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Camp Bird Ltd, general mining company and holding company, of Dover St, London
c.1902 Public company founded.
1934 Acquired the property and assets of the Santa Gertrudis Company, in liquidation
1955 Proposal to concentrate on the company's main asset of the Camp Bird mine and its holdings in the Lake George and Fresnillo mines and dispose of its holdings in the gold and industrial markets. The Board was voted out and a new one appointed. Camp Bird Investment Trust was registered.
1956 The J. Langham Thompson Group was part of Camp Bird; it included 4 companies, one of which was responsible for the Courtney-Pratt High Speed Camera, capable of 125,000 pictures per second; another was making the Sorensen Voltage Regulator.
1957 Acquired majority share in Hartley Baird; this completed a chain of electronic automation and communication companies that the company set out to acquire 12 months previously. The chain included all stages from R&D to retail. An R&D centre, to be built at Watford, would be under the direction of Mr J. Langham Thompson, MD of J. Langham Thompson Group.
1957 Acquired controlling interest in Limit Engineering Group. Acquired Coolers and Venders, licensees of US designed vending machines which were made under licence by Hartley Electromotives. Merged Photo Printed Circuits Ltd with P. C. D. Ltd of Farnborough, Hants.
1957 AGM told that now had 44 subsidiaries - mining companies and the industrial group. Acquired H. Morris and Co Ltd, furniture makers of Glasgow. Cold Forging Ltd had displayed its products at an international exhibition for the first time; Hanworth Engineering made the presses for the process. Limit Engineering had motors suitable for portable record players which was seen to be a growth market; Hampton's main shop in Kensington dealt with radio/TV.
1958 AGM told about continued expansion of the group. New companies acquired included 2 German companies involved in plastics and a British distributor, a minority interest in Rubber Plastics, Automation Systems and Controls and further companies involved in vending machines; R. H. Windsor Ltd had been sold to Webley and Scott. The whole group had around 3000 employees.
1959 Acquired shares in Harland and Wolff and requested seat on the board which was rejected by the chairman. Production of Electronic Reproducers Ltd and Electronic Reproducers (Components) Ltd was transferred from Bletchley to Limit Engineering Group's premises at St. Albans. The arrival of stereo had caused major disruption to several parts of the group as suitable products were not available; rapdi work had been done to develop stereo pickups, etc. Massive and unexpected demand for presses for cold forging from almost all pressmakers worldwide, as well as demand for cold forgings from several motor manufacturers, had caused major change in operations at Cold Forging Ltd's Sunbury-on-Thames facility. Formed a JV with Automatic Canteen Co of America called Rowe Automatic Merchandising Co Ltd. Licensed Hawker Siddeley the rights to Aake and sell Automatic Canteen's products.
1962 Sold for cash the 80% interest in Hartley Baird and the company's West German interests. After a fractious AGM, partly due to much delayed accounts, a proposal to appoint a "company doctor" did not receive clear support.