Our History

pickerings history timeline

170 years in motion... and still going strong!

Pickerings Limited is one of the oldest engineering firms in the United Kingdom, with an unbroken history of family ownership and management, now in its sixth generation.

Jonathan Pickerings founded Pickerings Limited in 1854, making Pickerings one of the oldest engineering and manufacturing companies in the United Kingdom.

Originally Pickerings was a manufacturer of pulley blocks and hoisting equipment.

In 1876 Jonathan showcased at the Centennial International Exhibition, the first official World's Trade Fair, in Philadelphia, where he won two medals. Exhibiting alongside him were Alexander Graham Bell and his invention of the telephone and Eliphalet Remington the inventor of the typewriter.

Success led to exhibitions in Germany and Holland, achieving medals for excellence and design quality.

In 1888 the first commercial push button electric lift was designed, manufactured and installed by Pickerings Lifts for the Middlesbrough Co-Operative Society.  People were absolutely amazed that you could press a small button and a short while later, a lift arrived!

Pickerings Limited also invented the self-sustaining hand lift and service lift, developing belt-power and hydraulic lifts.

Sadly in 1891 Jonathan Pickerings died and Jonathan Fothergill becomes the new Managing Director.

pickerings history timeline

High Demand for Lifts

From 1900 lifts were in high demand for hotels, department stores and banks.   

We also designed and built several streets of terraced houses surrounding the factory premises to house both workers and supervisors.

In 1920 Pickerings were asked to install lifts into the Airship mooring masts.

In 1930 we drove our first service van.

In 1932, Pickerings Lifts was a founding member of the Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA), which is still going strong today.

pickerings history timeline

1940 - 1985 5th Generation of Family Ownership

Between 1940 and 1945, one department worked night and day to satisfy the insatiable demand for Trench Mortars.

By 1941 demand for heavy equipment continued to increase, a new 10,000 square foot workshop was built to enable the production of floating pontoon bridges.

30% of the workforce were called to war and older staff had to work harder to train new staff.

In 1942 to assist in the war effort we built trench mortars and ammunition lifts in castles along the coast.

We celebrated our centenial in 1954 with a ball and a celebration dinner at the local Palais-de-Danse, Jubilee Hall in Stockton-on-Tees

In 1967 Pickerings had the honour to install lifts on the Queens own ship the QEII.

In 1985 Donald Fothergill joins the family business, rather than pursue his legal career and is now the current Chairman.

pickerings history timeline

2003 to 2013 First Non Family Member MD

We have emerged to become the first choice for installation, servicing and maintenance of lifts.  Our national blue chip customers needed a trustworthy servicing solution for other products.  In 2003 we added a new mobility division to support our customers growing need for mobility equipment installation and servicing.

In 2004 we had the honour of welcoming Prime Minister Tony Blair to our Stockton-on-Tees, Head Office.

Continuing to react the our customer requirements, we add a new escalator division in 2010.

In 2011 we welcome our very first non-family member Managing Director Ian Bowers to the team.

Growing year on year in 2013 we add a new Loading Systems division to meet the needs of our national customers.


pickerings history timeline

2018 to 2024 6th Generation of Family Ownership

In 2018 we begin our 6th generation of family ownership, as Kiran Fothergill joins the team on a group-wide Executive Management Programme.  

Following Ian Bower's retirement in 2019, we were joined by our second non-family member Managing Director, Paul Brooks.

In 2022 Stockton-on-Tees Mayor Ross Patterson visits Head Office.

In January 2023, we opened up our 14th regional office in Cardiff.

In January 2024, we opened up our 15th regional office in East Anglia


pickerings office 1854
pickerings international exhibition world trade fair
pickerings limited hoist leaflet
pickerings oldest wooden lift
pickerings wooden elevator
pickerings limited admiralty
pickerings lifts serving the empire
pickerings electric lifts and hoisting machinery
pickerings old wooden lift in metal shaft
pickerings factory
pickerings leaflet engineers and ironfounders
pickerings limited enamel signage
pickerings elevator book
first automatic push button lift
pickerings gauge for banks and hotels
pickerings vintage elevator
pickerings hotel lift
pickerings hoist
pickerings elevator brochure
pickerings hoists
airship lifts
pickerings booklet
department store lift
leia logo
trench mortars
pickerings elevator wheel
pickerings centenary celebration
pickerings centenary celebration
pickerings warehouse
prime minister visit
visit from mayor

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