Company History

Whippendell Marine can trace its history back over 100 years to the early days of electro-mechanical technology.

Over the years the Company has been an innovator of products for the controls industry and its equipment and systems can be found in a broad range of industrial applications across the globe.

Today Whippendell Marine can draw on its vast experience in electrical engineering and continues to employ the latest technology in its solutions.

  • 1900

    Thomas Kesnor & Co Ltd., founded in Fulham, London

  • 1905

    The Company specialises in the design and manufacture of electo-mechanical control equipment, such as the Kesnor Patent Elevator Controller, as well as manufacturing equipment for The British Tabulating Machine Company Limited.

  • 1911

    The Company moves to its current purpose built site on Whippendell Road, Watford

  • 1916

    The Company changes its name to the Watford Electric & Manufacturing Company Limited as a consequences of its concentration on Automatic Switchgear.

  • 1930s

    The 1930's saw the Company grow rapidly with the development of many patented devices for motor starters, such as the Eddy Drag Retarding Device. In 1936 it became a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

  • 1939

    During WWII the Company's output was concentrated on manufacturing for the armed forces, including electrical assemblies for the de Havilland Mosquito, and control gear for the Royal Navy, the foundation of today's business.

  • 1950s

    Throughout the 1950s the Company was active in many areas of industry, and in particular was building large switchboards and motor control centres for the power generation and water treatment industries.

  • 1960s

    During the 1960's the Company developed a range of modern contactors and fuse switches, as well as its shockproof MCA contactor range for use in Naval Applications. These components are still in use today across a wide range of industries and in the most demanding Naval Applications.

  • 1967

    In 1967 the Company was bought by Harvey Hubbell Inc. of the United States for it's range of standard control products such as the UCA contactors and the UFS fuse switches.

  • 1975

    1975 saw a management buyout of the systems business and the creation of Whippendell Electrical Manufacturing Company (Watford) Ltd (WEMCO). The new Company continued to supply a broad range of industries but with a special emphasis on Naval and Mercantile Marine applications.

  • 1980s

    During the 1980's the focus of the business switched more to Naval and Marine applications and the Company won major contracts on the Trafalgar Class and Vanguard Class nuclear submarine programmes.

  • 1999

    With business expanding, the Company acquired The Electrical Apparatus Company (UK) Ltd., which helped expand its portfolio into embarked aviation ground power systems.

  • 2000

    Development of the latest ground power control system was completed and the Company was awarded a contract from the UK MoD to supply a capability upgrade to HMS Invincible. 2 years later a further system was awarded for HMS Illustrious.

  • 2004

    The Acquisition of RAMAC Engineering Ltd., in 2004, confirmed the Company's position as the leading supplier of aviation ground power systems to the UK Royal Navy and one of the world leaders in the field. Further contracts were awarded for the supply of the aviation ground power system to the Type 45 AAWD and a capability upgrade to the Type 23 frigates.

  • 2005

    The Electrical Apparatus Company is renamed Whippendell Marine and the naval and marine operations of all the businesses are brought under one company.

  • 2010s

    The Company expands its support business and is awarded a contract to support aviation ground power systems across the UK RN and RFA fleet. Work also continues for the Astute Class submarines and in 2013 Whippendell Marine is selected to design and supply the aviation system for the new MARS fleet tankers.

  • 2015

    Whippendell Marine is awarded Supplier of the Year by BAE Systems Marine Submarine Solutions for its work on the Astute programme.

  • 2019

    After 107 years in Watford Whippendell Marine moves to new premises in Milton Keynes, providing a modern manufacturing facility within a greener environment and more secure building.