History


1963 - A British Legend is born

To satisfy his passion for racing Norman Fletcher builds his first boat in the back of his model shop in West Bromwich. He experiences success and soon people are asking him to build boats for them. A British Legend is born. Fletcher moves into shared factory space with Triplex in Bromford Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands.


1964 - Pete Smith joins Fletcher

Pete Smith - one of our engine installers - started work with Norman aged 15


1965 - New Factory tragedy

In 1965 Fletcher moved into new factory in Aldridge but tragedy struck later that year when a fire destroyed the building.


1966 - Fletcher & Glastron

To satisfy his passion for racing Norman Fletcher builds his first boat in the back of his model shop in West Bromwich. He experiences success and soon people are asking him to build boats for them. A British Legend is born.Fletcher moves into shared factory space with Tr


1967 - Earles Court show success

At the 1967 Earls Court Boat Show orders for Fletcher and Glastron exceeded 600 units worth £120,000!!


1968 - Fletcher Move again

In 1968 due to the ever increasing production Fletcher relocated again to New Road, Burntwood, Cannock


1970 - Our current production manage Roy Walker joins the team

In 1970 a fresh faced Roy Walker - Current Production manager - joined Fletcher full time after spending many school holidays waxing moulds.


1973 - Live and Let Die

A number of Fletcher produced Glastron's are used in the Live and Let Die. This heralded an associated with glamorous power boats that remains a signature to Bond films to this day and Roger Moore became something of a fan.


1974 - British Water speed record

Fletcher boats have set British Water Speed Records in several classes Norman Fletcher sets a British Record of 79.61 mph driving a Arrowbolt in the Sports Inboards (unlimited engine capacity) category.

 


1975 - Fletcher third in ski world championships

By this time Fletcher are quite a force on the ski racing circuit and compete in the world ski race championships in Italy on Lake Como. The team comes in a very respectable third place.

Also in this year Norman and David Nations - Head Coach of the UK Water-ski Federation - joined forces to develop a British built tournament ski boat.


1976 - Dave Williams the current Fletcher engineer joins the team

Dave Williams - current Fletcher engineer - brought in to help with the development of the All Nations Ski Tow project. David himself no slouch when it came to waterskiing was working on designs of his own but was persuaded to come into the fold.

 


1979 - Fletch round Britain enduro

Fletcher embarked on the Round Britain Enduro in conjunction with Yamaha. A feat unlikely to be bettered even today.

 

1985

1985 - Early Rib testing disaster

Fletcher had developed a number of RIB's with RAdhial who supplied the tubes.  Early testing nearly resulted in disaster when trying to launch an 8m on a 'windy day' in Hull a freak wave lifted the boat and dumped it on the harbour wall some 15' above the bemused team.  The boat was recovered undamaged but the team thought it best to retire to safely and try again another day!


1988 - Hornby buy Fletcher

In 1988 Norman Fletcher sells the company to Hornby Group PLC


1989 - bigger sales and bigger site

In 1989 moved to the former British Coal boards Central Workshops and Stores site in Plant Lane Burntwood. This 7.5 acre site was to be the home of Fletcher for the next decade. As well as the move the company managed to produce the most boats ever in a single year - 1600!!


1990 - Recession hits Fletcher

In 1990 recession hit Britain and Europe and production was down to only 550 boats and the company was forced to lay off 54 employees. The first layoffs the company had experienced in its history to date.

 


1992 - SBS Trailers become sole supplier

1992 SBS Trailers become the sole supplier of trailers and export cradles to Fletcher leading them to close their own trailer manufacturing facility - Miles Products.

 


2008 - Norman Fletcher sadly passes away

Norman Fletcher, boat builder and British powerboat racing champion sadly passed away on July 4 age 81. He was survived by his wife Valerie, two sons, a daughter and six grandchildren.