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British Industrial History

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Henry Sykes

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January 1866.
December 1910.

Pump and Winch manufacturer, of 67 Upper Thames Street, London.

1857 Company established beside the Thames by 35 year old Henry Sykes, who had come to London from Sheffield and established a small engineering business in Upper Thames Street.

Late 19th century: Henry Sykes worked on high profile Thames pumping schemes

1868 Moved to 66 Bankside, Southwark; began construction of the deep well pumps with which Sykes' name was to become closely associated. Produced portable vertical steam engines, portable engines and boilers, friction hoists and pumps.

1879 Henry Sykes died; his wife, Margaret, took over the business

1886 Henry Sykes Junior, eldest son of Henry Sykes, took control of the business; his cousin, Edmund Jackson, joined the business and contributed strongly for the next 40 years, designing pile-driving winches, contractors' pumps, and the Tripulse - a three throw bucket pump.

1897 Limited company

1899 Headquarters located at 66 Bankside

WWI designed and built special rolling-friction winches used for a large number of "Kite Balloons", which were used for observation work.

1928 Acquired 51 acres of land on the Greenwich marshes at Charlton.

1930 Supplied plant which was used to build foundations for Ford's new motor works on the marshes in Dagenham

WWII Supplied a large number of winches for the erection of steel masts on the East and South coasts for radar installations. Sykes's Pumps were supplied at short notice to float the Mulberry Harbours when the MOD's pumps failed to do the job.

1957 The Univac pump was introduced which solved many pumping problems considered almost insoluble.

1961 Introduced a fleet of self priming Univac pumps

1965 Lacy-Hulbert and Co merged with Henry Sykes to form Sykes, Lacy-Hulbert and Co[1]

1972 Sykes Pumps introduced submersible pumps

1973 Stake in the company acquired by Hanson Trust which made an unsuccessful take-over bid[2]. Company name changed to Henry Sykes[3]

1977 Hanson disposed of its holding. The company was then listed on the London Stock Exchange[4]

1981 Adwest Group bought a pump manufacturing subsidiary of the company, Lacy-Hulbert and Co of Croydon[5]

1983 Acquired by US conglomerate Alco Standard[6]

1986 Acquired from Alco Standard Group by SPP[7]. This acquisition expanded SPP's product range with the addition of vacuum assisted self-priming pumps. It was around this time that SPP moved its manufacturing site from Reading to a more modern facility in Coleford, in the West of England.

1989 Formation of Andrews Sykes Hire Ltd

2003 Sykes Pumps introduced "super silenced pumps".

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times (London, England), Friday, Nov 26, 1965
  2. The Times, Jun 14, 1973
  3. The Times, Oct 30, 1973
  4. The Times, Dec 07, 1977
  5. The Times, May 28, 1981
  6. The Times, Jan 18, 1983
  7. The Times, September 05, 1986
  • Andrews-Sykes website [1]