The enduring links between Churchill and Conway Stewart

The enduring links between Churchill and Conway Stewart

Sir Winston Churchill once said “I have always earned my living by my pen” so you won’t be surprised to discover that the great man had an affinity for British pens and especially those manufactured by Conway Stewart.

As a war correspondent in the battlefields of North West India, Sudan and South Africa, a reliable fountain pen was his essential ‘tool of trade’. Yet in those early days before the start of the 20th century, pens with steel nibs and a bottle of ink would have been his only resource. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the first self-filling pens appeared and one of the first companies to take advantage of this new form of writing implement was Conway Stewart.

Conway Stewart History

Formed in London in 1905 by Frank Jarvis and Howard Garner, Conway Stewart initially sold pens manufactured by others including some imported from the USA. But it wasn’t long before they started manufacturing their own range of top quality British fountain pens with distinctive designs – and have continued doing so until the present day – admittedly with a few breaks!
Frank Jarvis & Howard Garner
During the Second World War, the London factory was nearly destroyed in The Blitz, but the company managed to keep manufacturing. The 1950s were an exciting time with many new designs including the Series 58 and Series 100 (still available today) helping the company to celebrate record sales.

Churchill as an Author

After the stresses and strains of the Second World War, the great man concentrated more on his career as a writer and settled into a formidable routine at Chartwell, the country house in Kent he had bought in 1922. He wrote ‘The Second World War’ a mammoth 6-volume account of the war which became a world-wide best-seller. As a celebrated author and journalist he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. You may be surprised to know that in his lifetime Churchill wrote more words than Dickens and Shakespeare added together!


If you are wondering how much Conway Stewart pens played in this mammoth task, it’s impossible to say. But a couple of facts are indisputable. Firstly, if you visit Chartwell today and look at Churchill’s study, laid out as it was during World War II, you will find 2x Conway Stewart pens on his desk
– see photo of one of the actual pens below.

Secondly, in the Churchill archives there is a letter from Churchill and an invoice from Conway Stewart for 3 fountain pens. Apparently, Churchill had requested the pens from his regular pen retailer who advised that they were out of stock and no longer being made. A few telephone calls later and Conway Stewart confirmed that they would make the pens specially for Sir Winston! Outstanding customer service – as always! 

Churchill’s Legacy at Conway Stewart

In the 1990s Conway Stewart recognised Churchill’s dedication to their fountain pens by naming two new designs, The Winston and The Churchill, after him and these remain two of the most popular pens today.

Fast forward to 2018 and the ‘special relationship’ developed even further with the launch of the new Churchill Heritage range. Produced in association with Churchill Heritage, an organisation through which the Churchill family distributes money to charities and good causes which keep alive Sir Winston’s legacy and the spirit of the words of wisdom he penned.

The Churchill Heritage range consists of six magnificent pens limited to 100 editions, each one bearing one of Churchill’s famous quotes engraved on the barrel together with a facsimile of the Great Man’s signature and ‘Made in Great Britain’.

There were 6 editions in the collection the first 2 have now sold out:
  1. All Will Be Well sold out
  2. Never Give In sold out
  3. Action This Day
  4. KBO
  5. I Am An Optimist
  6. Victory At All Costs

Engraved on the top of the cap of all the Heritage pens is the iconic sketch of “Pug” that Winston penned on a letter to his wife Clementine dated 1st August 1909. Clementine called Winston “my sweet pug” and in turn he often drew little animated pictures of “pug” at the bottom of his letters to her.

Throughout its history, Conway Stewart pens have found their way into the hands of presidents, prime ministers and royalty – so you know you’re in good company when you use one, and you can be sure that every aspect of the Churchill Heritage pen conforms to those elements of heritage, tradition and quality which have underpinned the brand for more than 100 years.

Let’s Shop the Churchill Heritage Collection
 

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