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The Thorite story

As a family owned business with over 160 years of success, Thorite has created a legacy backed by a long history of hard work and commitment. Being extremely dynamic, adaptable and unique, Thorite has built a strong heritage in the North of England.

Thorite was started in 1850, supporting the Bradford and surrounding areas textile mills. The company has adapted to many changing environments, including identifying the opportunities for compressed air and pneumatics in the development of low cost automation in the 1950s.

Thorite are focused on providing the best service, and the most efficient and cost-effective solution for our customers. Thorite has become the UK's leading supplier of compressed air and fluid handling solutions.

Thorite look positively towards the future by maintaining what we are good at, by further expanding our offerings, and by continuous development. At Thorite we will continue to develop our range of products and services to provide the best value for money solutions for our customers.



The Thomas Wright-Thorite Group has its roots deeply seated in Bradford. It was here in 1850 that the great-great-grandfather of the present MD, Steve Wright, founded Thomas Wright (Bradford) Ltd. The company's primary function was to manufacture and supply washers for the spinning and roving machines used in the textile trade in Yorkshire. This product range gradually expanded to include many items used regularly in textile mills and dye houses.



The advent of the motor mill at the turn of the century brought with it new opportunities for many, including Thomas Wright. Using existing methods applied to the new market, the company began manufacturing washers and oil seals for the burgeoning car industry. Between the 1930s and the 1950s the company developed to become a leading motor factor and mill furnishing enterprise. The late 1950s brought with it the first signs of things to come.



Through their existing factoring businesses, Thomas Wright had built up strong connections with industrial air compressors. At one stage this led to the firm actually manufacturing air compressors under the now familiar group trade name Thorite. These were sold to textile machinery manufacturers who exported them along with their own machinery.



Teddy Wright, father of the present Managing Director Stephen, identified the potential for pneumatics and in 1960 the first branch dedicated to compressed air was opened in Leeds. Since that time the company has added further branches located throughout the North of England culminating with the opening of LL Fluid Power in the West Midlands in 2012.



The Thorite name, derived from Thomas Wright (THOmas wRIghTE), has become a global brand name for the company, synonymous with anything powered by compressed air, including air tools, spray guns, pneumatics and even air-driven pumping equipment. In 2000 we merged into Thomas Wright / Thorite Group Limited, followed by, in 2002, adopting Thorite as our trading name throughout the group.



Thorite now has 11 Sales & Service Centres offering compressors, compressor servicing, compressed air products, process valves, system design, and hose and fittings with local stock of fast moving lines. With in excess of £1 million in backup stock in our National Distribution Centre we provide our customers with the choice of trade counter collection, same day and next day delivery services. In addition, customer-specific logistics solutions are available, including machine build kits and Just-In-Time deliveries. Customers can also order online, 24 hours a day, using the e-commerce service


EEF - The Manufacturers' Organisation -- The Carbon Trust - Accredited Supplier -- CHAS - The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme -- BCAS - British Compressed Air Society -- SafeContractor Approved
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