Meeting the Makers – Dernier & Hamlyn
18 Dec 2020
Greg speaks to Jeremy Quantrill of Denier & Hamlyn
Words and photos by Greg Lomas
The company was originally established as Louis Dernier & Co by Louis Dernier in 1888. Sidney Hamlyn was a director of Kerswell, Faulkner & Hamlyn, a company with which Louis Dernier & Co had a long and successful partnership. They formally merged the two companies in 1919. Jeremy Quantrill, commercial director, explains that Dernier’s real name was ‘Last’ but that he had felt ‘Last & Co’ didn’t possess the gravitas or sophistication he wanted, so translated his name into the French equivalent.
Their fascinating backstory includes their part in the war effort when, during the Second World War, Dernier & Hamlyn’s factory offered a range of useful facilities for design, tool and pattern making. More than 40 men and 30 women were employed, working three shifts, manufacturing high precision parts for Spitfires, Churchill tanks, Bren Gun carriers and many other pieces of equipment. Meanwhile, parachutes were stitched in the lampshade making workshops.