A FAMILY firm in Huddersfield is celebrating 50 years at the cutting edge of technology.
Pennine Radio, based at Fitzwilliam Street, has manufactured a wide variety of electronic products since father and son Ralph and Gerald Taylor bought the business in 1958.
The company was established in 1936 as Pennine Amplifiers, but was renamed when the Taylors acquired the business with the intention of manufacturing radios, car radios, record players and televisions.
Within 18 months, the new owners recognised that competition from the Far East would hit their trade.
So they switched their expertise in electronic design and development, light assembly work and engineering, coil winding for transformers, sheet metal work, and spray painting into making electro-mechanical devices for the textile industry.
The company’s first products were weft-warp stop motions for textile looms – followed by many automatic and semi-automatic devices.
The firm began to specialise in making one-off machines to solve specific manufacturing problems.
Gerald Taylor, now chairman of the company, said: “As production increased, more investment was made into equipment such as computer-controlled winding machines, punching and bending machines, pipe bending equipment and a powder coating plant.”
Some 18 years ago, the firm got the chance to quote for manufacturing three-wheeled single-seat ride-on golf carts as a sub-contractor. When the firm placing the contract collapsed four year later, Pennine Radio chose to improve the product, manufacture and market it themselves.
Said Gerald: “Since then, we have pursued a policy of development and have also increased our range from the three-wheeled Pennine Driver to the four-wheeled Pennine Fore as well as developing two different power versions. These have become a production standard.”
In addition, Pennine Radio supplies electronic circuits, builds computers, winds transformers and provides sheet metalwork and powder coating services to a wide variety of customers.
Now the company is headed by Gerald Taylor and his son James, who is managing director.
Gerald said: “In its 50th year in business, it is still a family company with the intention of continuing to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.”