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The Dransfields story
by Robert Dransfield, Chairman

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Dransfield Novelty Company Limited was founded by my grandfather, Harry Dransfield, back in the 1940s. After coming into possession of a ‘One-armed Bandit’, the original lever-operated fruit machine, he quickly spotted the potential of the machine and seized the opportunity to source more machines to supply to the licensed trade.

He supplied gaming machines to pubs and clubs around the Leeds and Newcastle areas, becoming a licensed gaming machine supplier when the 1968 Gaming Act was introduced. When Harry's son joined the business it steadily expanded to become one of the largest machine suppliers in the North of England.

When Harry passed away in 1981, Jack Dransfield, my father, became the Managing Director. He continued to grow the business ending up with a very large pub operation estate which was subsequently sold to Bass Leisure in the late eighties. At this point my father retired from the business and the mantle passed to me!

I chose to focus the business on the club operation and to establish the Company as the strongest club operator in the North of England, necessitating a move into larger premises at Mill Street in Leeds where we still have our Head Office today.

When Chris Haley joined the Company in 1996, we set out on a modernisation and expansion programme with the aim of becoming the number one national supplier of gaming machines to clubs.

Recognising that many of the original 1968 Act operators would be looking towards retirement and seeking an exit from the business, we sought to acquire strong local operating businesses throughout the country. This led to more than twenty purchases, in all cases we retained the staff of the businesses we bought, capitalising on their customer relationships and local knowledge. To service the new geographical areas we opened regional depots, strengthening our local ties with local clubs and providing responsive service support.

Recently, we decided that the time was right to re-enter the pub supply side of the business taking advantage of the infrastructure we had put in place for the clubs. We now supply machines to regional breweries, pub operating companies, managed and tenanted estates and free trade outlets.

Throughout this period we have campaigned tirelessly on behalf of customers to protect their entitlement to machines under the 2005 Gaming Act and Chris mounted a legal challenge to HM Revenue and Customs to protect clubs facing closure due to retrospective taxation. He calls this his ‘B3A Battle’ and I can attest that he became obsessed with what he considered to be an outrageous abuse of power by HMRC. From start to finish, the legal challenge took almost five years but resulted in a victory for clubs of which Chris is justifiably very proud.

I have recently taken on the role of Chairman, Chris has become Managing Director and we have strengthened our management team recruiting some of the best people in the industry.

Looking forward, we aim to see Dransfields strengthen its position as the number one supplier of gaming and amusement equipment to clubs and to grow the pub supply side of the business, challenging mediocrity in machine supply.

Local Service, National Strength sums us up very well – we have the resources and infrastructure to source the very best equipment and we have the local knowledge and expertise to ensure that we can deliver the very best service to our customers.

Robert Dransfield
Chairman

Recommended supplier of fruit machines and entertainment products to: Working Men's Club & Institute Union, Association of Conservative Clubs, National Union of Labour & Socialist Clubs, National Association of Railway Clubs, Alliance of British Clubs

Guaranteed rapid response service wherever you are!

Dransfield Novelty Company Ltd. Head office: Dransfield House, Mill Street, Leeds LS9 8BP.   T: 0113 244 4555   F: 0113 234 3948   E: enquiries@dransfields.com

Local depots throughout all areas.    Registered in England No. 410762    Proprietors of the Nudger™