Financial Crisis

By the early 1970s life had apparently become tough for the firm. The important of the horticultural and heating side of the business had diminished considerably and they had lost a significant part of the engineering income with F. J. Edwards Ltd., no longer a major customer.

It appears that the firm were moderately profitable up to 1969[1]. However, the double dip recession of 1973-5, caused by the oil crisis, inflation and strikes, together with the introduction of the three-day week, was ultimately fatal to the firm; as it was for many other manufacturing companies.

By August 1974[2], they were running an overdraft of £130,000[3]; less than a year later this had risen to £155,000[4]. Two years later, this had been reduced to around £120,000 but was costing the firm about £25,000 per year to service[5].

As a method of trying to counterbalance their financial problems, they looked to utilise spare capacity in their works by sub-letting parts of the factory space. They also unsuccessfully applied for planning permission to build a number of small industrial units on parts of the site that was not already in use.

By this time, the firm had essentially stopped manufacturing horticultural buildings and heating systems, describing themselves as engineers, fabricators, pattern makers and iron founders[6].

By 1978, the firm had two new Joint Managing Directors, Jack Kerry and John Talbot, who was also Company Secretary; together with F. G. M. (Derek) Burder. Jack Kerry joined the firm during the knitting machine enterprise, although it appears that Henry Billing left, following the failure.


References:

  1. Charnwood Borough Council Planning Application No: 78/2926/2.
  2. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE 2121/300.
  3. Today (2014) it is equivalent to about £1,150,000.
  4. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE 2121/300.
  5. Charnwood Borough Council Planning Application No: 78/2926/2.
  6. Charnwood Borough Council Planning Application No: 78/2926/2. <