As the Kimpton 60th birthday approaches, we’ve been digging through the history of the business and found this great article from the Liverpool Echo in 1984. It shows how consistently Innovative the business has always been, right back to its early days. Here’s the article in full.
Engineering Successes from Siberia to Bolivia
A mechanical services contractor, now well established ion Merseyside, E.A. Kimpton and Company of Parkside Road Birkenhead is celebrating its 21st anniversary.
The company was founded in 1963 to provide a service to the building industry and the original directors were Dick Costain, Joe Bird and Eric Kimpton who is now its Managing Director.
During those formative years, the work carried out was chiefly on domestic property. Orders were obtained by calling on people at home, during the evenings and the jobs were done during the day.
Commercial and industrial work eventually was obtained and the company began to expand.
The present directors in addition to Mr Eric Kimpton are his brother Allan and Mr. Tom Lindsey.
One of the first commercial properties to be heated by this company is owned by Unilever Group. And the contract for this came about in a rather unusual manner, recalls Mr. Eric Kimpton.
“We were cleaning out the drains of the lavatories at the company’s social club, one Sunday morning, when I was approached by one of the company’s engineers.
“He seemed impressed with our work and our chat lead to Kimpton being given a contract for a project his company had in hand.
Kimpton has been closely involved in the development of the potato crisp industry in this country and has installed environmental engineering in most of the large long-term potato stores and in many of the manufacturers production areas.
In 1977, Kimpton bought the air conditioning interest from Air industrie, the big international French organisation which bought in its train many and varied overseas contracts.
One interesting contract in this respect involved the ventilating of a textile mill in steaming hot Bolivia – “one of the worlds poorer countries but a fascinating place full of interest and intrigue” said Mr Kimpton.
In complete climatic contrast, the company also fulfilled a three-year contract in freezing Siberia.
This concerned the heating, ventilating and air conditioning in the pumping stations and control rooms along the Siberian section of the long gas pipeline, running from Siberia to East Germany.
The buildings, in which Kimpton has worked stretched from Chelyabinsk to Tyumen – the well head to the main feeder line.
When I was there, in January, 1979, the highest temperature was -23C and the lowest -48C, recalled Mr Brian Gale, a director of Kimpton air-conditioning.
During the period 1970-80, the largest single contract handled by the company was the plumbing and sanitary installation of the new Arrowe Park General Hospital.
We did the sanitary and domestic plumbing in the main hospital and heating and plumbing in the residential blocks, said Mr Kimpton.
Kimpton declares its good fortune in having an excellent staff.
Mr Kimpton said: “When we are working outside the area customers are often agreeably surprised by the meticulous work and efficiency produced by our Merseyside teams.”
Kimpton was responsible for the air-conditioning of the West Cheshire General Hospital, Chester. “Management contractors endeavour to ensure that contracts are completed on time and within the cost budget.” said Mr Kimpton. “While we were a relatively small company, handling a large part of the whole package, our contract was completed within the time and the cost. The air-conditioning functions were within close parameters for temperature humidity and noise, particularly in the areas of the operating suite.”
This advertisement from the same article really dates the piece.
We’re going to be uncovering much more of the history and talking to Eric Kimpton, who founded the business back in 1963 about some of his memories. It’s quite a story.