stablished 1995

and in based

in Willenhall, The Walsall Wheelb arr ow Company is the

UK’s only manufacturer of entire wheelbarrows. It makes the widest range of wheelbarrow products in the marketplace with different sizes, colours and specifications for the construction, agriculture and retail sectors. A family-owned business, The

Walsall Wheelbarrow Company has its origins in the 1940s, and boasts of being the originators of the first steel wheelbarrow. The Thacker family began making wheelbarrows in the garden shed under the name Thacker Barrows. The business is now the only remaining wheelbarrow manufacturer in the

UK, and supplies customers across the construction, agriculture and retail sectors.

At the forefront of innovation The company has

been at the

forefront of innovation, research, design and developing product and manufacturing processes within the industry throughout the generations and continues to be a market leader. Key to its success has been working closely and strategically with

suppliers and developing

long and established relationships, thus enabling the business to meet customer needs, delivering great products with a fast and efficient service. Because the manufacturing is done in the UK, the company is able to offer the widest and most complete range of barrows for all kinds of environments and


from homeowners in its handmade greenhouses during lockdown, as the benefit of being more self- sufficient and ‘growing your own’ is thrown sharply into focus. The Lancashire-based business,


which has been operating since 1938, has experienced around a 35 per cent increase in customers citing ‘growing their own’ as the primary reason they want to invest in a glasshouse or greenhouse since lockdown, with customers saying they ‘never want to be caught out like this again.’ In normal times, Hartley Botanic finds that somewhere between 10

12 DIY WEEK MAY 2020

and greenhouse manufactur er Hartley Botanic is experiencing a renewed


and 15 per cent of customers cite growing their own as the primary reason for buying a Glasshouse of Greenhouse, but since lockdown, this has increased substantially. More customers than ever are purchasing a greenhouse with becoming self- sufficient being the primary driver. In addition, a number Hartley Botanic customers who already own a greenhouse, are making use of it as an alternative space to while away the hours.

The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company is the only remaining manufacturer of wheelbarrows in the UK and continues to make all of its barrows on-site in its West Midlands factory. DIY Week takes a look at what’s behind this enduring British manufacturing success story.

applications, including construction, gardening, leisure and


agriculture and Equestrian. Investment is the heart of the business, recently securing £450,000 funding package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking that has allowed it to build what is believed to be the most efficient barrow production line in Europe, which produces 3,500 barrows per day. The recent launch of its ‘Barrow- in-a-Box’ product highlights its commitment to creating unique and innovative products, where it considers all effective means of merchandising, selling and even transportation of our barrows. The manufacturer’s workforce

has now grown to over 60 staff, where training and experience has resulted in the production of a quality product, which has helped it to earn the reputation for offering the ‘hallmark of quality’. The company also runs and maintains its own nationwide transport fleet, giving it flexibility in deliveries to customers’ needs.

Tom Barry, managing director, Hartley Botanic said: “It is probably decades since we have seen such an interest in growing your own and becoming more self-sufficient amongst those interested in our Greenhouses. The current experience is clearly changing consumers’ thinking, approach and priorities. Being able to produce your own food taps into the most basic of human needs. Ultimately, for many people ‘growing their own’ is the right choice for their own health.”

Hartley Botanic is an English Glasshouse and Greenhouse manufacturer based in Greenfield, Lancashire. The company was founded in 1938 by brothers Vincent (RHS fellow) and Norman Hartley following their groundbreaking aluminium Greenhouse design, a huge improvement over its wood and wrought iron Victorian forerunners.

“Innovation runs through the entire company, from design, manufacture and of course, the product.”

Helping to give prostate cancer the push

Just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company teamed up with charity Prostate Cancer UK to launch a wheelbarrow to increase awareness and raise funds. Painted blue and with a label highlighting details of the cancer that kills one man every 45 minutes on the back of the barrow, the hope is that the company’s large customer base will help sell the barrows the length and breadth of Britain. Each barrow sold will both increase awareness as well as raise funds to help fight the disease. The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company will contribute £2 to the charity for each ‘Prostate Cancer UK’ barrow sold. These special barrows were initially planned to be available from August 2020,

but for the

latest updates on availability, call 01902 304002 or email sales@

To help deal with increased

lockdown demand, the manufacturer has launched same-day ‘virtual home visits.’ The new service will allow the Greenhouse experts at Hartley Botanic to view homeowners’ gardens remotely – providing advice on Greenhouse location and important considerations when it comes to installation and maintenance. Hartley Botanic will have the ability to visit homeowners in their gardens on the same day, speeding up the ordering process.


Today, Hartley Botanic’s reputation has been built on over 80 years of English craftsmanship, creating glasshouse and greenhouse structures known for their enduring strength, quality and performance. All Hartley Botanic’s Glasshouses

and Greenhouses are handmade, bespoke and made to order. Visit or call 01457 819155 for more details.

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