Save Britain’s buttons

An important British manufacturing tradition could be lost forever to China if funding can’t be raised by July. When Britain’s only large-scale producer of horn buttons, 155-year-old James Grove & Sons in Halesowen, West Midlands, went into receivership last year, most of the factory contents were sold abroad. However, some machinery, and the crucial button patterns and dies, were reserved.

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Now, businessman David Valentine needs to raise £75,000 to keep them in this country. He’s raised nearly £7,000 so far, using the investment website CrowdCube ( to bring the total up to £105,000, which would enable manufacturing to restart in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. ‘Ralph Lauren, Burberry and others have made written pledges of interest in buying from us if we’re successful,’ says Mr Valentine. ‘If we lose the craft to the Far East, we not only lose an important part of our heritage, but also those fashion houses’ buying power from Britain.’ Telephone 0121-579 7022 or email

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