Flexible Drive and Tool – A Short History
With over 80 years of experience in the design and manufacture of Flexible Drives, Fairport Flexible Drive and Tool has provided solutions for many varieties of machinery and applications. Fairport Flexible Drive has provided Flexible Drives for its own production of Concrete Vibrating Pokers and has developed Flexible Drives for Portable Power Tools such as Grinders, Pumps, Post Boring, Screed Vibrators, Descaling Equipment, Animal Shearing, Tyre Dressing, Meat Slicing and many more.
Founded in 1920s London, it initially began selling imported descaling units; the business then grew rapidly and new premises were located in South Kensington in the 1940s. It was in these new premises that the Manufacture of Flexible Drive products began and soon after the company introduced a collection and repair service for flexible shafts in the London area. A compulsory purchase order in the 1950s forced the business to move away from its central London premises and it relocated to the Hever Road site in Edenbridge in 1957, and it was within this new factory that the manufacture of Baxtul Flexible Drive Hand Tools began. The reputation of this quality brand enabled Flexible Drive and Tool to become the preferred suppliers to major companies such as Hoover, Black and Decker, Borg Warner and David Brown Tractors.
The 1960’s were boom years for Flexible Drive and Tool and at its peak it had over 120 employees. The Company went public during this time and was eventually sold in 1966 to the Fram Group which had by this time already acquired Warsop Power Tools; a Company manufacturing equipment for the Mining and Construction Industries. To cope with an ever increasing demand for flexible drives the company moved away from handmade flexible drives to high speed core machines to maximise capacity.
Recession in the 1980’s forced the closure of the Thetford manufacturing facility and operations were transferred to the Edenbridge site. In 1983 Flexible Drive and Tool became part of the Fairport Group and shortly after the turn of the century all operations were then transferred to the current site in Sheffield, Yorkshire where flexible drives continue to be manufactured using high speed core machines.
The images below represent a cross section of the diverse range of Drives and Applications Fairport has developed and also demonstrates premium Fairport quality as a Flexible Drive manufacturer. Flexible Drive and Tool continues to provide innovative solutions for a wide array of challenging technological applications across many different industries.