04 February 2019
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Jewel in tesa’s crown

One of tesa’s main distributors in the South West is celebrating its Ruby anniversary this year.

South Western Specialised Tapes, based in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, started life in a double garage attached to the family home of Peter and Kay Holmes in a small hamlet in Oxfordshire. This, at times, made deliveries to their business very challenging for the lorry drivers! The business quickly outgrew the garage and, as a result, moved to an industrial unit in Witney in Oxfordshire.

Jane Burr, Kay’s daughter, remembers Steve Plastow (now tesa’s UK managing director) and recalls how meetings held at Kay’s home were often interrupted when Kay had to round up her goats and put them back into their pen after they’d escaped.

After Peter’s unexpected death in 1986, Kay ran the business alone until Howard Burr, Jane’s husband, joined the firm as sales manager in 1995. He quickly spotted opportunities to provide a wider range of products with a faster and more efficient service to their customers – and the continuing expansion of the business saw its relocation to Gloucester, before moving to its current site in Cirencester. At the same time, tesa stepped up its presence, expanding its own product offering from packaging tapes to more specialised tapes.

Today, South Western Specialised Tapes (SWST) is recognised as a major supplier of tapes to many sectors, including automotive, industrial, communications, construction and signage, and the company has continued to diversify with the opening of a label printing division to become a prominent supplier of labels.

The close relationship with tesa, started by Peter and Kay Holmes, continues to this day, with SWST being a tIP (tesa Industrial Partner). The company is also recognised as a preferred supplier of technical, high quality double-sided coated tapes to withstand some of the most demanding applications.

The latest edition to its range of production machinery is the ‘Thunder Laser’ cutter and engraving machine, allowing SWST and tesa to work together and satisfy customer enquiries for laser engraved products.

Howard Burr, now managing director at SWST, reflected on the last four decades in business, saying: “We have been improving appearance, performance and production times for over forty years. Our relationship with tesa started at the very beginning and we are confident it will continue to flourish.”

Brian Wall

Related Companies

tesa UK Ltd


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