Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 132,627 pages of information and 209,984 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Glasgow file and steel works, Sharrow vale, Sheffield; and at Glasgow
1885 Wm. Cook and Sons, of Glasgow and Sheffield, exhibited an improved coal tipper at the Glasgow Exhibition
1888 Exhibited saws of different kinds, and an assortment of crucible steel castings at the Glasgow exhibition
1902 William Cook and Sons (Sheffield) Ltd was incorporated as a private company.
1955 Placing of shares by William Cook and Sons (Sheffield), manufacturers of steel castings
1956 became a public company
1982 name changed to William Cook & Sons (Sheffield) Plc
Between 1982 and 1986 turnover increased from £4.0 million to £10.4 million by means of organic growth.
By 1986 The company saw little further scope for increasing production internally so turned to growth by acquisition.
Between the end of 1986 and 1990 the following acquisitions were made:
1986 Acquired Catton and Co of Leeds and Holbrook Precision Castings, O. H. Hi-Tec, Sheffield, Weir Fabrications, Barnsley (subsequently renamed Atlas Fabrications) and Jopling, Sunderland from Weir Group; name of the group became William Cook plc
1988 Acquired Hi-Tec Integrity Castings
1989 Acquired the special castings company Robert Hyde and Son of Chesterfield and David Brown Foundries; sold the Atlas fabrication plant, which was making losses, and a Robert Hyde empty factory at Chesterfield
1989 Won the Business Enterprise Award; name as "Business of the Year" for the company's rapid turn-around
1990 Acquired Lloyds (Burton), maker of steel castings for valves, engineering etc, from Triplex which retained the tube spinning part of the business; Cooks would close the recently acquired Lake and Elliott Paramount foundry at Braintree as Lloyds could handle the high alloy, heat resistant coatings and fittings business then handled at the foundry . Contracted to buy the assets of Armadale steelworks
1992 Decline in orders from defence and mining sectors
1997 In the face of takeover bid from Triplex, Cooks organised a highly leveraged management buyout with the help of Electra Fleming
By 1999 finance house Electra Fleming owned 71 percent of the shares but Cook's performance was deteriorating