Formed over 75 years ago the Meddings family started in engineering near to Wembley, moving to new premises in Slough a few years later. The decision to manufacture drill press machines was at the request of the British Government who needed a company to produce drilling machines during the 2nd World War.
After the war ended manufacturing continued at Slough. Developments in machine design continued with new and re-designed models moving forward as new technologies were brought onto the market.
In 1973 it was realised that a larger more suitable manufacturing site was needed, due to congestion in South East England. After researching the UK for good manufacturing sites it was decided that a move to Ivybridge, South Devon would provide all the requirements for a new modern industrial site.
The Lee Mill Industrial Estate was chosen because it was seen as a site that would allow the company to grow. The site was originally built as a training base for firefighters, complete with tower.
After the blitz of Plymouth
After the blitz of Plymouth the Admiralty took over the estate and the majority of red brick bungalows were filled with families dependant on the Devonport Dockyard for employment. Early everyday a great exodus of men left Ivybridge on buses to take them to work. Children attended the Lee Mill Village School until, in 1949, a primary school was built on the estate. There was a cinema that showed films 6 days a week and a dance that took place in the hall once a week. Both of these attractions drew people from all around the neighbourhood.
A pilot factory was set up and the purchase and planning for the main site commenced. By 1975 the new factory was finished and manufacturing started. Many of the staff from the Slough factory moved to Devon as it was seen as a good working environment compared to the South East. From a green field site the main problems encountered were keeping cows and sheep off the premises as all the adjoining land was farmland! Meddings through the years became renowned for their quality and robustness of design and at its height were producing over 400 machines per month.
As years have gone by the competition from other manufacturers mainly from the Far East have reduced the production but Meddings have always managed to keep their market share because of their commitment to producing high quality machines with design features not available elsewhere and, most importantly, superb customer service.
In recent times the company has evolved into a group, by takeovers, purchases and expansion into property. This evolution will guarantee the company to move forward in the future.