Two brothers have appeared on a BBC programme that repaired a 100-year-old heirloom used in their family business a century ago.

Nicholas and Christopher Leek, who were both directors of the family-run Firmin & Co, featured on an episode of the Repair Shop, which aired on Wednesday (June 12).

Firmin & Co was a sack, bag, and cover manufacturer based in Handford Road, near Portman Road in Ipswich.

The programme follows a workshop where broken or damaged family heirlooms are brought back to life. 

Chris Leek, of Warren Heath Road in Ipswich, said: "We kept the dynamometer, which we used when I first went in there at 18 years old. 

Chris Leek described it as a 'great experience'.Chris Leek described it as a 'great experience'. (Image: Contributed)

"The object tested the strength of the twine that we sewed the sacks up with, and is more than 100 years old. It's now been restored back to its original state.

"Where we were located in Handford Road has now been turned into Firmin Close, which was named after us.

"The Firmin part is a family name, which all of the boys inherit - for instance, I'm Christopher John Firminly Leek, and my brother is Nicholas Charles Firminly."

The brothers travelled down to Sussex in November last year for filming, and to have the object restored by horologist Steven Fletcher.

Read more: Family heirloom back shining and ticking thanks to Repair Shop team

"It was a great experience," Mr Leek added. "My brother now has it hanging on his wall in his cottage in Iken."

According to old newspapers, the company was started by Thomas Firmin, who was born in Ipswich in 1632 and spent some time in London as a spinner and weaver of flax and hemp.

Mr Firmin returned in 1682 to his hometown and opened a linen factory for the benefit of the Hugenots who had settled in Ipswich at the time.

The restored dynamometer is now hanging on Mr Leek's wall in Iken.The restored dynamometer is now hanging on Mr Leek's wall in Iken. (Image: Contributed)

The later Firmin & Co came from these endeavours, and specialised in manufacturing sacks, bags, and tarpaulins, as well as reconditioning used bags. 

There were branches in Norwich, Bristol, Bexley Heath in Kent, and the company employed hundreds of members of staff at its height.

The East Anglian Daily Times reported in 1919 how Firmin & Co "engaged largely in war work", using their machinery to help equip the army.

Their first wartime order in August 1914 included turning out several thousands of sandbags to strengthen defences at Harwich and Dovercourt.

A little while later, they manufactured more than 200,000 sandbags for the Belgian government to defend against rapid German advancement.

The company closed towards the end of the 1900s.