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Happy 98th Birthday P C Henderson!

by Stephanie Lee on 25/02/2019

Founded by Percy Cecil Henderson on 24th February 1921, P C Henderson was proud to celebrate its 98th Birthday at the weekend. Starting from humble beginnings in a small office and warehouse built on the premises of a paint and varnish factory in Barking Essex, P C Henderson has a fruitful and eventful history spanning across almost a century…

98th Year  – The Highlights

P C Henderson’s 98th year has been filled with some of its most notable developments and achievements to date including…

The beginning of something great…

Extract from P C Henderson Memoirs – Written by Denis W Dalby, 1921

“The story can begin at a private school where Percy Henderson at the age of 8 was a big boy and myself, Denis Dalby, aged 6, quite a dominated junior, proud to have him come to my parties.

We were to meet again towards the end of 1919 when Percy joined the firm of a family friend and I, already there, was transferred to a newly-established department Percy was to take over. It dealt with novel imported American products including light overhead runways and sliding door tracks.

1920 was a joyous year. We let loose with these exciting new things, travelling the cities, attending agricultural shows and exhibitions, avidly demonstrating our new wonders to an awakening but somewhat skeptical world. We merited the restraining hand, but this irked Percy to such a degree that his grumblings turned into a resolution that he would establish his own firm. When it matured he would offer me a job if I then cared to join him.

Percy resigned at the end of 1920 and I stayed on to wear his shoes, but wear them with difficulty. It got to a stage where, in a state of unhappiness, I decided to leave too. Giving in my notice that Friday in March 1921.

A message telephoned from Percy Henderson awaited my return home on Saturday morning (few homes then had a phone but ours had), asking me to ring him and this I did. He asked me to come join him and come talk about it on Monday.

He had leased storage and office room from a paint and varnish makers near Barking Town Quay. Here I learnt what had transpired during the nine or ten weeks since our last meeting, how the Company had been incorporated on the 24th February, how stuff was already arriving from two manufacturers in America and he had obtained a special list of agricultural dealers to sell to. Immediate tasks were to buy a second-hand table and chair for my desk (brought along by pony and cart), meet ‘our staff’, visit the local printers doing our stationary, leaflets and catalogue and see the railway goods office for their services on a credit account…”


Overall our 98th year has seen a lot of change and a lot of success. Great to be almost 100 years old and going as strong as ever!