celebrating 143 years


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W.H.Tildesley has its roots in Black Country industry and has been operating in Willenhall for over 150 years.

Throughout its long history, the WHT philosophy of attention to detail, customer service, and top quality products have been a steadfast theme.

Supplying quality British drop forgings since 1874.

William Horace TildesleyFounded by William Horace Tildesley in 1874, like most companies in Willenhall, W.H. Tildesley made parts for horses that were heavily used in the transport industry.

The production of horseshoe blanks started in 1880 in support of the Boer War. Other parts included horse grooming equipment – curry combs tail comb, sweat scrapers, then expanding into vermin traps. In those days Willenhall, in the West Midlands, was famous for lockmaking and metal work for the nearby Saddlery trade in Walsall.

boer war horse shoe forging whtildesley

During the 1st World War, production switched to mass manufacturing of horseshoe blanks. It was as a result of this that the little family business moved down the road to its present site in order to carry out the noisy and hot blacksmith type work. But diversity and adaptation have always been part of the culture and the product range soon expanded to include drop forgings. Horace William Tildesley, the son of WH took the business further and the forging operations became the heart of WHT business. Horace’s son David Tildesley succeeded his Father after the Second World War building the business to be financially secure and investing in new equipment.

David Tildesley was succeeded by his eldest son Richard as Managing Director in the early 80s and WHT became a major forging supplier not only within the UK but also moved into the export market. Richard’s younger Brother John joined the business in the late 80s and as Technical Director began a programme of investment forging technology that continues to this day. Between them, they developed applications in a wide range of markets such as admiralty lifting and rigging equipment, motorcycles and trucks, and architectural ironwork.

Sadly Richard died prematurely and John took on the mantle as Managing Director and has since brought the business very much into the 21st century. Family connections have also played a part in workforce development with many of WHT’s current staff being related to current and previous employees.

Whilst the high-volume production of many of our traditional parts has moved overseas, WHT still maintains a niche position in those markets especially where small and medium quantities of unique parts are required, often on short lead-times for repair and maintenance. The ability to produce small batches cost-effectively is now central to our current market position and continuous investment in capital equipment, materials technology, training, and information technology means that we also now offer a vital service to today’s key industries such as railways, oil/gas, petrochemical, and off-road equipment.

And in a world where outsourcing has become increasingly fashionable, WHT continues to invest in its own capabilities, particularly in-house die-making and finished component machining. WHT's evolution has seen a massive advance in production techniques and the streamlining of material procurement which has been crucial to maintaining competitiveness. Continually investing in our plant, processes, and people, we embrace the most modern industry and have the advantage of historical evolution behind us.

W.H.Tildesley Ltd has access to an extensive historical drawing archive that covers a diverse range of drop forged components

drop forging drawing archives spanning 100 yearsHistorical drawing archives dating from 1908 through to the present day

WHT was established in 1874 and is one of the oldest drop forging companies in the UK. Our heritage is thoroughly documented in our drawing archives, spanning over 100 years of drop forging production at the site in Willenhall, West Midlands. All drawings are professionally bound and archived until this day, the oldest being from 1908 when the archive was implemented.

Digital drawings and 3D models for all jobs dating from 2000 to the present day

Even though all drawings are still printed, bound, and archived to this day, WHT implements the latest in digital drawing and 3D modeling software. We have digital models and drawings that cover the last 17 years of drop forging production. Models from this archive can be die cut overnight and entered into the production schedule in a matter of days.

W.H. Tildesley was the OEM for many British Companies including

  • Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd
  • Barzillai Hingley & Sons Ltd
  • Blackburn Aircraft Ltd
  • British Oxygen Co Ltd
  • Burman & Sons Ltd
  • Chas. A Blatchford & Sons Ltd (Blatchford)
  • Chater-Lea Manufacturing Company Limited
  • Chatwood Safe & Engineering Co Ltd
  • Cogswell & Harrison Ltd
  • Crossley Motors Ltd
  • Davey & Company London Ltd
  • Enfield Cycle Company Ltd
  • Ford Motor Co Ltd
  • Henry Ford & Sons Ltd (Fordson)
  • H.M Admiralty
  • Hardy Spicer
  • J.E. Hanger & Co Ltd
  • Matchless Motorcycles Ltd
  • Morris Motors Ltd
  • Pressed Steel Co Ltd
  • Riley Engine Company Ltd
  • Riley (Coventry)
  • Rolls Royce Ltd
  • Smith Francis Tools Ltd
  • The Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd
  • The British Tool & Engineering Co
  • The Maudslay Motor Company Ltd
  • Rubery Owen & Co
  • The Vaughan Crane Company
  • Triumph Company Ltd
  • Triumph Engineering Co Ltd
  • Vauxhall Motors Ltd
  • Veloce Ltd
  • William Griffin and Sons
  • Woodhouse Brothers
  • Youngs (Lifting Appliances) Ltd
  • Ariel Motors (J.S.) Ltd
  • Armstrong Siddeley Motors Ltd
  • James Cycle Company Ltd
  • John Marston Ltd (Sunbeam)
  • Levis Compressors Ltd
  • O.K Supreme Motors
  • Leyland Motors
  • War Office