The business was established in 1877 by John William Blake. In the 1881 Census the company is recorded at 15 Paradise Row, Waltham Abbey, trading as “a wheelwright” and “employing one boy”. The founder John William Blake was joined by his son also John William who took over the business when his father died. The second John William had a son called Rowland Blake and he joined his father on leaving school at the age of just 14 in 1931.
When Rowland reached the age of 21 his father made him a partner in the business and the trading name of “J. W. Blake” was changed and became “J. W. Blake and Son” as it is still known today.
Rowland Blake became the sole owner of the business in 1942 and he was joined by his son John in 1979 and in turn made his son a partner in 1985.
From its origins in Paradise Row the business moved to 44-46 Sun Street in 1918 (in the location occupied today by Abbey Parlour at the end of Sun Street opposite the Library).
In 1974 the business relocated to purpose built premises at 159 Brooker Road in Waltham Abbey in an industrial area on the outskirts of the town.
The new building has a back and front entrance to the building and increased ceiling height, so it was now possible to accommodate any size vehicle and the business grew considerably as a result of the relocation.
When the company was founded over 100 years ago it dealt exclusively in horse drawn vehicles, but occasionally still have the opportunity to work on these historic vehicles today.