RETRO: Twisting across globe

Sheffield Twist Drill and Steel Company Limited'Pictured Gladys Peel - 2nd March 1971
Sheffield Twist Drill and Steel Company Limited'Pictured Gladys Peel - 2nd March 1971
Have your say

In 1936 Harry Alexander Dormer looked over his works in Summerfield Street and declared: “This company has grown until we have 500 employees. Now we can’t grow any more.”

He was managing director of the Sheffield Twist Drill and Steel Company - and fortunately he was so very wrong.

The engineering firm, now known as Dormer Tools, celebrates its centenary this morning with subsidiaries in 25 countries.

It was crucial to Mr Alexander that the company maintained the family spirit on which it was founded and he had traditional ideas as an employer.

The firm has passed through generations of his family but he was a firm believer in ‘putting the boy through the mill’ before allowing him a position of responsibility.

And the family was rightly proud that 160 workers, out of 600, who were with the firm in 1937 were still there and members of its 25 Circle in 1962.

Dormer has adopted the slogan ‘Your trusted partner since 1913’ for its centenary to showcase the company’s reputation in the industry, and several events have taken place during the year to mark the anniversary.

Memorabilia and artefacts from the company’s history have been collated at Dormer’s UK site at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in South Yorkshire, including items donated from the prestigious Ken Hawley Collection in Sheffield.

Dormer has launched a centenary website featuring news and images of celebrations by Dormer employees and customers around the globe, alongside archive images and footage.

John O’Donoghue, managing director of Dormer Tools UK, said: “It is important to celebrate and recognise a centenary of achievements and developments at Dormer, but we are also keen to look ahead at the next 100 years.

“We have grown from a successful Sheffield company to a major global organisation, with staff located in key global markets. As we enter a new century in the company’s history, we continue to look at the latest technology in product development and improved customer facilities, to strengthen Dormer’s global position.”