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Our History

Take a look into the past history of P C Henderson
and how our success began.

1921

1921

On the 24th February, 1921, P C Henderson Ltd. is founded. From humble beginnings, an office and small warehouse was formed on the premises of a paint and varnish factory, in ... On the 24th February, 1921, P C Henderson Ltd. is founded. From humble beginnings, an office and small warehouse was formed on the premises of a paint and varnish factory, in Barking, Essex. The company begins trading with a staff of 3. In its first year of business the company releases the first catalogue – the General Catalogue No. 21. Detailed in the catalogue is the initial Henderson product range – a mixture of hay carriers and sliding door gear for the agricultural sector.

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1923

1923

Manufacture is commenced of the first version of Tangent Round-the-Corner gear. The product became so successful that the company heartened by its success begins to expand its... Manufacture is commenced of the first version of Tangent Round-the-Corner gear. The product became so successful that the company heartened by its success begins to expand its limited range of Overhead Runways and Sliding Door Gear.

That year the company records its first profit - £144 10s. 1d.

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Henderson 1924

1924

In order to accommodate the steady rise in demand for sliding door gear the company purchases its own premises in Barking. ‘Tangent Works’ as it is named, becomes the comp... In order to accommodate the steady rise in demand for sliding door gear the company purchases its own premises in Barking. ‘Tangent Works’ as it is named, becomes the company’s base for production for the next 31 years.

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P C Henderson 1925

1925

The company enters into an intense period of design and product development for sliding door gear. The first Henderson design patent, for a 1021/2 guide, is granted. The company enters into an intense period of design and product development for sliding door gear. The first Henderson design patent, for a 1021/2 guide, is granted.

1926

Increasing sales leads to the first stage of expansion at Tangent Works. Throughout the occupation of the Barking site pressure on space is high as the company struggles to ke... Increasing sales leads to the first stage of expansion at Tangent Works. Throughout the occupation of the Barking site pressure on space is high as the company struggles to keep up with demand for the new tubular track design.

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Sliding Door Gear 1928

1928

The company begins exporting sliding gear, developing markets first in South Africa and then New Zealand. Following successful launches in both these markets the company begin... The company begins exporting sliding gear, developing markets first in South Africa and then New Zealand. Following successful launches in both these markets the company begins to export to China, Singapore, Sweden and Egypt.

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PC Henderson 1936

1936

Tangent Works expands further with the purchase of a neighbouring property, allowing the factory the essential room required to double capacity. The new machine shop is larger... Tangent Works expands further with the purchase of a neighbouring property, allowing the factory the essential room required to double capacity. The new machine shop is larger than the entire original factory. Much of this time was spent producing sliding door gear for the various military establishments around the country, a link that endures to this day.

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Henderson Doors 1940

1940

Tangent Works is bombed several times. The machine shops, when possible, are switched to the production of armaments and aircraft components. The roof is destroyed and parts o... Tangent Works is bombed several times. The machine shops, when possible, are switched to the production of armaments and aircraft components. The roof is destroyed and parts of the building are badly damaged but production continues using a tarpaulin roof for cover.

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1950

1950

In June 1950 P C Henderson Ltd. becomes a public company. In doing so, much needed capital is raised to set in motion the planned expansion programme that will allow sliding d... In June 1950 P C Henderson Ltd. becomes a public company. In doing so, much needed capital is raised to set in motion the planned expansion programme that will allow sliding door gear to be produced in vast quantities.

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Henderson Sliding Door Gear

1954

Henderson began producing ‘Ultra’ up and over door gear for timber garage doors. At the time, timber was relatively cheap and traditional side - hinged garage doors were t... Henderson began producing ‘Ultra’ up and over door gear for timber garage doors. At the time, timber was relatively cheap and traditional side - hinged garage doors were the norm in the UK.

A breakthrough in design created the Henderson metal ‘Dolphin’ packaged door, which required assembly on site. This enabled Hendersons customers, builders merchants, to break into the garage door market – a market previously supplied exclusively by timber merchants.

As the price of timber increased, so did the popularity of the metal Dolphin door, leading to the introduction of the first ‘Merlin’ metal garage door (which sold at £14 10s. 0d. for a standard sized single door). The Merlin established metal up and over garage doors as the main type of door in the UK.

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Sliding Door Hardware design 1955

1955

With the Barking premises bursting at the seams and demand still far outstripping supply, a new factory, ‘New Tangent Works’ is built at Harold Hill, Romford. New Tangent ... With the Barking premises bursting at the seams and demand still far outstripping supply, a new factory, ‘New Tangent Works’ is built at Harold Hill, Romford. New Tangent Works provides over 64,000 sq. ft of production and office space essential to the continued expansion of sales.

The company invests heavily in its strategy of producing high quality products supported by a strong technical service, substantially increasing the research and design department.

Export markets continue to expand with new markets developed in Africa and the Far East.

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Percy C. Henderson 1958

1958

A year tinged with sadness with the passing of the company’s founder and original driving force Percy C. Henderson. The mantle of following his vision for the company and re... A year tinged with sadness with the passing of the company’s founder and original driving force Percy C. Henderson. The mantle of following his vision for the company and realising its potential is taken up jointly by the three remaining executive directors.

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1960 PC Henderson

1960

The subsidiary company P. C. Henderson (N.Z.) Limited is formed to support the rapidly growing markets of Australasia. The subsidiary company P. C. Henderson (N.Z.) Limited is formed to support the rapidly growing markets of Australasia.

PC Henderson Sliding Doors 1965

1965

In early 1965, an office was opened in Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands with 5 staff to deal with the growing sales of doors and sliding gear into Europe. Demand grew quickly, ... In early 1965, an office was opened in Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands with 5 staff to deal with the growing sales of doors and sliding gear into Europe. Demand grew quickly, resulting in the opening of a new plant at Bladel, in the middle of the South of Holland, near to the Belgian and German borders.

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Henderson Factory 1969

1969

As sales of Henderson up and over garage doors grew (accounting for an estimated 50% of garage doors being fitted in the UK!), there became a pressing need for a purpose built... As sales of Henderson up and over garage doors grew (accounting for an estimated 50% of garage doors being fitted in the UK!), there became a pressing need for a purpose built factory to produce them. A site was found in Bowburn, County Durham and in 1969, the dedicated Henderson factory was fully open and the first doors were rolling off the production lines.

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PC Henderson Folding Door Gear

1971

The company celebrated its Golden Jubilee as the 1970s dawned.

Sliding and folding room dividers achieved 'high fashion' status in UK homes as familie...
The company celebrated its Golden Jubilee as the 1970s dawned.

Sliding and folding room dividers achieved 'high fashion' status in UK homes as families looked to open plan living and greater flexibility in the use of their rooms.

The market for up and over garage doors was also growing fast and 'Henderson' was quickly becoming a household name in Britain.

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Henderson 1972

1972

The phenomenal growth in the popularity of Henderson garage doors and sliding gear led the Henderson newsletter to track one of the delivery wagons for a week. In that time, t... The phenomenal growth in the popularity of Henderson garage doors and sliding gear led the Henderson newsletter to track one of the delivery wagons for a week. In that time, the wagon operated night and day for 5 days (with two crews working alternate shifts), covered over 3,000 miles and carried 288 tonnes of garage doors and sliding door gear to Henderson customers. And this was just one wagon from a large fleet…

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P C Henderson Bowburn, Durham 1977

1977

A need for increased production and storage facilities led to the acquisition of the factory and offices adjoining the Eastern end of the Tangent works in Romford. The new pla... A need for increased production and storage facilities led to the acquisition of the factory and offices adjoining the Eastern end of the Tangent works in Romford. The new plant was named ‘Dolphin Works’ after the first Henderson metal garage door.

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1980

1980

Development of the Bowburn garage door factory continued quickly with the commissioning of a new cold rolling line to support the growing sales of Henderson up and over doors.... Development of the Bowburn garage door factory continued quickly with the commissioning of a new cold rolling line to support the growing sales of Henderson up and over doors.

The company entered the 1980s with two well established product lines as sliding door gear continued to set the pace at home and throughout the world and Henderson garage doors benefitted from the boom in home ownership and the increasing wealth of the mid 1980s

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World Leaders

1987

This year saw a landmark - the two millionth Henderson up and over garage door rolled off the assembly lines at the Bowburn factory – a double ‘Doric’ style door, sold t... This year saw a landmark - the two millionth Henderson up and over garage door rolled off the assembly lines at the Bowburn factory – a double ‘Doric’ style door, sold to a builders merchant in North London, and then onto the two millionth satisfied owner.

Further improvements to the range of doors meant that all the installer needed to complete the job was a screwdriver (provided he could prise it away from his dog!).

The product range continued to develop to meet the aspirations of late 1980s householders, including doors made from GRP (Glass Reinforced Polyester) and made to measure ('tailor made') sizing to cope with garages of virtually any size.

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Henderson 800 Series 1988

1988

The P.C Henderson Group of Companies was acquired by Hepworth plc, a leading UK based building products company. Henderson joined other well known names, such as Glow Worm cen... The P.C Henderson Group of Companies was acquired by Hepworth plc, a leading UK based building products company. Henderson joined other well known names, such as Glow Worm central heating boilers and Hepworth plumbing in a portfolio which could almost cover all the different types of building materials needed to build a house!

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1991

Henderson gained BS5750 Quality Management accreditation, followed by European quality standard ISO9002, reinforcing the company's commitment to quality. Henderson gained BS5750 Quality Management accreditation, followed by European quality standard ISO9002, reinforcing the company's commitment to quality.

P C Henderson 1992

1992

Over £10m was invested in the Bowburn factory, making the production lines the most advanced in the world. The first Henderson ‘Premiere’ steel garage doors were born, of... Over £10m was invested in the Bowburn factory, making the production lines the most advanced in the world. The first Henderson ‘Premiere’ steel garage doors were born, offering exact made to measure doors (in size increments of only 1mm), with unique jointing methods and the strongest Henderson door panels ever.

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Henderson Sliding Doors 1994

1994

Following further expansion of the Bowburn factory and the inherent communication problems of the two P.C Henderson factories being located 250 miles apart, the Romford plant ... Following further expansion of the Bowburn factory and the inherent communication problems of the two P.C Henderson factories being located 250 miles apart, the Romford plant was closed and all production moved to Bowburn, bringing together sliding gear and garage doors under one roof and establishing Bowburn as the Head Office and main base of the company.

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2000

Henderson awarded the prestigious ‘Investor in People’ award.

In the same year, the P C Henderson Group of Companies was acquired by Cardo Door AB, the Swed...
Henderson awarded the prestigious ‘Investor in People’ award.

In the same year, the P C Henderson Group of Companies was acquired by Cardo Door AB, the Swedish based group of companies – Europe’s largest producer of industrial doors and it’s fastest growing manufacturer of garage doors.

The Henderson portfolio of sliding gear and garage doors fits neatly into Cardo Door, with emphasis on product design and development

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2001

Henderson awarded European Standard ISO 9001 for quality in design. Henderson awarded European Standard ISO 9001 for quality in design.

2003

2003

In July, Henderson make the national television news as a fire sweeps through the GRP door production line. Due to the professionalism of the emergency services, the fire does... In July, Henderson make the national television news as a fire sweeps through the GRP door production line. Due to the professionalism of the emergency services, the fire does not spread throughout the factory. Amazingly, production of 95% of the door range is back up and running at 8am the following day and GRP doors continue to be made off-site while a major re-build of the factory is undertaken

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2004

2004

A £1 million re-build is completed and the Henderson GRP door production line is re-located back into purpose built facilities at Bowburn. In the year since the fire, we were... A £1 million re-build is completed and the Henderson GRP door production line is re-located back into purpose built facilities at Bowburn. In the year since the fire, we were able to supply virtually all customer orders

2004 is also a year of major product initiatives as Henderson take the garage door market by storm. The exciting g30 sectional garage door is launched in the UK to wide acclaim as at last there is a sectional door from a British manufacturer to beat the best that Europe and America can offer. In June, a further 5 colour finishes were introduced for Premiere Steel up and over doors, leaving other manufacturers way behind

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2008

2008

In 2008 the Garage door business is sold allowing PC Henderson Ltd to concentrate on developing sliding door gear solutions which is world renown for quality and service. In 2008 the Garage door business is sold allowing PC Henderson Ltd to concentrate on developing sliding door gear solutions which is world renown for quality and service.

2014

2014

As of January 2014 P C Henderson is set to join forces with FlexiForce, a component manufacturer based in Holland. As of January 2014 P C Henderson is set to join forces with FlexiForce, a component manufacturer based in Holland.