Hampshire flag manufacturer in Waterlooville makes more than 200 miles of bunting for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee as councils and residents 'panic' order at the last minute

A HAMPSHIRE flag manufacturer says councils and organisations across the country are ‘panic’ ordering bunting for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – as the company enjoys record-breaking sales with more than 200 miles of bunting already produced.

Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 4:55 am

The Hampshire Flag Company, based in Pipers Wood Industrial Park, Waterberry Drive, is still getting last minute Jubilee orders from local authorities and walk-in customers, with festivities to celebrate the Queen’s 70-year-reign due to begin this Thursday.

The celebrations have provided a much needed boon for the company, which saw sales plummet by more than 60 per cent due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But now staff will be toasting Her Majesty as her jubilee has supercharged the 40-year-old firm – which has enjoyed three record breaking months in a row due to the demand for bunting.

The Hampshire Flag Company in Waterlooville has seen a significant increase in business as companies and individuals prepare to celebrate the Queen's 70th Jubilee. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Rod Sessions, sales and marketing manager at the firm, said: ‘It’s been absolutely fantastic – miles and miles of bunting, hundreds of flags.

‘Literally our last three months have been our best months ever – over 30 per cent more orders than we’ve ever had.

‘We’ve had a drop of 60 per cent in revenue in 2020, and a 20 per cent drop in 2021, so this boon in the last three months has been absolutely massive for us. It’s been incredible.

‘So we want to say a big thank you to the Queen.’

Truengjai Hydy putting a flag together in the Hampshire Flag Company workshop. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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And the orders keep coming, as people continue to scramble for celebratory decorations.

The Hampshire Flag Company manager said: ‘We had a council call us on Monday, saying, ‘our council leader told us we weren’t going to do anything for the Jubilee, now he’s changed his mind – have you got 5,000 metres of bunting?’

‘It’s fairly easy for us to do – but not when it’s this busy.

Staff at Hampshire Flag, Waterlooville with Jubilee bunting and flags on Tuesday. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘Everyone wants bunting today, lots of last minute orders – everyone is panicking. It’s definitely exceeded our expectations.’

The company is one of the few in the country that specialises in bulk and bespoke flag production, having grown from a small business run from a family home to a multi-million pound company with more than 30 staff.

Managing director Angela Saunders, who took over the running of the firm from her father Roy in 2020, said she was incredibly proud of her team’s continued hard-work.

The Waterlooville resident said: ‘It makes me feel really proud. We have a really great team and everyone has pulled together.’

As well as contending with the rush of orders for the jubilee, the company has seen a surge for one particular national flag – as people look to show their solidarity with war-torn Ukraine.

Rod said: ‘We went berserk with orders.’

But the company has also had to deal with the knock-on effects of the conflict and Covid-19, as the cost of living crisis continues to crank up prices.

Rod added: ‘On a weekly basis, we have had our suppliers come to us saying that they are putting prices up. We put prices up once this year, and we have committed to not doing it against this year unless we absolutely have to.’

The Hampshire Flag Company can produce a flag and source a flagpole for around £200.