This page was added in December 2017, and last updated in April 2018. While not strictly within the scope of this website, we have attempted to provide some information on events relating to Newall since the closure of the Newall Machine Tool businesses in the late 1980s. The information given here is our understanding of these events based on comments from ex-employees of the companies referred to below, and information from Companies House. If you are aware of any errors, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll make corrections as appropriate. Similar information for the OMT business can be found on the OMT (General) Page.
After leaving Newall in 1973, James Player set up a new company called ‘Special Order Spares Limited’. This company operated from premises in Ryhall (near Stamford, Peterborough), and offered a grinder rebuild service. The first premises were on Ryhall Road but moved later to Foundry Road in the village itself, although this site has now become a housing estate. As the company expanded, a number of ex-Newall staff joined the company together with James Player’s son, Justin.
Following the closure of the Peterborough operations in 1988, the Keighley Grinders business continued to operate for another nine years, finally closing in November 1997. During that nine year period, the company concentrated on developing and marketing its own range of grinders. The Newall range of machines was not further developed or marketed, and it is thought that this may have been due to the costs involved in redesigning the products to meet the requirement to produce ‘clean’ machines for the modern factory environment. This, together with competitive market pressures and low profitability, led to the eventual demise of the Keighley Grinders business, with B Elliott moving the machine build elsewhere in the group, or selling the design/manufacturing rights to other companies.
Since being formed, the company set up earlier by James Player had changed its name to ‘S.O.S. Tech Limited’, and was now being run by Justin Player. In the mid/late 1990s, SOS Tech acquired the manufacturing rights for a range of the Keighley Grinders products which included the blade tip grinders, and some former Keighley employees joined SOS Tech. The resulting requirement for more production space caused SOS Tech to move to larger premises in Padholme Road, Peterborough in 1997. (Coincidently, these new premises had previously been the Newall No.3 factory.) About the same time, the company was renamed ‘SOS Newall Limited’.
Over the next few years, this company saw several changes of management and name (including Newall Engineering Company Ltd) and at some point Justin sold the company to venture capitalists under the name Newall International Ltd. They embarked on an over-ambitious expansion programme and the company went into receivership.
A ‘Staff briefing – May 2001‘ document (a two page note to all staff of the Newall Engineering Company Limited) gives brief details of an agreement for the take over of Newall International by Roger Willems of Penn Fabrication and Robert Schofield.
We believe that shortly after that, the company again came under the ownership of Justin Player, before eventually (in 2003) becoming part of the Danobat Group and moving to new premises in Ocean House, just around the corner in Newark Road, before moving again a couple of years later to Sturrock Way, Bretton, Peterborough. This new company (‘Newall UK Ltd.’), traded as ‘Danobat-Newall’ until the ‘Newall’ part of the name was dropped in January 2018. At the time of writing (April 2018), the company continues to operate from these premises under the ‘Danobat‘ banner.
This means that, as of January 2018, the sole remaining active link to the original Newall Engineering group company name is the continuing business of Newall Measurement Systems Ltd in Leicester, which originated as the Newall Electronics Division.