FOUNDED ON FAMILY VALUES, LOYALTY AND TEAMWORK
Frank Dudley Limited hasn’t always been the large manufacturing base that it is today. In fact, we started from humble beginnings from a small garden shed way back in 1948.
Our story starts just after the end of World War II, when Frank Dudley, our founder and a qualified toolmaker, decided to start his own business. His mission then was simple - to provide support for his wife and five children - and he probably had no idea then just how successful his business would eventually become.
Armed with only a small supply of hand presses, Frank set to work on supplying high quality washers for the automotive business. Teamwork was as strong within the company then as it is now Frank’s daughters and sons would help him every day after school to transport the washers to the local platers.
As the automotive market began to regain momentum following the war, Frank found that demand was high for his products. He also recognised just how popular automobiles were becoming, and realised that a man would often go without food, but not his car! As a result of this industrial boom, he was able to invest in better equipment, employ his first team (including his loyal family members), and supply more products to his growing customer base. It was a great time to be in business, and Frank’s reputation grew to the point where demand began to outstrip supply.
Frank realised he could start to make his parts in kit form - something we still sell today - and decided the car trade was definitely the right trade to be in. He took his products to Quinton Hazell Autoparts Ltd, who distributed his products nationwide. It was at this time that Frank invested in the first power press in order to manage his thriving business and provide a more efficient service to his customers.
Sadly, Frank died in 1966 at the age of 53, but his legacy lives on. This is largely thanks to his loyal family, who were there to rally together to manage the business through good times and bad to keep the reputation of the company in good standing
Unfortunately, it was not to last, and the recession hit the country hard. This had a huge impact on the company; a three day working week was introduced, there were electricity cuts, and even worse, family members fell out and left the company. These problems took their toll on the business financially and emotionally, but through thick and thin, the remaining family members pulled together and got through those hard times.
Over the next few years, times were extremely good. New power presses were introduced, new products were produced and the company moved into its own brand new factory, we eventually expanded into the facility next door. At that time, Frank Dudley Limited was providing jobs for 40 people, large contracts were in place, and business was booming.
That teamwork that Frank Dudley Limited is known for today, went a long way to helping the company to regain its position in the market, win new business and move to bigger and better premises over the years ahead. With a dedicated management team at the helm, and an experienced workforce of 186 in place, the company continued to go from strength to strength, taking on contracts from leading names such as Rover, Stadco and UYT. Another recession struck in 2008, possibly the worst the company had seen, but loyal customers stuck with them, a new sales team generated more business, and the company rode on through these testing times.
Frank Dudley Limited is a company built on family values, teamwork, investment in its people and technologies and decades of experience. Today, we are proud to offer our services to some of the leading names in the industry and to still be working with some of the companies that supported us from the very start.