We grew from our founders, Alfred Butler and Sons, over a century ago, and incorporated the business in 1917.
Descendants of the founders continue to own and operate the business today. Despite our longevity we never take your custom for granted and continue to strive to excel in meeting your demands.
This history has allowed us to amass great knowledge within the architectural ironmongery and security industry as we’ve witnessed first-hand the products and practices as they’ve evolved over the years. This experience allows us to exceed your expectations as we understand not only the products that offer the maximum security for now, but also for the future. We haven’t simply attended a day’s training course like some; we’ve gained impressive qualifications over the years that make us the experts in our field.
William Channon History Timeline
Alfred Butler started trading from a trek cart in the Drury Lane and Covent Garden area in London WC2, making tools for saddle makers. Alfred Butler, who was joined by his son Alfred Henry Butler, was the great, great, great, great Grandfather of the current owners, Jim & Lynda Caldwell. Alfred Butler and his son Alfred Henry later opened the ironmongery business with a shop on Drury Lane.
The company, A Butler & Sons, was incorporated as a limited company. Note the style of the hand written original certificate shown here.
The company continued trading in Drury Lane and expanded to a second shop, W Channon at 45 Theobalds Road, WC1 in 1936. They traded throughout the Second World War and survived the Blitz with no damage or loss.
The business continued under the directorship of Mr Jack Horsley (son in law of Alfred Henry Butler).
The company purchased William Channon, an ironmongery business operating from 45 Theobalds Road, London WC1. A Butler & Sons Ltd, trading as William Channon, traded from both Drury Lane WC2 and 45 Theobalds Road, WC1, selling tools and ironmongery goods to the retail market and hospitals in the area.
Following accreditation, we become company members of Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). Our membership of the MLA continues today and was particularly prominent when Robin Horsley was elected President in 1990.
Following the tragic death of Jack Horsley, the business passed on to his two sons, Robin and Philip Horsley, and continued as ironmongers, tool dealers and locksmiths.
The Company left the Drury Lane premises in 1973 whilst continuing to trade from Theobalds Road.
Robin and Philip, wishing to expand the business further, purchased W R Harvey in 1975 and continued to trade as William Channon in North Finchley, introducing a key cutting service and lock installation.
Following approaches by leading lock and security manufacturers, Philip and Robin agreed to stock the ASSA security and architectural ironmongery ranges and William Channon was appointed a main stockist. Shortly afterwards the business created an assembly workshop to allow the production of ASSA cylinders, padlocks and keys. A strong relationship between ASSA Abloy and William Channon continues to this very day, enabling us to expand our security and architectural ironmongery services.
The main focus of the business continues to evolve from retail to bespoke commercial locking systems for local and national government, the military, NHS trusts, universities and schools.
Jim Caldwell, married to Lynda, daughter of Robin Horsley, joins the company and continues to run the business today.
Philip Horsley retires from the business.
A Butler and Sons Ltd, and staff members, join the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI). Membership of the GAI provides world leading resources to support our continuing development in education and training in architectural ironmongery, legislation and standards, and industry best practice.
Robin Horsley retires from the business, after 45 years.
The Company celebrates its Centenary year and is invited to contribute to The Parliamentary Review, giving us the opportunity to showcase our business to national government and industry leaders.
Note the difference in style of this Centenary Certificate and that when we were incorporated in 1917.
Our premises at 365 Ballards Lane, London N12 is sold and the business centralised to workshop and retail space at 45 Theobalds Road, London WC1, to concentrate on production of commercial projects.
Meet the Team
Trade Sales Assistant
Ordering Processing Assistant
Assembly Workshop Technicians
(designing and building master key systems)
Locksmith and Installation engineer
Reasons to Work With William Channon
Over a 100 Years of Service
We have served our customers through seven generations of the same family.
A Full Turnkey Solution
We offer advice, product specification & installation, commissioning & ongoing support.
We partner with manufacturers on the forefront of the latest security technology.
Accreditations & Certification
Members of the Master Locksmiths Association and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers, accredited Safe Contractor Scheme member.
Using our expertise we can advise on the best, most effective ways to keep you and your property secure.
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