In 1907 Mr William Lliffe noticed the conscientious workmanship of Herbert Beesley and Charles Lee and suggested they set up in business together. They, then, created the company Lee Beesley and the pair installed generators, storage batteries and wiring circuits in a number of Midland country houses including Mr Lliffe’s home, Allesley House, in Coventry.
After the first world war came expansion and the firm had to move to larger premises in Smithford Street, Coventry. Here the company had a shop, workshop and stores on the ground floor capped by two floors of offices plus a van and two handcarts, the latter a common sight at the time.
His Majesty’s government embarked on a programme of shadow factory construction to provide industrial capacity away from cities likely to be targeted by enemy bombers. Lee Beesley wired and equipped a brand new propeller factory near Gloucester and the first air frame factory on the edge of Liverpool, where the Blenheim Bomber was constructed.
Lee Beesley’s well-trained electricians were classified as working in a reserved occupation during the Second World War. In the 1940 blitz of Coventry, many of the workers drove out of the city to catch a few hours’ sleep in country lanes before returning to shifts in damaged works.
Lee Beesley expanded, setting up branches in Birmingham and Swansea in 1951. The Liverpool branch was established in 1953, Coronation year, and a rebuilt Plymouth became a Lee Beesley outpost at the start of the swinging sixties! A 1955 Daimler Conquest roadster and one of Lee Beesley’s fleet of vans visiting the Jaguar plant, one of the company’s major customers.
George Nott Industries had been formed as an industrial holding company with Lee Beesley as its one subsidiary. Then, in 1968, George Nott Industries made a £4.7 million bid for the Otto Thoresen Shipping Co. of Oslo. Townsend-Thoresen was born, with Lee Beesley as the national electrical engineering division of European Ferries.
The late 70s saw the completion of the electrification of British Leyland’s Longbridge factory for the production of the Mini Metro. The electrical contract, won by Lee Beesley, was among the largest let by British Leyland Cars with the value of the work carried out over three years in excess of £5 million.
In 1981, following the acquisition of Humphrey’s & Glasgow, Lee Beesley Humphrey’s & Glasgow Ltd was formed to provide a mechanical and electrical service for industry and commerce.
1991 saw the Lee Beesley Group become the first overseas acquisition by the GTIE Group (predecessor to VINCI Energies) and saw Lee Beesley working on several joint venture projects with its new French colleagues, including the construction of the channel tunnel for which the Group was responsible for communication links throughout the entire length of the tunnel.
Lee Beesley celebrated his 100 years anniversary.
In 2011, Lee Beesley joined the International Network of Industrial experts of VINCI Energies by rebranding as “Actemium”.
VINCI Energies and Morgan Sindall joint venture confirmed as preferred bidder for potential £500 million electricity transmission overhead line partnership for National Grid. This enabled VINCI Energies UK to enter the Electrical infrastructure market and consequently to create the business unit: Omexom UK.
2013, a year marked by the acquisition of Powerteam Electrical Services. Powerteam, known as the Northern Ireland’s largest high voltage (HV) electrical design and build company, is specialised in the construction and refurbishment of electrical substations and overhead lines. Powerteam went on to join the international network of Power & Grid experts of VINCI Energies and rebranded as “Omexom” in 2015.
The year came to an end and the expansion of VINCI Energies continued as the group welcomed Imtech ICT, the information and communication technology division of Imtech, in 2014. Imtech ICT, quickly adopted the Axians brand name and became part of the Axians Network.
In the late 2015, VINCI Energies UK & RoI welcomed AND Automation into the Group. AND Automation provides solutions for industry including the design and integration of industrial automation PLC, SCADA and Reporting systems and controls together with implementation and commissioning services.
VINCI Energies UK & RoI welcomed Electrical Infrastructures specialist, Powell Engineering, into the Group. This acquisition complements the services offered by Power & Grid specialist, Omexom UK & RoI. Powell Engineering UK Ltd provides the electrical generation, transmission & distribution industry with specialist design, installation and commissioning from 11kV to 400kV.
VINCI Energies UK & RoI strengthens Nuclear offer with acquisition of UK electrical & instrumentation engineering specialist. The acquisition, finalised on Wednesday 19th April, enhances the services offered by VINCI Energies’ industrial engineering brand Actemium UK and will enable it to greatly expand its UK nuclear activity, working on some of the most complex and important nuclear sites in the world.
VINCI Energies UK & ROI celebrates its 110 years of success in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.