Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Harper Engineering and Electronics

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of 19 Hanover Sq, London (1960)

of Hill Street, Mayfair, London (1961)

1928 Public company founded: Steel Ceilings

1934 A predecessor company appears to have been incorporated about this time - possibly this refers to C. E. Harper Aircraft Co formed in 1936[1]

1954 Steel Ceilings became part of C. E. Harper Aircraft Co., Ltd which took over its Stock Market listing.

1958 Harper Group, of Hanover Sq, London had several subsidiaries[2]:

1959 Name changed to Harper Engineering and Electronics; acquired Exeter Airport Ltd and Plymouth Airport Ltd[3]. Acquired Samuel Platt Ltd[4]. Business included electronics, nucleonics, automation devices, photometrics, small engines, petrol and electric vehicles. Other companies in the group were[5]:

1960 Acquired B. O. Morris [6] and 6 companies in the Morrisflex group, C. D. Monninger, J. and S. Newman, Micalectric, Mills and Brain, Spembly. Advertised for further suitable companies to join the group[7]. Acquired J. B. and S. Lees[8] manufacturers of precision cold rolled steel strip. Linked with Hawker Siddeley on design of high temperature nuclear furnaces[9]

1961 Manufacturers of light aircraft, also aircraft engineers and reconditioning of aircraft.

1961 New chairman appointed and several changes in the board to bring in people with industrial experience. The company had large bank debts and was only paying a dividend at the level announced because of an earlier promise[10] Another subsidiary was Wilmot Mansour, specialist packers and shippers. C. E. Harper was managing director in February[11]

1961 August: Mr Harper, no longer managing director, sued his fellow directors[12] because they had taken decisions without allowing him to be part of the discussions. He lost the case.

1962 No dividend was paid. Refinancing was arranged. Sales of certain assets and some subsidiaries[13]

1962 September: Mr L. J. Matchan, chairman of Cope Allman and Co was appointed chairman of the company[14] with a view to stemming the losses[15]. All the other directors resigned[16]

1963 Elliott Automation acquired Baldwin Instrument Co of Dartford[17].

1963 After 2 years of Mr Matchan's leadership, the company was making a significant profit

1964 Sold Wilmot Packaging to its directors, C. M. Wilmot and D. Knightly[18]. Cooper Finance acquired J. B. and S. Lees[19]. Harper had 12 operating units, concentrating mainly on steel and steel products, and machine tools[20]

1965 Midland and Northern Counties Investments acquired Cope Allman and Co, Harper Engineering and Electronics and the "rump" of J. W. Young and Sons, all interests of Mr L Matchan, putting them into a new company Cope Allman International, largely for tax reasons[21]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Feb 10, 1961
  2. The Times, Feb 20, 1958
  3. The Times, Sep 02, 1959
  4. The Times, Nov 25, 1959
  5. The Times, Nov 26, 1959
  6. The Times, Feb 02, 1960
  7. The Times, Mar 04, 1960
  8. The Times, Apr 08, 1960
  9. The Times, Nov 04, 1960
  10. The Times, Feb 09, 1961
  11. The Times, Feb 09, 1961
  12. The Times, Aug 10, 1961
  13. The Times, Jul 30, 1962
  14. The Times, Sep 12, 1962
  15. The Times, Dec 22, 1964
  16. The Times, Oct 18, 1962
  17. The Times, Oct 21, 1963
  18. The Times, Jan 13, 1964
  19. The Times, Apr 08, 1964
  20. The Times, Dec 01, 1964
  21. The Times, Nov 01, 1965

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