History Time Line

May 1969

The company was formed in May 1969 by entrepreneur, designer and engineer Dr Walter Clarke and operated initially from a caravan in the garden of the family home. Dr Clarke’s love of problem solving and designing solutions was the catalyst for the founding and evolution of Clarke Instruments into the company we are today. This picture is the interior of the caravan in Brooklands.

The fledgling company quickly out grew its small, somewhat temporary ‘office’ and moved into larger premises in Camberley, followed by a further relocation a few years later to 91a High Street.

At the time the company was one of the major manufacturers of spare parts for the MOD

Spare parts ran in tandem with the development of the first patented distance locking system, where the name Distloc House comes from.

Mid 1970’s

1st digital coded lock designed called Combalarm.

Mid 1970’s

1st solenoid latch for latch locks

Mid 1970’s

1st deadlock release designed to suit the Bramah dead lock


Appointment of distributors in South Africa

Early 1980’s

The defence sector moratorium in the early 1980’s effectively closed the factory as the company shrank from a work force of 50 with a nine month order book to a team of 8 with a 2 week order book, surviving on what was, in essence, Dr Clarke’s hobby of inventions for the security and access control industry.

February 1983

The Press Release for the Type 9331 Release

Selling the premises in Camberley financed the move west and the company relocated to Salisbury on Southampton Road at the height of the recession to concentrate on security access control. Saw a steady stream of innovative ideas on electric locking, automatic barriers, gate actuators and turnstiles.

March 1983

March 1983 was the press release of the Maglease type 860 – the first new product since the relocation to Salisbury.

November 1983

The ‘semaphore’ main-gate barrier was introduced, which could move from horizontal to  vertical and back again under power control.


Type 861 heavy duty swing gate actuator press release.

April 1984

Type 957 press release – machined from solid brass, an electric release for Chubb 3G110 dead lock

June 1984

Solenoid operating hinge press release

February 1985

Type 976 SC71 Ingersol press release

October 1985

Key over-ride for Gate Lock 9525 press release

November 1985

New low voltage battery operated automatic barrier 9562 press release

April 1986

Type 993 press release

April 1986

Type 974 press release

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