The new Wadkin factory and showroom together with the latest engineers fleet, designed to put service support where it belongs – close to the customers.
A view of the London Street premises in Leicester in 1904, containing the latest woodworking machines.
Wadkin were the first manufacturers to focus on developing a service back up.
The Wadkin story stretches over ten decades and was established in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and has become to date one of the most successful manufacturers of woodworking machines in the world. The company originally had 16 subsidiary companies and divisions employing over 1800 people. Wadkin is now situated in Nottingham, under the new ownership of A L Dalton Ltd - a superb state of the art facility in which an unrivalled offering of machine viewing and live demonstrations across stock machinery takes place, a highly skilled technical and sales team on hand to offer support and advice on every aspect of Wadkin is on offer every day.
- In 1897 John Wadkin founded the company alongside his brother in law Mr W Jarvis. The company was formed following an idea to invent a machine that would be so versatile that it could carry out operations that were originally done by hand. John Wadkin titled this machine, "a pattern milling machine" The partnership was not successful and Mr Wadkin eventually left the company. Mr Jarvis then acquired the help of Mr Wallis Goddard with the intention to expand the business.
- Mr Jarvis became acquainted with a Greek gentleman by the name of Ionades who invented an advanced carburettor. General Motors in the US confirmed that they were interested and invited Mr Jarvis for a meeting to discuss, which led to Mr Jarvis booking a place on the Titanic as a means of travel and the disastrous result that he went down with the ill-fated liner.
- This left Mr Wallis Goddard with a business in Leicester and no-one to run it. Luckily he had a son that took charge and this continued until 1927 when Mr J Wallace passed away.
- The 1914-1918 war saw the Government ask Wadkin for help to develop a machine that could turn out wooden propellers for the R.A.F. at a high-speed rate. After the war the demand for woodworking machinery was at a tremendous upsurge.
- In the 1920's the development of the integral electric drive led to the introduction of more efficient types of woodworking machines. Wadkin pioneered high production machines that operated at much higher speeds than before and had better finished woodwork.
- Throughout the 1930's Wadkin extended their range and entered the high technology market and began making larger, high production woodworking machines such as moulders and double ender machines.
- The first Wadkin numerically controlled machine was produced in 1956 and the machine proved to be successful and generated much interest from the industry.
- From the 1990's Wadkin recognised the need to develop back up service support to its machine customers, and developed a nationwide network of engineers in developing its customer response team, which still stands today offering support 365 days a year.
- Since this, Wadkin have been at the forefront of development and have been named the first British business to be accredited as a learning company by UK Woodchain.
- In 2010 following the liquidation of Wadkin Limited, the intellectual propert rights were purchased by Nottingham based woodworking machinery distributors and manufacturers A L Dalton Ltd. This move brought together two long established woodworking machinery suppliers who have traded with each other for over 50 years and accumulated over 200 years experience in the industry between them.
- Today Wadkin continues to offer woodworking machines and specalist services to the woodworking sector from its new home in Nottingham, including new machine manufacture, spare parts, tooling and training.