Stratford firm that's been engineering for 100 years
A LONG-STANDING engineering firm is celebrating being based in Stratford for a century.
October marked 100 years of Wright Engineering Company Ltd in the town, with staff and customers set to celebrate this milestone at the Crowne Plaza on Friday, 5th November.
Despite all the challenges faced through the pandemic, the Masons Road-based firm has tackled these issues head on to keep going.
Company secretary Kathryn Milward said: “During the pandemic we managed to keep working through by making changes in new working practises, making sure we were all tested regularly and running staggered shift patterns.”
As well as its centenary, the firm has another reason to celebrate.
Kathryn added: “We are also celebrating Robert Wright’s 60th year of working at the company and currently we have 11 employees who have been with the company for over 20 years, a number of those straight from school.”
Wright Engineering was founded by Walter Wright, a former publican’s son brought up at The Rose and Crown on Sheep Street. Joining him in the business was his son Norman and then, upon the death of Walter, his other son Cecil joined the firm.
After a time in Ely Street and then Windsor Street, Wright Engineering moved in 1929 to Mulberry Street. Fifty years later, under the guidance of directors David and Robert Wright, the land on Masons Road was leased and the current factory was built, which the company moved into in 1980.
During the early years Wright Engineering concentrated on work for local farmers and companies. With the arrival of the Second World War there came contracts from war production departments for parts machined to go into Lancaster, Stirling and Mosquito aircraft.
Kathryn added: “We also machined tank parts and produced fittings for a device designed to check the weight of individual bullets as they passed at 70 rounds per minute.”
The firm was also called into action to engineer a part for Lord Snowdon’s camera. A piece had failed while the Queen’s former brother-in-law was involved in a shoot at the RSC.
Many changes came after the war and the company put its knowledge to use in the production of hydraulic equipment for earth moving and mining.
With mining production moving abroad in the early 1980s, Wright Engineering diversified again into the production of petrochemical fittings, supplying parts to Berry Technologies, PFS Fueltec Ltd, WEC Leeds Ltd, Kiowa Ltd and Park Hose Ltd to name a few.
Following the passing of David Wright in 2001, his son and daughter, Paul Wright and Kathryn Milward, are guiding the company into the future.
A fifth generation family member in Tom Milward, who is also the assistant manager at FC Stratford, works at the company.