I thought I might share a little of the background of Proops with you on the blog this week.

Way back in 1946 members of the Proops family opened a shop on Tottenham Court Road, close to the major London shopping district.  They traded in War Surplus items as well as many other clearance or job lot lines.  The principal products were medical equipment and ‘technical’ items from aircraft such as instrumentation and electrical components.  The shop also traded in radio spares, surplus engineering and woodworking tools.  In the late 1980s Proops was bought by the current owner, Nic Burdett who has built it into a thriving company of ‘everything useful’ for hobby and modelling enthusiasts.  Buying a vast array of tools and equipment, sourcing redundant lines of quality tools and designing and manufacturing craft and hobby products under the name of the sister company Linic Products, Nic has been at the heart of this family business in Fleckney, Leicestershire for over 25 years.

Nic in the late 1980s

For many years I sold Proops products in Australia where I lived until 2007 when I moved back to the UK to join the family business and help bring Proops into the 21st Century.  Adapting to changing market requirements and opportunities has been reflected in the growing product range of jewellery making tools and a greater online presence originally through our Website and Ebay and now also on Etsy and Amazon.

                                     

I’m sure some of you will remember our product catalogue but does anyone remember the Proops 1965 Science Catalogue?

We have survived a fire which destroyed part of the Linic factory and resulted in the street being evacuated!  This area was rebuilt and for a few years housed Proops until two years ago when we moved again into our own warehouse providing a much larger shop for our ever growing range of tools and where you can browse at your leisure.

Throughout the years we have always endeavoured to offer outstanding value for money and a great service.  We aim for most orders to go out the same day we receive them and we still offer free UK postage and a no quibble returns.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little more about us here at Proops.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

 

Isobel

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4 Comments on Proops through the decades

  1. This will just sound sycophantic but the service and goods from Proops is incredible.
    You will go a long way to find more helpful staff – from the cleaners all the way down to the owners!
    Thank you guys. Your manner, your knowledge, your helpfulness and your friendliness are all appreciated.

  2. What an interesting article! It’s great to hear a bit of social history.
    I always look at your website when I’m after something and a lot of the time I’m in luck!

  3. Hi… I remember talking to Mr Proops, the the owner of the shop in Tottenham Court Road while playing with what must have been a pre-war oscilloscope. He told me that he was closing the shop down and he said he had a warehouse in Kentish Town that was going too.

    So I went later and met Mr Proops at his warehouse. It was a low ceiling dimly lit underground warehouse with shelves full of crazy but obsolete things, a real Aladdin’s cave of old electronic and mechanical things.

    I ended up leaving with a car literally full of fantastic things such as a laboratory water de-ionising tower that stood about 6 feet tall, weird screws and bolts with crazy heads and threads, strange lamps with unknown fittings, pressure gauges, carbon filters, minature vacuum tube valve like things, massive old variable power supplies and strange volt meters and meters that I had no idea of what they were metering, but they looked great…

    We got home and unloaded everything, and some time later among everything found a gold Parker pen engraved with AJP I think the initals were.

    This was pre-internet days, but somehow managed to track down Mr Proops to a residence in Bushey, and drove down and returned his pen to him. I think he said the pen was a present from his brother.

    I remember he took us to his garage where there was a yellow e-Type Jaguar.

    It was a long time ago, but its good to see the Proops’ name is still going to this day.

    All the best…

    Adrian…

    (and I still have a few of those things floating about now)

    :o)

    • What a great story Adrian and how lovely that you managed to return the pen to Mr Proops. When we took over the Proops we certainly inherited some very unusual items and while we are still know as the place to go for hard to find tools, sadly we no longer have some of the more eccentric items in stock.

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