Providing high quality advertising products to the trade across the world
The History of E. Hulme starts with Ernest Hulme, who at the age of just 16, was a Professional Teacher of Roller Skating. Later he married his wife Edith in 1918, during leave from the Royal Navy.
After the first World War he started to make leather goods at home with his new wife, who had worked in the leather trade since she had left school. Everything they made that week, they then sold on the local market that weekend. Once established they moved into a local factory in Station Street, Walsall. In 1921 they starting the company E. Hulme.
During the second World War they manufactured prototype leather items for the War Office. Once a design they made was passed by the War Office, the job was sent to main mass production at larger leather factories.
Their son Malcolm joined his father after the second world war in 1947, he too did his time in the Royal Navy as an engineer. Very quickly their quality of products was picked up by companies in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, making leather items for them. One item he was asked to make was a Key Ring, with an enamelled badge fixed to the leather & needless to say, the company have not looked back from that day!
Sadly, Ernest passed away in 1961, leaving Malcolm to continue in the business with help from his wife Joyce.
Malcolm used his engineering knowledge from his Naval days, to develop semi-automatic sewing machines for his growing key fob business. Within a few years the production grew to all areas of the UK. Malcolm became known as the “Key Fob King”. Even now local historians have this information as part of their knowledge of the local area!
As history repeats itself, in 1973 Robert joined his farther in the company at the age of 17. Bringing new ideas & technology to the business
Together, our computerized sewing machined for key fobs & other promotional gifts were developed, which no other leather company in Walsall, the heart of the leather trade in the UK, could see a use for at the time? The investment help with our growing production & expansion of sales into Europe. At the height of our production, manufacturing 25,000 keyfobs a day were being made & still could not keep up with the demand.
Malcolm passed away in 2000, leaving Robert in sole charge of the now limited company, E. Hulme & Son Ltd.
Louise, daughter of Robert & the fourth generation of the family is working hard with in the factory, keeping the family business looking forward.
Development of products & machinery has always been a guiding force within the company. Always looking at other trades to see how we can improve on production. With ever advancing computer technology & latest’s investment into digital full colour UV printers. These will print any image directly onto recycled leather without having to let the print dry or use any special chemical sealers etc.
Produce is still of 10,000 items a day but from our much large range of items, using our much-reduced work force, due to the investments made over the many years.