E A Foulds Limited, based in Colne, Lancashire, was established in 1907 as a general engineering and millwright business, servicing the needs of the local textile industry.

The company was founded by Ernest Albert Foulds at the turn of the last century. He had previously worked as an engineer at the De Beers diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa. He returned to Colne to get married with the intention of going back to South Africa with his new wife, but with the onset of the Boer War he decided to remain in Colne.

After a period working as a foreman, he set up his own business in 1907, and gradually built up a reputation as a general engineer and millwright. During the First World War, the company switched to making shell casings before reverting back to general engineering at the end of the war.

Foulds Lifts - Company History Photographs

During the 1920s, Ernest was approached to make a hoist for a local business. This was successful, and Ernest realised there was a business opportunity to specialise in this area.

Ernest's sons, Robert and William were also working for the family business at this time. Orders for supplying goods lifts to the textile industry continued to grow, and the company thrived by diversifying into building passenger lifts for hotels in Blackpool.

William's sons John and David joined the company in the early 1960s after graduating from university, which led to further diversification into the manufacture of electrical control panels.

Andrew Foulds and Cathy Ogden

In the 1970s, the company diversified again, by establishing Pendec. This division is an independent electrical distributor, supplying an extensive range of factory control, automation and safety products for use in a wide variety of industrial applications including the automotive industry, food and beverage industry, water treatment and processing, and rail and transportation. Their customer base ranges from large OEMs and panel builders through to independent specialist electrical contractors throughout the North West of England.

Today E A Foulds Limited is managed by the fourth generation of the Foulds family. John's eldest son Andrew joined the business in 1988 and is now the firm's Technical Director. David's daughter, Catherine Ogden, left chartered accountants Ernst & Young in 2004 to become the firm's Commercial Director.

Lifts from E A Foulds Limited have been installed as far afield as the Falkland Islands. However, one of the company's most unusual orders came from the producers of the James Bond films. Its lifts feature in both 'Goldfinger', moving gold bullion in Fort Knox, and in 'You Only Live Twice' where a hoist was used in the film's final scenes.

Today Foulds Lifts is still based in Colne, ands specialises in providing all aspects of lift engineering to an extensive customer base throughout the North of England. Our services range from routine maintenance and 24 hour breakdown cover, through to new installations and modernisations of existing lifts.