The company was established in 1837 by Ernie Hyde, and originally called Hyde & Co., manufacturing jewellery, utilising a tool shop and machine shop.
Ray Eccleston became manager of this company and together with another jeweller Joseph Hart (who was the 3rd generation in an established business) bought out Mr Hyde when he retired in 1927. The name was then changed to Eccleston and Hart.
During both the first and second world wars the company and specifically the tool shop ( which had been producing the dies etc. for casting and stamping jewellery) was involved in the manufacture of fuses.
During the second world war several useful items were made including an aircraft de-icer device for the RAF, first used in September 1939.
Ray Ecclestons' two sons Ian and Don joined the business after the war, Ian involved in the engineering division and Don involved in the jewellery business. The company became Limited in 1959.
The jewellery business had been innovative for many years and produced the first expanding bracelet called 'The Triumph'.
The engineering division was involved in the first CV (constant velocity) joints for the prototype Mini back in the 50 's and also produced racing brake discs for Girling and Aston Martin. The company at this stage also produced fork lift truck axles for Boss Trucks.
In 1962, as the company evolved, Eccleston and Hart Limited under licence produced the first Buchman expanded polystyrene (EPS) moulding machines. As the company expanded larger premises were needed, and the move was made to Legge Lane in 1964.
The company diversified moulding of EPS products was now carried out as well as conversion/fabrication and cutting, new skills were developed as this new business evolved.
In 1980 Ian's son Mike joined the company and developed a new product for the engineering division in the form of an electronic power supply, specifically un-interruptible power supplies for computer systems, and also produced DC- AC Inverters.
More space was needed, the company again needed to expand and bought premises in Lichfield Road, Aston, in 1989.
The new electronic / engineering division evolved, making use of new technology, manufactured hot wire cutting machines. One of the next innovations was the design, development and production of a CAD/CAM Expanded Polystyrene cutting machine with the ability to use Windows type files and even vectorization of scanned images.
Next came the worlds first Multiple axis (6 axis), multiple wire CAD/CAM Expanded Polystyrene profiler, with the ability to produce different shapes on either side of the machine e.g. square to round, making it possible to create more complex shapes without moulding. We soon became the main supplier of EPS cutting machines in the UK.
In March 2001, we decided to produce our own EPS material and invested in a 5m x 1.25m x 0.65m block mould plant. To accommodate this expansion we purchased factory premises at 780 Kingsbury Road. The transformation of this site began. The project took 3 years to complete.
We then acquired next door 794, Kingsbury Road, to increase production space, and accommodate an oscillating wire cutting line in order to produce EPS sheet. This transition was an extraordinarily challenging time for us, and then devastation struck, when on Saturday 19 June 2004, a fire caused complete destruction of the main factory premises at 780, Kingsbury Road. Three juveniles were arrested for arson, but were never prosecuted.
We were all in shock and in a situation extremely difficult to overcome to say the least. With determination and hard work we endeavoured to rebuild our business. We still had 794, next door intact, though inadequate for our needs, with the cutting line in place, a loan machine from our partners in Ireland Airpacks Limited, and thanks to a committed workforce, at least we had a starting point.
Through our sheer determination, resolve and our engineering expertise, the CNC cutting machines were rebuilt within 6 months of the fire. Replacement of the factory premises, though was much more challenging and fraught with problems, our plans to rebuild on the site were taking so long, we took the decision to move elsewhere and purchased 804, Kingsbury Road. The property needed extensive work before we moved, in June 2005.
Two years later, with a new Block Mould Plant and all our other machinery in place, we were fully functioning again, and continuing to improve our facilities. A much needed extension on the rear of our building was completed in July 2007 providing extra space.
We have continued to develop new business and products with SuperthemEPS and other grades in development.
We opened our Webshop in 2008, the first Polystyrene manufacturer to do so, and it has been a growing success ever since.
Our business has continued to evolve and develop, our customers new and old, large and small, are hugely diverse. We are proud to supply some of the film industry, the creativity employed behind the scenes is really extraordinary.
In 2013, the Chairman Ian Eccleston, after almost 70 years in the business, due to ill health, took well overdue retirement, though he still likes to keep abreast of things occasionally!
Michael Eccleston continues very successfully, with greater effect and efficiency to manage the company. High ethics, high quality of material and products, and excellent customer service his mandate, leading a strong, experienced and enthusiastic team.
In 2015 we acquired the building adjacent to ours, 802 Kingsbury Road, though a proportion of the building is let to a small number of tenants, we now have a very large extra storage facility for our products, enabling us to provide a faster service for our customers, particularly bead for bean bags.
In 2016 and our Webshop has undergone a facelift, with more products available to order and is now mobile user friendly.
Now 2016, the year of Brexit, and the changes that will impact us may be far reaching, we go forward in the hope of continued success both for ourselves, our customers and our suppliers.
Sadly on the 23rd of February 2017 our Chairman Ian Eccleston passed away at the great age of 92.
He had given an amazing 68 years service to the business!
He will be greatly missed! His legacy lives on!
Our aim continues as always to provide an excellent service for our customers.