In 1972, when Mr Frederick Brooks’ wife Grace started to find the stairs that little bit difficult due to her rheumatoid arthritis, Mr Brooks decided to design a stairlift for her.Using high standards of engineering, quality and style gained from his background as an engineer for Daimler, Brooks attracted much attention. Word soon spread of Britain’s first stairlift, and before long people with mobility difficulties and even health professionals from all over Britain were calling on Fred Brooks to commission their own stair lifts.
In 1973, the Fred Brooks Stairlift Company was formed in Camberley, Surrey.
This followed the growing interest in the invention, particularly from local councils.
The first lift was called the Mk1. Following this, the second model, the MkII, came out around 1975. At this time, production was split between Lincoln, where the motors were assembled, and Camberley, where the rest was made. These two models of stairlift featured a motor at the top of the stairs which pulled the chair up by a nylon rope!
Around 1977 came the Deluxe: the first Brooks stairlift to be wire rope hauled.
In 1979, the First British Standard for stair lifts was put into place to avoid the industry getting a poor safety record. Brooks Stairlifts successfully incorporated this standard into their work.
Around 1980, growth was such that it made economic sense to consolidate production, and the first dedicated factory unit was set up on Nash Lane in Lincoln. In line with this came the Premier - a basic stair lift, very slim line and with a fixed rather than swivel seat - and the Elite, with a swivel seat. Both featured essential safety features to comply with the new British Standard.Around 1987, Brooks launched the Supreme; the first Brooks stairlift to carry the motor on the chassis as all conventional stair lifts do today.
The Supreme was also the first chain-driven Brooks stair lift. Business was booming and Brooks moved to the well-known Westminster site in North Hykeham at this time.