Original northern powerhouse marks special anniversary
Quasquicentennial anniversaries are a rare occurrence in business, and one Scarborough company has more of a reason than most to celebrate its 125th birthday.
Walker and Hutton Electrical Contractors was founded in 1893 — the very same year electricity was first supplied to Scarborough.
“There can’t be many electrician firms that were set up before the introduction of electricity, so I think we must be quite special,” joked co-director Mathew Temple.
“Even our regulatory and standards bodies, the Joint Industry Board (JIB) and the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) have only been going for 50 years or so.”
In fact, Walker and Hutton was a founding member of the JIB in 1968 and in 2017 was issued with a certificate of recognition for being a member of the NICEIC for over 50 years.
The company started life designing and building some of the country’s first motor carriages in Huntriss Row. But it soon branched out to electrical installations, and by the time Scarborough was fully connected, in 1925, Mr Walker and Mr Hutton had moved their business focus.
Since then, Walker and Hutton has left its mark, literally, on various sites around the town, including the lighting columns in St Nicholas Cliff Garden. Embossed with the company lettering, the bronze posts were made and installed in the early 1900s.
Matthew took the reins from his dad a decade ago, but his journey with the company started as an apprentice 21 years ago.
His partners both started out the same way, and the three of them have a combined 79 years of experience with the company.
The business, which moved to Irton in the mid-1900s after a spell in Harcourt Place, employs a further four people, including Mathews' sister as office manager, and between them they have almost 40 years with the business.
It’s a trend Mathew, who has a Walker and Hutton gold leaf call system in his home after discovering it during a job at a local mansion, is proud of.
It’s also the secret to the company’s success.
“We are a traditional company, and we have very traditional values. That’s why we think it’s so important to mark this historic anniversary. I’m really proud of what we do,” said Mat.
“Staff stick around, and our earliest customers are still with us today. The Central Tramway Company have been clients since they moved from steam to electric power in the 1920s and we have been working with Duncombe Park Estate at Helmsley for more than 75 years.”
For more on the company, go to Walker and Huttons' website, www.walker-hutton.co.uk or call 01723 862151.