Henry Ford once told customers clamouring for his Model T car – you can have any colour you like, as long as it’s black.
Here at Mark Harrod Ltd, our custom is to customise our goal nets to suit you, in a range of colours. It’s a bespoke manufacturing service we tend to offer with many of our sportspitch products.
Team colours are a cornerstone of your club culture – you’re proud to parade them wherever and whenever you can, from corner flags and bunting to scarves and other merchandise, so why not nets.
We’re particular about our quality – that’s why we manufacture our nets where there’s a long tradition of netmaking. The fishing heritage of Lowestoft, on the Suffolk coast, has left its legacy in the hands of local people, like Mark Harrod Ltd seamstresses Sandra and Chrissy.
From our regional base in the town, they weave every second of their 20 years’ experience into fashioning the finest calibre sports nets into each order they customise for clubs and schools across the UK.
Two of the best in the business, Sandra and Chrissy love nothing more than rising to the challenge of fulfilling customised orders, however demanding they may be.
“All our football nets are fashioned in 4mm super strong and durable knotless polypropylene twine, and we tailor colours to any combination,” Sandra explains. “`We never say no’ is our mantra.”
Technology does come into play too. “The Selvidger (a carpet machine modified for just this job) joins the net strips then we hand-stitch the wings to deliver the finished article. It’s a world away from the old days. I remember my partner’s mum making fishing nets by hand from rope,” Sandra recalls.
Single colour nets come as standard of course but why not stripe up. In house, we provide horizontal or vertical patterns and their popularity is rising, particularly among schools. “We used to be rushed off our feet in summer,” says Sandra. “Now we’re busy all year round handling such orders.”
Customers usually specify stripes in two colours but we can create them in two, three or four tones – even a rainbow rendition if you wanted one.
“I like working with the coloured nets but stripes are my favourite,” says Sandra. “The tricolour ones we make for clubs and schools look fantastic and we can work in red, blue, white, yellow, green, orange and black to meet just about every requirement.”
To ensure longest possible life for our nets, the team double checks everything before it leaves Lowestoft for delivery to our Stafford headquarters
Even then, nature can strike when nets are in place. Those left pitchside risk falling prey to animal attack, although foxes and grey squirrels tend to keep away. However, “rabbits always like to chew,” Sandra notes, “so it’s an idea to undo the nets at the bottom and tie them up with a little hook and loop strip.”
Football nets form only part of the story though. Mark Harrod Ltd creates them for hockey, lacrosse and handball too, not forgetting cricket nets, ballstop netting and pitch dividers.
Chrissie meanwhile is a dab hand with bespoke rugby post pads, for example. “We love a challenge and deliver whatever customers want. One of my most demanding jobs was producing a set of four rugby post protector pads in five different colours to a chequerboard design – all cut out by hand and Velcro backing applied.”
Enjoy making the most of your home fixtures on pitches regaled in your club or school colours. It’s a net gain for you and for sport, we believe.[ssba]