Established in 1835, it is fair to say that Bethel Rhodes is one of the oldest wireworking companies in the country.
Based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, Bethel Rhodes has been satisfying our customers’ requirements for many years. As well as supplying standard sheets of welded wire mesh, woven mesh and perforated mesh, we also manufacture countless bespoke items from wire, such as baskets, shelves, grids, window guards and humane animal traps, using state-of-the-art CNC machines.
At Bethel Rhodes, we pride ourselves on the quality and value of our products. We have retained many customers for a number of years. Because we are not a large company, we can give our customers the type of personal service that others cannot.
Mr Bethel Rhodes was a remarkable figure in the Victorian era, the period during which he made his most notable achievements. His father was a successful businessman who had been running a busy and thriving wireworking concern in the Bradford area. Mr Rhodes was born in Shelf in 1847 and began working for his father at the age of ten. At fourteen he was receiving the princely sum of 2s.6d. per week for his labours, plus, of course, a wealth of priceless knowledge and expertise which would stand him in good stead for the rest of his business career.
The now well-known Keighley connection almost failed to happen; Bethel Rhodes’ father wanted his son to establish a branch of his business in Newcastle, at a distance of over 100 miles and an arduous and time consuming journey at the time. Bethel Rhodes was far from keen on the idea, influenced, perhaps, by his decision to marry a local girl at the age of 19. A compromise was reached and Bethel moved instead to nearby Keighley to set up a business at the premises on Coney Lane.
Things didn’t always run smoothly for Bethel Rhodes and tragedy was to strike twice in 1905 and 1907, when two of his sons died at an early age. This brought the expansion of the company to a halt, with Mr. Rhodes keeping the size of the company to one he could manage himself.
By 1913, Bethel Rhodes, at the age of 66, decided to retire to his favourite resort of Morecambe, passing control of the business to his son, Henry Rhodes.
Mr. Rhodes’ retirement was short-lived, as the outbreak of WW1 caused a shortage of skilled labour. Bethel Rhodes returned to Keighley to take up the reins again, remaining at the helm until 1923, when, at the age of 76, he returned to Morecambe.
Due to his links with Morecambe, Mr. Rhodes became involved in the scheme to build a tower there. After the Eiffel Tower was built, there were plans to build towers in various coastal resorts, including, of course, Blackpool. Most of the schemes failed, for whatever reasons, including the Morecambe project, but not before Bethel had masterminded, along with a Keighley blacksmith, the construction of a huge framework for the tower.
Mr. Rhodes died in 1932, at the grand old age of 85, in the seaside resort of Heysham. The company, built on his success, carried on, however, and is still owned by the Rhodes family.
Bethel Rhodes & Sons (Wireworkers) Ltd. has continued to build on the strong foundations laid by our founder and has a reputation for quality and service, combining modern manufacturing techniques with the virtues and values of the past.