About the object
The Trading Estate just marked 100 years in Slough. Tell us the stories of your significant milestones
During the First World War, the British Government established a military repair depot in Slough. After the war, in 1920, Lord Percival Perry, Redmond McGrath and Noel Mobbs founded The Slough Trading Company Ltd and purchased the depot, buildings and vehicles for £7 million. They rehired the original War Department staff, adapting the military vehicles for civilian use. They also reduced the staff working hours without any reduction in earnings.
The military vehicles were quickly recycled and sold off, thereby making some of the original workshops surplus to requirement, which were then made available for rent and were successfully let to a variety of customers. In doing so, we became a property company. Thus was born the modern industrial estate at Slough, a pioneering concept that has since been copied all over the world.
The next step was to set about creating the infrastructure needed for further development – including the estates own Police force and Fire service. In 1926 the company name was changed to Slough Estates Ltd and we focused on producing world leading spaces for our customers.
In an early innovation, the estate was connected to the Great Western Railway with its own station allowing the estate’s workers to commute by train and freight wagons were loaded from within the buildings enabling the transportation of supplies in and goods out by rail.
Workers’ welfare was always considered to be of great importance and in 1936, the Slough Community Centre which featured over 150 bodies and societies offering a very broad range of activities for people on the estate.
In 1947 they launched our own Industrial Health service, a year before the NHS was formed. This featured state of the art mobile diagnostic equipment, such as X-ray machines that could go to the factories to treat people immediately when the need arose. The welfare of our employees and those of our customers was and is still is of real importance.
Companies such as AP Films, who made classic TV programmes such as Thunderbirds, and the global computer giant Hewlett Packard amongst many others. In fact the technology sector has long been a significant customer base for us and today the Slough Trading Estate is home to the second largest portfolio of Data Centres in the world.