We've come a long way since we first started way back in 1900. We can trace our company history back to the mid 19th century.
The company was originally owned by William Barton, an ironmonger who specialised in the manufacture of heating stoves and cooking ranges, winning awards at the Paris 1867 exhibition for his designs. Further awards were won in 1882 at the Smoke Abatement Exhibition. The company were eventually taken over by Holland Brothers in the mid 1880's and by 1900 were running an Ironmongers and Bicycle shop at 24 Strait Bargate, Boston. In 1900 Holland Bros decided to branch into the 'new fangled' motor cars as well as bicycles and needed larger premises and so decided to sell the Ironmongery business.
Four generations of the Hutson family have been involved in the business since. Two brothers purchased the business with help from their father, and 'Hutson Bros' came into existence on the 1st July 1900. Sadly, one brother passed away shortly afterwards, leaving Henry Hutson as the sole owner. In 1905, Hutson Bros moved to larger premises nearby at 11 Wide Bargate, where they remained for 80 years. Henry had three sons, and after the Second World War they all came together to run the Ironmongery and Plumbing business as a limited company, 'Hutsons (Ironmongers) Ltd' in July 1946.
We have always supplied signs throughout our history, in 1976, Richard Hutson introduced engraving to the Boston area. With this small service we could offer small engraved labels and tags. In the mid-eighties, Richard's sons Doug and Al joined the business, and we purchased our first computerised engraving machine. This in turn led to the purchase of a large format engraving machine in 1990, again widening our range of services. Increased demand resulted in us entering the relatively new technology of vinyl cutters, and in 1993 we purchased our first Gerber Edge digital printer, and then a wide format digital printer in 2003, and more recently a laser engraving machine.
In 1995, the property and shares of the company were held by several members of the family, and the property in the town centre was purchased for development of a shopping centre. So we moved premises for the third time in our history, although still in Wide Bargate as we always have been. Richard, one of Henry's grandsons and the current Chairman of the company with his wife, Hilary, were able to purchase all the shares of the company, bringing it back to the ownership of one family. The 'Ironmongers' was also dropped company name, as it no longer represented the main trading activity. Richard and Hilary's two sons, Doug and Al, have been steadily building up the sign manufacturing business, mainly specialising in vehicle graphics, and digital printing.
As the ironmongery business had been decimated by DIY Superstores, the company successfully concentrated on the Cookshop side of retailing, which was run by Hilary and her daughter, Mel. When we moved, the Cookshop was sited in the original 1850's stable block, but in 2005, a new shop was built on site. Hilary and Richard retired in 2010, the Cookshop was closed down, and the vacant shop space was converted into a reception/waiting area, laser workshop, and a material storage area for the sign business.
A comprehensive development plan means we now have a modern workshop and purpose-built fitting bay, capable of holding a 13.6 metre long articulated trailer. We pride ourselves on our service, having been in business for over 115 years, we feel justifiably proud of what we have achieved.