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Company History

Here at Blakes & Taylors we our proud of our heritage. Able to trace our lineage back to its origin in 1789, as a ships chandler supplying Nelson’s navy in Portsmouth.

The birth place was the small seaside town of Gosport, the town itself having its fair share of historical significance. Starting out life as a market town and port. Later becoming a key defence for a potential French land invasion.

Sometime during the 18th century it was written ‘Except for the vicinity of the sea, Gosport can claim little that is attractive, for the town is not pleasant and the surrounding country has no peculiar charms.’ It is not surprising then that the inhabitants of this small costal town were drawn to the sea for both wealth and adventure. A suiting place for what was then Blake & Sons to take root.

A catalogue still in the company’s possession from about a century later, shows a wide range of equipment including cookers, stoves and additional general chandlery items.

The arrival of the great racing yachts of the late Victorian era saw the company making pumps and skin fittings. We believe that this also led to the development of the distinguished Blakes marine toilet. These new designs incorporated high grade sea water resistant copper alloys, allowing the company to quickly become recognised as a market leader in the field.

By the turn of the century and with the massive expansion of the Royal Navy, Blakes had grown to one of the largest manufacturing companies in Gosport.

The advent of the classic “J” class racing in the 1930’s saw more development in both marine equipment and toilets. During the 1940’s and 50’s modified Baby Blake’s were used on the Sunderland Flying Boats crossing the Atlantic and fast patrol craft of the time.

In 1969 Blakes purchased Lavac adding to its already extensive range of plumbing equipment with highly sort after models such as Zenith and Popular.

It was in 1981 when the company returned to the field of cooking and heating, this came with the acquisition of the well-known brand Taylors who specialised in this market sector.

Sea Sure gained Blakes in 2007 and continues to produce these traditional and most recognisable pieces of yachting equipment. Our toilet bowls are still hand made in the Staffordshire Potteries, taking a skilled artisan a full day to lay the clay for one bowl. The solid hardwood seats have an equally impressive royal lineage. Our castings are made from solid bronze and wherever possible use the original moulds.