History

1950s

Location: Hill Top, West Bromwich

Name: Eccles Hill Top Garage

The Eccles’ story begins…

The Eccles’ story begins in the 1950s as a young and ambitious Alan Eccles buys a petrol station – also a car servicing and repair centre – in Hill Top, West Bromwich, marking his journey into steel fabrication. He named it Eccles Hill Top Garage.

During this post-war period, the size and scale of transport and infrastructure projects were growing quickly in the United Kingdom, and it soon became evident that stronger materials were needed to fulfil growing orders.

Manhole covers, for example, needed to be bigger and stronger – and this led to the development of cast iron solutions, which were much easier to install and use, as well as being available for customers ‘off the shelf’.

Thus began the rising popularity of cast iron as a credible material to manufacture manhole covers – with Alan at the forefront of this evolution.

Alan’s engineering solutions found many grateful customers and business boomed. By the end of 1950s Alan’s children, Ann and Roger, also joined the business to make it a family concern. 

Towards the end of this decade the business changed names and began trading as Eccles Light Engineering Co Ltd.

1960s

Location: Hill Top, West Bromwich

Name: Eccles Light Engineering Co. Limited

A reputation for speed and quality…

The demand for Alan’s products and services continued to grow for two reasons.

Firstly, because of his extraordinary design skills and exemplary attitude towards supporting customers with design advice and free expert consultation.

And secondly, because the country was developing into a modern nation that needed contemporary living arrangements and better transportation networks. The world was becoming more international. And cast iron had now become the design material of choice because of its low cost and high strength.

Outside of work Alan’s love of engineering and engines saw him take to the high speed thrills of motor car racing! He worked with British motor racing driver Gerald Ashmore and his F1 Team who participated in several World Championship Grands Prix.

1970s

Location: Coles Lane, West Bromwich

Name: Eccles Light Engineering Co. Limited

The demand for drainage grows…

As construction boomed, builders’ merchants were also growing in popularity too. This was great news for Eccles who, always at the forefront of change, were able to develop and grow alongside them.

The complexity of modern housing had revealed the need for better drainage solutions, as well as easier access to these systems via road.

Indeed, drainage was now big business – and Eccles, with its proven, trusted track record, was perfectly placed to service the needs of the country.

During this period of growth, Eccles Light Engineering Co. Limited expanded and moved from Hill Top to Coles Lane, still located in West Bromwich.

Alan’s son, Roger, continued the family’s love of engineering and high speed racing!

1980s

Location: Coles Lane, West Bromwich

Name: Eccles Goodridge Cast & Steel Limited

Overseas manufacturing gains popularity…

During the 80s, manufacturing in the UK was becoming more difficult due to rising costs associated with the manufacturing process. This resulted in a shift towards importing ‘off the shelf’ products, which were (and still are) used today.

Eccles adjusted well during this period and the business’ reputation continued to blossom.

Roger, like his father, had become the trusted authority in the drainage industry, always willing to help people with new design ideas and offer free advice – however big or small the job might be.

In December 1989, he formed Eccles Goodridge Cast & Steel Ltd, based at Coles Lane in West Bromwich.

1990s

Location: Portland Street, Walsall

Name: Eccles (UK Foundries FE) Limited

A new home in Walsall…

This decade oversaw the large growth of the Eccles business. The company went through its third major rebrand, now trading as Eccles (UK Foundries FE) Ltd.

Eccles now had a formidable reputation of being reliable, innovative and helpful; able to offer superior design and bespoke customer solutions.

In 1996 the business moved to a new, larger site in Portland Street, Walsall – a more modern site well suited to fast delivery of large stocks. The company has remained at this location to this day.

2000s

Location: Portland Street, Walsall

Name: Eccles (UK Foundries FE) Limited

The rise of ductile iron…

With an excellent strength to weight ratio, ductile iron became popular due to its superior castability and machinability, as well as having a much lower manufacturing cost than steel.

Eccles introduced a new range of access covers and gully gratings made from ductile iron. The market was very receptive to this new material due to its winning combination of toughness, low cost manufacturing and reliability.

As the company’s portfolio grew so did its market opportunities with substantial growth in housebuilding, highways, utilities, energy, infrastructure, bridges, airports, docks and related sectors.

2010s

Location: Portland Street, Walsall

Name: Eccles (UK Foundries FE) Limited

The UK’s largest range of Kitemarked access covers…

In recent years, Eccles’ core business has focused on stocking the UK’s biggest and most well-known builder’s merchants with ductile iron access covers and gully gratings.

Our commitment to this area is demonstrated by us having the UK’s largest range of Kitemarked access covers and gratings.

The company also specialises in supplying innovative solutions to the civil engineering market, continuing to provide knowledge, experience and expertise to architects, specifiers and project managers.

2020s

Location: Portland Street, Walsall

Name: Eccles Products 

A family business in a global arena…

With nearly 70 years of expertise, heritage and history, Eccles has now become that rarest of businesses – one that has retained the trusted family standards that have underpinned its success, whilst modernising to compete in a global arena.

The family continue to run the business with grandsons, granddaughter and great-grandson all involved – Adam Eccles (Roger’s son / Alan’s grandson) continues to drive the business forward.

Eccles now has an international network of BSI certified overseas manufacturing facilities, a network of global business partners and a growing list of trusted distributors around the world.

And with even more engineering innovations in the pipeline – watch this space!

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Eccles (UK Foundries FE) Ltd, registered as a limited company in England and Wales under company number 02753977.
Registered Company Address: Portland Street, Walsall, West Midlands, WS2 8AA, UK.

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