One of the UK’s oldest glazing companies has fallen victim to the sharp decline in the UK construction sector. Rankins, based in East London and in business since way back in 1880, have called in administrators Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group. A statement on the website had this to say on November 7th:

Alex Cadwallader and Andrew Duncan, Directors at Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group, were appointed joint administrators to Rankins (Glass) Company Limited on 6 November 2012.
The administrators have begun the process of seeking a buyer for Rankins, a glass processing and glazing business based in East London.

Rankins, a glass stockist, supplier and distributer, provides a wide range of glass products and services, including specialist glazing, low reflective shop fronts, fire resistant glass, bullet resistant glazing, cabinets and decorative mirrors as well as safety and toughened glass.

The original glass business was established in the City of London and dates back to the 1880s and has grown from a staff of four to some 55 employees.

In its heyday, the glass company was commissioned to glaze newspaper offices on Fleet Street, put the face on London’s Big Ben and, more recently, provided protective and low reflective panels for the country’s most precious works of art.

In spite of the strong brand heritage and being granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment in 1994, Rankins has become yet another casualty of the sharp downturn in the UK construction industry.

Alex Cadwallader, Director at Leonard Curtis Business Solutions, said: “We are currently assessing the options available to the company and are in discussions with a number of interested parties.”

What is sad that a company which but the glass in the bell tower for Big Ben and that got the Royal Warrant of Appointment has now had to close it’s doors. I’m going to make a wild guess here, other than the decline in construction, the competition pricing artificially very low will have also been the cause of the downfall. If so, the industry has got a lot to answer for if it has caused the closure of a glass company with 132 years history! It is these sorts of companies that give our industry heritage, respect, a bit of culture and a bit of class. It would be incredibly shameful if forced lowering of prices to steal business in a very under hand manner was the cause.

I do hope that the business is bought and the Rankins name kept. I don’t know what their financial situation is, but I think if any glazing company is going to be bought and saved at this present time, Rankins probably has the best chance. It’s history, heritage and record of previous works should be enough to attract some wealthy buyers!

To the owners, the staff and all involved in the sale, myself and I’m sure all my readers wish you luck in finding a positive outcome to all of this.

To all the cheap jacks down there forcing your local industry to struggle, it’s really time to take a long hard look at yourselves and look at what you’re doing to your economy and your industry.