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Our History

Hospital Metalcraft™ Ltd is a family owned business established in Bristol (UK) in 1953 to manufacture & supply equipment for the then recently founded National Health Service (NHS). It was this successful partnership that led to the adoption of the Bristol Maid™ trademark and familiar 'nurses head' logo that are, to this day, recognised as a trademark of quality.

SINCE 1951
  • 1951

    Garage Venture

    After a number of years serving in the Army followed by a short period with the Ministry of Works, Jack Davis set-up business with some colleagues running a small garage where they manufactured general office equipment and filing cabinets for the newly founded NHS.


  • 1953

    Founding Year

    The company took advantage of increasing demand and decided to separate the business into two elements, office and medical, whilst sharing the same premises. It was at this time that John Rowe joined Jack. Hospital Metalcraft Ltd was founded on the 1st October in Ashton (Bristol) focusing on the ever growing demands of the National Health Service (NHS). It was this succesful partnership that led to the adoption of the Bristol Maid trademark and familiar 'nurses head' logo.

  • 1954

    Expanding Portfolio

    With continued growth, the portfolio quickly expanded to include drug cabinets, and trolleys, along with offering a hospital bed renovation service, particularly popular with Mental Health Hospitals who required an economical way of giving a more 'homely' look to the wards.

  • 1955

    In-House Processes

    The company started with very basic equipment and suffered supply issues dealing with a number of suppliers around the UK. This led to a company policy of bringing all processes in house, controlling all stages of the product realisation process. 

  • 1964

    Hospital Drug Management

    Focus on drug management within the NHS led to the development of the traditional triangular wooden drug trolley, a design that is still used in many wards to this day.

  • 1965

    Linen Exchange

    Linen cupboards on the ward were replaced by dedicated trolleys. It was not unusual for these to be towed around the hhospital; chains of six trolleys were not unusual. 

  • 1969

    First British Standard

    The introduction of BS2881- Specification for hospital cupboards (wall-fixing) for poisons and dangerous drugs set the basis for the development of a range of triangular topped drug cabinets, a standard that is still current and recognised. 

  • 1970

    Rural Development

    A further site was purchased in Blandford, Dorset where a new unit was built. The Blandford branch focused on producing the tubular frames for the company, whilst Bristol worked on sheet-metal and wooden items.

  • 1972

    Family Owned

    Mike Davis left Fry's Chocolate factory to join Jack and his brother at the company. One of the founding members John Rowe left by mutual agreement.

  • 1975

    Site Developments

    The Blandford site saw three further extensions.

  • 1981


    The Bristol site closed and all works were relocated to Blandford. The released funds allowed investment into much needed plant, pre-treatment line, curing oven along with  a turret punch. 

  • 1985

    Computer System

    Purchase of the first computer system.

  • 1987

    CNC Technology

    Purchase of a multi-head turret punch for the profiling of sheet metal. A revolutionary machine that was programmed offline, with reels of ticker tape storing each individual programme. 

  • 1990

    Colour Catalogue

    Printing of the first colour catalogue.

  • 1993

    Royal Free Medicine Trolley

    Development of a high capacity storage range of medicine trolleys for the Royal Free in London.

  • 1994

    Quality Management System

    Certification by BM TRADA to BS 5750 Quality Management System.

  • 1995

    Factory Extension

    Further extension to our site in Blandford.

  • 1996

    Self Administration

    Multiple prescribing of medication for administered patients was identified as being costly; which resulted in patients being encouraged to bring their own medication into hospital. A range of metal cabinets was developed with Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham for the storage of prescribed medication alongside the bed. 

  • 1999

    Laser Technology

    Purchase of a high speed laser for the profiling of sheet metal. 

  • 2000

    Cabinetry Creativity

    Development of a range of wooden bedside cabinets along with investment into CNC woodworking plant, (Beam Saw/Edgebander/Machining Centre).

  • 2001

    Tube Cutting

    Investment into a dedicated machine for laser profiling of tube. This new technology gave substantial efficiency improvements along with flexibility to create unique profiles. 

  • 2001

    Additional Units

    Lease of additonal units on a nearby industrial estate for processing of tube and stainless steel.

  • 2002

    Complimentary Ranges

    Established ourselves as a key distributor for Metro, an American manufacturer and supplier of complimentary ranges of Healthcare Equipment. A relationship that expanded our product portfolio to include polymer moulded products. 

  • 2003

    Quality Management System

    Quality Management System certified by BM TRADA to the important ISO 9001:2000 revision.

  • 2004

    Lean Direction

    Following the appointment of Tony Hurley, Interim Managing Director; the company underwent an extensive review period, resulting in the adoption of a lean approach in all areas of the business, an ethos that is mirrored throughout the organisation at all levels.

  • 2005


    Jack Davis, founder of the business passes away.

  • 2006


    Having joined the company in 1998 Stuart Davis takes over as Managing Director, marking the third generation of family management of the company.

  • 2007

    Patient Safety

    Development of the 'Resusstation', the next generation crash trolley, following a study by 'The National Patient Safety Agency' which identified that errors with poorly restocked trolleys were adversely affecting patient outcomes. This led to the development and manufacture of five modular trolleys that underwent clinical trials at St Mary's Hospital London. 

  • 2009

    Workplace Safety Award

    British safety council five star health & safety management system audit. Accredited two stars. 

  • 2010

    Design Bugs Out

    Involvement in 'Design Bugs Out' an initiative commissioned by the Department of Health, NHS Purchasing & Supply Agency and the Design Council which challenged designers and manufacturers to redesign furniture with the aim of reducing Healthcare ssociated Infections, (HCAI's). This resulted in the development of a revolutionary new bedside cabinet made from a durable 'easy clean' polymer that reduces the number of hard to reach corners and surface. 

  • 2010


    Launch of the bedside cabinet, the first of our eClean™ range of ward based furniture

  • 2010

    Safety Improvement

    British safety council five star health & safety management system audit. Accredited three stars.

  • 2011

    Factory Extension

    Extension of our site at Blandford Forum, Dorset allowing a number of off-site processes to be located under one roof, along with increased warehousing for distribution, larger offices and additional staff welfare facilities.

  • 2012

    New Partnership

    Exclusive UK distribution agreement signed for products from Stanley Healthcare Solutions. This includes the well-known Scan Modul System™ and SpaceTRAX™ brands, a partnership that allows Bristol Maid to offer a high quality HTM71 storage, material flow & asset management solution.

  • 2013

    60th Anniversary

    Bristol Maid™  celebrates 60 years of trading.

  • 2014

    New Website

    A new website is launched with a fresh look, improved functionality and easier navigation.

  • 2017

    Made in Britain

    Celebrates British heritage by joining 'Made in Britain'.

  • 2018

    65th Anniversary

    Bristol Maid™ celebrates 65 years of trading.

  • 2018

    Corporate Video

    Release of Bristol Maid™ Corporate Video.


  • 2019

    Robotic Processing

    Investment in our first robotic welding cell.

  • 2020

    Robotic Processing

    Investment in an additional robotic welding cell.

  • 2021

    New Website

    Launch of our all new & improved website.