Makers' Marks

Here are photos of the makers marks stamped on the metal by companies authorised by the Home Office ("HO") to supply sheets of corrugated iron for Anderson shelters.

Other marks have been found on corrugated iron in Australia.

Please do email me if you find any more marks, or can add to my understanding of those already featured.

1. Best Roof Brand       &       2. Merino

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3. Phoenix

I am grateful to Ash Hawkes for sending me these detailed photos taken inside a shelter near Dover. I cannot myself see a phoenix within the marks, but maybe I am lacking imagination?

Both images are thumbnails. Click on them to see see larger versions.

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4. Fountain      

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5. Globe       &       6. DL Diamond

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7. Trademark Staley

The right hand photo is of one of the stamps found near Westerham in Kent.

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8. Emu Best   

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9. Star and Crescent

This mark is particularly interesting because it includes the word GALVANINED - which at first appears to be a misprint of GALVANISED. However, I am grateful to Harry Coates who has explained that, although galvanised is the more familiar UK spelling of the word, it has sometimes been spelt with a 'z' in the UK - for instance in an article by Leeds Galvanising. But why substitute an 'N' for a 'Z'? The answer - again from Harry Coates - is that printers of all sorts often improvised when it came to letters (such as the rarely used Z) that were not available for block printing.  And because the word is written in an arc, the typesetter would have thought it acceptable to use an "N" instead of a "Z". (Those interested to read more about the ingenuity of early 1900s typesetters might like to look at this fascinating story about the printing of the Declaration of Irish Independence during the 1916 Easter Rising.) 

10. Swallow - Extra Best

This mark consists of two concentric circles, the outer being 8 1/2" diameter. Between them, in capital letters, are the words SWALLOW (at the top) & EXTRA BEST (at the bottom). Below the circles are the familiar H O initials with a crown between. In the middle is a picture of a rather elegant swallow flying right to left wings spread. 

11. Clarion

Notes

It is interesting that the word Best appears in three of the marks, and it was also found in 2016 on a roof in Adelaide, South Australia - see separate web page.

Locations

Most of the stamps were found on existing or recycled shelters in and around London. Other locations were as follows:

A Merino stamp was also found in two shelters in Pantyffynnon, Ammanford, Wales, and in recycled shelters in Southsea (Portsmouth), Cambridge and Northamptonshire. It was also found on an incomplete Anderson shelter sent out from the UK to be shown in The Ditsong National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold, Johannesburg, South Africa.

A Phoenix stamp was found near Dover.

The Globe stamp was also found in Cambridge as well as in a shelter in Bristol. And a Best Roof Brand mark was also found in Cambridge.

The rather fetching Emu was in a shelter in Storridge on the Worcestershire/Herefordshire border.

The Trademark Staley stamp was found not far from Stalybridge near Manchester. The name may therefore be a reference to the Staley, or Staley Bridge, Ironworks. But it was also found in Birmingham, Sheffield, and on a re-erected shelter in Kent.

The Swallow mark was found in Ipswich, and the Clarion mark on corrugated iron in an allotment in Buckhurst Hill in Essex.

A number of shelters were recycled for use by farmers after the war, and some are still used - for instance as covers under which pheasants can lay their eggs. Stamps on sheets found in Norfolk include the Merino ram, Trademark Staley, Target, Emu, Fountain, Globe, and Best Roof, as well as the Star and Crescent - not yet found elsewhere.

Martin Stanley