Draper Tools Historical Logo

Draper Tools Established in 1919 a Company with History

Draper Tools was started in 1919 when the founder, Bert Draper, sold government surplus and tools in markets around the Kingston Upon Thames area. This led to the purchase of the original warehouse, from which the Draper Tool Company Limited as we know it today was born, although at this time it was known as B. Draper & Son Limited and owned the trademark B.D.S. Although Draper Tools sold its own brand as early as this time, it was also a quality Engineers Merchant and Tool Wholesaler, selling brands that are well known today, such as, Britool, King Dick, Elliott Lucas, etc.

When Bert Draper passed away in 1963, control of the Company passed to his son Norman. With the increased business and cramped conditions at Kingston Upon Thames, Norman purchased the freehold rights to the current premises in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire at auction the same year. Norman pushed the business forward dramatically and developed the 'Draper' brand as we know it today, by importing quality tools from all around the World. He also established 'exclusive' relationships on a family to family basis, with such Companies as Elora and Knipex, which still exist today.

Norman died in 1994 and the Company is now run by his son, John. His wife Joan, who passed away in 1999, produced, almost single-handedly, the Company's first type-written catalogue in 1953. This level of family involvement would be rare in any other company of this size in the UK... But then Draper Tools is no 'other company!'

John took over the reins in 1992 with the task of taking the company into the new century. Draper Tools continues to thrive on a mixture of inward investment, active support for the independent stockist, striving for operational efficiency and all underpinned by the golden rule since 1919 - Guaranteed Quality. The current premises in Chandler's Ford have been added to considerably since its purchase and has now reached a size of 535,000 sq.ft. It is now probably the largest stock of tools in one place in the UK.

  • 1919
    bert draper and his wife emily

    1919 the beginning of a family company

    Bert Draper our founder and his wife Emily

  • 1920's
    tool delivery 1920's style

    Tool Delivery 1920's Style


  • 1940's
    draper tools business as usual in kingston upon thames london 1940

    1940's - 50's

    Business as usual in Kingston Upon Thames, London

  • 1950's
    draper tools deliveries 1950's style

    Deliveries 1950's Style


  • 1960's
    draper tools deliveries 1960's style

    Deliveries 1960's Style


  • 1961
    the first draper tools catalogue


    The first Draper Tools Catalogue

  • 1963
    draper tools aerial photo 1963

    1963 - Draper Tools Relocates

    Draper Tools Relocates to Chandler's Ford Hampshire - With the increased business and cramped conditions at Kingston, Norman purchased the freehold rights to the current premises in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire at auction in 1963.

  • 1980's
    draper tools business a usual in chandler's ford, Hampshire 1980


    Business as usual in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire

  • 1984
    draper tools sign sponorship deal with southampton fc


    Draper Tools Sign Sponsorship Deal with Southampton FC sponsoring the club for nine years between 1984 and 1993.

    (Pictured from left to right John Draper, Guy Askham, Norman Draper and Lawrie McMenemy.)

  • 2006
    draper tools business a usual in chandler's ford, Hampshire 2006

    2006 - Chandlers Ford reaches full capacity

    Chandlers Ford reaches full capacity leading to the outright purchase of the North Baddesley site, in preparation for the new warehouse facility.

  • 2009
    draper new warehouse facility in north baddesley photographed in 2009

    2009 - Completion of our new warehouse facility

    Completion of our new warehouse facility in North Baddesley Hampshire


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