Brian Hammond founder of Hammond Drysuits will be celebrating his 80th birthday on 30th July 2016.
Thirty seven years ago Brian started the business. Originally called Gobi, in 1981 the name changed to Hammond Drysuits and today the Company is better known as Hammond and continues to be a family run business by Chris (Brian’s son) and Natasha Hammond.
Hammond came about when Howard Taylor, a friend of Brian’s and owner of the London Dinghy Centre (now RS Sailing) approached Brian to see if he could produce a range of drysuits to sell in his store; the STX100 drysuit was born.
Brian, a skilled craftsman, embraced all problems posed and as such, designed all his own fittings many of which are still being used today albeit utilising some advanced technology where possible. Hammond always have and continue to design and manufacture in-house in Dartford, Kent.
In the 1980s the first Hammond suits were designed for sailors following the relationships with Howard Taylor, this quickly progressed to those taking part in waterskiing, scuba diving, jet skiing and windsurfing. Today there is also a commercial range for search and rescue teams as well as an industrial range for work around the coastline, rivers and waterways.
Although this is the main area of business in 2005, a doctor approached Brian and Chris as her daughter had a Hickman Line fitted which she could not get wet. Together the first shortie drysuit was produced which has grown to become one of Hammond’s most popular suits. Today Hammond work with a number of charities and individuals around the UK, Ireland and the USA helping to get children and adults back in the water.
Brian has always been very hands on in the business, producing suits when they are required for all types of watersports and diverse industries including robot covers for car spraying facilities and cast covers for children and adults with broken limbs. Although he still has a keen interest in the company, Chris joined him full time in the mid-1990s and since then has learned the ropes and taken the company forwards towards the future.
“Brian has always been very forward thinking and he has certainly left a mark on the business,” comments Chris Hammond. “Engrained in everything we do is his attitude that customer service is key, there can be no short cuts to quality which, combined with hard work will be rewarded. We are looking forward to the celebrations later in the month. Happy birthday Dad from all at Hammond.”