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The Early Years 1930-1950
The origin of Ramsay Ladders as it is known today dates as far back as 1771. The business originally manufactured weavers' reeds and cambs for neighbouring factories in the Jute, Linen and other textile markets.
In 1931 Robert Ramsay succeeded as the sole partner for the business which had traded for several years as “Ramsay & Sons”. During the 1940's the business expanded as merchants in cloth and other lines before ultimately buying and selling wooden ladders, steps and trestles. On incorporation of Ramsay & Sons (Forfar) Limited in 1946 Robert brought his brother, and grandfather of our current directors, Scott Ramsay into the business.
With the intention to start manufacturing wooden ladders to a superior standard, the business purchased a local, well established joinery firm in March of 1947. The final founding shareholding of the business, and nephew to both Robert and Scott, John Ross was appointed as a director soon after. The business quickly established itself at the forefront of Scottish firms in the ladder manufacturing industry through active advertising campaigns and building a strong network of contacts at events such as the Royal Highland Show.
1950-1960 Diversifying & Market Growth
In the very late 1940's with demand for reeds and cambs diminishing, the directors took the decision to invest their resources in perfecting the “Ramsay Disappearing Attic Stairway” which is now renowned worldwide as the Ramsay Loft Ladder. Alongside this, the business diversified into merchanting aluminium ladders as market demand for these increased.
The benefits of an aluminium ladder over its wooden counterpart far outweighed the additional cost to the consumer, opening up a great market opportunity for the business.
Manufacture of Aluminium Ladders
With supply chain problems and customer demand outweighing available supply, the directors took the decision to move into manufacturing of aluminium ladders in early 1950. The business experienced significant growth which was backed by investment in machinery and further space to expand production capabilities.
The product range continued to grow with various types of ladders and stepladders continuously added alongside barrows, handcarts and trolleys.
In the early years much of our products were distributed via the excellent rail network and our products would leave Forfar Station daily.
In order to meet the growing demand for Ramsay Products, coupled with the demise of the local rail network the business invested in a fleet of vehicles to distribute our products across the UK directly to the customer or to UK ports for export. To this day our Lorries are still travelling the country alongside our 3rd party courier partners ensuring prompt and safe delivery of our products.
Since the early 1950's our ladders have been exported to all corners of the globe and to date we still receive pictures and testimonies of these products in use, a true demonstration of the manufacturing standards we have set.
The 2nd Generation
1968 also brought about changes to the directorship with Andrew Gordon Lowson being appointed as a director, son in law to Scott Ramsay. Gordon was instrumental to the business over the next few decades helping establish the business as the renowned manufacturer as known to most in the current day.
Throughout the 1970's the business went through another significant phase of expansion, and this brought about the need for larger factory premises. Our current manufacturing site and head offices were built throughout the 1970's and we are proud to still operate from the very site that we served the Jute industry from back in the early 1900's and prior.
The Beginning of Ramsay Access
During the mid-1970's the business was receiving more and more bespoke Ladder and Access Solution orders. The directors recognised the gap in the market for a high-quality manufacturer of bespoke access solutions and proceeded to purchase a second manufacturing site to establish our Ramsay Access division. With new factory space and an increased workforce Ramsay Access began to distribute bespoke orders across the UK for blue-chip customers across both the public and private sectors.
The new manufacturing premises also brought about opportunities to diversify into other markets such as our Goalposts which have been supplied across the UK to many famous sports teams over the years.
The 3rd Generation
Our current directors Andrew Gordon Lowson Jnr and Scott Ramsay Lowson both began working within the business during the 1970's and have worked in almost every role possible.
Both have devoted their careers to the business and have kept existing business relationships with customers and suppliers that have now spanned several decades.
Current Day Operations
We are proud to serve a long-standing number of repeat customers and an ever-growing list of new customers across a huge variety of industries in the UK. Our quality products are still manufactured locally by both divisions to the highest of standards, meaning our customers know they will receive a quality product with every order placed. This is also a huge credit to our existing workforce, many of whom have a significant number of years’ experience working for the business, perfecting the Ramsay standard.