Hutchinson & Dibley was formed in 1965 and incorporated on March 1st, 1966, by Dennis Dibley and William Hutchinson to meet the growing demand for the remanufacture of steam and gas valves, work which was initially undertaken in William Hutchinson’s garden shed. However, it soon became apparent that the shed would no longer meet the company’s requirements as a facility, and in 1967 the company moved to its first factory in Maidenhead, Berkshire, with a staff of two full-time employees to cope with the growing demand for its services.
In 1968, after a period of continued growth, Hutchinson & Dibley moved to a much larger facility in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The company resided here throughout the 1970s, expanding its capabilities to cover all types of machining and fabrication while continuing to provide extensive sub-contract machining services. At this time the company also took on the repair, refurbishment and manufacture of machines, from paper-converting machinery to props for film productions.
During the early 1970s, the company became a major supplier to the fledgling North Sea Oil Project. As a result of this business, and because of the project’s deemed importance, the company was declared exempt from the Three Day Week legislation on power consumption instituted by the British Government during 1973. The scale of this business was such that in 1978, Hutchinson & Dibley established an auxiliary facility in Swanage to take advantage of new Hardinge and Posidata CNC machines. This expansion also saw the purchase of an engineering company in Exeter and the creation of CHAD Engineering, amalgamating the Exeter and High Wycombe branches of Hutchinson & Dibley. The name CHAD was taken from the first letter of the principals–Curtis, Hutchinson, Austin, Dibley–who all became joint owners. In the early eighties, CHAD Engineering was sold and continues to trade today.
At the beginning of the 1980s, a major economic recession in the United Kingdom saw many companies cease trading, but Hutchinson & Dibley’s links with the petrochemical industries proved of exceptional value in insulating it from the adverse effects of the economic downturn.
In February 1985, the Company moved to a 3,000sq/ft facility in Bourne End, a modern 3,000 square foot building. This change of site allowed considerable expansion of the already extensive machining capabilities of the Company. A period of consolidation followed, pre-empted by the first signs of an imminent recession in 1989, which resulted in the closure of the facility in Dorset.
However, undaunted by this, the company embarked upon an extensive re-appraisal of its manufacturing capabilities. The acquisition of RJK Engineering was completed in 1993, and during the following five years, almost all of the CNC equipment was upgraded. An ongoing investment programme is still in place as of 2021.
In August 2000, following the sale of the entire Adwest Group to Dura Automotive Inc. of the USA, the Adwest Adamant division was acquired by Hutchinson & Dibley. The company became a first tier supplier to Rolls Royce Aero/Marine Engines, supplying and servicing actuators on Avon, Tyne, Spey and Olympus engines. In September 2000, actuator production commenced from Bourne End, and an overhaul and repair facility was established to repair units that had been in service for as much as 20 years.
In 2015 Hutchinson & Dibley established a research and development division, specialising in electro-mechanical design innovation, at a purpose-built 4,500sq/ft facility in Chinnor, Oxon, with 11,000sq/ft of fully secured yard space. In June 2020 the company closed its Bourne End facility after 35 years, and operates today from the Chinnor facility.