Industrial explore, a few visits to this place and it’s not a place you can get bored at! Stumbling around in the dark makes each visit finds new discoveries.
In 1902 Guest, Keen and Co. Ltd acquired Nettlefolds Ltd, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of screws and fasteners. Nettlefolds can be traced back to John Sutton Nettlefold, who in 1823 established a small ironmongery in Holborn and traded in wood screws. In 1854 the company founded a mill in Smethwick. In the 1850s, Nettlefold was joined by Mr Joseph Chamberlain, his brother in law, changing the name to Nettlefold and Chamberlain and establishing a factory in Smethwick. The company flourished under the next generation of Chamberlain and Nettlefold. The Chamberlains left the company in 1874 and in 1880 Nettlefolds Ltd was launched as a limited company. Through a series of amalgamations and take overs, including the take over of the Birmingham Screw Company Limited in 1880 (and the later amalgamation of Mosers Limited in 1950), Nettlefolds established a monopoly in the British wood screw market.
Guest Keen and Co. changed its name to Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds Ltd as a result of the Nettlefold acquisition. At this time Guest Keen & Nettlefolds was one of the world’s largest manufacturing businesses, involved in every process, from coal and iron ore extraction, to iron and steel making, and to finished products including nuts, bolts, screws and fasteners for which it was then famous.