E. E. Jeavons & Company Limited

In 1919 Mr. Ernest E. Jeavons went into business as a public works contractor. He was assisted by Mr. William Waite. In March 1920, along with Mr. Herbert W. Robinson, they founded a private limited company. Mr. Jeavons was Chairman and Managing Director, and the other two were Directors. Mr. J. H. Kemp was appointed as Company Secretary and they had a small yard next to the Three Furnaces pub, 8 Furnace Parade, on the corner of Wood Street. Next to the yard, which was about 25 yards square, was the blacksmith’s shop, the stores and some small wooden offices.

For the first ten years or so, the firm obtained orders for the laying of G.P.O. cable ducts, which was its main activity at this time. More complex jobs followed after completing a contract for Alcester Rural District Council for the Bidford drainage scheme. Other contracts included the supply and erection of large diameter circulating water pipes at Nechells, for Birmingham Corporation’s Electric Supply Department and a contract for the laying of pipes for the sewage disposal works at Wootton Bassett. The firm also received a large number of orders for the laying of low and high pressure gas mains throughout much of the country.

By 1922 the firm’s premises in Furnace Parade was too small to cope with the growing business and so land in Lower Church Lane was purchased from the South Staffordshire Mond Gas Company. New offices and factory premises were built on the site, by the company’s own staff.

An advert from 1947.

In 1923 the firm extended its business interests by acquiring a half share in the Pyx Granite Quarries at Malvern and by obtaining rights to quarry cold blast slag on land owned by the LMS railway at Great Bridge and Netherton. Much of the slag was used to manufacture tarmac in a purpose-built plant at Netherton. Three years later the firm acquired land at Wombourne and built plant there for the production of crushed gravel and concrete sand for its tar spraying contracts and its civil engineering work. The firm also manufactured its Compactum Asphalte on the Wombourne site.

In 1930 the company began to manufacture gas pressure regulators and governors. This part of the business was run by Mr. H. E. Shaw,  Director and Manager, and Mr. Malcolm Jeavons, Technical Director.

The works were extended to house the new manufacturing plant and the workforce was greatly extended. The new division also manufactured compression joints for copper, plastic and stainless steel tubes.

The firm became a public company in 1956 and by 1961 the gas pressure and governors division employed 124 people.

Mr. Ernest E. Jeavons died on the 14th March 1968.

In the late 1960s the company acquired freehold premises at Stoke-on-Trent and at Reading for the management of local pipe-laying, and plant maintenance contracts.

The company also carried out work on railway sidings, sewage works, bridge building and canal wharves.

Around 1983 the firm was taken over by Newman Tonks, which was in turn taken over by Ingersoll Rand in 1997.

The Times, 26th July, 1968.

The Gazette. 18th August, 1999. Jeavons in liquidation.

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