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The History of Hillbrush

 

Hillbrush was founded in 1922 by Fred and Bill Coward, the company began in the small rural town of Mere, Wiltshire. They called their business ‘The Hill Brush Company’, because it was located at the base of the distinctive Castle Hill you will see if you visit Mere today. It originally specialised in dairy and agricultural brushes, but within a few years many of the streets were being swept with brushes made by Hillbrush. 

The brothers were later joined by their respective sons David and Richard along with Bill's son-in-law, Brian Thomas. David's son Martin was appointed as the Finance Director in 1997 and his second son Philip, was Managing Director of Hillbrush in the UK until 2018, when his son Charles and Martin's son Andy became Co-Managing Directors of Hillbrush. Philip is Chairman of Hillbrush and also President of Hillbrush in the US, with Richard's son Peter as Vice President. Hillbrush USA is located in Baltimore, Maryland.

From the very beginning, the brothers stamped their brushes with a salmon logo, born out of Bill’s love for salmon fishing. The salmon logo not only distinguished the business from its many competitors, but as the ‘King of Fish’ it also represented the quality of the products they were making. Over the years the logo has evolved but the salmon has remained an integral part of Hillbrush, and to this day many locals and customers worldwide refer to the Company as ‘salmon brushes’, ‘the fish brand’ or ‘the brushes with the fish’!

Founders Fred and Bill Coward with Mer Majesty The Queen - 1952

Our previous facility at Woodlands Road, Mere - 2011

Proud Royal Warrant Holders
The Royal Warrant is a recognition of personal service of a high order, and today there are over 850 Royal Warrant holders given permission to use the title and Royal Arms. It is a mark of acknowledgement of those who have supplied goods or services to the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales for at least five years and who have an ongoing trading arrangement. The Monarch decides who may grant Royal Warrants, and these are known as Grantors.

 

 

Her Majesty The Queen visited Hillbrush in 1952 during a trip to the local area. In 1981 Hillbrush was granted a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty The Queen for the supply of brushware to the Royal Households, and retains the Warrant to this day.

 

 

At the end of 2016, Hillbrush moved to a new state-of-the-art facility at Norwood Park, on the outskirts of Mere. At the same time the company issued the latest iteration of the logo, along with contemporary brand guidelines to support the business for the next generation of products.

Hillbrush is unique in having its own brush fibre-dressing department which began in 1926 and now processes all types of natural fibres from around the world. Having a fibre-dressing department makes it possible to offer special mixes, with natural fibres used alongside synthetic materials. The company's use of synthetic fibre has increased in recent years due to the manufacture of specialist brushes. These include brushes used in food production or catering establishments, and in hygiene-sensitive areas such as hospitals and kitchens.

Automatic brush making machines were first introduced in the 1930s, but over time increasingly sophisticated production equipment has been installed. This allows Hillbrush to manufacture various types of brushes that were not previously made. As well as producing millions of brushes each year, Hillbrush also offers a selection of other cleaning-related products such as squeegees, shovels, buckets, floor signs, scoops, scrapers, paddles and more.

 

Managing Directors Charlie and Andy Coward - 2018

98 years of brushmaking and innovation

Our new facility at Norwood park, Mere - 2020

Hillbrush originally specialised in making wooden backed brushes and is still one of the largest manufacturers of wooden brushes in the world. Through innovation and product development we were successfully able to introduce a range of plastic backed brushes for the food and beverage industries.

In 2001 the company purchased Champion Brush Inc. based in Baltimore, USA, the foremost manufacturer of horse grooming brushes in North America. This is now incorporated within Hillbrush USA which distributes hygiene products to the food industry.

Our unrivalled experience and expertise has contributed to our prolonged success, with Hillbrush now producing almost three thousand different products, supplied to over 90 countries across the globe. We look forward to introducing more customers to our vast product range in the years ahead.

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Extensive Global Network

Hillbrush is a globally recognised company with the cleaning and hygiene industry. Our network of distribution partners has grown significantly in recent years, with Hillbrush now established as a global brand in over 90 countries, meaning our products can be delivered to you directly through our international network.