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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.

This week, the UK’s tallest bridge finally opens to public traffic more than 2,000 days after the first brick was laid back in September 2011. The new Queensferry Crossing will replace the Forth Road Bridge as the primary road link between Edinburgh and Fife, with approximately 500,000 vehicles due to cross each week. More than £1.35billion has been spent on the project, which has been described as “one of the worlds’ great bridges” by lead engineer [...]
Sykes Pumps are extremely pleased to be extending our long-term association with Ebbsfleet United following an extremely successful year for both parties. The Fleet enjoyed competing at the summit of the National League South and eventually secured promotion while Sykes Pumps recently announced a record-breaking capital investment following an extremely profitable 2016. Paul Wood, managing director at the company, said: “Following Ebbsfleet’s tremendous success on the pitch last season, we are extremely pleased to extend our [...]
Sykes Pumps are delighted to have reached another momentous landmark in the company’s longstanding history – our 160th anniversary! Initially founded as a localised engineering business in 1857, the firm has grown immeasurably over a period of more than a century and a half. Providing all types of pumping assistance to big customers both in the UK and further afield, we are now recognised as a multi-national organisation with the resources necessary to provide specialist solutions [...]
Last month, Ebbsfleet United secured promotion in the most dramatic fashion when they left it late to overturn a one-goal deficit against Chelmsford City. The victory meant Daryl McMahon’s side were finally elevated to the National League after suffering play-off heartache at the end of the previous campaign. Sykes Pumps have enjoyed a close commercial relationship with the club over the past few years and a number of staff members were at Stonebridge Road to witness [...]
We are extremely pleased to reveal our financial results for 2016 which underline another extremely prosperous year for the company. Figures show that total revenue was £65.4 million – an increase of £5.3 million – equating to 8.9% growth when compared with the previous twelve-month period. The increase had a more than proportionate impact on operating profit which increased by £2.6 million (19.7%) to £15.8 million in the year under review. This follows a 15.8% increase [...]

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