140+ YEARS OF ENGINEERING INNOVATION
The company history stretches back to 1872, when Edward Bennis initially set up a factory in Bolton to develop an automatic self-cleaning furnace. His invention was to prove a great success, achieving increases in efficiency together with reductions in smoke emissions.
Edward Bennis’s improvements were not fully appreciated until the outbreak of the Great War, when his technological advances were incorporated into the nation's push for victory. The company foundries were used for munitions, substantially increasing industrial output at a time of great need. In the years between the two world wars, Edward Bennis Ltd manufactured the coal-feed systems for the boilers fitted in ocean-going steam ships.
In the early 1960's, with new customers in South Africa and Australia, and a workforce in excess of 250 people, the decision was made to merge with James Hodgkinson Ltd. This merger was mutually beneficial, in that it married the experience of Edward Bennis Ltd with the well-regarded James Hodgkinson Group based in Salford.
Following the miners' strikes in 1972, the coal market was in decline. The company became part of a larger group of manufacturing companies, until it regained its independence in 1992. The reinvigorated company established a new team of directors comprising of dedicated employees, supported by sound financial backing. It successfully expanded into gas- and oil-fired boiler technology, and more recently into biomass, to become the company our customers know today.
We continually strive to improve our knowledge and expertise. We keep up-to-date with developments driven by information technology. But we also keep a firm focus on engineering excellence. In the final analysis, we’ve had a lot of practice - and as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.
As we explore the Hodgkinson Bennis archives, we'll post additional historical material to the page, outlining some of the innovations delivered by our team over the last 140+ years.