These presses were designed by Chester Hydraulics Ltd., and latterly, built in Gloucester.
Chester Hydraulics was a member of the Fielding & Platt International Ltd. group of companies, that was created in 1995 and operated under this name until the end of 1998. (The logo and nameplate is shown on the presses).
A booklet entitled ‘The Hydraulic Company Limited, Chester, a history of the first hundred years, written by Cyril Charles Harris in 1974, has been kindly donated to the Gloucestershire Archives by his son Brian, who wrote a foreword and arranged publication in 2019. The booklet makes references to Fielding & Platt and is now recorded in the online catalogue under D7338/16/1/8.
The order numbers for these presses were possibly Chester Hydraulic’s.
The last ‘Timken’ press of this type built in Gloucester was ordered in June 1999 (order 41-66260) at which time the company had been renamed MB Materials Handling Systems Ltd. (no image available).
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Ed: A note about Chester Hydraulics – a company originally known as H.E.Co. A recent publication has come to light “The Hydraulic Engineering Company of Chester, a History of the First Hundred Years.” This is a personal history compiled for the company’s centenary in 1974 by Cyril Charles Harris who joined the company in 1917 and rose to become Technical Director until his retirement in 1968, his son Kenneth becoming Managing Director and numerous members of his family employed by the company. Unfortunately, due to ill-health, his history was never published at the time and his son Brian inherited his manuscript upon the death of his father in 1979. He commissioned a book, comprising some 85 A5 pages, including a preface by the author written around 1974 and a foreword by his son, Brian, who kindly supplied the editor with a copy. It provides a fascinating insight into the strict hierarchy and disciplines that existed within an engineering company during the first half of the 20th century. (Ref. ISBN 978-1-5272-4174-9 First published 2019 by Brookmeadow Publishing).
When time permits, the editor’s copy will be deposited at the Gloucestershire Archives and a link will be provided here to its location. John B
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