If known at all, the firm of Messenger & Co., Ltd. is probably best known for their horticultural buildings; however, the firm had a much broader base, they were also heating engineers, iron founders, general engineers, boiler makers, even venturing into boat building and rotary knitting machine manufacture.

As the title indicates, the content is mainly concerned with what the firm achieved with the town of Loughborough. With one or two exceptions, it does not review in any detail work undertaken by the firm outside the town; neither does it describe the technicalities of any of their horticulture designs, heating systems or other products except where required for clarity. Only passing reference is made to their various London offices and the historical impact of any of its London-based managers. The history of the firm, prior to 1875, when under the management of Thomas Messenger, is also excluded.

This website is divided into five top-level sections:

1. History

Briefly covers the history of the firm from its inception in 1875 until its demise in 1980, covering:- 

2. Products

A brief description of some of the firm’s products including:

3. Clients

Discusses, by way of a numerous examples, the type of work that the firm undertook

It also provides a list of customer sites for England, Isle of Man, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.

4. Employees

5. Arora

Describes the history of the Arora Company, a subsidiary of Messenger & Co., Ltd., which manufactured electric stoves and fires.


The firm recorded their orders and estimates in Contract Books, which were maintained up until at least the late 1950’s. Whilst not all of these books still exist, there are sufficient other formal records, including plan and contract books, boiler order books, customer correspondence files, plans, etc., to obtain an understanding of their products, customers and their requirements upto around the late 1950’s. The exceptions include most of the 1880’s, 1890’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, where very few records exist.

These records are held in three locations:

1 The Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office, Long Street, Wigston Magna, Leicestershire, LE18 2AH. These holdings cover the more formal company records, correspondence between the firm and their customers or potential customers mainly relating to Leicestershire and Rutland. They also hold a relatively few number of plans.
2 The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, Redlands Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5EX. The holdings are entirely correspondence records covering the rest of the UK and overseas. These records were deposited by The Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office.
3 A large number of customer correspondences and internal works records which have been held privately. However, at the beginning of 2017 they were deposited at the Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office. These records are referred to as being privately held.