About Us

Todays Bethel Rhodes is modern company utilising the latest in modern technology, including state of the art CNC machines.

 

This bright future though is based on solid historical foundations that have lasted for over 150 years, since Mr Bethel Rhodes first started his company in Keighley.

 

Mr Rhodes was a remarkable figure in the Victorian era, the period during which he made his most notable achievements. His father was a successful businessman who had been running a busy and thriving wireworking concern in the Bradford area. Mr Rhodes was born in Shelf in 1847 and began working for his father at the age of ten. At fourteen he was receiving the princely sum of 2s.6d. per week for his labours, plus, of course, a wealth of priceless knowledge and expertise which would stand him in good stead for the rest of his business career.

The early years

The now well-known Keighley connection almost failed to happen; Bethel Rhodes' father wanted his son to establish a branch of his business in Newcastle, at a distance of over 100 miles and an arduous and time consuming journey at the time. Bethel Rhodes was far from keen on the idea, influenced, perhaps, by his decision to marry a local girl at the age of 19. A compromise was reached and Bethel moved instead to nearby Keighley to set up a business at the premises on Coney Lane. By 1886 business was doing well enough to take larger premises in North Street, on a site later to be occupied by the Town Hall. A variety of products were on offer during these early days of the business; ornamental wire hanging baskets, a wide range of wire brushes, wire fencing for use in tennis matches, and strong riddles used for sorting soil, sand and other material into different grades. This was an age of tremendous industrial growth and opportunity. Bethel Rhodes wasted little time in taking advantage of the chance to build his business and satisfy the huge demand for the wire-based products he turned out. One particularly successful line was his range of steel wire brushes for use in foundries. These were quite an innovation at the time, and the firm was one of only two in the country to manufacture them.

International Company

By the turn of the century the reputation of Bethel Rhodes Ltd. had spread not just through the locality, but to the four corners of the world. Agents in London, Paris, New York, Milan, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide sent orders to the expanding Keighley firm, generating valuable business and securing even more growth for the company.

 

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For further information :

Telephone 01535 602532

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