The History of Foxboro-Yoxall at Redhill

Much of the information on this page supplied by Derek Flanagan.

The Company
The history of the Foxboro Company began in 1908 with the establishment of a factory in Foxboro, a small town 20 fox miles South East of Boston, Mass, USA. Since then process control products bearing the Foxboro trademark have become world-famous and have been manufactured in many countries.
Mr L.S.Yoxall founded the Yoxall Instrument Company in 1931 and developed close links with The Foxboro Company, USA. A partnership between the two companies began at Merton, London, in 1934 with the building of a factory to manufacture Foxboro instruments for the first time in the UK. Foxboro-Yoxall grew rapidly and was able to produce many of the instruments vital to the needs of British Industry during WW2.
In order to meet the post-war expansion of industry, a second, much larger factory was opened in Kidbrook, London. In 1950 a third factory was opened in Wandsworth, London, which concentrated on the production of electronic instruments and housed the first training centre, where customers' personnel received skilled instruction in the application and maintenance of industrial instruments.
The UK and export business continued to increase and an expansion programme was started that culminated in the acquisition of a 52 acre site at Redhill in 1957 and the building of a 126,000 sq. ft. factory upon it for the production of industrial instruments. The new site was formally opened by the Mayor of Reigate & Redhill in 1958. The factory and office floor area was almost doubled in 1963. A new Research & Development and flowmeter Calibration facility were added and, in 1967, the old Wiggie Manor, on the perimeter of the Foxboro-Yoxall site and with links back to the 16th century, was acquired and converted for use by the Training Centre. In 1969 work began on a new office wing and, when opened in 1970, the Training Centre moved to occupy half of its ground floor. The total building floor area ended up at 250,000 sq. ft. by 1971 with around 1,500 people employed.
  Part of the opening ceremony at Foxboro-Yoxall, Wiggie, Redhill, in 1958. The Mayor of Reigate hoists the British and American flags.
Picture courtesy Derek Flanagan)
In addition to the manufacturing facility Foxboro-Yoxall had its own extensive sports and social club, with two football pitches*, a cricket pitch, two tennis courts, two 18 hole putting greens and a sports pavilion with changing rooms and showers. Ground staff members Arthur Collins (Head Gardener), Harry Chatfield and Michael Wragg kept the sports facilities, lawns, flower beds, rock gardens and rose beds in top condition, growing over 8,000 plants a year in the greenhouse for planting out into magnificent settings.
This was particularly appropriate to the history of the site as sixty years before Foxboro-Yoxall came here this was where Redhill Football Club first played. Formed in 1894 it played at Wiggie and in the 1895/6 season beat Queens Park Rangers 2-0 there. The club moved to the Redhill Sports Ground in 1897/8.

The sports field and pavilion. The company name on the highest part of the building would have been a familiar site to commuters passing on the nearby railway line.(Picture courtesy Derek Flanagan)
Wiggie Manor
At the turn of the 20th century the old Wiggie Manor House in Wiggie Lane had famous gardens. When Foxboro-Yoxall was built the house remained on the perimeter of the site and was eventually acquired by Foxboro-Yoxall in 1967. Many of the splendid daffodils continued to flower each year but by March 1977 the house had become infested with woodworm and dry rot and was beyond repair. It was demolished to make way for a new training centre.

Wiggie House (Picture courtesy Derek Flanagan)

Part of the daffodil gardens at Wiggie long before the days of Foxboro-Yoxall, but which continued to flower into the 1950s and 60s

An aerial view of the Foxboro-Yoxall site.
Wiggie House is at the extreme bottom centre of picture with the training building behind it.
(picture courtesy Derek Flanagan)
A later aerial view; at the bottom of the picture a building has been added. The picture was sent by Graham Bartlett. His father, John Bartlett,worked for Foxboro from soon after it opened until the 1990s. Graham remembers playing tennis on their courts, and attending the Christmas parties as a child. He says that someone must have had connections with the record industry because they always gave away lots of '45s' to all the children.

Thanks for the picture and information, Graham.


A view from the southern end of the car
park above towards the main buildings

(Picture courtesy Derek Flanagan)

Laurence S.Yoxall CBE ( 1901 - 1976) founder of Foxboro-Yoxall Ltd.
Mr Yoxall was a founder member of the British Industrial Measuring & Control Apparatus Manufacturers Association, and from 1951 to 1952 he held the office of chairman. He was president 1968 - 1970 and in 1971 became vice-president, a position he held until his death in 1976. He was invested with the CBE in 1971 by the Queen in recognition of his outstanding services to Britain's exports. In 1975 the Institute of Measurement & Control was granted its royal charter and conferred an Honorary Fellowship on him. A man who believed in working hard and playing hard, Mr Yoxall was the inspiration for, and one of the founders of the Foxboro-Yoxall Sports & Social Club . He played cricket for Foxboro-Yoxall for many years, joined the swimming group, played golf, table tennis, darts and was a familiar face at the Club's dinner-dances.
Mr and MrsYoxall and their daughter, Sheila, outside Buckingham Palace in 1971 with the CBE (Picture courtesy Derek Flanagan)

This was a page on Alan Moore's website (discontinued October 2014)

This page has been created by the Redhill and Reigate History Society and is hosted courtesy of the Reigate and Redhill Society

© Reigate and Redhill Society 1952 - 2024