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Oct 2023
Keith Hick - From Fairclough to AMEC, the story of a Lancashire-based construction dynasty between 1883-2007.
Tue 10 Oct 2023

We were treated by Keith to a very informative presentation on the history & development of
Leonard Fairclough (1855-1927) who founded his Building Architectural & Monumental Stone Masonry business in 1883.
From local beginnings the company expanded rapidly and the timeline below illustrates the expansion.

Keith Hick with the original mason's mallet.
Timeline: From Fairclough to AMEC (Amalgamated Mechanical Engineering and Construction)
1883: Leonard Fairclough opens his Monumental, Architectural and Stone Mason's business in Chapel Street, Adlington, Lancashire
1887: Statue of Queen Victoria raised and erected on roof of Chapel Street showroom to celebrate the Monarch's Golden Jubilee
1889: Leonard Miller Fairclough born (Leonard the Younger)
Pre WWI: Leonard the Younger joins his father gaining experience in managing an expanding workforce as the business expanded into public works
1917: Leonard Fairclough becomes a limited company; Leonard the Younger appointed Director
1927: Upon death of his father, appointed Governing Director
1930's: Continued expansion throughout the North West
WWII: Appointed Regional Leader by Ministry of Works for demolition and repair of war-damaged infrastructure
1956: Fairclough wins the contract for bridges and structures to (M6) Preston Bypass - to become Britain's first motorway
1959: Leonard Fairclough Ltd becomes a public limited company
1968: Leonard the Younger appointed CBE
1972: Sir James Drake joins board of Leonard Fairclough Ltd upon retirement
1974: (Sir) Alan Cockshaw appointed Contracts Manager of Leonard Fairclough Ltd
1976: Leonard Miller Fairclough dies; Formation of Fairclough Civil Engineering Limited; Oswald Davies appointed Chairman
1980: Formation of Fairclough Construction Group
1982: Acquisition of William Press Group to form AMEC plc
1983: Sir Oswald Davies appointed Chairman of AMEC plc. Ted Garner appointed Chairman of Fairclough
1984: Sir Alan Cockshaw appointed Chief Executive of AMEC plc. Appointed Chairman in 1988 before receiving his Knighthood in 1992
1993: The Fairclough identity is removed from all company names in favour of AMEC
From Fairclough to AMEC - a Lancashire-based construction dynasty
1997: AMEC acquires French construction conglomerate Spie Batignolles following an unsuccessful bid for AMEC by Scandinavian giant, Kaeverner in 1995.
1997: Sir Alan Cockshaw retires to be succeeded by Sir Peter Mason
2000: AMEC acquires Canadian Environmental business, AGGRA Inc.
2006: Closure of Adlington, Lancashire, offices after 123 years; Samir Brikho appointed Chief Executive of AMEC
2007: Sale of AMEC's civil engineering and construction business to Morgan Sindall plc. AMEC concentrates on engineering & project management
2017: Merged with Wood Group

The original offices on Chapel St Adlington.

Leonard Fairclough (1855-1927)

Leonard Miller Fairclough (1889-1976)

Adlington phonebook 1902.

Original mason's mallet and record book.

Lindsay Hoyle MP.
The five sons of Leonard and Mary (nee Miller) Fairclough each trained as Apprentice Stone Mason's at Horrobin's Quarry, Rivington
Paul Fairclough: later trained as a Classical Sculptor in Italy
Harry Fairclough
Leonard Miller Fairclough
Isaac Fairclough
Tom Fairclough

Leonard Miller Fairclough (1889-1976) continued the business on the death of his father.
The Chapel Street offices have now gone to be replaced by housing. The original showroom building can still be seen at the junction of Chapel Street and Park Road.
A lot of the WW2 reconstruction was thanks to Fairclough’s including the manufacturer of prefabs. They also demolished the original Doric Arch at Euston Railway Station in 1961.
In later years Keith told us about the amusing discussions to decide on the colour of the AMEC logo - eventually deciding on orange.
One of the original characters in the TV programme Coronation Street was Len Fairclough played by Peter Adamson. The name was bsed on Adlington’s Leonard Fairclough.

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