk being sold and you know that it is not wanted and much of it will be discarded within a few weeks of the New Year. Everyone goes mad buying stupid amounts of food, a lot of which will be wasted.

Christmas can be a wonderful time but do we need to consume (or waste) so much just to say what a great Christmas we had? Its an unpopular viewpoint, believe me.

Ultimately, you don't need to be particularly clever to see that the modern commercialised Christmas helps us survive the rest of the year in relative comfort. If everyone stopped buying all the tat and junk, all the biscuits and chocolates (and the Ferrero Rocher), then shops would struggle, people would be out of work which would have the knock on effect of reducing demand in the economy, perhaps dropping us back into recession and maybe the demand for Kirkpatrick Black Iron products would be reduced.

So, Merry Christmas everyone. Keep consuming, keep eating, keep buying our products, (just make sure you don't buy the cheap copies which are the only things sold by the DIY sheds).

Just one thing. Would it be possible for pubs to have a special bar area for regular pub goers so that they don't have to queue behind people who only venture out once a year to office parties? Don't get me started on that....Bah humbug!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Welcome to Kirkpatrick

Located in the heart of England, Kirkpatrick Ltd is the oldest established manufacturer of black iron door and window furniture. Each malleable iron product is handcrafted and finished making each one completely unique. The use of traditional manufacturing techniques and relevant technical advances means that Kirkpatrick products are of the highest quality in terms of both aesthetics and functionality.

Kirkpatrick celebrates its history and heritage and still occupies the same premises from where it all began in 1855.