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Rope & Marine Services Ltd was established post WW2 by the founder Alan Edwards in 1948 with a business partner, he bought out his partner in 1957 to become sole owner. Alan Edwards served in the RAF in WW2, he trained in Canada and then served in North Africa and Europe flying Spitfires, he was shot down in October 1943 and crash landed when over Northern France, luckily the aircraft did not catch fire, he sustained severe injuries and spent some 3 months in a German run hospital and then remained a P.O.W. until the end of the war, a number of escape attempts failed, his P.O.W. camp was eventually overrun by the Russians and he made his own way back to Allied lines.


Rope & Marine Services Ltd was first located at Free Trade Wharf, situated on the river Thames, the site has long since been redeveloped into luxury riverside apartments, adjacent to the eastern entrance to the Limehouse link tunnel. The company was originally formed to supply steel wire ropes and fibre ropes to the marine industry, the Thames being a hive of activity at that time with many large and small jetty operations, lighterage and dredging companies. The Port of London Authority London Docks & Tilbury Docks were major customers over the years and remained so until containerisation killed off the requirement for stevedoring and conventional cargo handling.


Construction & pipelaying sectors gradually replaced the reliance on the marine trades and demand from these sectors required the company to diversify and extend its range of products and services and supply associated lifting equipment and accessories, i.e. chains, shackles, slings, manual & powered hoists, repairs & testing, engineering and fabrication works were also undertaken in the field of lifting and handling equipment.



The company relocated to its present site in Yorkshire road E14 in the late 1960’s, over the years further land was acquired allowing the company to expand the premises to the considerable island site it is today fronting, Yorkshire Road, Salmon Lane, Raby Street & Chaseley Street, land opposite the main works was also acquired and developed into a large secure car park compound. 


Rope & Marine Services have been suppliers to every major London based construction project down the years, the Thames Barrier, the Jubilee Line extension, the O2 Dome, Wembley, 2012 Olympics, Crossrail, London Gateway, to name but a few. The company nowadays has a very diverse range of customers through to train operators, utilities, construction & civil engineering, theatre & entertainment industries, aerospace, lifts & escalators industry, lighterage, waste management, abseil cleaning etc.


Reacting to demand over the years, we have built up a large fleet of equipment for the rental market, lifting & jacking equipment, associated equipment and bespoke equipment designed and manufactured in house, hire proves to be an ever increasing proportion of our business.


The company is still family owned, by the Edwards family, and celebrated its 70th year in 2018.