About Us

Helmsman is one of the UK’s top manufacturers of a complete range of lockers and cubicles. It offers design, supply, installation and after-sales service for lockers, cubicles and bench seating.

With over 5,500 square metres of offices and factory in Bury St Edmunds, our local workforce has over 40 years of experience working with architects, designers, specifiers, contractors and end-users helping them realise their most creative projects.

We are used to working across different sectors from leisure, healthcare and education through to commercial, retail, construction and industrial.

We are able to offer off-the-shelf products as well as bespoke solutions, be they aluminium, steel, glass or solid grade laminate. With a wide range of colours and styles, coupled with options from charging points to different locking systems, we provide the very best solutions for any project.

We supply throughout the UK and Ireland as well as across Europe and the Middle East and can offer supply only solutions to a fully managed turnkey service if preferred by the client.

Helmsman Head Office

Company History

Where did the name “Helmsman” originate?

We’re asked this question a lot and it gives us the chance to talk about our history dating back over 230 years!

The Helmsman brand and company originates from Bristol Docks around 1790 when it was a manufacturer of 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 it specialised in making galvanised iron tanks and cisterns for bulk liquid storage.

Heavily bombed during World War II, the factory relocated to Walthamstow but suffered a direct hit from a V2 Rocket in late 1944, which killed the Chairman and several employees. In the late 1960s, the company manufactured bulk tanker lorry bodies for transporting items such as grain or flour.

It was in the early 1970s when the company moved to its current home in Bury St. Edmunds as part of the London overspill plan devised by the Greater London Council. It was here where the company shifted focus and began manufacturing lockers for the school, industry and leisure markets.

In 2008, the company was taken over by a metal company, but friendly demerged in 2014 to form Helmsman Storage Solutions Ltd.

Visitors to our offices cannot fail to notice the wooden sailor figure standing aloft our entrance. The original, carved from oak in around 1910, stood for many years on the roof of the factory in the West India Dock and is on loan to the Museum of London in the heart of the Docklands. This modern fibreglass replica was made in the late 1980s and serves as a reminder of the company’s heritage. Consequently, a modernised sailor image has been the Helmsman logo since the early 2000s.