Princess Anne visits 150 year old company

Princess Anne will visit Brandauer in Birmingham today Credit: ITV Central

In an age when Governments are trying to encourage new small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses, a company from Birmingham is getting royal recognition today for surviving, and thriving for 150 years.

In 1862, Queen Victoria was on the throne, and people were still writing with sharpened bird's feathers.

That's where the newly-formed Brandauer Company of Birmingham stepped in: they become one of the world's first producers of pen nibs.

The steel pen transformed the way the world did business.

But the company didn't just stick with pens, and 150 years on they are still at the cutting edge of engineering and science.

They supplied parts for the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, and have just won a massive order to make components for self-tinting mirrors in high-end cars.

The company is being used by Government as a shining example of British engineering and business success, and today Brandauer's achievement will be celebrated with a visit from Princess Anne.

The Princess Royal will get a guided tour of the plant in Birmingham, as well as a lesson in the company's long history... all the way back to those first, revolutionary pens!

Full report on the Royal visit by Gareth Owen: