Our History

J P Forrest & Son was founded in 1863 by Mr H P Forrest as Whitesmiths, progressing over the years to Blacksmiths, Ironmongers, Agricultural Engineers and since 1974 principally Heavy Engineers.

Mr James Hodgkinson, father of the current Managing Director, joined the company in 1950 as a David Brown tractor fitter. Upon the retirement of the last generation of the Forrest family to own the company in 1964, James Hodgkinson purchased the company and operated as a sole trader. Mr Hodgkinson gradually built the business up and sold off part of it in 1974 to concentrate on sub-contract fabrication.

The company moved to its present location on Claylands Avenue in 1981. Mr Martin Hodgkinson joined the company three years later in 1984 having spent the previous ten years working for Davy United Engineering Company in Sheffield.  J P Forrest & Son today offers a sub-contract engineering service to industry that we believe is second to none.

forrest shop circa 1890


Design, development and innovation have always been associated with the Company and started with the Company’s founder, the late Mr H P Forrest, who in 1904 designed patent Liquid Measuring Equipment. This was manufactured and distributed by the Company until 1960. Improved tin malt shovels were designed, manufactured and marketed by J P Forrest & Son for about 100 years. For ten years prior to closing in 2005, Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries' Langley Maltings were the last maltings still to use these malt shovels.

Mission Statement

Our mission at J P FORREST & SON is to be our customers’ preferred and trusted supplier of choice. In achieving this company goal we must embrace high ethical standards being both open and honest at all times and relentlessly pursue a policy of continuous improvement.