Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence: A Journey Through Chippindale Hire & Sales

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Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence: A Journey Through Chippindale Hire & Sales

Chippindale Plant / April 2024

To celebrate our Diamond 75th Anniversary, we wanted to look back over our rich history, which has spanned over seven decades, to see how we've innovated and built on our award-winning service to become a cornerstone of the UK hire industry before looking at our exciting plans for the future and the next 75! 

The Chippindale journey began in 1949, from humble beginnings before being passed down through the family generations on a remarkable growth story. Building up along the way, a proud reputation for premium market-leading equipment, innovation, and customer-focused service that encompasses the caring family business values that are core to our business. 

Over the following few sections, we'll dive into significant chapters in our history and future vision.

Our Founding Years (1949-1960s)[Founding Years (1949-1960s)]: 

Wilfred Chippindale, who was the Northern Area Manager for Millers Mixers at the time, had recently been asked to relocate south. However, as a true Yorkshireman, he refused, resigned and, with £100 of his savings, set up Chippindale, selling concrete and scaffolding from his home. Already known throughout the region as the 'Mixer King' due to his superb sales record, it was no surprise Chippindale didn't stay small for long, and within a year, the company had opened its first full-scale depot in Leeds (LS7), employed its first fitter and purchased two mobile vans. 

As the vision for Chippindale became a reality, expansion quickly followed, including fresh, new, innovative ideas, one of which was plant hire, which in the 1950s was a brand new concept. This decision swiftly followed with the introduction of our first dealership, the Wickham and Alcon Pump Agency, and was shortly followed by Thwaites Dumpers in 1955, marking the start of our hire division. 

By the end of this decade, Chippindale had expanded to include dealerships for the Bristol Compressor Agency, Green Roller Agency, and the Briston Crawler Tractor Agency to comprise a fleet of mixers, dumpers, hoists, pumps and rollers.

Establishing Plant Hire Throughout Yorkshire (1960-1980s)[Plant Hire Through Yorkshire (1960-1980s)]:

As the business grew throughout the region, Wilfred's two sons, Brian and Gordon Chippindale, joined the business. They later led the company, continuing to expand its customer-focused service and building long-standing relationships with manufacturers worldwide. 

This included further depot expansions across Yorkshire (Keighley & Doncaster), including moving to a much larger site in Leeds (which is still our head office location to this day!), and significant expansions to our product offerings across both our hire and sales divisions.

With positive growth and exciting new opportunities on the horizon, Brian and Gordon moved to innovate further by introducing radio telephones into all vans in 1972 - which paved the way for another five decades of innovation. 

Expansion and Diversification (1980s-1990s)[Expansion and Diversification (1980s-1990s)]: 

The real expansion and diversification began in the 1980s; as Brian and Gordon retired, Nigel and Peter Chippindale took over the business. They drove the company to new heights by doubling-down on the core service values the business was built on whilst making key decisions that would expand the business across the North.

Further positioning ourselves as experts in the market providing premium, reliable equipment with customer-first family service values, the business underwent a major transformation. Expanding into new regions and dramatically increasing the size of our hire fleet and sales division. 

Investment in Technology (1990s-2000s)[Investment in Technology (1990s-2000s)]: 

Already with a reputation for innovation, Peter and Nigel took the risk of making the business fully electronic by introducing computers in 1982—one of the first companies in the UK to do so. This was further backed up by large-scale investments across our infrastructure, implementing state-of-the-art equipment and systems to improve operations and take our fast local service to the next level.

Our core ethos and forward-thinking approach led to strong growth throughout the 1990s as the wider construction landscape changed, with many new manufacturers and exciting new products entering the markets. With Chippindale now holding new dealerships for Pel-Job Excavators (Who would later become Volvo CE), BOMAG and Atlas Copco, to name a few, bolstering our position in the market - as a one-stop shop for construction sites. 

Rapid Growth Over The UK  (2000's - Now) [Growth Over The UK (2000s-Now)]: 

With a clear edge on the market and a stellar reputation for quality and service, we continued to grow and expand throughout the UK. This led to Chippindale being recognised for multiple growth awards and commendations from the London Stock Exchange and the UK Prime Minister for being a Top 100 UK business to inspire the nation. 

This growth allowed us to reinvest heavily into our business and services for our customers as we expanded across the entire North of England and added a variety of new product divisions including, Plant, Tools, Excavator Attachments, Site Accommodation and Parts.

Looking Forward To Our Next Chapter [Our Next Chapter]

As we commemorate 75 years of excellence, we are filled with gratitude for the trust and support of our customers, partners and employees, who have been instrumental to our success and are the backbone of our business, including some who have been with us over 30 years! Looking ahead, we remain steadfast in our unwavering commitment to delivering industry-leading innovative solutions, a caring, customer-focused service based on family values, and premium equipment that’s reliable and safe. 

But at Chippindale Hire & Sales, the journey doesn’t stop here; it evolves. With a proud legacy behind us, we have an even more promising future ahead. Now that we're part of the AER Rents Group, we’re poised to increase our nationwide presence and diversify and expand our equipment offerings without diluting the core family values and service that are at the heart of what we do. 

Following Nigel and Peter’s retirement at the end of this month, our new Managing Director Paul Blake is now fully leading the team, with over 40 years of industry experience and bold plans to drive the business forward and improve our local service over the UK.

“We now have the opportunity to supply a much wider range of specialist equipment on a larger geographical spread; including, access equipment, super MEWPs, specialist telehandlers and lifting equipment - and much, much more in the future” explains Paul Blake, MD.

Our recent integration into the AER Rents Group opens up a new chapter of expansion and possibilities, “In fact, AER is owned by the O’Flaherty Group, which itself is very much a family-owned business with an underpinning ethos of safety, innovation and service” says Paul.

Sustainability and safety are also integral aspects of our business; recognising our responsibility to the environment and society, we are putting these at the forefront as we move forward into the next 75 years. Promoting new energy solutions, new technology, new safety practices and more, we are committed to making a positive impact. In the immediate future - Paul Blake, Managing Director, adds “Our focus on sustainability and innovative remains a core focus, as we strive for ISO 45001 accreditation at all depots within the next 12 months”. 

As we embark on the next chapter, the fundamental values laid down by Wilfred Chippindale 75 years ago, which have been driven by Brian, Gordon, Peter and Nigel, continue to guide our path as we move forward innovating and adapting, grounded with an unwavering dedication to deliver quality equipment and unparalleled service. With Paul and AER now leading the team, we can’t wait to push forward into an exciting new chapter.

Here’s to 75 years of growth, achievement and a commitment to excellence!

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