For more than 30 years Dancraft has been making the British Military’s pace sticks used on parade squares up and down the country to ensure precision is maintained within the ranks.
The man behind the business, Martin Dukes from Yorkshire, joined Dancraft in 1985 and spent many years concentrating on the development and marketing of quality pace sticks.
Dancraft was initially formed in 1982 when two ex-servicemen, Colin Davison and John Needham formed a partnership.
They both developed the business initially to cater for niche presentation items and saw there was a demand for pace sticks.
Martin then took over the business in 1999 with the sole objective to produce a high quality pace stick to meet the requirements of the military. He worked closely with the MoD and various drill instructors in developing a pace stick which would deliver on quality. He said:
“The wood we use for the sticks is Maple. It is a really strong wood with a tight grain which keeps the strength in the stick itself.
“The brass pieces we add to the stick are all hand made in the workshop, where they are all fabricated and fitted by hand.
“Once fitted the stick is then sand-down to a smooth finish. Then stained to whatever colour the customer requires.
“The brass is then polished and added to the stick, with a mirror finish and a high gloss finish to the wood.”
His team supply almost 1,000 pace sticks each year to regiments in the UK and also abroad.
Under the watchful eye of Martin, every stick is carefully handmade in his UK workshop before being sent to its new owner.
They have supplied pace sticks to other armed forces around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Oman, Hong Kong, and Canada to name just a few.
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