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How Many Actual English Pen Factories Are There Today?



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I have the impression that many of the recently resurrected English brands are made in a single factory. Does anyone know?

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Your question is open to misinterpretation, but would be happy to advise if you could say which recently resurrected English brands you have in mind.

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Do you mean English or do you mean the UK ?
There have been attempts to revive brands in previous years which involved assembly of parts and packaging made under contract.
Where manufacture took place and by whom is not clear but in the past pocket clips, nibs ,feeds, sacks and barrels were all made by separate manufacturers so that is not new.
The new versions of Mentmore are an example of people buying the name and factoring parts production.

Gone are the days when English brands like Onoto and Thomas De La Rue were manufactured in the Kingdom of Fife and the famous Waverly Edinburgh pens were made in Birmingham by Macniven and Cameron.
In the 1960s there was a firm called Parke Davis Pen Co who sold directly to clients via their team of travelling sellers but I believe their pens were manufactured in Italy so were they the first of the new breed?
I doubt it!
Stay safe
Dave

Edited by Aislingean
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WhiteStarPens

They mightn't be made in Fife anymore, but Onoto pens are handmade at Colney Hall in Norwich. I've two, a Magna classic and a sterling silver plunger filler and they're some of the highlights of my collection. They're true to their heritage and in my opinion are the best on the market.

W.S.P

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I meant English, like pertaining to England and not other regions that made up the UK. I was reading about CS and I got the impression that a lot of the other English brands are just that and not vertically integrated manufacturers like Japanese brands. I find many of the English pens really beautiful in design. So who are the true manufacturers? Do they make their own nibs too? I was searching for the actual workshop where some English pens are made and can´t find them. At least with many Asian brands, you can find the actual factory on google.

Edited by Hanoi
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WhiteStarPens

The current Conway Stewart stock is left over from the resurrected English company that folded in 2014.

The nibs look like specially stamped bock (jowo tines are longer). Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

 

There's an American version of C.S too called Conway Stewart America, but they're part of the Armando Simone Club family I believe.

 

Jack Row are unique, as are C.S (made by the Bespoke British Pens team), as are Onoto.

 

Again, which English brands are you talking about? It would be helpful to know what inspired your observation.

W.S.P

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WhiteStarPens

Oh, and Yard-o-led buy in the nibs and feeds from bock (I presume) and hand forge their pens themselves, hallmarking at the Birmingham Assay Office.

 

As far as I can see, each unique company has its own workshop.

 

Just search for each company and their websites will furnish you with the necessary information.

W.S.P

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Yes, I was looking at CS and Onoto, particularly the Onoto Chuzzlewit which is a very beautiful pen. The website doesn´t give me much details as to who make them and where. I can visit the actual cutters who make a Savile Row suit so it´s strange that there´s not much details about the actual workshop concerning aspects of bespoke Onoto.

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WhiteStarPens

Take a look on YouTube, there's a short video about the Onoto workshop and others about their pens in general.

 

I don't think you can visit them for a tour, they're not a massive company, but if you were to attend a UK pen show you'd meet some of the team, as I have done.

W.S.P

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A few years back I have purchased an Onoto. Nice pen.

 

Next summer I planned to visit the UK and asked, through my penshop, if it would be possible to visit their production facilities (as I had visited Conway Stewart near Plymouth a few years before.)

The answer was no. They had 3 different companies doing the production for them in various parts of the country. I believe their HQ is/was somewhere in Norfolk. I don't know if the kept their stock there.

 

This must have been 7 or 8 years ago, if I remember correctly.

 

Right after the demise of Conway Stewart several companies bought stock from the old factory and started producing copies of the old CS models using the old acrylic rods etc. I never got it quite clear what happened to the copyrights to the models. CS went through several changes in ownership prior to their demise. And some of the old owners may (or not) have had a role in the buying of the old stock.

 

 

D.ick

~

KEEP SAFE, WEAR A MASK, KEEP A DISTANCE.

Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.

~

 

 

 

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As far as I know all the current manufacturers make all their own pens, they may buy in rod stock and nibs but there is no single factory making the pens, which is what the OP asked.

 

Twiss Pens

 

http://www.handmadefountainpens.co.uk/epages/es144810.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es144810/Categories/%22Custom%20Pens%22

 

Worcester Pen Company

 

http://worcesterpencompany.co.uk/

 

Yard O Led

 

https://www.yard-o-led.com/

 

Conway Stewart

 

https://conwaystewart.com/

 

I think that there are/were plans for Mentmore to be relaunched

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"I meant English, like pertaining to England and not other regions that made up the UK."

 

I would advise care and perhaps some research because the Countries that together make up the United Kingdom do not like being called "regions"

the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom] and the UK Statistics Authority describe the United Kingdom as being made up of four countries [although the status of Northern Island is not legally defined]. There are also separate Legislations and Legal systems in each Country even if there are no major factories manufacturing fountain pens any longer!

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There is, or was a relaunched Mentmore several years ago - a dreadful Chinese brass-bodied insult to the name of Mentmore. I don't know why these people have to traduce the names of the vintage fountain pens we love. There isn't a single one of these relaunched pens I would want.

Regards,

Eachan

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There is, or was a relaunched Mentmore several years ago - a dreadful Chinese brass-bodied insult to the name of Mentmore. I don't know why these people have to traduce the names of the vintage fountain pens we love. There isn't a single one of these relaunched pens I would want.

 

The Mentmore relaunch that I was thinking of would have been since 2014. I know that the rights to the name became available and were bought by an English man with the intention of producing a pen in England. with some of the style and flavour of old Mentmores.

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Karmachanic

There is, or was a relaunched Mentmore several years ago - a dreadful Chinese brass-bodied insult to the name of Mentmore. I don't know why these people have to traduce the names of the vintage fountain pens we love. There isn't a single one of these relaunched pens I would want.

 

In general agree, however Kaweco seems to be doing alright.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Looking at the bottom end, I have a Platignum made in China after the brand was relaunched and it is much better than plastic pens that used the proprietary cartridges one saw in the 80's and 90's. It feels more substantial, than some of the modern Parkers. I always wanted a Berol school pen from the 80's -90's to see what the complaints were about. The current Berol cartridge pen is just a Paper-Mate from China in a different color scheme.

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I would advise care and perhaps some research because the Countries that together make up the United Kingdom do not like being called "regions"

 

 

 

LOL, the flag choice of the UK members will say a lot.

 

I do recall some RAF lads based at St Athen having T-shirts made with the slogan "English Occupying Forces in Wales" - you can imagine how it ruffled a few feathers amongst the locals.

 

There isn't a single one of these relaunched pens I would want.

 

I would agree with this as a general statement; although the modern Onoto stands on its own merits, most examples are just cheap generic items trying to ride a nostalgia wave.

 

It is an unfortunate reality that Mentmore, Summit, Conway Stewart, Wyvern, etc, all closed their doors 40+ years ago.... any modern product carrying the same name is of no interest.

Edited by northlodge
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So basically I should buy vintage CS and Onoto pens instead? The new pens actually look quite nice.

 

LOL, the flag choice of the UK members will say a lot.

 

I do recall some RAF lads based at St Athen having T-shirts made with the slogan "English Occupying Forces in Wales" - you can imagine how it ruffled a few feathers amongst the locals.

 

 

I would agree with this as a general statement; although the modern Onoto stands on its own merits, most examples are just cheap generic items trying to ride a nostalgia wave.

 

It is an unfortunate reality that Mentmore, Summit, Conway Stewart, Wyvern, etc, all closed their doors 40+ years ago.... any modern product carrying the same name is of no interest.

 

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