Martin’s Rubber History
PRIOR TO 1865
Robert Martin, father of John Hadlow Martin was working as a Waterproofer in Southampton; he was most likely to have been using early rubber proofed products, produced by Robert Macintosh from 1824 on.
1865 38 – BERNARD STREET (LATER RENUMBERED TO 65)
Company Established by John Hadlow Martin (1842-27th August 1896), married to Fannie Martha Witt, 13th April 1872 at St James Church, Southampton. John’s brother William S Martin may also have worked in the business. Children of John and Fannie born & raised over the shop. Martin family lore has it that they had a telephone in 1920, and a telegraph address “Martinet” (confirmed in adverts we have), and that they owned 38 & 40 Bernard Street, and 11 Oxford Street. Listed in the 1887 census as an India Rubber dealer & Gutta Percha manufacturer, and they traded from 1876-1912 as India Rubber Dealers but in 1913 the business was known as Martins Rubber Co Ltd (clarification needed, as the company was not formally registered until 1933). The business was still registered in John Hadlow Martin’s name until 1913 it is thought, but it is not clear what happened and who owned it between then and 1933. Possible source of info at the Freemasons records, J H Martin was a member of the Southampton Lodge. Source: Mr Nicholas Martin, July 2010 Products: Proofing Materials and Fabrications, hoses, gaskets.
17 MAY 1933 – 65 BERNARD STREET
Nelson Alfred Samler-Brown (in association with William George Abbott and Clarence Walter Abbott) bought the goodwill of the Company owned by the late Mr Rogers from Annie Rogers & Thomas Henry George White, and Miss W D Rogers. Purchase Price £110.00. Deed from Lloyds Bank Ltd lists the details, as do the minutes of the first Board Meeting also held on this date, at 118 Great Pollard St, London.
8 MAY 1936 – 65 BERNARD STREET
Samler-Brown sold the company to Geoffrey J Russell and G R Roberts, A E (Bert) Campbell acting as Secretary (Bert had been employed, possibly by Samler-Brown, as Manager having worked at competitor Jesseman’s since the 1920’s, starting there as a delivery boy).
17 SEPTEMBER 1936
One share issued to A E Campbell, G R Roberts resigned as Secretary, changed registered address from 62 Bernard Street to the nearby 11 Oxford Street, changed Bank from Lloyds to Midland, elected Mr G S H Walker as Secretary, wrote a cheque in settlement to Samler–Brown, no amount stated.
26 MARCH 1937 – 11 OXFORD STREET
A E Campbell, director, discussing acquiring 12 Oxford Street and altering it to trade from, combining the two buildings into one.
7 JUNE 1937
Share & directors changes registered with Companies House, various shareholders came & went through the 1940’s, while A E Campbell was building up the business.
5 JUNE 1951 – 11 & 12 OXFORD STREET
A E Campbell, T J E Cleveland, I J Campbell, A J Freemantle, G Russell and Auditor H J P White, the accounts seem to have been good with a 25% Dividend voted, and A E Campbell reported on the position of the proposed new building and the prospects of obtaining a licence.
1952 – ORCHARD PLACE
A new factory is built on a plot of land purchased in nearby Orchard Place by Bert Campbell and associate Reg Cave, John Attlee acting as Solicitor.
Bert Campbell’s daughter Pauline starts working for the family business, and works her way up to Administration and Accounts Manager
Martin’s Rubber acquires the adjoining Atlantic Garage and this becomes their new mould shop
Brian Hooper joined Martins at the invitation of Bert Campbell, having become engaged to his elder daughter Pauline, in December.
Pauline Campbell marries Brian Hooper in May, and Brian began to buy the shares held outside the Campbell & Hooper families.
Bert Campbell buys Reg Cave’s adjoining warehouse, racked out with miles of Dexion by Adam Hooper in school holidays to become the new rubber store.
Brian Hooper completes buyout of remaining shares outside the Hooper family, and the business becomes a sole family business again.
Paul Hooper (now Projects Director), Brian’s son, joins the company.
Paul Hooper begins running the business on a day-to-day basis, with Brian now semi retired.
Adam Hooper (now Operations Director), Paul’s brother, joins the company.
Seal Jet CNC machining is introduced to Martin’s range of capabilities, becoming the first computer owned by Martin’s, and a significant venture into new technology.
Bert Campbell deceases.
Martin’s purchase the adjoining Toderick Tapp factory; Todericks had taken over Jesseman’s, who Bert Campbell had worked for back in the 1920’s. This unit is now the Cutting Shop and Seal Machining workshop.
A Subcontractor, Peartree Plastics, who specialised in Polyurethane Foam products is acquired, and moved into the Martin’s site, to add to the company’s facilities. Brian Hooper deceases.
Martin’s buys the adjoining pub, “Zenbar”, formerly “The Glasgow” which replaced the original “Clarendon Hotel” on this site. The pub was fully refurbished and is now the company offices.
The company celebrates 150 years in business, and, while it seems that we have been involved in Rubber products since before 1865, by any standard we are one of the longest established businesses in our industry.