Two decades of flags production for Simon

Simon Walker, The Flagman.'Picture by Jane Coltman
Simon Walker, The Flagman.'Picture by Jane Coltman

There have been quite a few ups and downs for a flags and banners business that started 20 years ago.

But owner Simon Walker believes the future is bright for The Flagman, currently based in Newgate Street, Morpeth.

When his father Geoff set up the enterprise – its initial name was Sports and Corporate Flags – it was run from a unit opposite the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Longhorsley.

Simon joined the business after attending university and it quickly took off. Its success meant it moved to big ger premises on Coopies Lane.

Flags were made for various high-profile teams and brands, but it was unable to maintain such a big number of orders and it had to go back to the drawing board.

Simon was in charge and after suffering a blow in 2008 when the outlet in Bridge Street was flooded, The Flagman has gradually increased its customer base over the last few years.

He said: “My father got the idea for the business when he saw an eye-catching flag on a small pole covering a car window in the USA.

“During our peak at Coopies Lane, we were producing flags and banners for almost every professional football and rugby team in the country, including Newcastle United and Manchester United.

“Competition from Europe and China meant it unfortunately had to come to an end and the business went into administration. It was downsized and I took it on.

“We suffered a setback with the flood, but since we’ve been in Newgate Street, things have gone from strength to strength and our current customers include Greggs, Berghaus and local ones such as Sanderson Arcade.”