Kaymet’s team of 9 makers produce classic anodised aluminium serving trays and trolleys. The company has been busy since 1947, and these days around 40,000 trays, a smaller number of trolleys (and some electric table hotplates) emerge each year from the factory on Ossory Road, Peckham, near the Old Kent Road Asda.
At the Ossory Road works (a hidden 1950s building with small yard) the team cut on a chop saw, wall saw and guillotine; and crop with a big Bentley power press and with fly presses; and notch with a smaller power press; and press-form trays on the Bentley; they grain on a graining machine, do some lathe work, bend tubes and extrusions, drill and counter-bore, punch holes and logos, do some forming. In the polishing shop they linish, polish and shine, then pieces are degreased and bundled. Anodising and powder coating are done elsewhere (in Erith, Slade Green and Crawley). The team assemble with some adhesives and lots of rivets, rivnuts, screws, nuts and bolts, and a crimper, then they clean, label, pack and dispatch.
Kaymet’s products sell in more than 200 shops, in about 40 countries, and are supplied to plenty of hotels, restaurants and cafes, plus a few yachts and aircraft.
The business started in the basement of a family run radio shop at Elephant & Castle, evolving into Kaymet in 1947, by which time a move to Kennington Lane had been made. At the end of the 1950s the company built its own factory near the Old Kent Road, where it stayed until the 1990s. Four moves after losing that one Kaymet arrived at its current fine spot, the sixth Kaymet Works. The enterprise is proud to have been active, and to have continuously produced, in its part of SE London for 76 years.