Darlington based company Henry Williams celebrated their 125 years in business today. They are justifiably proud of the fact that they are still a manufacturing company, and are still on the same 4 hectare site they have occupied for the last 97 years. With their roots firmly established in the rail sector Henry Williams have grown into a multi market sector provider of goods and services.
“Henry Williams based his reputation on manufacturing the best quality products achievable. It is this uncompromising commitment that has been the mainstay of our philosophy and ultimately the continued success of the company. In- fact our name is now synonymous with quality, and we are widely regarded as the industry leaders.” Said Howard Dilley the chairman.
The company started in Glasgow in 1883 producing railway equipment. Ten years later the company had grown such that a re-location was required and it moved to Cathcart just outside Glasgow. By 1911 the company had grown to such a size that yet another move was required, and this time the decision was made to move to the home of the railway, Darlington.
In 1920 the company opened its first manufacturing facility in Calcutta and was instrumental in the development of the Indian railway, employing over 4000 people by 1946 when this arm of the company was sold to GKN.
Henry Williams’s flexibility was demonstrated during the 2 world wars when they suspended all rail work and turned the facility over to the war effort producing bombs and gun parts. During WWII the company produced over 2 million mortar bombs and 7 million munitions forgings, not to mention donating a Spitfire aeroplane to the war effort.
After the war the company returned again to the production of railway forgings, but having identified other market sectors, diversified into electrical projects; control panels; signaling and mimic panels as well as metal fabrications.
The company celebrated the event by presenting every employee with an engraved watch and providing a sumptuous lunch for everyone.