|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (March 2008)|
A Jubilee Clip is a circular metal band or strip combined with a worm gear fixed to one end. It is designed to hold a soft, pliable hose onto a rigid circular pipe, or sometimes a solid spigot, of smaller diameter.
Jubilee Clips are generally made of stainless steel or galvanised or electro-plated steel. Rotating the screw has the effect of changing the diameter of the circle formed by the band. Jubilee Clips are available in a range of sizes (diameters). Larger-diameter Jubilee Clips tend to have wider bands.
In many countries, Jubilee Clips tend to be known almost exclusively by their brand name, but elsewhere (where the brand is not so well known for example), they are known by generic names such as worm drive hose clip or hose clamp or hose clip. The Jubilee Clip dominated the market to the point where the brand name is often used instead of the generic term "hose clamp", particularly in the United Kingdom, Ireland and in some of the former British Colonies. It remains the term used in everyday speech in the UK and Ireland.
The original Jubilee Clip was invented by Commander Lumley Robinson of the British Royal Navy, who was granted the first patent for the device by the London Patent Office in 1921 while operating as a sole trader. It is now subject to a registered trademark in many countries around the world. The design has been copied with many variations, and there are many other hose clips of a similar design.
Lumley Robinson was born in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1877 to a family of strict Methodists. In his first job he worked for John Fowler's, a highly respected engineering firm in Leeds before later joining the Royal Navy. He married Emily Boyd Sykes at the Mint Chapel, Holbeck, Leeds on 23 October 1906 and they moved to Gillingham in Kent when Lumley was based at nearby Chatham Dockyard which at the time was almost exclusively dedicated to the Royal Navy. During his time in the Navy, Lumley was on HMS Aboukir when it was sunk in the North Sea, along with two other ships, during World War I, and he spent several hours in the sea before he was rescued.
Together Lumley and Emily had four children: Henry, who went to Cambridge University and became Director of Education for Rochdale; Leonard, who joined the Navy and then later worked for an advertising company called Ripley Preston in Bristol, where the first well-known advertisements for Jubilee Clips were made; Dorothy, who married and stayed in Gillingham and John, who would eventually run the family business.
During his time in the navy it had often seemed obvious to Lumley that a new way needed to be found to attach a hose to a pipe. On leaving the Navy he spent much time with a friend who had a lathe in his garage, making things, and in particular looking for a simple and effective solution to the problem. Once he had the first clips made he went to London every day attempting to sell them. His wife Emily had such faith in her husband that she suggested re-mortgaging their house to pay for the first lot of steel, but this was never necessary, because the company took off.
Commander Lumley Robinson died of a heart attack on holiday in Jersey on 20 August 1939 aged 62.
The UK declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, just 14 days after Commander Robinson's death. Before the end of the month, the War Ministry had realised the importance of Jubilee clips for the war effort and men arrived from the Ministry to take over the company. His widow, Emily, wasn't having any of it however. She changed her name by deed poll to Lumley-Robinson and ran the business herself throughout the war.
After the end of the war, she continued to run the business until her youngest son, John Lumley-Robinson took over. (He, being under 21 when his mother changed her name, had been the only other member of the family to take the surname Lumley-Robinson). During and after the war other hose clip manufacturers started to emerge all over Europe, but Jubilee continued to be successful. The business was finally incorporated on 1 April 1948 as L. Robinson & Co (Gillingham) Ltd. Subsequently, the group grew with Jubilee Components Ltd and Jubilee Clips Ltd being formed to take on the manufacturing processes, alongside L. Robinson & Co (Plating) Ltd, an electro-plating company established in 1968.
In 1982 the group established a first overseas company when John Jennings (John Lumley-Robinson's son-in-law), founded Jubilee Clips Deutschland GmbH, in anticipation of Britain leaving the EU under growing political pressure at that time. This company continues to be a success selling Jubilee products in Germany and mainland Europe.
More recently, in 2007 to 2008, the group acquired a new site in Gillingham, Kent, where all of the UK-based manufacturing and distribution activities of the UK companies of the group are now consolidated on one site in the town where the very first Jubilee Clips were made by the original inventor, Lumley Robinson.