About Us

The story of how Hawleys hit the road

 

The History of Hawleys Tyres Ltd

 

The company was founded in 1910 by Ernest Hawley and is now the oldest tyre retail and wholesale business in the British Isles, still under the control of the same founding family.

Ernest Hawley was a person who always had an interest in motorcars, and was one of the few who pioneered motoring in its early days. An engineer by profession, he was foreman engineer at Oughtibridge Silica Works, until he started a motor taxi service from outside a shop that the family owned in Wadsley Lane, in the Owlerton district of Sheffield.

The taxi side of the business thrived and Ernest became known for doing a lot of his own repairs. This included the mending of punctures and the fitting of his own new tyres that he obtained. Gradually, other owners of cars came to him for help, when they had punctures, and even brought tyres that they had bought elsewhere to him for fitting. Never one to pass up an opportunity, he began to stock a few tyres to sell to others, and so the tyre business began.

Suitable premises were opened eventually in Gibraltar Street, on a main road position, near to the centre of Sheffield. As trade increased, agencies for numerous makes of tyres were taken on and a period of expansion took place. The depression and general strike and uncertain times caused trade to slump and brought Mr. Hawley to near bankruptcy, however he was able to keep hold of the Sheffield premises and to concentrate his efforts on that. He had been joined during this period by his son Reg Hawley.

In 1947, Ernest Hawley decided to retire. Reg Hawley took over the running of the firm and around this time the company was named Hawleys Tyre Maintenance Service.

In 1950 David Hawley, joined his father Reg, at the Sylvester Street premises, which was to serve until new premises were purchased in Bridge Street and a new Limited Company to be known as Hawleys (Tyre Services) Limited was registered, with Reg Hawley as managing director and David Hawley and Les Black as fellow directors.

The present Bridge Street premises became the head office. Other depots were opened in London Road and Langsett Road in Sheffield, and a depot in Canklow Road, Rotherham.

Martin Hawley, joined the company in 1967 and became company secretary, running the office side of the firm, whilst David Hawley concentrated on the sales and service side of a rapidly growing outfit.
Reg Hawley retired in 1974 and David Hawley became managing director. The main concentration at this time was on the retailing of tyres and their servicing. In 1984, Simon Hawley, and in 1989 Tim Hawley, the sons of Martin and David joined the firm.

After the retirement of David Hawley in 1994, his brother Martin took over as Managing Director. The company gradually took on other aspects of the retail side, such as exhausts, but the main expansion was in the wholesale supply of tyres to other tyre companies in an area 50 miles around Sheffield.

After celebrating 100 years of the Hawleys name in the tyre trade, Martin Hawley retired in 2011 and Tim Hawley is now the current Manager Director. Hawleys (Tyre Services) Limited currently trades from 5 sites offering competitively priced tyres to the public as well as still continuing the wholesale trade, with an expanding business in the mobile tyre fitting service as well as offering vehicle repairs and servicing from three of our branches.

Hawleys joined the Protyre network in 2015.

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