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British Industrial History

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Watsham's Ltd, electrical contractors, of London and of Reading

Responsible for installation of high voltage transmission lines

1920 Norman D. Watsham, engineer, and Watshams, wholesale electrical supplies, were both at 33 King St, London WC2[1]

1921 The business address of Norman D. Watsham was in Howard House, Strand, London[2]

1922 Watshams won an order from Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co for 2 types of crystal set and a valve receiver[3]; the order for crystal sets was sub-contracted to Plessey Co. This was the start of Plessey’s diversification into radio and electronic manufacturing.

1924 Norman D. Watsham, engineer, and Watshams, electrical engineers, were at 33 King St[4]

1926 Norman D. Watsham, engineer, and Watshams, electrical engineers, were at 33 King St[5]

1928 Watshams Ltd, Victoria St, London[6]

1930 Watshams Ltd, contractors, of Luton

1932 Engineers of 38 Arthur Street, Greenock[7]

1959 Specialists in erecting overhead transmission lines. Had experienced some reduction in business[8]

1960s - Contractor to the Post Office for radio towers and masts.

1965 Contractors, of Old Brick Works, Pinden End[9]; of Lynemouth, Newcastle upon Tyne;

Watsham’s diversified and then changed direction during the 1970s and 1980s, focussing on instrument making rather than electrical engineering and related structures.

The successor company to Watsham’s Limited is Solvera PLC (via Watsham’s PLC, Optical and Medical International PLC and OMI International PLC)[10]

c1977 Mr D S Watsham retired, age 70. The business continued to manufacture “transmission and telecommunications towers”. However the section which erected the towers had been sold to Hawker Siddeley Power Engineering.

1983 of Grosvenor St, London W1[11]

1985 Subsidiary Lontec acquired Drayton Technical Services[12]

1986 Watshams, "the specialised instrument maker", had a successful rights issue[13]

1987 Most recent results reported in The Times

1990 Watshams Electro-Optics were located in Clwyd[14]

The Company (then as Solvera PLC) went into administration early in 1999 and was finally dissolved in 2007 – only to be restored to the register of companies in 2013 due to a Court Order.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. UK Phone Books
  2. UK City and Country Directory
  3. Private communication from Noel Clark
  4. UK Phone Books
  5. UK Phone Books
  6. British Phone Books
  7. British Phone Books
  8. The Times, Aug 12, 1959
  9. Outer London NW Kent Phone book
  11. London Phone Book
  12. The Times May 31, 1985
  13. The Times, March 06, 1986
  14. The Times January 29, 1990