Edinburgh
United Kingdom
Address
36 Melville Street
Edinburgh, EH3 7HA
Scotland
FMD-ID
BR2637

About

  • Hunter Boot, originally known as the North British Rubber Company, is a traditional and old-fashioned Scottish company that manufactures vulcanized rubber products.
  • Hunter was born when Mr. Henry Lee Norris, came to Scotland to look for a suitable factory to produce rubber footwear. Having acquired a block of buildings in Edinburgh, known as the Castle Silk Mills, the North British Rubber Company was registered as a limited liability company in September 1856. In the beginning there were only four people working for the company, by 1875 the team had grown to 600 members of staff.
  • Although this company began its life as a manufacturer of rubber boots and shoes, it quickly expanded to produce a wide range of rubber products. These included tyres, conveyor belts, combs, golf balls, hot water bottles and rubber flooring - to name just a few.
  • Being very successful the production of wellington boots were dramatically boosted with the advent of World War I when the company was asked by the War Office to construct a sturdy boot suitable for the conditions in flooded trenches.
  • For WWII they were once again called upon to supply vast quantities of wellingtons and thigh boots. 80% of production was for war materials - from ground sheets to life belts and gas masks.
  • Hunter's most famous welly, the Original Green wellington, was made in the winter of 1955. It was the first orthopedic boot that we made and was launched alongside the Royal Hunter.
  • From 1966 till 2005 The North British Rubber Company underwent some ownership changes. First it was acquired by Uniroyal Limited of Greenville, South Carolina.

    In 1986 the ownership changed again when the Gates Rubber Company Limited of Colorado, Denver bought Uniroyal. The following year the name of the Scottish company was known under the name of its new owner and was changed to The Gates Rubber Company Ltd.

    In 1996 Gates was bought by Tomkins PLC of London and then later Hunter became the Hunter Division of Interfloor.

  • In 2004 the management of the Hunter Division of Interfloor, together with external investors, funded a management buy-out of the company and the company became for the first time in its 148-year existence an independent, standalone company under the name of the Hunter Rubber Co. Ltd.
  • To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Green Wellingotn Boot, Hunter released a range of seven different colored wellingtons.
  • In 2006 the ownership of the company changed one more time when the company was placed into administration due to cash flow problems. A private consortium led by Lord Marland of Odstock and comprising Peter Mullen, ex CEO of Thomas Pink, and Julian Taylor, all of whom were previous shareholders in Hunter Rubber Company, supported by the Pentland Group plc, bought Hunter out of administration and Hunter Boot Ltdwas born.
  • Hunter enjoyed a record season in summer 2007 but, despite this, remained faced with major financial challenges regarding production. High manufacturing and fuel costs that contributed to the company's move into administration in 2006 remained prominent and, like many UK manufacturing businesses, Hunter was forced to consider whether it was commercially viable to keep making boots in the UK. The company also had to negotiate a volatile relationship with its landlord and an expensive and inefficient 96-year-old factory. Eventually, alternative supply sources were sought and developed in Europe and the Far East and plans were made to exit the Dumfries plant and relocate the company HQ to Edinburgh. This move was finally made in September 2008.
  • In January 2009, Hunter announced that would be collaborating with London-based luxury fashion designer Jimmy Choo for a limited edition black wellington boot, embossed with signature Jimmy Choo crocodile print and containing gold rivets and a leopard-print lining. Another boot was then launched in 2011.

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