Saturday, 1 November 2008

More about Harvey's

Perhaps I should start off by finding something from the magazines which explains about Harvey's and who they are. There is an article which explains a bit about their background and written for their Diamond Jubilee celebrations on July 7th 1934. 'Sixty years of industrial progress'. At that time the firm's founder, G.A.Harvey was still alive and still Chairman, although day to day control was in the hands of his son, Sydney. G.A.Harvey was to die in 1937. He had begun in 'the most inauspicious way possible' in an 'old forge in Lewisham' and turning it into a workshop where, with one boy, he worked in zinc - cisterns, guttering, for local builders. Within ten years he was supplying all round the country and began to move into the area for which the firm was best known - metal perforation. This began with making perforated zinc for meat safes and by 1894 he could expand with a second works at Iron Wharf in Greenwich which was set up for galvanizing and tank making. In 1913 he bought the site in Woolwich Road where the firm was to remain. This was near the river and also the railway - from which a branch line went into the works. In 1934 some of the work was described - fine wire cloth, thicker woven wire articles, all kinds of metal perforation, manufacture of dustbins and similar domestic equipment up to major pressure vessels, fractionating towers, reaction vessels and so on for industry. They also moved into metal office furniture and similar items - for which they became famous.
I am treating Harvey's here as a historical entity - but I believe that the firm still exists and that the office furniture department is alive and well and located in Margate. If anyone from Margate picks this article up I would be grateful to know more about Harvey's work today - and of course since 1934.


Anonymous said...

I used to work for GA Harvey (Office Furniture) Ltd between 1983 and 1986. I am astounded to discover that the old factory in Margate where I worked, had been demolished. If anyone knows of the existence of reunion group or would just like to get in touch to discuss old times, please contact me at

Anonymous said...

Dodging The Column - 1952 by British Transport Films. Hauling a 130ft distillation column 500 miles from Harveys Greenwich to the Forth Chemical Works at Grangemouth

Ali Attwater said...

They made the "Bullshorn mine ploughs" for fitting to Hobarts funnies for the D-Day landings

Unknown said...

Is there any further reading you would recommend on this?

office furniture Milton keynes

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the Margate factory closed in 2003, and although not demolished, was cut through the middle to create an access roadway and divided into small individual units by the present owners.
The original loading bay end of the factory is currently used by Travis Perkins building supplies.
With the decline in the office furniture business, UK furniture sales were moved to France by the then owners Steelcase Strafor plc and imported into the UK.
Margate factory 1956-2003
G a Harvey Co - Butterfield Harvey - Krug - Gordon Russell - Steelcase Strafor plc
I worked at the Margate factory from 1977-2003 having completed the first year of my 4 year apprenticeship at the Greenwich site of G A Harvey & Co were I moved to Margate from London to join the Margate factory until it's close in 2003.