H K Wentworth Ltd.
Ordinary life demands extraordinary products
The company was formed in 1941 by Henry Kingsbury whose background was in the electronics field. The original company, Kingsbury Components, manufactured on/off volume controls under licence.
Some of the switches that Henry Kingsbury manufactured proved to be open circuit. He found that an invention of his, a specially formulated oil which had the ability to lubricate electrical contact or moving surfaces, not only cured the problem but also extended the lifetime of the contacts.
From this was born a range of lubricants which were, in turn, developed into greases. Through this grew the range of products available today which are designed to service the electronics industry, covering the fields of lubrication, cleaning, conformal coatings and photoresists plus other areas such as anti-static flooring, surface mount products, application machinery and de-soldering aids.
Henry’s wife, Lady Patricia, joined the company in the mid-1950s. Her role was to run the financial side of the company.
AF International, another branch of the company, was formed in 1963. Originally, it supplied fire-proof safes for storage of data tapes. In 1967 AF became the channel for selling two aerosol products: AF Spray and Ultraclene. This later developed into the selling of cleaning and maintenance products for computers and
office equipment.
In 1968, Gerald Kingsbury, one of Henry Kingsbury’s sons, joined the business. His area of expertise was selling both in the UK and the rapidly developing export markets.
In the 1970s the Kingsbury family decided to take control of their destiny by purchasing their major supplier, a company called DCS (Aerosols) Ltd, who were based in Atherstone in Warwickshire. This move gave the company its first
manufacturing capability.
The company rapidly outgrew its facilities and in 1981 moved out of its 3,000 sq ft into 13,500 sq ft of factory in Swadlincote. At the time, the company’s manufacturing and distribution operations were centralised at this factory. The Woodley warehouse was closed, leaving the offices at Wargrave, Berkshire, with mainly financial, sales and a small amount of manufacturing, with the balance being handled in the Midlands.
Finding this successful, within two years, the whole of the manufacturing business was moved to the Midlands base. In 1987 the company purchased
a much larger site in Swadlincote, (in excess of 52,000 sq ft).
In 1990, the company acquired Design Resins Ltd, based in Calne, Wiltshire, thus adding an extensive range of resins to the product portfolio sold by Electrolube. In 1999 the Calne site was closed and all the resin production absorbed into the manufacturing base at Swadlincote.
In January 2002, a third company, EuroChemi, was formed to develop chemically based products with applications other than for the electronics and electrical industries.
It remains a private company owned by the Kingsbury family and run by a small group of Executive Directors with active participation from the family.
The H K Wentworth Group
AF International
Electrolube
Eurochemi
HKW direct
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