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When Henry Sykes traded Sheffield for London to found a small engineering business on Upper Thames Street, few could have envisaged the company’s status today.

By 1900, Sykes’ organisation had already worked on some of the city’s highest profile pumping schemes. Business headquarters were transferred to Southwark, coinciding with the introduction of several new innovations that became synonymous with the name Henry Sykes.

Prior to the 20th century, his prospering firm was registered as a Private Limited Company under the stewardship of Henry Sykes Jr.

The First World War unsurprisingly had the potential to be a destabilising time for the company – particularly as many employees had been conscripted. Amazingly, some of the remaining workmen helped design and construct special rolling-friction winches which allowed Allied forces to pinpoint enemy locations!

The interwar period saw the acquisition of 51 acres of Greenwich marshland, adjoining the Woolwich Road at Charlton. Even now – 90 years on – Sykes retain an extremely strong presence in the area, which is where our flagship depot is based.

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Stakeholder and long-term staff member Edmond Jackson died the year the Second World War broke out, but was recognised as the inventor of several revolutionary machines during an association that exceeded four decades.

Once again, Sykes played a significant role during the ensuing six years of international conflict – this time by assisting the construction of steel masts that would house radar installations for British Army intelligence.

Even more remarkably, however, was the rapidity with which pumps were supplied after MOD units failed. Without them, the Mulberry Harbours (widely considered one of the World War II’s greatest engineering accomplishments) would undoubtedly have sunk.

1957 marked the company’s centenary year and it was also around this time that another major development – the ‘Univac’ pump – was introduced to market. Many generations of the Univac product have since been developed with the current adaptation still prominently available.

Fifteen years on, and with the company still going from strength to strength, Sykes unveiled our first submersible pumps.

Domestic growth prompted expansion overseas, with Sykes venturing to the Middle East by the mid-1970s. Following two unconnected procurements, the Braithwaite Group merged Henry Sykes Ltd with the well-established Andrews Heat for Hire to form what we know today as Andrews Sykes.

The company’s reputation has continued to flourish, and in the last twenty years Sykes Pumps have been responsible for an incredible number of huge developments both in the UK and abroad.

It remains to be seen exactly what the future may hold for the organisation but maintaining a steady level of progress and expanding our international presence remain two constant targets.

When a music festival in Winchester required a solution for a complicated waterfall flow, Sykes Pumps Hire were approached to solve the issue and ensure festival goers could witness a unique attraction operating as planned. The festival’s main stage was redesigned four months before the opening date but the waterfall stations were not yet functional. Our engineers conducted a free site survey to determine the most adequate equipment for an ongoing issue that other companies had [...]
Sykes Pumps were recently drafted in to provide a short-term pumping equipment to help overcome a burst combined sewer in Beckton, east London. It was therefore imperative that a swift pump hire solution was commissioned as soon as possible to over-pump the waste water back into the sewer system. Soon after receiving the call, one of our engineers visited the site to conduct a free survey before recommending the best pump arrangement for their application. It [...]
When a well-known water sports company sought a pump hire arrangement to replace their existing pump while repairs were being carried out, our experts were on hand to provide them with bespoke pump rental solution. The customer in question is a renowned water sports company who host water-related events and activities on their private lagoon. The client’s lagoon is required to be constantly refilled with water from the sea nearby due to natural seepage, preventing water [...]
We are very pleased to announce an extension of our commercial agreement with Ebbsfleet United, after several years of working closely together. The Fleet were extremely unfortunate to miss out on promotion to League Two last season, after a fantastic debut campaign in the National League yielded an impressive play-off finish. We’re very happy to continue a lengthy association with the club and have enjoyed being part of a remarkable success story featuring both parties. Paul [...]
It has been an incredible year for Sykes Pumps, with the company going all-out to celebrate our 160th anniversary of continuous operation. A maiden appearance at Hillhead 2018 towards the end of June brought the curtain down on a continued effort to mark a significant milestone in our history. To commemorate this landmark, our marketing team delved into the archives to broaden our knowledge of the company’s extensive history. This led to a lot of previously [...]

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