In 1921, Walter Westin incorporated his electrical contracting business, founded after serving as a merchant seaman in World War one. Walter was soon joined by his two sons Derek and Cyril, who both eventually joined the company.
Over the years, the two sons further developed the business, with Derek overseeing admin and accounting tasks, and Cyril being given free rein as an innovator and source of new ideas.
Cyril would constantly engage in his own time in engineering projects including renovating vintage cars and boat building, and a turning point for Westin as a company came when Walter Westin, who recognised his sons’ innovative streak, bought Cyril a welding kit. Cyril soon identified a commercial use for this technology.
FIRE PLACE SURROUNDS
From the late 1940’s until the late seventies, Westin continued as an electrical repairs business, but also became the market leader in fireplace surrounds and canopies. Each individual piece in either copper, brass or stainless steel was crafted by hand by a skilled workforce. Sheet metal was cut with shears and then painstakingly textured by hand to create the popular hammered effect. This was the case for years until Cyril, ever the innovator, created a roller to apply the hammered effect which hugely increased production output.
The company prided itself on perfection, and instilled in the workforce a pride in their work emphasising the craftsmanship involved in production, and that every fire surround and hood must be worthy of the Westin name before it left the premises. An emphasis on craftsmanship and quality that remains to this day.
Walter Westin “retired” during the 1960’s due to poor health and handed the reins over to the capable hands of Derek and Cyril, but still insisted on visiting the factory every morning without fail to “spread peace and joy”.
The late 1970’s brought more change with the rise of the domestic cooker. With Westin now operating the fire surrounds side of the business, and the electrical repairs business (as Westin Drives Limited, who are still thriving today), a natural progression for fire surrounds was to add filters and a motor and migrate to the kitchen industry.
The late 1970’s brought more change with the rise of the domestic cooker. With Westin renowned for the fireplace canopies, a natural progression from this was to add filters and a motor and migrate to the kitchen industry.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Today Westin is at the forefront of Kitchen extraction in the UK, and regularly works with the biggest names in the kitchen design and interiors industry. The development of new products, technologies and most importantly – the team, still drives us as much now as it ever has.
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