A badge manufacturing firm in Newstead scooped the top prizes in three categories at the Professional Clothing Awards last week.
Olympic star and TV presenter Sharron Davies presented the Badgemaster team with awards for Best IT Innovation and Website, the Made in UK award and Best Manufacturer/Distributor at a glamorous event in London.
Badgemaster was founded in 1992 by husband and wife team John and Vicky Bancroft, in a small prefab cabin on a building site off Beardall Street in Hucknall.
It has since grown to become Europe’s largest name badge manufacturer, employing 110 people, with an estimated 5 million people wearing its name badges every day.
John Bancroft MBE, said: “To receive these awards is a great honour – for our team, our clients, and for the local community in Nottinghamshire.”
John initially worked for uniform manufacturer Sketchley Services, but realised the ever-growing importance of badges for customer-facing industries.
“We recognised that the market was absolutely vast. Wherever you go you will be served by someone wearing a name badge.
“The demand for name badges grew, but the demand wasn’t being met. Customers wanted a very high quality badge which projected their image and the wearer’s name was right. It was very difficult to get the quality and accuracy. Names were being spelled wrong.
“One of our first employees was a school leaver from the National School Carl Wilkinson and he’s still with us today. Over a third of our staff have ten year service awards.
“In 2001 we got a very good customer - HRH Queen Elizabeth II. In 2006 we were awarded the Royal Warrant for the supply of bespoke custom-made name badges.”
In 2013 John was awarded an MBE for the company’s services to the local economy which continues to employ a workforce of predominantly local people.
Fast turnaround is vital for a company like Badgemaster and their Hazelford Way Industrial Park factory operates 16 hours a day. “I don’t think there’s anyone out there who can meet our standards of quality and accuracy and then meet the very small orders so quickly,” said John.
“We process thousands of badges for some of the biggest employers in the company but they still need small orders for individual branches.”
Co-founders John and Vicky were born within 20 yards of each other in St Anne’s, Nottingham, but didn’t meet until 19 years later. They now live in Stanton-by-Dale, near Ilkeston.
John, 66, said: “I always say that between us, my wife and I make one exceptional company director. My wife would say that I make the promises and she keeps them!”