160 Years of Sykes Pumps

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.

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.

Timeline

Blog Live Feed

Independent festival in Hampshire seeks help from Sykes Pumps

Independent festival in Hampshire seeks help from Sykes Pumps

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. ...

Download Case Study
Sykes installs over-pump arrangement to facilitate vital repair works

Sykes installs over-pump arrangement to facilitate vital repair works

Sykes’ pump hire experts were recently called into action after a building contractor got in touch looking for a solution to assist them with a culvert repair. Our client specifically required us to over-pump a subsidiary of the River Rother in West Sussex, so that water could bypass the section needing attention. The customer was ...

Wiltshire-based demolition contractor requires pumps for dust suppression

Wiltshire-based demolition contractor requires pumps for dust suppression

Although perhaps most commonly associated with irrigation, water transfer and sewage movement, pumps can also be used on other specialist assignments including dust suppression applications. In such scenarios, liquid can prove particularly effective in capturing airborne particles and cause them to fall downwards rather than disperse into the open air. A leading demolition contractor recently ...

Quarry operatives approach Sykes for groundwater removal

Quarry operatives approach Sykes for groundwater removal

Quarrying and mineral extraction have been integral to the evolution of humans for thousands of years, with stone, sand and gravel still commonly used on construction projects to this day. And while methods have evolved with time, the basic principles still remain. One of the biggest challenges quarries and mines face is the presence of ...

Download Case Study
Sedgefield depot investment helps streamline our pump hire services for local customers

Sedgefield depot investment helps streamline our pump hire services for local customers

We are delighted to announce that some significant improvements have been made to our Sedgefield depot, and as such, we are confident that our many clients in the North East will feel the benefits of an enhanced level of service going forward. Like any successful organisation, we fully recognise the value of the people who ...

Cosmetics manufacturer seeks electric submersible pump replacement

Cosmetics manufacturer seeks electric submersible pump replacement

As the UK’s leading specialist supplier of bespoke pump solutions, we are used to devising complex arrangements that have been uniquely tailored to suit the niche requirements of customers. On some occasions, however, a straightforward replacement will more than suffice in instances where essential upgrades or maintenance work is being carried out. Earlier in the ...

Over-pumping system facilitates development of major Lancashire hospital

Over-pumping system facilitates development of major Lancashire hospital

The £13m expansion of Blackpool Victoria Hospital is seen as a critical step in addressing their emergency department’s soaring patient numbers, with plans signed off and the project already underway. A contractor has been appointed to build the new facility, which will be constructed adjacent to the former emergency and urgent care units. The three-storey ...

Download Case Study
Sykes delivers drain down solution to assist pipework upgrade

Sykes delivers drain down solution to assist pipework upgrade

Before conducting any repairs or upgrades on a pipework system, it is essential that the sections affected are drained properly ahead of work commencing. In most cases, a specialist pumping solution will be required to oversee this process – which is where we come in. A well-known utility contractor was recently responsible for upgrading a ...

Download Case Study
Andrews Sykes ramps up investment in Scottish operations

Andrews Sykes ramps up investment in Scottish operations

Following a growing demand for our services across North Scotland and the Highlands, we are delighted to commit to a significant financial investment to further enhance our operations throughout the territory. In recent years, Andrews Sykes has worked closely with companies immersed in Aberdeen’s major industries – oil, offshore and construction – and this has ...

Sykes conducts pipe flushing for new biomass heating system

Sykes conducts pipe flushing for new biomass heating system

The Government’s lauded Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has prompted many businesses to switch to more sustainable heat sources, with biomass allowing up to 90% of combusted fuel to be converted into useable heat. Effectively, fuel is fed into a boiler and burnt at high temperatures to product thermal energy, before being transferred to a heat ...

Press Cuttings

Construction News
CPN
Construction News

Gallery

Andrews Sykes
FREEPHONE0800 211 611