The Company was founded as J.Haws in 1886 and based in Clapton, North East London
John Haws first worked out his improved design and method of manufacture from a French made waterpot (or can as they are now called) and designed a can with perfect balance.
Whether full, half full or empty the can could be used without undue strain to the operator. To this day, the original design has not been altered in any major way.
John soon designed and patented his very own watering can. A can with a canister body and breast to prevent spillages while pouring. It had two handles, one for carrying and one for tipping.
It was soon recognized by top gardeners and in 1894 received the National Chrysanthemum Society Gold Medal award for his improved watering can.
"This new invention forms a watering pot that is much easier to carry and tip, and at the same time being much cleaner, and more adapted for use than any other put before the public."
John Haws died in the early 1900s and his nephew Arthur Haws joined the business on behalf of John’s daughters
He was under a lot of pressure from cheap imitators but by innovating filters and roses to control water flow he was able to maintain the high quality of Haws
In 1911 the Haws Can was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Banksian Medal and was invited to exhibit at the first Chelsea Flower Show.
In 1925 production was moved to Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire where around 40 employees handmade 200-250 metal cans per week. All watering cans were inspected by the works manager, or Arthur himself prior to dispatch.
During the transition from Clapton to Bishop’s Stortford the famous brass medallion found on all Haws Watering Cans had to have the address changed, and a message to the public was “Your watering can is not a genuine Haws can unless it features the Registered Trade Mark”
With the onset of the War, a substantial part of the factory was taken over by a company making screws and metal fittings for the war effort. There were shortages of both labour and materials, and Arthurs Haws health began to decline.
In 1950 Arthur sold the business to Taylor Law Co Ltd (Tala). They introduced new spinning machines, paint spray booths and hand dipped galvanizing carried out by Crittalls of Witham in Essex.
In March 1953 all production moved to Stourbridge where Tala’s factory was based, they again had to change the brass medallion to mark the movement. The Bishops Stortford factory was closed and soon after Arthur Haws sadly passed away.
Tala Works division continued to trade as ‘Genuine Haws Department’.
Tala’s invested a substantial amount into tooling and were soon able to introduce injection moulded plastic cans. These cans offered cheaper and lighter alternatives to the metal cans but without the durability.
In 1976, Tala’s sell to their supplier of plastic cans, Elliotts. Elliotts soon decided to bring all metal manufacturing in-house, but with no experience in metal fabrication, problems began to arise.
Long delays in production and many issues with poor quality all resulted in heavy financial loses. These loses combined with the recession in the late 1970s, resulted in the Elliott Group going out of business.
In 1982 Haws was sold to an engineering manufacturing company, ‘Eclipse Sprayers’ which was based in Smethwick, Birmingham and owned by John Pennock.
John Massey, the marketing director of Haws watering cans for Elliotts, moved to Eclipse Sprayers and together with the Pennock family began to rebuild Haws’ reputation.
In 1984 new cans began to be introduced starting with the Traditional Metal (Peter Rabbit) can and a larger range of plastic cans both blow and injection moulded.
During this period of expansion, the financial stability of the company was maintained by the appointment of Graham Blocksidge as Company Secretary in 1986.
As business grew the company had to move into larger premises still within Smethwick. Sadly, John Pennock died in 1995 and his son David who had worked alongside his father since 1974 took over as Managing director.
John Massey, who had played a key role in the revival of Haws Watering Cans retired in 2004. His sales and marketing roles were taken up by Steve Riley who transferred over from Eclipse Sprayers, which he had joined in 1982.
This marked a concerted effort to improve export sales, resulting in Steve regularly attending trade shows in America, Canada, Germany and Japan.
2010 saw Jon Scott join the company as works manager bringing a wealth of experience in sheet metal manipulation and hot dip galvanising.
In 2015 Dave’s sons, Andrew and Richard, joined the company bringing the enthusiasm of youth to the next phase of the company’s development.
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