Towing Solutions Ltd's Timeline: Our Story
As a family business we’re incredibly proud of our heritage. It all began in Manchester back in 1869 when Joseph Lea started his company manufacturing and supplying wheelwright products. Little did he know that the company goals and values that he established were to form a solid foundation on which future generations could build on.
Fast forward over 150 years and we are now in our 6th generation. With innovation and integrity, the company has continued to evolve and adapt to remain relevant in a constantly changing world. And while our services and products have changed significantly since Joseph Lea’s time, his original value to always deliver the ultimate customer service and produce the highest quality products remains a constant.
1869: The beginnings
Joseph Lea, a qualified engineer, and father of two young sons, establishes the company Joseph Lea & Sons. From the Angel Spring & Axle Works in Manchester he manufactures and supplies road springs, axles, arms, bolts, wheels, spokes, naves, and felloes and ingeniously uses the local Catholic Church as his steel store.
1892: Commercial growth and a new generation
The two sons, Peter Lea, and John Lea, join the business and start trading under the name of Leason. The company is now growing at a considerable pace as demand for their wheelwright products remains high. To stay ahead of any competition and to showcase their impressive range of quality products, John went on to create the company’s very first catalogue.
1921: Reaching a wider audience
John’s three sons, Joseph Lea, Harry Lea, and Geoffrey Lea are welcomed into the family business in this post-war era. Their wealth of knowledge and skillsets combined with their fresh insight into the latest trends, sees Leason venturing outside of the commercial world.
1923: Innovations to boost leisure activities
With the company’s boundless innovative spirit, Leason becomes the first and principal supplier of caravan equipment in the country. Harry designs and manufactures the company’s first dedicated camping trailer, and with a local engineer develops a quick detachable (QD) coupling. To raise awareness of this specialism Harry creates a very fine illustrated caravan equipment mail order catalogue known as the ‘Caravanners’ Encyclopaedia’.
1928: Recognised for quality and reliability
The business is now well known all over the country and has established an outstanding reputation. Leason starts supplying its superior products and accessories to Wheelwrights and Coachbuilders who famously produce the country’s highest quality wooden wheels and vehicles.
1936: Empowering customers
The country experiences significant change at this time; living standards rise and shops fill up with new and exciting goods. People are wanting, and demanding, more choice. To reflect this shift in lifestyle, Leason manufacture a wider range of commercial and leisure trailers and introduce a range of caravan chassis with running gear for DIY caravaner self-assembly kits.
1949: Embracing the golden age of caravanning
Harry’s two sons, Peter Lea, and Ronald Lea, join the business four years after the end of World War II. A time when caravanning’s popularity soars as people are keen to pursue leisure activities once more. They look to improve on their father’s QD innovation to elevate their customers’ experience and it is Peter’s design of a new patented trailer/caravan coupling with a unique head to fit both 2” and the new 50mm towball, that exceeds expectations.
1967: A change in vision
Peter establishes Peter J. Lea Company Limited to manufacture trailer parts, specialist trailers, and tubular one-piece towbars for a range of passenger vehicles. This was a deliberate move forward as the number of cars on UK roads rose steeply. At the start of the 1960s there were around 5 million private cars on the roads, and at the end of the decade, this number had doubled.
1980: A focus on towbars and accessories
Peter’s son, Nigel Lea, joins Peter J. Lea Company Limited. Nigel concentrates on building the towbar and accessories side of the business, and through his successful marketing of their high quality services and products, gets ahead of the competition, and start manufacturing Scott Stablilisers for their company in Glasgow.
2000: Professional trailer and towing training solutions
Nigel establishes Towing Solutions Limited. With 20 years’ experience in the industry, it becomes clear that there is a training gap in the industry. To address this, Nigel offers workshop courses to the public and to businesses. Forever mindful of the unique needs of his customers as well as their differing learning experience preferences, Nigel and his expert team of trainers develop content for all types of trailer and towing courses to include towbar fitting and driver training.
2010: Landmark moment to future-proof success
Nigel’s daughter, Raessa Lea, joins the business. Our forefathers would only allow their sons to join the company business, a trait mirrored in all businesses at that time. Thankfully, we moved on from that unprogressive mindset a long time ago and fully embrace diversity in our team allowing us to better serve our wide customer base. Raessa brings with her an injection of enthusiasm and a committed customer-centric approach to take Towing Solutions to the next level while maintaining our family values: to remain relevant and to always deliver the ultimate customer service.