About John Lilley & Gillie Ltd

In 1812, John Lilley, aged 24, founded John Lilley and Son in London. John Lilley is recorded as being an optician and the company manufactured nautical instruments, magnetic compasses, sextants and telescopes. In 1885 John Wilson Gillie founded Wilson & Gillie in North Shields as Admiralty chart agents and magnetic compass and nautical instrument makers. Over the years John Wilson Gillie patented many improvements to the magnetic compass and binnacle. 

In 1913 the two companies merged, and in 1943 were renamed as John Lilley & Gillie Ltd. After over 200 years in business, John Lilley & Gillie Ltd have consolidated our position as the UK’s pre-eminent manufacturer of magnetic compass outfits. We have moved into larger, more modern warehouse and office premises to better serve our international customer base.

Lilley & Gillie Royal Visit Image 1On the 2nd of July 2012 to mark our bicentenary we had the very great honour of hosting a visit to our North Shields head office from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. Her Royal Highness toured our premises accompanied by Glenn Heathcote, our Managing Director, and met with a wide variety of our staff, including our Chairman and our Chief Executive, (and other main Board Directors), team members from our equipment warehouse, our magnetic compass testing/calibration technicians, sales and sales administration staff, electronic equipment service engineers and our IT departments. 

Lilley & Gillie Royal Visit Image 2During her tour Her Royal Highness saw demonstrations of our latest, state of the art, fully Type Approved electronic navigation equipment, including our NAVMASTER Electronic Chart Display Information System, (ECDIS), our Bridge Navigation Watch Alarm System, (BNWAS) and our new Intelligent Wind Alarm System, (IWAS). She also saw a prototype of our brand new SESTREL NAVIGATOR compass, which is soon to begin Type Approval testing.

 


Latest News

The unique properties of the Magnetic Compass

Why the magnetic compass is still of vital importance

When I joined John Lilley & Gillie in 2004, the company had recently bought a 50% shareholding in a software company with the intention of producing its own ECDIS – the Navmaster ECDIS. Then, I was very quickly introduced to a former owner and MD of the company, who gave me a copy of a report he had written, which demonstrated the importance and unique properties of the magnetic compass. It was a good lesson in understanding the importance and functionality of both electronic and traditional methods of navigation and one that continues to be relevant today.

Whilst this is now 16 years ago, the relevance is still valid.

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COVID-19

As you will be aware the Coronavirus is not only affecting personal life, but businesses as well.

Therefore, we feel it is necessary to set out some expectations of what support you will receive from John Lilley & Gillie to try and keep your business running as smooth as possible.

How we are helping ourselves to help you:

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APM 2018

Asia Pacifia Maritime at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is one of the stars of the Maritime exhibition calander. 

As always John Lilley & Gillie are astounded and apreciative of the incredable support from our partners for our range of products.

 

 

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SMM 2018

SMM in Hamburg is fast approching and everyone here at Lilley & Gilly is getting set for a great show. 

 

 

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