Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Southern Areas Electric Corporation

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of 52 Coleman St, London EC2

1933 Public company incorporated with aim of acquiring the shares in other electricity supply undertakings, particularly the Sussex Electricity Supply Co Ltd whose then owners, W. H. Botsford and Co, thereby acquired almost half of the shares in the new company[1]. W. H. Botsford and Co held a controlling interest in Power Management Ltd[2]The electricity distribution company purchased electricity from the Central Electricity Board for sale to its customers.

1934 The company had been changing customers from direct current to alternating current which was supplied from the grid[3]. Also acquired Salcombe Gas and Electricity undertakings[4]

1935 Acquired Brentwood District Electric Co, Brentwood District Electric Installations, and some of the shares in Mawdsleys; Brentwood was developing as a dormitory area for London; the company planned to acquire the remainder of the shares in Mawdsleys by the end of 1936[5].

1935 The 4 subsidiary companies had been required to take services from Power Management Ltd; there was a struggle between vested interests and other shareholders which ended in a proposal to elect further directors to change the power balance on the board but the proposal was rejected; this would make it impossible for the company to raise further funds in the City[6]. An agreement was subsequently reached for ending these service contracts[7]

1936 Share issue. By this time had also acquired Seaton and District Electric Light Co Ltd and Leominster Electric Supply Co Ltd[8]

1939 Changes in bulk supply tariffs were having an effect on the profit of the electricity distribution business; had acquired another, small electrical manufacturing company and one involved in electric cables[9].

1945 Pre-empting the expected legislation to rationalise the electricity distribution industry, the company had exchanged its Brentwood shares for a similar number of shares in the County of London Electric Supply Co Ltd, and sold its Leominster shares to Worcestershire and Staffordshire Power Supply Co for cash. Had also been asked to acquire P. A. M. Ltd, makers of precision instruments of Guildford; had acquired controlling interest in Gillott Electro Steam Cookers Ltd, makers of a novel form of cooking as well as immersion heaters[10].

1946 Anticipating the effects of nationalisation of the electricity supply companies, the directors had been giving attention to development and expansion of the manufacturing subsidiaries[11]

1948 The electricity supply companies were nationalized.

1952 Manufacturing subsidiaries included Mawdsleys at Dursley and Honiton, Carrick Engineering of Stewarton, Ross, Courtney and Co, P. A. M. and Gillott; had closed the small factory at Sydenham; the plastics factory at Birmingham had sufferred from shortage of supplies; repair works at Exeter had been busy[12]

1953 Acquired Tyer and Co, makers of railway signalling equipment and automatic train control apparatus[13]. Other subsidiaries included R. M. P., Birmingham, a plastics factory; New Day Electrical Accessories, Globelite, which had repair works at Exeter; as well as Mawdsleys, P.A.M., Carrick, Ross Courtney and Gillott[14]

1957 Major expansion work had been completed at Mawdsleys; other subsidiaries included Ross, Courtney and Co, Carrick of Stewarton, P. A. M., Globelite of Exeter, Tyer, Gillott, New Day Electrical Accessories. Had transferred interests in Mono-Cam fuel injection pump to Simms Motor Units Ltd. Had developed new small washing machine[15]

1957 Acquired Designs and Installations[16]

1963 Adamant and Western Engineering acquired Southern Areas Electric Corporation[17]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times 18 May 1933
  2. The Times 21 September 1935
  3. The Times 5 May 1934
  4. The Times 30 May 1935
  5. The Times 20 May 1935
  6. The Times 21 September 1935
  7. The Times 11 May 1936
  8. The Times 8 June 1936
  9. The Times 1 May 1939
  10. The Times 22 May 1945
  11. The Times 29 June 1946
  12. The Times 29 May 1952
  13. The Times 21 June 1954
  14. The Times 22 June 1953
  15. The Times 20 June 1957
  16. The Times, December 2, 1957
  17. The Times 2 January 1963