Give it up for the frontline on 26th March [March 2020]

We are glad to say, regarding medics and others in the services fighting Covid-19, that on Thursday 26th March at 8pm we can all publicly show our appreciation for them. We can, from our homes, join in with Clap for our Carers - see It is important to share events like this that can help boost morale where it is needed. Which, right now, is everywhere.

Reflections on our times and applauding the frontline

This post is about people, products, history, the challenges we all face, and the frontline people who are crucial to combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.

We don't focus as often as we should on the users of our cleaning products or those who gain the benefits from them, whether that is a cleaner house, hospital, or car, to take three examples. Or a gas leak located by our leak detector or MRSA in medical environments eliminated by our medical sanitizer, to the benefit of both patients and medics.

Currently, how and where our products are used and the difference they make is very much in the front of our minds.

We have down the years had many testimonials that talk about the quality and usefulness of our products, and we're glad to receive them. They make us feel good, but right now what some of those products mean to people is coming home to us.

We make alcohol hand sanitizer, or more accurately, we have been making it, and we soon will be again. Our entire industry has been overwhelmed by demand for the precious fluid that, alongside simple soap and water, is a key part of the fight against the pandemic.

Fulfilling the needs of our existing customers and the massive surge of demand from new customers has been a demanding challenge. We are briefly pausing on hand sanitizer production while raw material availability is sorted out, and catching up on our other orders, some of which are for other forms of sanitizer and which are also in considerable demand.

It is hard to escape war analogies with the fight against Covid-19. It is the new, invisible enemy and, as in a war, all possible resources are joining in to tackle the task. The uniforms are different, and the weapons now are research, hygiene, public spirit, and discipline.

As a manufacturing company with a history dating back to 1938, we've survived recessions and wars and what many have regarded as a long term decline and export overseas of British manufacturing and jobs.

Our current factory was built in 1964 specifically for our owners, the Moon family, which owns us still. Now we are the only continuously working manufacturer left in what was once an estate full of manufacturing businesses. We've had our hard times and we've seen a lot of good businesses come and go. It is a coincidence that this particular world crisis finds us making products that the UK and the world demands.

As we carry on with our manufacturing, we would like to give a testimonial of our own, to the doctors, nurses, police, administrators, receptionists, firemen, armed services, and others involved in tackling Covid-19.

You're great. What you do is great. We hope what you are doing now is successful and that you're safe. Near our Orpington factory today we saw a shop that normally stocks our products is closed, and we're glad, because that is helping people to be safe. We hope we see the shop open again in better times, and we will be checking to see if we can help when the time comes.

As we reflect on what is happening now, we can draw strength from what has been achieved in other times of crisis and from how it was achieved. Sir Winston Churchill was an inspirational leader during another, recent period of struggle, one that began not long after we were founded. On 9th February 1941, in a broadcast, Churchill said, "We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle, nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion, will wear us down. Give us the tools, and we will finish the job."

We will carry on making as many of the tools as we can to help to finish this job, and we hope the frontline staff can do their jobs, and do them safely. They deserve our applause, which starts with Clap for our Carers on 26th March.