Crate Making developed in South Derbyshire as a direct result of the local pottery and sanitryware Industries. These businesses needed a way of packaging and transporting their fragile goods and so it was that crate shops began to appear on the map.
Four crate shops are know to have existed in the area. T. J. ('Foxy') Bodell on Burton Road (Rosehill), F. H. Mansfield off Swadlincote Road (Dickies Hollow), Mansfield Bros adjacent to Woodville Station and Robert Heap (later F Bloor) also on Swadlincote Road. Francis 'Frank' Bloor b 1856 was William Bloor's younger brother.
The crates were made from Herefordshire Hazel and locally grown Osiers (Willow saplings). These were first soaked in a large pit covered over with planks of wood to ensure complete immersion. After a thorough soaking they were then placed across iron rods inside a large flue and heated - the whole process ensuring the required pliability to weave the wicker-style crates.
Frank Bloor's crates were not just in demand locally - they were used as far a field as Shepshed and even Fulham and so to save space when being transported by rail from Woodville Station, crates were made of different sizes to fit inside each other like 'Russian dolls'.