In the summer of 1943 Bob Lock at the age of 14 began his plumbing apprenticeship with a local, Weymouth based building and company called Jesty’s & Baker, learning the trade, and it is where Bob met another apprentice named Ted Earley. Ted being a couple of years older than Bob, had already been an apprentice for 2 years. Once Ted’s 4 years were up he moved on to another plumbing and heating company applying the knowledge he had gained from Jesty’s & Baker. Once Bob had finished his apprenticeship he carried on where he worked on various building sites around the town. It was at one of these sites that Bob and Ted happened to meet up again.
After forging an idea they decided to work together as partners. They quickly gained a reputation as good, honest, reliable plumbers.
This led them to employing two more engineers by the end of their first year to meet the demand. By 1954 they opened their first offices and store on Grange Road, continuing to work on building sites and in people’s homes.
They continued to progress, expanding their reputation and staff base and by 1961 had become one of the most popular plumbing companies in the local area installing plumbing and heating for large building companies.
This surge in business led to the opening of their second, much larger premises on Grange road with a showroom to display the products we install.
With rapid expansion Earley and Lock became the ‘go to’ people in Weymouth and the surrounding areas catering to domestic properties and building sites. They became the primary contractors for Pontins Holiday camps in the south of England as well as for the Swanage and Weymouth Council with sites including the pavilion, the council offices, Redlands Sports Centre, the ferry terminal.
Since those days in the early 50’s Earley & Lock took great pride in the work we do at the high standards we set. We began taking on apprentices and still to this day train and guide through, young plumbers to work to our high standards, gaining the knowledge required and their apprenticeships in our trade.
This led to our work force to having 45 plumbers by the mid 1970’s . It was also in the 70’s that Bob sons, Steve and Rob joined the company as 16 year old apprentices. Learning about the business, the trade and the knowledge required to succeed in plumbing and heating.
As with a lot of the country, Earley and Lock then went through some difficult times with the country struggling economically and with deep recession occurring in the mid 70’s and early 80’s. Hurt by the loss of some major contractors going into liquidation owing the company a great deal of money. This unfortunately led to the scaling back of our work force.
However these changes led the company to adapt and Bob and Ted Earley began specialising in our trade, focusing on domestic dwellings and working with the public. Earley and Lock thrived in this field gaining a stellar reputation as ‘the go to guys’ for central heating systems, bespoke bathroom installations and all plumbing and gas repairs.
Sadly in 1987, Ted Earley, Bob Lock’s partner since the very beginning, sadly passed away.
Steve and Rob who had learnt the trade and been had been engineers for some time moved into a managerial role and the business became a family run business with Steve and Rob becoming company Directors with Rob running the showroom and Steve having a talent for the installations of Fires and fire surrounds taking over that field. The company again found its feet, retaining the values standards set by Ted and Bob. Earley and Lock to this day maintain the name out of great respect for the partnership that has created one of the most reliable plumbing and heating companies around.
Again, Earley and Lock battled another recession in the early 90’s however due to our minimal work in the building trade and focus on domestic dwellings for the public continued to thrive and by 1995 we moved into another new premises after 33 years at Grange Road.
Our move to Albany Road on the Granby Industrial Estate has led us to having the largest gas showroom in the local area, show casing the best products around at very reasonable prices. Since 1995 we have seen our industry change rapidly with new technological innovations and guidelines in our field.
In 2002 Steve Lock’s Son also joined Earley and Lock as an apprentice and has been trained with the same ideals the company has had for decades before him. He has also now become a director and part of the management team and Earley and Lock now operate with 3 generations at the helm.
Today Earley and Lock continue to be known as one of the most reliable, honest, conscientious companies around. We continue to offer our services to the people of Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester and the surrounding areas giving customers the confidence to know they are in good hands and will get the work they require done efficiently, in a clean and responsible manner offering genuine and cost effective work.
We have continued to be at the forefront of technological advances in our field offering the very latest high efficiency gas products, Solar heating, Internet controlled heating systems, unvented water systems and our engineers carry all the relevant qualifications with routine training. We continue to bring through our apprentices and have a current staff level of 70% of our work force trained by us and our company comes with a combined level of experience totalling 307 years for our work force.
We specialise in working with letting agents and have numerous contracts totalling hundreds of properties with working relationships spanning decades. We have customers who we are now installing our 3rd boiler for them, in the same property, having been a customer of ours since our early days. We have been accredited by the consumer group which? as a trusted trader.