Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,386 pages of information and 233,857 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
of Sunderland, mechanical handling, agricultural and general engineers and merchants.
1879 Business established by Lancelot Steel.
1923 Private company registered: Steel and Co Ltd - heating and air conditioning engineers, manufacturer of castings for shipbuilding and other industries, builders and plumbers merchants.
1937 Steel and Co incorporated as a public company  to acquire the undertakings of 3 companies - Steel and Co (Holdings) Ltd, engineers, ironfounders, metal workers and builders merchants of Sunderland; Gunton Sons and Dyball, builders and plumbers merchants of Norwich (established 1879); and Norman Turner Engineering Co Ltd, engineers and air conditioning specialists of London (founded 1934). The management saw these as closely associated in their activities.
1939 Steel and Co Ltd acquired Henry J. Coles makers of cranes. The Egis shipyard at Pallion was purchased and renamed 'Crown Works'
Producing cranes, electric vehicles, fireplaces, pulley blocks, snow ploughs, and anchors
1943 Coles became a subsidiary of Steels Engineering Products Ltd.
During the Second World War production soared and Crown Works re-equipped.
1945 Steel and Gunton Ltd claimed to be Britain#s largest builders merchant.
1964 Company name changed to British Crane and Excavator Corporation
1967 Steel Group operating well below capacity. Domestic operations included British Crane and Excavator Corporation, Steels Process Plant Ltd (which would be closed), Archibald Low and Sons Ltd, Alston Foundry Company Ltd, Steels Engineerings Installations, as well as overseas businesses including Coles Cranes companies in Germany, Australia, India, South Africa.
1970 Name changed to Coles Cranes.
1984 Acquired by American owned Grove.