Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Penny Hydraulics

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Penny Hydraulics of Station Rd, Clowne, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S43 4AB.

Post WWII: The founder John Penny (John Senior) left the Fleet Air Arm after the war and started work with Dowty Mining installing the first modern coal mine roof supports.

He left Dowty and worked for himself for a number of years gaining experience in hydraulic repairs.

1978 He established the company in response to a demand for a nationwide hydraulic garage equipment repair and the repair of specialist mining equipment.

The company quickly grew with important partnerships being forged with Lucas Automotive and National Coal Board.

During the 1970s Japanese imports were killing the garage equipment service business and the mining work was becoming less reliable. Lucas were selling to van users and so John Senior’s idea to make a crane for a van appealed to both parties. Initial trials were very successful.

1983 John Penny Junior, a mining mechanical engineer by trade, was tasked with developing the new crane to be marketed through Lucas.

Bass Brewers was one of the company's crane customers and wanted a device to get barrels in and out of pubs.

1989 Robin Penny, John Senior's middle son and a mining engineer, joined the company to develop the new CellarLift range of products that are now the industry standard for pub and restaurant deliveries.

The Company set up its own Sales and Marketing Department headed up by Richard Short, ex-Lucas service and now Sales Director.

A Service Department was also set up and in 2004, a second generation family member and logistics graduate Tim Penny joined to run this ever expanding unit.

The CellarLift was developed into a range of “goods lifts” then forming its own division.

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Sources of Information

  • [1]Penny Hydraulics