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Proud manufacturers of Gopak tables, benches, trolleys and Ultralight staging.

About us


How it all started

A young designer, fresh from service in the Navy, started turning his clever ideas into reality in a garden shed in the quiet village of Mayfield, East Sussex in the late 1940s.. Peter Le Fleming Shepherd (1922 – 2018), an innovator for his entire life, developed an enthusiasm for creating furniture which could fold, early on in his career.

Initially, Peter made innovative small pieces of furniture that were sold primarily through high-end retailers such as Heal’s and Liberty of London.  In the early 1960’s he made a significant breakthrough when he designed a heavy plywood folding table with a pin leg.  Initially, this was sold to primary and secondary schools in the south of England for their dining halls.  

The table was constructed using unique techniques that negated the need for screws, fixings or welding.  These processes remain to this day, a foundation on which we base our manufacturing techniques, as we continue to sensitively embrace our environmental responsibilities and create a clean and safe workplace for all.  

A lightweight version of the original table followed.  This was triggered by a change in responsibilities within schools.  The setting up of the lunchtime service had traditionally been undertaken by the school caretaker.  However, in the early 1960s, this responsibility moved to the catering staff who required furniture that was lightweight and portable.  The Gopak aluminium framed folding table was met with much enthusiasm. The tables were easy to carry, simple to fold and unfold and could therefore be quickly deployed in the school hall, turning the space into a dining room with minimum effort and limited time and then easily cleared away after lunch for the next school activity.  

This was a turning point for the company, as this innovative and iconic design became the go-to folding table for schools and community organisations nationwide, and from there, the Gopak brand became a household name.