Manufacturer marks 90 years

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A St Austell-based engineering and manufacturing specialist has been celebrating 90 years in business.

From the humble beginnings of two brothers designing post World War I thermostat technology, Teddington has grown over the last 90 years into a global brand.

Last year, the company increased its sales performance by almost 17%. MD James Henderson said: “Our custom-designed electronic and control systems still remain a market leader in the services we provide and that includes our products and solutions for clients.

Kenny Maxwell, Teddington’s sales manager, added: “The bulk of the increase has been down to continued improvements in manufacturing, leading to better deliveries and satisfied customers.”

Today, Teddington supplies electronics to defence, aerospace and commercial markets from Canada to the Middle East – and recently into space with the European Space Agency.

The manufacturing specialist’s expertise and capability is based on its ability to provide reliable products over decades to both the heating and automotive markets.

This includes a number of major manufacturers, and it continues its long relationship, which stretches back to the World War II, with the defence industry updating frigates and submarines.

Today, its products for the plumbing, heating and ventilation market are sold nationally and internationally and include:

  • The KBB fire-safety valve for oil tanks, now in its 60th year
  • Its award-winning CombiSave product, which can help a household of four save up to 28,000 litres of water a year whilst using their heating systems
  • And, its latest product is the PressureSentry, which can prevent boiler breakdowns by alerting the home dweller, via a small alarm, to a drop in pressure in the heating system

Back in 1928, the firm was known as the British Thermostat Company, and was a pioneer in the development of the automatic thermostat in domestic refrigeration, heating and cooking appliances. A device that is still commonly used today.

It was set up in Teddington, Middlesex, by two brothers: chairman Captain Matt Payne and his brother MD William Payne.

Over the past 60 years, the business as a whole, or its divisions, have moved from Teddington to Sunbury on Thames, Methyr Tydfil in Wales and St Austell, Cornwall, where the firm’s headquarters are located.

During the Second World War it established relationships with the defence industry, returning to producing domestic controls following the war.

By the Sixties onwards the firm was developing, manufacturing and installing cooling and hydraulic control systems on Royal Naval ships and submarines, and commercial control systems were developed for companies such as British Nuclear Fuels and Harrods.

Henderson added: “UK businesses have experienced challenging times with the uncertainty over Brexit but we are pleased to look back on a productive year and ahead to an order book that is already healthy for 2019.”

Teddington timeline fact box

  • 1928, Teddington sets up in business and is called the British Thermostat Company. It is situated in Teddington, Middlesex
  • 1933, the firm moves to Sunbury on Thames when it outgrows its Middlesex site
  • 1940s the company starts producing thermostats for the merlin engines used in the Spitfire and Lancaster bomber.
  • 1944, a railway station Halliford Halt was built to service the factory as it was producing torpedo heads for submarines
  • Post WWII, the firm reverts to producing domestic controls and the aircraft business transfers to a purpose-built factory in Methyr Tydfil
  • Late 1960s, the firm relocates to St Austell, Cornwall and becomes Teddington Controls
  • Early 2000, saw the start of a new era for Teddington establishing development partnerships with JCB, the world’s biggest privately owned construction equipment company, and other major original equipment manufacturers.