1945 The Beginning
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.
December 13th – Outline planning permission
Eton Rural District Council approve an application by Col Devereux to convert Holly House into Research Laboratories
June – Dr Philipp Gross appointed Chief Scientist
July 2nd – Official Opening
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
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
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
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.
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
Fulmer Components Limited
April 5th, Fulmer Components Limited (00844692) registered as a subsidiary company for future manufacturing activities.
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.
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
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
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.
June 24th & 25th – Open Days
Fulmer Research Institute celebrates its Silver Jubilee with open days on June 24th and 25th. More
May – Merger with Yarsley Research Laboratories
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.
May 6th Fire at Ashtead
A major fire at the Ashtead site destroyed much equipment and records.
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
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).
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.
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.
July 4th – Plastics processing moved to Redhill
The plastics processing section moved from Stoke Poges to the new site at Redhill.
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.
January 1st – Yarsley Technical Centre registered
The name Yarsley Technical Centre was registered for the Redhill site.
Ashtead Facilities Enhanced
The facilities for the manufacture of fluorochemical compounds were further enhanced at Ashtead by the installation of a 200-litre reaction vessel, which alongside the existing 100-litre vessel paved the way for production of larger quantities of these specialised chemical products.
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).
May 1st – 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.
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.
YTEC Awarded NATLAS Accreditation
YTEC awarded accreditation from the National Testing Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (NATLAS). The company also diversified into Quality Assurance consultancy and launched a product certification scheme Testguard. This was soon withdrawn so as to concentrate on QA consultancy and developing a QA certification scheme.
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
August – YQAF Established
YTEC established Yarsley Quality Assured Firms (YQAF) as an independent certification body, supported by the UK Department of Trade and Industry. YQAF assessed conformity to BS 5750 and certified conforming companies.
Yarsley Research Moved to Redhill
The. Yarsley Research department, consisting of the adhesives section, the analytical chemistry section (all of which had moved to Ashtead when the Yarsley Chessington site closed after the merger), and the operation involving the development and production of bespoke fluorochemical compounds, moved to Redhill.
New Trafford Building opened at Redhill
New 3,000 sq ft building was opened at Redhill and named the Trafford Building. This required highly chemical-resistant drainage to accommodate the forecast expansion of the facilities for the production of fluorochemical compounds. The building also provided much needed office space for the rapidly developing YQAF business.
Ashtead Lease Expired
Lease on the premises at Ashtead expired. They were returned to the local council.
June 4th – Fulmer Yarsley Registered
The new name for the Yarsley operation at Redhill registered as Fulmer Yarsley.
YQAF Gained NACCB Accreditation
YQAF incorporated and gained accreditation from the National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies (NACCB). This required that the certification service was overseen by an independent Certification Board under an independent chairman, thus ensuring that there was no conflict of interest with YQAF’s consultancy services.
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
YTEC – Shell Joint Venture Formed
A joint venture company was formed between YTEC and Shell Chemicals U.K., known as Yarsley Fluorochemicals Ltd. The JV continued to operate out of Redhill.
Shell acquires Yarsley Fluorochemicals Ltd
Shell acquire all the shares in Yarsley Fluorochemicals Ltd on payment of a substantial sum. The company is moved from Redhill.
November 2nd – SGS Aquire Fulmer Yarsley and YQAF
Fulmer Yarsley Ltd and Yarsley Quality Assured Firms Ltd acquired by SGS Inspection Services Ltd, which was the UK operating company of the Geneva-based SGS Group. The YQAF operation, (which included several regional offices around the country), remained under the control of the same personnel as previously, and continued to operate for the time being as an independent company using their original name. However, the Fulmer Yarsley Ltd part of the organisation immediately became SGS Yarsley Ltd, although it remained for some time at Redhill.
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.
SGS to Close Redhill Site
SGS announced their intention to close the Redhill site and transfer much of the work to other SGS sites in the UK.
SGS decided that they no longer wish to continue to provide testing and consultancy services to the building industry. A management buyout of this activity at Redhill was agreed and an independent company Building Investigation and Testing Services (BITS) established. After an interim period operating elsewhere in Redhill it returned to its original site.
1990 The End