Whatever happened to Compton Buildings of Fenny Compton, Warwickshire AKA Banbury Garages?
November 2008 saw jubilation at Compton Buildings, it was their fiftieth birthday. Compton Buildings had new owners Marshalls PLC and their future was said to be secured.
Founded in 1958 by Cyril Kyme, Compton Garages (later Compton Buildings Limited) had gradually absorbed such brands and Banbury and Washington Garages. Many of their rivals Grimston and Marley Garages had long since fallen by the wayside.
In 2009 a confident Compton Garages made a statement that “Compton has built more concrete garages, sheds and workshops than anyone else”. Compton garages had already supplied over 500,00 concrete buildings and garages.
Behind the scenes, Compton Buildings was haemorrhaging money. The successful management had been discarded by the new owners Marshall PLC and in its place arrived a team that alienated its workforce and the dealer network. In the summer of 2011, the factory at Fenny Compton ceased production.
Later the Compton name was revived when their rival Lidget Concrete took on the branding style, although this product is not be confused with the former.
No phoenix company arose but there are a few providers of spares and companies which undertake repairs and refurbishment of the Compton range of Garages.
In the early 1990s Compton Buildings switched from asbestos roofing to fibre-cement board corrugated roofing. It has come to light that this more modern substitute is prone to failure from as soon as it’s tenth year.
It is no longer possible to obtain asbestos roofing and who would want to? Some companies are able to convert the current roof to an all steel roofing sheet but be wary of cheap thin roofs without a anti-drip fabric lining which inhibit the build up of condensation.
Compton was first established in 1958 and did grow to become the largest UK and European pre-cast concrete building manufacturer. The Compton Group included Compton Buildings, Compton Commercial and the greenhouse brands, Alton and Robinsons.
Prefabricated concrete structures such and garages and even homes have been popular post-war in England, Wales and Scotland. These structures are generally built in just one day and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional built building. In the past, concrete garages were constructed using smaller panels which slotted into posts on either side but in more recent years as concrete technology has moved on the construction is of taller narrower sections.