A HAMPSHIRE-based company have reached a milestone in their long history, this year celebrating a century of trading.

Draper Tools are a brand instantly recognisable to Saints FC fans. As sponsors between 1984-93, their logo emblazoned the players’ shirts. They were often featured on the perimeter advertising boards at The Dell.

The company began when, in 1919, Bert Draper started a business of trading government surplus and tools in Kingston upon Thames.

The company, originally trading under the name B Draper & Son Limited, operated as a wholesaler for its own brand, BDS, as well as popular names such as King Dick.

Draper Tools moved to Chandler’s Ford in 1963, under the management of Bert’s son, Norman Draper. It’s here they have remained to this very day.

Along with a change of location came a shift in trading as they started dealing in international brands such as Elora and Knipex.

Norman died in 1994 and the company has been run by his son, John Draper, since.

Just ten years ago, the company opened a new industrial warehouse facility in North Baddesley.

As well as backing Saints, Draper Tools also sponsored the basketball team Solent Stars between 1986-87.

To celebrate the grand occasion of reaching 100 years of trading, Draper Tools held a family fun day for current and former staff.

500 people attended and, with the sun shining, the celebrations were hailed as a huge success.

Commenting on the day, Chairman John Draper said: “As a family business, we wanted to do something special to thank our staff and their families too. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all our hard-working staff, so this was a day dedicated to them.

“This year is a very special milestone in the history of Draper Tools.”

A cheque for ten thousand pounds, raised at the event, was handed over to the Care for Veterans charity.