Welcome to the Gardner & Co History page.
Scroll down to find out more about the origins of our company and also read about Phillip John "Pip" Gardner, a member of the founding Gardner family who earned a Military Cross and Victoria Cross during WWII.
The first factory was opened circa 1873 and was actually at Dockhead, Bermondsey, only 0.6 miles from the location of the current head office, so it seems we have gone full circle.
The first factory for J. Gardner & Co was opened in circa 1873.
The first factory was in Dockhead, Bermondsey, 0.6 miles from the current head office in London.
When he was 19 the company sent him to Hong Kong for two years, entrusting him with the drawing work for the installation of heating and ventilating equipment at the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.
Whilst here, he joined the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Force.
Edward VIII abdicates
10th December 1936
After returning home, he joined the Westminster Dragoons TA in 1938, confiding to a friend in a letter: " I must do my duty, but I'm no soldier".
Start of World War I
28th July 1914
Philip John “Pip” Gardner was born on Christmas Day 1914 at Sydenham, South London, the son of Stanley J Gardner.
End of the First World War
11th November 1918
He was educated at Dulwich, where he played rugby for the school and blew the bugle on Armistice Day. He chose rifle-shooting in preference to cricket & practised on ranges at Bisley. At 17 he joined J Gardner and Co, the family engineering firm.
Britain declares war on Germany - World War II
3rd September 1939
In March 1940 Gardner was commissioned as a subaltern into the Royal Tank Regiment. In September he spent four weeks at the Irregular Warfare School at Lochailort on the west coast of Scotland, where Lord Lovat was in charge of the field-craft course.
He was posted to the 4th Royal Tank Regiment in the Western Desert in 1941 and was awarded two gallantry medals for his actions during his time here.
The first, his MC awarded in June 1941 and his second, the VC awarded in November 1941.
In June 1942, after the fall of Tobruk, Pip Gardner was captured and sent to Italy as a prisoner of war. He later escaped, but was recaptured by the Germans and sent firstly to Stalag IV B in Muhlberg and then to Stalag 79 near Brunswick. Here he helped to raise £13,000 in pledges from other POWs to start a boys club in Fulham. After the war he returned to Gardner & Co.
World War II Ends
2nd September 1945
The citation for his VC declared: "The courage, determination and complete disregard for his own safety displayed by Captain Gardner enabled him, despite his wounds and in the face of intense fire at close range, to save the life of his fellow officer in circumstances fraught with great difficulty and danger." Gardner was invested with the VC by King George VI at Buckingham Palace on May 18th 1945.
A site for the Brunswick Boys' Club was purchased in Fulham and building work completed in 1948. The Duke of Edinburgh opened the club the following year. Philip Gardner was president for 40 years.
In 1951 J Gardner & Co completed work on the Royal Festival Hall where they manufactured and installed 170 tons of air duct.
After the war, Gardner was appointed joint managing director of the family firm; he became chairman in 1955.
The Sydenham "New Monument works", factory estate in Kent House Lane was an amazing place, almost totaly self sufficient.
It had, along with the sheet metal, structural steelworks and semiskilled workshops and stores, it's own maintenance department (in case of machinery breakdown), garages with fully trained mechanics to look after all of the company's vehicles, 2 drawing offices, Contracts Drawing Office and Production Drawing Office.
Estimating and commercial departments, a rate fixing department for giving, piecemeal, manufacturing targets and a print room, where the dyeline "blueprints" were produced, as well as both staff and works canteens.
Gardner & Co were the first Duct-work company to do an "Airside" package, this was first introduced on the Custer Gardens (Devonshire Square) development near Liverpool Street station.
Shortly after this Gardner & Co took on full contractor status on the Finsbury Avenue and Broadgate development.
Philip "Pip" Gardner passes away on the 14th February 2003
In recent years Gardner & Co have gone on to work on some of the largest and most iconic buildings in the UK, including the Shard, Battersea Power Station, UBS and many more. Gardner & Co are the country's leaders in Airside and Ventilation and are continuing to grow.