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Early Years


Willie J Charlesworth was born in Nottingham in 1864. He became a skilled toolmaker, working all over the country in places such as Woolwich Arsenal, London; Grantham; West Hartlepool; Bristol. Moving to Aston, Birmingham in the 1890’s working for Webley & Scott, Wolseley, Austin & Thomas Walker & Son. 
By 1897 he had started his own manufacturing business in Aston producing taps, gauges & other turned parts. 
In 1901 Willie J expanded his business, buying a bicycle shop in Washwood Heath, where he also manufactured “Mighty Atom” cycles and sidecars. 
1902 saw another son, Percy W L Charlesworth, born. Followed, in 1903, by Leslie G G Charlesworth.

In 1908 Willie J rented a small factory at 88 Aston St, Birmingham. Where he soon began making metal parts for the new wireless industry, along with other capstan work. Percy became his first employee in 1917.

Percy & Willie J started to experiment with Compression Moulding Bakelite, in 1924, thus becoming Damard Lacquer Co’s (later to become Bakelite) first customer in Birmingham. 
Cyril E Charlesworth, Percy’s son born was born in 1925. 


By the time of the 1927 British Industrial Fair, Willie J & Percy were firmly established in the plastics trade. They exhibited with Bakelite & Birmingham Gas to demonstrate Compression Moulding.

During 1929 Willie J & Percy took out a lease on land at Stechford, where they had a new factory built. The market for new & revolutionary plastic products was flourishing. In 1934 Charlesworth Mouldings Ltd became a registered company, with Willie J & three of his sons Percy, Les & William as directors.