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Our History
An image showing a carpenter working on some wood, using handtools in the Healthbeds and Smeaton Broters Factory.

Family Bedmakers Since 1893

The Smeaton family have been making beds for over 125 years. The tradition of bed making was first started by Henry Smeaton, who made palliasse mattresses filled with straw, under the archers of a bridge in Masborough, Rotherham.

Every week on market day, he took them on a horse and cart to Retford Market to sell to the farmers who brought their animals and produce in to sell. Luckily the horse knew the way back, as Henry had a tendency to visit several hostelries and drink the proceeds on his way home. Hence he had to start all over again the following week.


This family tradition of bedmaking was passed down to his son, Arthur and his grandsons; Henry Smeaton known as Harry, the youngest of three brothers, Harold, and Leonard being his elder siblings.

Arthur Smeaton served with his two brothers, Ernest and George, in the First World War at Ypres, miraculously they all returned unscathed.  Coincidentally, to this day, we source some of our woven damask fabrics and tickings which adorn our mattresses and divan sets from this area of Belgium.

A photograph of Harry Smeaton of Sematon Brothers in Rothrham.

When the Second World War was declared, Harry received his call up papers in 1942 and left his wife Frieda, who ran Cullumbines, her families fish and chip shop in Westgate, and his five year old son Tony, to join the R.A.F. as a carpenter/fitter, working as ground crew on the wooden framed Mosquito fighter bombers.


Harry returned to England in 1946, after four years in the jungles of Ceylon, India and Burma, and formed a business, Smeaton Brothers, with his eldest brother Harold, using his carpentry skills and the family tradition of bedmaking, in a workshop above an undertakers in Wellgate, Rotherham.

Harry and Harold quickly realised that the business wasn’t sufficient to support two families and an agreement was reached, with Harry continuing with the bed making business.

In 1968, Harry was able to build a new factory in King Street, Rotherham which the council assured him would be a designated industrial area.

After only six years it was subject to a compulsory purchase order as the council wanted to build a new housing estate, so in 1974 Harry bought some land in Masborough, Rotherham and built a new factory on Sarah Street, ironically coming full circle back to the Masborough area where his Great Grandfather Henry first started the Smeaton Family bedmaking tradition.

In 2008, just before the worst recession in living memory, having out grown the Sarah Street site, Tony and David, (Harry’s son and grandson) bought some land and built another new purpose built bedding factory at Thurcroft on the outskirts of Rotherham, where Smeaton Bros. can be found today.

In recent years, Toby and Lucy Smeaton have joined the family business adding a fifth generation to the company history.

A family photgraph of the Smeaton Family, including Tony, David, Lucy and Toby.
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