• Nash Peake Works,Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 5BT England

Sam Rafferty standing on scaffolding above his three younger brothers after erecting a new 140ft high steel chimney in 1959. READ MORE


Rafferty Steeplejacks was formed as a result of Sam Rafferty being a paratrooper in the 6th Airborne Division during World War II.

On his return home to England Sam initially found it difficult to adjust to civilian life. With work in short supply he was about to rejoin the parachute regiment to make a career in the Army, as he thought nothing could match the thrill of jumping out of aeroplanes. This was until, on the very day he was to re-enlist, he saw two steeplejacks swinging on bosuns chairs working high up on a 300 foot brick chimney in Stoke. They allowed Sam to climb up and he was immediately hooked by the danger and thrill of the job. He claimed that in Civvy Street this was the next best thing to being a paratrooper, so with his head for heights and nerves of steel Sam became a steeplejack.

With the self belief he had gained from being a paratrooper, Sam was determined to make something of himself. In 1949 he formed the Rafferty Steeplejack Company which became limited on the 12th April 1954. Sam worked hard all his life and the company he so proudly established is currently being run by his only son Nick. The 3rd generation of Rafferty’s, Sam’s two grandsons Matt and Daniel, are now also working for the company.

Sam lived to see his company grow from its humble beginnings to national and international status. His proud son and grandsons are determined to continue with the traditions Sam so strongly believed in and trusted.

Read our tribute to Sam Rafferty here