Captain Maurice Gandy went to sea and on one voyage he was shipwrecked and lost all of his possessions. Half-starved and almost dead from exposure, he was kept alive by the flour and drinking water on the sinking ship. After being rescued, he retired from sea- faring at the age of 35.
He set up in Liverpool in 1864 as a ship- owner and ship- cloth manufactuer. He was not very happy with his venture and longed to start something new.
One day he was in a printers shop and spotted leather belting on the drives of one of the machines. Returning to his factory, he started to experiment with belting. If canvas was used at sea for sails, why couldn't it be used for belting he thought. He found that the stitched canvas did not work satisfactorily, as it ran over the pulleys. the captain had to go out for a while and when he returned he discovered that someone had upset a tin of paint over the canvas belts. He thought he would try the belts over the pulleys and found that they did not slip as before. From then on, he soaked them in oil and found it to be successful.
Some sixteen years later he had branches all over Britain, on the Continent and in countries as far as New Zealand, India, South Africa and others. He decided to move to the opposite side of the Mersey and set up on a field off Wheatland Lane in Seacombe. Captain Gandy met his death one frosty morning when he fell outside the Custom House in Liverpool and struck his head.
The Works caught fire on 18th feb 1927. Flames were seen as far away as Great Ormes Head. Gandy Belting at one tome employed 500 people. Thge factory was re- built and modernised. In the fifties an annual 'Miss gandy' comp was held. The firm moved to Birkenhead in 1985.