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for industrial sales. In 1974 Brian Leigh-Bramwell also joined the family company, taking it into the fourth generation and by the 1980s, following a number of much publicised fire disasters they launched the intumescent coating brand, Firetex. Their most recent claim to fame is the new paint (epoxies containing glass flake pigments), which have been applied to the Forth Rail Bridge. In the very recent past Leigh’s have been

acquired by Sherwin Williams, a company that was set up in 1866, hence only six years younger than the Leigh’s family business.

FROM SMALL BEGINNINGS The well-known instrumentation company Elcometer Instruments Ltd, which provides a range of instruments across the paint industry for paint manufacturers and painting contractors, was the next company covered in “Across the Generations”. The company began when the current Managing Director’s grandfather, John Sellars, developed a two prong magnetic gauge for measuring the thickness of non-metallic coatings on steel. The Elcometer name came from the East Lancs Chemical Company, a company that was also owned by the Sellars family, which was originally started in the 1830s. From these small beginnings the current Elcometer Ltd, now sells over 3,500 different products, with 250 employees worldwide.

CONSULTANCY COMPANIES The two consultancy organisations which were the last of the eight companies in PCE, completing the “Across the Generations” series, were Chatfield Applied Research Laboratories

Ltd and the UK’s Steel Protection Consultancy Ltd. The Chatfield Laboratories were set up by Dr H W (John) Chatfield who was born in 1910 and formed the independent testing house in 1946 after the second world war. The Chatfield Laboratories developed a reputation for testing a whole range of products, particularly paints, sealants and adhesives, to both Ministry and national and international standards. Dr John Chatfield wrote a number of well publicised and authoritative books and publications on the paint industry, and in 1969 he was joined by his son, Dr C J (Chris) Chatfield. When Dr John Chatfield Senior passed away in 1984, Chris Chatfield then took over to manage and expand the family company. The present day laboratory is approved by all the official bodies, including, NATLAS, NAMAS and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. The Steel Protection Consultancy Ltd (SPC)

have provided advice, consultancy and inspection on a wide range of prestigious structures both in the UK and overseas. Amongst the major projects in the UK are the Forth Road and Rail Bridges, and the major centenary repainting of the famous Tower Bridge during its refurbishment after 100 years. Also in London, was the complex task of finding a long lasting coating for the Thames Barrier (see page 16). SPC is now being passed on to the second

generation of the Deacon family in the form of William Deacon, who has been with the company for over 15 years. Having joined in 1997, William is taking over as Managing Director. His father the founder of the company, David Deacon, is continuing in a part time consultancy role.


The Steel Protection Consultancy was involved in finding coatings to protect the Thames Barrier

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