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130 Years of Haws

We produce the finest quality watering cans and accessories for the garden and home. We believe in the quality of hand-made British goods
J.Haws

1886

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.

Haws 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."

Arthur Haws

1900

John Haws dies

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

Chelsea Flower Show

1911

Chelsea Flower Show

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.

Production moves

1925

Production moves

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.

Famous brass medallion found on all Haws Watering Cans

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”

War years

1939

War years

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.

Taylor Law Co Ltd

1950

Sold to Taylor Law Co Ltd

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.

Production moves

1953

Production moves

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

Tala Works division continued to trade as ‘Genuine Haws Department’.

Investment

Investment

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.

Sold to Elliotts

1976

Sold to Elliotts

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.

Sold to Eclipse Sprayers

1982

Sold to Eclipse Sprayers

In 1982 Haws was sold to an engineering manufacturing company, ‘Eclipse Sprayers’ which was based in Smethwick, Birmingham and owned by John Pennock.

Rebuilding Haws

Rebuilding Haws

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.

New products

1984

New products

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.

Expansion

1986

Expansion

During this period of expansion, the financial stability of the company was maintained by the appointment of Graham Blocksidge as Company Secretary in 1986.

Production moved

Production moved

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.

Global expansion

2004

Global expansion

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.

Jon Scott join the company

2010

New expertise

2010 saw Jon Scott join the company as works manager bringing a wealth of experience in sheet metal manipulation and hot dip galvanising.

Next phase - Andrew and Richard

2015

Next phase

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.

J.Haws

Today
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