1945 The Beginning

1945

October 12th

1945

October 26th – A New Light Metal Group

Colonel W. C. Devereux, F .R.Ae.S., incorporates Almin, Ltd. (Associated. Light Metal Industrtes), in order to implement his plans for the scientific development and extended application of light metals and their alloys. As the life centre of the group will be a research institute devoted to the metallurgy of the light alloys and kindred studies for the service, not only of the Almin group, but of anyone who wishes to avail himself of its resources. Mr E A G Liddiard MA agrees to help set up the new research institute.                                                                                                                    .            The institute is to be located in Holly House but to start with new recruits work at what will became known as ‘The Hut’.  A temporary home located at 2  Buckingham Avenue in Slough, the site of Structural and Mechanical Development Engineers, a member of the Almin Group.

1945

December 13th – Outline planning permission

Eton Rural District Council approve an application by Col Devereux to convert Holly House into Research Laboratories

1946

February 7th – Fulmer Research Institute Incorporated

The Fulmer Research Institute Limited is incorporated with Mr E A G Liddiard as its first Director of Research.

 

1946

June – Dr Philipp Gross appointed Chief Scientist

 

Dr Philipp Gross

1947

July 2nd – Official Opening

Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, opened the £50,000 Fulmer Research institute at Holly Hill, Fulmer, formerly an Edwardian country mansion.

The Institute, first of its kind in the country, will act as a Brains Trust to industries anxious to translate scientific discoveries into practical industrial processes. More

1950

September 20th – First Patent – GB643422

Fulmer Research together with E. S. Lower granted a patent for ‘Improvements in the processing of wool wax alcohols and products derived therefrom’. More

1952

September 30th – Open Day – Plaque Unveiled

Sir Archibald Rowlands, G.C.B., Permanent Secretary, M.o.S., unveiled a memorial plaque to the founder of the Institute, the late Col. W. C. Devereux, C.B.E.

The occasion was an “open day” on which visitors were conducted round the laboratories. More

1954

November 2nd – New Laboratory

New engineering laboratories at Stoke Poges opened by Duke of Edinburgh

1961

Almin Acquired by Imperial Aluminium Company

In 1961 Almin Ltd, was acquired by Imperial Aluminium Company, a joint operation of Alcoa in the USA and Imperial Metal Industries (then part of ICI). As a result the Fulmer Research Institute became a constituent part of a much larger company.

1965

January – Fulmer Research Aquired by IOP

With uncertainties over its future it was decided in 1964 to put the institute up for sale. It occurred to the chairman of Imperial Aluminium, Dr James Taylor (who was also Honorary Treasurer of the Institute of Physics) that Fulmer could be owned by the Institute of Physics and the Physical Society.  The IOP would then become the first learned society to have a research company doing research projects on a commercial industrial basis. More

1965

Fulmer Components Limited

April 5th, Fulmer Components Limited (00844692) registered as a subsidiary company for future manufacturing activities.

1966

April 1st – Aeon Expertise (Mike Dewey)

Fulmer strengthened its expertise, particularly in electron metallography, by recruiting several key staff who transferred from Aeon Laboratories of Egham, Surrey.

1966

30th September – Open Day

On September 30th the Institute celebrated its 20th anniversary with the opening by Sir Paul Chambers, the Chairman of ICI Ltd, of a new laboratory adding 6,000 sqft to the 40,000 sqft that were available previously. More

 

 

1968

April – First Fulmer Newsletter

1969

May 31st – Mr Liddiard retires

At the end of May 1969, Mr E.A.G. Liddiard, FInstP, retired from the post of Director of Research of the Fulmer Research Institute, which he had held for 23 years. More

1969

June 4th – Dr Duckworth Appointed

Dr. W. E. Duckworth, M.A., Ph.D., F.I.M., F.I.S., takes over as chief executive.

1970

April – Fulmer Technical Services Set-up

The Fulmer Research Institute has formed a Technical Services Unit to provide a testing and consultancy service to industry. Services that are available include all forms of mechanical testing, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, wet and spectrographic analysis, and the manufacture of special alloys and equipment. Management services such as literature surveys, project planning and evaluation, cost-benefit analyses and aids to company diversification are also provided.

1971

June 24th & 25th – Open Days

Fulmer Research Institute celebrates its Silver Jubilee with open days on June 24th and 25th. More

1973

May – Merger with Yarsley Research Laboratories

Fulmer merged with Yarsley Research Laboratories and thus greatly expanded its base for contract research.
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Yarsley’s skills primarily relate to polymers and their applications and therefore complements the existing capabilities of Fulmer, making Fulmer Yarsley one of the leading contract research organizations in materials and their uses.

1973

October – Aeon Laboratories Acquired

Fulmer purchased the engineering activities of Aeon Laboratories threatened with closure by the liquidation of its parent company, W Wittley. Aeon’s engineering work focussed on the manufacture of ancillary equipment for electron microscopes and for computers.

1974

October – Fulmer Materials Optimizer Launched

Published by the Fulmer Research Institute in 1974 ‘The Fulmer Materials Optimizer’ was a tool for design engineers to guide the selection of materials and manufacturing methods that would fulfil the design functions of an engineering component and permit economic manufacture. More

 

1975

March – Fulmer purchased the company Independent Plastics Engineering Centre Ltd.

The acquisition of this company, which was based in Newhaven, Sussex, strengthened Yarsley’s plastics processing capability, particularly in injection moulding. The Newhaven activities were combined with Yarsley’s own plastics processing operation to form a new company: Yarsley Polymer Engineering Centre (YPEC).

1975

May – AICRO – Association of Independent Contract Research Organisations

Together with six other independent contract research companies – laboratories that earn their keep by selling R & D services to outside customers – have banded together to form a trade association. “so that our case does not go by default when competing for government and industrial research contracts along with big government laboratories or Research Associations.”

The new group, known as the Association of Independent Contract Research Organisations (AICRO), had a combined turnover last year in excess of £13 million in contract fees and exported no less than £4 million worth of their services abroad.

The basic rules for AICRO membership seem to be, first, that the contract research company concerned must be British; next that it be independent (not even quasi-government or university owned institutions appear to be eligible); that it should have a minimum staff of around 150 persons and a turnover in excess of £500 000.

The founding AICRO members are the Fulmer Research Institute, Huntingdon Research Centre, Inveresk Research International, Ricardo Consulting Engineers, Robertson Research International, International Research and Development and the Electrical Research Association.

1977

March – Redhill Site Acquired

Another large site at Redhill in Surrey acquired, which would enable the Yarsley staff who had transferred to Stoke Poges to return to an area close to their original roots. The Newhaven staff agreed to commute to Redhill, so that the polymer research and development activities were now all together on one site. Also, the Redhill site was large enough to allow Yarsley Testing Laboratories staff and facilities from Ashtead to be accommodated, so that ultimately the Ashtead site could be closed down.

1977

July – Plastics processing moved to Redhill

The plastics processing section moved from Stoke Poges to the new site at Redhill.

1977

October – YPEC personnel moved to Redhill

YPEC personnel from Newhaven moved into the Redhill site with all their injection moulding equipment, as well as their other work which involved the supply of ancillary equipment, and the manufacture of temperature control equipment for moulding work.

1979

November – Redhill Open Day

Open Days were held at Redhill, and included the formal opening of the new and expanded fire testing laboratories, after being transferred from Ashtead. The opening ceremony was carried out by Dr Ivor Dunstan, Chief Executive of the Building Research Establishment. Of necessity the transfer of the Ashtead staff and facilities had taken place over a period of several years. In 1979 the Redhill site embraced a very wide range of activities, namely polymer engineering, consultancy, physical, mechanical, electrical, thermal and analytical testing, as well as fire testing and building investigations, all under a new company name, Yarsley Technical Centre, (YTEC).

1981

June – Yarsley 50th Anniversary

The 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Yarsley organisation by Dr Yarsley was celebrated with a dinner at a local hotel. The event included a production of “This is Your Life” for Dr Yarsley.

1982

January 19th – Fulmer Singapore Registered

Fulmer Research and Development (Singapore) Pte Limited was registered, No.198200254C, a joint venture between Fulmer with Singapore-based  Chemical Laboratories Pte Ltd.

A senior polymer technologist was seconded from Fulmer’s Yarsley subsidiary to manage the operation in Singapore. After 1 year he was replaced by a senior metallurgist from Fulmer Research Laboratories.

1985

January 30th – Fulmer South Africa Registered

The South Africa office, set up in Johannesburg in 1984, registered as Fulmer Research (SA) Pty Limited.  Registration number 1985/000457/07

1987

August – South Africa operation causes concern

Physics Bulletin, 38                                                                                                                 .

Fulmer and Africa
It is likely that a great many members will be strongly opposed to Fulmer operating in South Africa. More

1990

November 30th – The Fulmer Research Institute comes to an End

After the sale of Yarsley to SGS and the manufacturing unit in Slough to Sintek, the Fulmer activities in Stoke Poges were merged with British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association at Wantage Oxfordshire.  The Fulmer Research Institute created 45 years earlier had come to an end.

1990 The End