B.E. Chaplin | UK Gun Shop
(Gunmakers) Ltd Established 1932
Telephone: 01962 840055

WIlliam James ChaplinWilliam James Chaplin: 1787 -1859

B.E. Chaplin History

The late Bernard Chaplin originally started producing guns at 65 Gresham Street in the City of London. We believe that the workshop was based in one of the remaining buildings in the yard of the “Swan with Two Necks”, a famous coaching inn owned by the Chaplin family. William Chaplin, the great-grandfather of Bernard, had been one of the largest operators of mail coaches in England with seventy coaches and 1,300 teams of horses. In the early years of the last century the family turned to haulage and removals on a grand scale, with a staff of 400 operating a fleet of 50 removal vans, over 300 horse-drawn vehicles and 3 sailing barges.

In 1932 Bernard Chaplin purchased premises at 6 Southgate Street Winchester and started trading as “Howard A. Davies”. Howard Davies had previously been the Foreman at Westley Richards in Birmingham and Bernard employed him to run the gunmaking business, hence the name of the company.

In 1955 the company was renamed “B.E. Chaplin”. The late Alf Gritt had worked under Howard Davies for many years and took over upon his retirement. He initially took over as Manager and later became Managing Director.

In 1989 Laurie Hart and Peter Burden purchased the business from Bernard Chaplin. Laurie has a management background in the engineering industry and swapped careers to pursue his life-long interest in guns and shooting. Peter served his apprenticeship at B.E. Chaplin and has been here all his working life; he looks after everything concerning the workshop.


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