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Report - Wadkin Woodworking Machinery, Leicester - June 2013

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Goldie87, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Goldie87

    Goldie87 28DL Regular User
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    In 1897 John Wadkin founded the company alongside his brother in law Mr W Jarvis. The company was formed following an idea to invent a machine that would be so versatile that it could carry out operations that were originally done by hand. John Wadkin titled this machine, "a pattern milling machine" The partnership was not successful and Mr Wadkin eventually left the company. Mr Jarvis then acquired the help of Mr Wallace Goddard with the intention to expand the business. Mr Jarvis became acquainted with a Greek gentleman by the name of Ionades who invented an advanced carburettor. General Motors in the US confirmed that they were interested and invited Mr Jarvis for a meeting to discuss, which led to Mr Jarvis booking a place on the Titanic as a means of travel and the disastrous result that he went down with the ill-fated liner.

    This left Mr Wallace Goddard with a business in Leicester and no-one to run it. Luckily he had a son that took charge and this continued until 1927 when Mr J Wallace passed away. The 1914-1918 war saw the Government ask Wadkin for help to develop a machine that could turn out wooden propellers for the R.A.F. at a high-speed rate. After the war the demand for woodworking machinery was at a tremendous upsurge. Throughout the 1930's Wadkin extended their range and entered the high technology market and began making larger, high production woodworking machines such as moulders and double ender machines.

    From the 1990's Wadkin recognised the need to develop back up service support to its machine customers, and developed a nationwide network of engineers in developing its customer response team, which still stands today offering support 365 days a year. In 2010 following the liquidation of Wadkin Limited, the intellectual propert rights were purchased by Nottingham based woodworking machinery distributors and manufacturers A L Dalton Ltd. This move brought together two long established woodworking machinery suppliers who have traded with each other for over 50 years and accumulated over 200 years experience in the industry between them. Today Wadkin continues to offer woodworking machines and specalist services to the woodworking sector from its new home in Nottingham, including new machine manufacture, spare parts, tooling and training.

    Had a permission visit a few years ago when some former employees still had a business on the site, but this only took in the original office block. Its a very intereting site with numerous offices and paperwork rooms, nice factory floors, air raid shelter etc. Returned earlier this year and numerous times with MD, jacquesj, boothy, waynezbitz1 and a few non members.

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    A few images from a 1940's promotional book found on the site...

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