About Helmsman

Offering locker design, manufacturing and installation facilities from our base in Bury St. Edmunds, we supply high quality lockers and cubicles. We also manufacture a range of bespoke products designed to suit your requirements.

We have a dedicated team of professionals and over 40 years experience in the industry working with schools, architects, contractors, individuals and locker users.  From listening to our customers, we have gained a vast amount of knowledge and as a result have tailored our designs to provide a range of top quality lockers.

helmsman head office

Employing a local workforce operating from our 60,000 sq ft manufacturing facility, we supply throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as to our European & Middle East Partners.

Helmsman Company History

Where did the name “Helmsman” originate from?

West India DockThe Helmsman brand and company “DNA” can be traced back to the Bristol Docks around 1790 when they manufactured wooden parts for ships. By 1875, William Byron Bawn had established a workshop in the West India Dock in London known as the Byron Tank Works. Here they specialised in making galvanised iron tanks and cisterns for bulk liquid storage.

The West India Dock was heavily bombed during World War II, and the factory was moved to Walthamstow. It suffered a direct hit from a V2 Rocket in late 1944 which killed the Chairman and several employees. In the late 1960’s the company manufactured bulk tanker lorry bodies for transporting items such as grain or flour.   Relocating to Bury St Edmunds in the early 1970’s was a result of the London overspill plan devised by the Greater London Council.

W B Bawn tank top plate history

Here they concentrated on manufacturing lockers for schools, industry and sports venues.  In 2008 the company was taken over by Sperrin Metal Products Ltd and friendly de-merged in 2014 to become Helmsman Storage Solutions Ltd.

Helmsman historyThe wooden sailor figure was carved from oak in around 1910, and stood for many years on the roof of the factory in the West India Dock.  A modern fibre glass replica was made in the late 1980’s and is fixed to the front of the Helmsman offices. The wooden original is an exhibit in the Museum of London Docklands.  A modernised sailor image has been the Helmsman logo since the early 2000’s.

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/news-room/press-releases/major-new-gallery-museum-london-docklands-explores-history-worlds-largest-docks