We Are Celebrating 105 years

  1. 1910's

    • On the 1st of July 1919 Crane Co. purchased James E. Bennett & Sons, a Coppersmiths from London who had been an importer of Crane pipe fittings & valves
    • The company was subsequently renamed Crane-Bennett Ltd.

    In this decade

    • Titanic sinks
      1912 - Titanic sinks
    • Panama Canal
      1914 - The Panama Canal opens
  2. 1920's

    • The head office was established in Leman Street, London, E1
    • On the 17th of February 1921 the foundation stone of the foundry was laid in Ipswich
    • Production of Malleable Iron Pipe Fittings started in 1927 and the Company employed 300 people by the end of the decade

    In this decade

    • BBC
      1927 - BBC founded
    • Penicillin
      1928 - Penicillin discovered
  3. 1930's

    • Crane-Bennett Ltd. became Crane Ltd. on the 1st January 1932
    • During this period the Ipswich works expanded greatly to include:
      • A small gunmetal foundry
      • Cast Iron Gate Valve production
      • Cast Iron Radiators & Boiler manufacture
      • Galvanising plant for Malleable Iron Fittings
      • Metallurgical laboratory

    In this decade

    • Empire State Building
      1931 - Empire State Building opens
    • FM Radio
      1933 - FM radio invented
  4. 1940's

    • The Ipswich works was turned into a munitions factory to support the war effort, this included making:
      • Army truck castings
      • Tank bogie wheels
      • Mortar bombs
      • Machine gun parts
      • and landmine castings
    • The only halt in production occurred when the works was bombed in 1941, fortunately little damaged was caused and the site was back up a running after a week
    • By 1946 normal production resumed and the Ipswich works was expanded yet again to include a steel valve building and a bronze foundry
    • The labour force had increased to nearly 2000 people

    In this decade

    • Battle of Britain
      1941 - Battle of Britain
    • Microwave
      1946 - Microwave oven invented
  5. 1950's

    • After outgrowing the Leman Street office the headquarters moved in 1956 to 15 Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, London, EC4. It was then renamed Crane Court and is still called that today
    • In 1959 a new Malleable Iron Foundry was opened on the Ipswich site to keep up with the demand

    In this decade

    • Queen Elizabeth II
      1953 - Queen Elizabeth II crowned
    • Sputnik
      1957 - Sputnik orbits the earth
  6. 1960's

    • From 1960 onwards Crane Ltd. acquired a series of companies to increase its range of product and services:
      • Lumbys of Halifax
      • Rhodes, Brydon & Youatt of Stockport
      • Tylors of Burgess Hill
      • DEV Engineering of Stockport
      • Heatinaire of Derby
    • A new works were acquired in Aycliffe, County Durham in 1963 for the production of heating products
    • A Research & Development Centre was established in 1965 at Burgess Hill to keep on top of the latest technical advances

    In this decade

    • Jaguar E Type
      1961 - Jaguar E-Type goes in to production
    • Moon landings
      1969 - Man lands on the moon
  7. 1970's

    • A new Distribution Centre was constructed at Northampton in 1973
    • Crane Ltd. donated a garden in 1977 to the borough of Ipswich to celebrate the 50th anniversary of producing Malleable Iron Fittings in the town

    In this decade

    • Concorde
      1976 - First commercial Concorde flight takes place
    • Pompidou
      1977 - Pompidou Centre opens
  8. 1980's

    • In 1989 butterfly valves were installed in the pump room to control the water supply for the famous fountains at Trafalgar Square
    • The 80's also saw the launch of the D171 ball valve range and a series of flow measurement and regulating valves
    • PSS HVAC units supplied to Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre in Ipswich in 1988

    In this decade

    • Mobile phone
      1984 - Motorola creates first commercially available cell phone
    • credit: ITU Pictures
      1989 - Tim Berners-Lee invents world wide web
  9. 1990's

    • Perflow Instruments were acquired by Crane Ltd. in 1993 to develop flow and low pressure measuring equipment
    • Many new ranges were launched or extended during the 90s including:
      • Titan Ball Valves
      • Challenger Butterfly Valves
      • and Crusader Radiator Valves

    In this decade

    • Berlin Wall
      1991 - Berlin Wall comes down
    • Eurotunnel
      1994 - Eurotunnel officially opens
  10. 2000's

    • Crane Ltd. acquired a number of companies and became Crane Building Services & Utilities to reflect the new brand offerings:
      • Viking Johnson - 2003, along with their manufacturing plant in Hitchin
      • Helden - 2003
      • WASK - 2003
      • Hattersley - 2004
      • Delta Fluid Products - 2008
    • A manufacturing facility was opened in Suzhou, China in 2007
    • New products were added to the portfolio during this time including the Crane Fluid Systems Pro-Balance range of valves in 2000, the Dominator flow management system in 2002 and Viking Johnson launched the New MaxiFit coupling offering a wider tolerance in 2005

    In this decade

    • Euros
      2002 - Euro currency enters circulation
    • iPhone
      2007 - Apple iPhone announced
  11. 2010's

    • Crane BS&U open distribution centre in Dubai in 2013, to serve the ever-growing MENA market
    • NABIC web site launched with an eCommerce platform in 2016
    • Continued range expansion & new products developed including:
      • Crane FS and Hattersley Press-Fit valves, featuring integrated Geberit Mapress in 2012
      • Viking Johnson Large Diameter AquaFast in 2017
      • Crane FS and Hattersley PICV Mk3 in 2018
      • WASK Core & Vac 2019

    In this decade

    • Burj Khalifa
      2010 - Burj Khalifa opens
    • London 2012
      2012 - Olympics held in London

Our Heritage

Our HeritageCrane Building Services & Utilities forms part of the Process Flow Technologies within Crane Co. founded in 1855, which is a multi-industry, New York Stock Exchange quoted company with net sales in 2014 of $2.9bn.

Crane Limited origins dated back to 1908 when James E Bennett & Son Ltd, set up in business as a Coppersmith, in London. The UK based Company began importing American pipe fittings and valves from and Crane Co. In 1919 James E Bennett was acquired by Crane Co and the Company name changed to Crane-Bennett Ltd.

Crane Building Services & Utilities has been created as a result of Crane Ltd. acquiring Viking Johnson, Helden and WASK in 2003, and Hattersley in 2004. The most recent acquisition was Delta Fluid Products in 2008. Each of these companies has a long and distinguished history.

  • James E Bennett founded in London 1908
  • Crane - Bennett Ltd formed 1919
  • Crane Ltd moved to Ipswich 1925
  • Viking Johnson founded in Hitchin in the 1930s
  • WASK founded in Keighley in 1888
  • Delta Fluid Products founded in 1900

The name Crane speaks of who we are, what we stand for and how our customers perceive us: A company with history and tradition, but also a company that is innovative, quality minded and one which acts with integrity and still holds to the resolution of its founder.

Crane Co. was founded on 4th July 1855 by Richard Teller Crane who made the following resolution:

"I am resolved to conduct my business in the strictest honesty and fairness; to avoid all deception and trickery; to deal fairly with both customers and competitors; to be liberal and just towards employees; and to put my whole mind upon the business."

The essence of this resolution is the business policy of Crane Co. today.

Richard Teller Crane

Richard Teller Crane

Our People

Through the "Crane University" programme, intellectual capital is identified and developed. to achieve goals that benefit the individual and the organisation. Opportunities exist throughout the Crane Group for personal and professional development.

Operational Excellence is the Crane Business System that is the cornerstone of all our activities.

It ensures that each of our business units follows a systematic approach using a variety of tools to generate profitable growth by eliminating waste, reducing variability and focussing on customer needs.

  • Lean manufacturing
  • Kaizen projects to improve all processes
  • Strategic selling, planning and supply chain management
  • Six Sigma tools to measure, map and reduce variability.

Standard processes are in place throughout our value streams to improve our keys metrics: Safety, Quality, Delivery, Leadtime and Cost to drive growth and increase shareholder value.

We believe that good people
Make good things happen


Crane BS&U Worldwide

Crane BS&U has sales, manufacturing and distribution facilities around the world. From a 14 acre manufacturing facility based in Hitchin to a new distribution centre in Dubai, Crane BS&U truly operate around the world.

Crane Global Map


This video focuses especially on Building Services, highlighting our quality manufacturing & distribution facilities in the UK, China and the Middle East, as well as key target markets like MENA. Testimonals and comments from Crane BS&U senior management & customers in the UK and overseas are also included. 

Please click here to view video on YouTube



Thanks to Richard Hanley from Ipswich Transport Museum for the use of their archives when researching our history. There is an exhibit about Crane Ltd. in the museum as well as many other interesting exhibits, it is definitely worth a visit.