A construction company set up using a £100 loan and a second hand Post Office van is turning 65 years old tomorrow, now with a turnover of £150m.
Lindum Group, which today employs 600 people across 12 divisions, will mark its Blue Sapphire anniversary on Thursday, 23rd September.
The company, now based at the Lindum Business Park in North Hykeham, was started by John F Chambers, father of current chairman David.
John left his job as a civil engineer for Lincoln City Council and borrowed £100 from his father-in-law, Edward Curtis, to start the business with a former colleague called Tony Nearey.
Together they set up Lindum Construction as a Civil Engineering company Contractor on 23rd September, 1956. They employed a lady called Pauline Brown as secretary and admin (who would later go on to chair the company) and purchased an old Post Office van at auction for £20.
Today, the company has a turnover of £150 million and operates across Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire. These days, it has a fleet of 273 vehicles, but has kept the Post Office’s red and yellow livery!
To celebrate the anniversary and to thank staff for their loyalty and hard work, Lindum held a Family Fun Day for all its employees and shareholders. The event took place at the Hazelwood Water Ski Resort in Lincoln and included fairground rides, a BBQ lunch, afternoon tea and a chance for the families to try out water skiing and an inflatable aqua park.
Current chairman, and John’s youngest son, David Chambers, said it had been great to mark the occasion after such an extraordinary couple of years.
“Sixty five years of business is quite an achievement in any business and especially in construction. We have kept to good ethics, practicality and a common sense with our own tradespeople, engineers and managers, which means that we try to deliver well and fix things when, as they often do, bits and pieces need fixing” he said.
The anniversary also marks another milestone in the company’s history as John Chambers’ grandsons Freddie and Edward step up to be joint Managing Directors of Lindum Group.
While David will remain as company chair, the brothers will work alongside the rest of the Exec Board to oversee the day to day running of business.
The move cements the third generation of Chambers leadership at Lindum.
“My dad and Mr Nearey parted ways in 1963 and JFC, as he was known, ran the company with Mrs Brown until he retired in 1988,” added David.
“Mrs Brown then became chair and I joined Lindum on September 4th 1988 in a business development role. In 1991 Mrs Brown died and I became chairman.
““I hope to remain Chair for a while longer and keep in close touch with helping the business and the teams taking over. We have a team of robust executive board members, managers with common sense and hard-working, practical and technical employees and skilled trades men and women. In addition, Herman Kok and Simon Gregory are continuing to help the business as needed for the years ahead.
Lindum is a family business but since it became employee-owned in 1995, it has embraced the term in a wider sense,
Freddie Chambers, who has worked at Lindum since 2012, said: “We are an employee-owned company, which means all staff are invited to buy shares in the business and many do.
“When we talk about the ‘Lindum family’ we are referring to the family of shareholders, of which there are currently around 400. All of us have a stake in our business and, in addition, we have a profit-related pay which means we all share the company’s financial success.
“We do also have dozens of other family ties throughout the business – mums working alongside daughters and fathers managing sons, wives monitoring the work of their husbands and siblings working side by side. These ties cross divisions and our locations and help keep our working principles intact.”
“We do also have dozens of biological family ties through the business. We have mums working alongside daughters, fathers managing sons, wives monitoring the work of their husbands and siblings working side by side – and many, many more. These ties cross divisions and geographical locations and really keeps our working principles intact.”
Edward Chambers, who has worked for Lindum since 2013 said “Looking ahead, I believe we have a strong foundation to face the future, maybe even for the next 65 years, we shall have to see!