Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,416 pages of information and 245,908 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide

1874 Charles Hunting, a veterinary surgeon, founded a shipping business, originally known as Hunting and Pattison, which was managed by his son, Charles Samuel Hunting. It had 2 sailing ships, the Genii and the Sylvia.

1891 Partnership of C. Hunting, C. S. Hunting and W. J. Pattison was dissolved - operated as Hunting and Pattison of London and Newcastle (ship managers and brokers), and Hunting and Co of London (agents and ship store merchants)[1]

In the 1890s the company invested in oil tankers and became a tanker broker.

WWI Charles Samuel's son Percy served in the RFC.

Post WWI The business was in poor shape, with only two of its ships still afloat.

1921 Brothers Percy and Lindsay Hunting over the business after the death of their father, Charles Samuel Hunting. Instituted a rebuilding programme, mainly oil tankers.

1926 Became a private limited company, with Percy Hunting as chairman, a position he occupied for the next thirty-five years. The firm also acquired new interests in shipbroking.

1930s Shipping business slumped. Invested in oil production, and distribution in Lancashire

1938 Acquired a minority shareholding in a small aircraft servicing company based at Croydon Airport called Rollasons. Acquired a shareholding in the Aircraft Operating Co and its subsidiary Aerofilms, which took the group into aerial survey and mapping.

1939 increased stake in Rollasons to a majority.

WWII Manufactured airframe components for a variety of military aircraft at Croydon and at a new factory in Llanberis in North Wales. Took complete control of Rollasons in 1941, changing its name to Field Air Services.

1942 Took complete control of Aircraft Operating Co, which became Hunting Aerosurveys in 1945

1944 Purchased Percival Aircraft Ltd, manufacturers of complete aircraft

1945 Hunting entered the airline business and established Hunting Air Travel Ltd, a business headquartered at Luton Airport.

1946 The new airline began commercial operations from Bovingdon Airport at the start of 1946.

1951 Hunting Air Travel changed its name to Hunting Air Transport.

1953 Main divisions of the company were: [2]

1953 The Hunting family decided to split the group and to transfer their airline business to a new holding company which they had set up together with the Scottish Clan Line shipping company; the airline was named Hunting-Clan Air Transport[3]

1954 Percival Aircraft Co was renamed Hunting Percival Aircraft

1956 Incorporation of Hunting Technical Services Ltd to provide scientific and consulting services

1957 Hunting Percival Aircraft established a new company, Hunting Engineering, to handle its weapons research division[4]

1957 Hunting Percival Aircraft was renamed Hunting Aircraft

1957 New subsidiary formed in heating and ventilation engineering: Hunting Mhoglas[5]

1960 Hunting and Airwork agreed to merge their air transport interests including the Hunting-Clan airline[6] to form the new airline British United Airways which would be based at Gatwick; a helicopter division would be formed from the 2 helicopter companies[7].

1960 Hunting disposed of Hunting Aircraft to the new British Aircraft Corporation (BAC)[8]

1961 Formed FieldTech Ltd to handle technical sales and consultancy of its field aircraft services business[9]

1962 Formation of Hunting Light Industries to bring together the various engineering activities of the group[10]

1965 Public offer of shares in Hunting Associated Industries which conducted surveys and natural resources consultancy, technical and engineering marketing, and aviation support services[11]

1970 A new company, Hunting Gibson, was formed to acquire Northern Petroleum and Bulk Freighters and its managing company, Hunting and Son, a private company[12].

By 1971 Hunting Associated Industries, a public company, was handling aircraft servicing, etc[13]

By 1973 Hunting Gibson, a public company, handled ship and air broking and related activities[14]

1978 EGMs of Hunting Gibson and Hunting Associated Industries agreed to put their oil and gas interests into a new company Hunting Petroleum Services[15]

By 1986 Hunting Group was a public company[16]

1989 Hunting reabsorbed 3 companies which had been spun out of the group: Hunting Gibson, Hunting Associated Industries and Hunting Petroleum Services [17]

1990s Hunting became involved in defence contracts

1993 a member of the winning consortium contracted to manage the Atomic Weapons Establishment, a contract that lasted until 2003.

1997/8 Disposed of its aircraft-related activities by sale to other companies

More recently, it has refocused on its oil and gas activities.

2008 Disposed of Gibson Energy, its operation transporting and marketing crude oil in Canada,

2010 Acquired Innova-Extel Acquisition Holdings Inc.

2011 Hunting announced the acquisition of Dearborn Precision Tubular Products

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Sep 19, 1891
  2. The Times, Sep 29, 1953
  3. The Times, Mar 02, 1955
  4. The Times July 4, 1957
  5. The Times, Aug 27, 1957
  6. The Times, Mar 02, 1960
  7. The Times, Jun 28, 1960
  8. The Times, Sep 07, 1960
  9. The Times, Oct 04, 1961
  10. The Times, May 04, 1962
  11. The Times, Nov 12, 1965
  12. The Times, Jul 24, 1970
  13. The Times May 24, 1972
  14. The Times, May 24, 1973
  15. The Times, Jul 01, 1978
  16. The Times, January 02, 1986
  17. The Times, June 20, 1989
  • Hunting Aircraft [1]
  • Hunting plc [2]
  • Biography of Sir Percy Hunting, ODNB [3]