1. The Shore Porters’ SocietyEstablished in 1498, this Aberdeen co-operative claims to be the oldest established transport contractor in the world.
2. Brooke’s MillFounded as a wool cloth mill in 1541 by the Brooke family, John Brooke and Sons Ltd is believed to be the oldest surviving family business in the UK. The Mills now house a Heritage Office Park.
3. Whitechapel Bell FoundryBritain’s oldest manufacturing company (Guinness Book of Records) – established in 1570. Birthplace of Big Ben.
4. R Durtnell & Sons LtdBritain’s oldest building company, established in 1591.The first house built by John Durtnell and his brother, Brian, for their father – in 1593 – still stands today.
5. TissimansEstablished in 1601 as tailor, draper and undertaker, in Bishop’s Stortford. The oldest part of its current premises dates from c.1360.
6. Robert NobleWeaver in Scotland since 1666, including tartans for the Scottish regiments as early as the 1880s. Also designed fabrics for the English Houses of Parliament.
7. SpinkFounded by John Spink in London in 1666 as a goldsmith and pawnbroker’s, later becoming a rare coin and stamp dealer, and medal producer.
8. C Hoare & CoPrivate bank founded in 1672, still owned and managed by the Hoare family.
9. Mornflake Oats LtdFounded in 1675, in South Cheshire, milling oats and cereals.
10. James Lock & Co LtdFounded in 1676, it has the “widest selection of ladies’ and gentlemen’s headwear in the world”.