T.W. Generators Limited

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A brief history of TW Generators Limited


The association with generating sets started long before TW Generators Ltd was formed.  During his National Service in Germany in the 1960s, Tom Wallis, the ‘TW’ of TW Generators Limited, drove the lorry and worked on the generating set that was used for mobile radar.  After being demobbed, he started training and contracting as an electrician, where he worked in the “New Town” designated place of Hemel Hempstead and other local areas.   Whilst working as an electrician he decided he wanted to build a generating set.   In the front room of a house near Tring in Hertfordshire, the first generator was assembled with a Villiers petrol engine and a BKB alternator.   Not knowing where, or how, to sell the generator, he approached the electrical wholesaler of City Electrical in High Wycombe where the Manager agreed to place it on the counter.  The first generator was sold and was quickly followed with orders for further small portable petrol and diesel engine powered units.

In the early 1970’s Tom moved into the premises of Wheelers Yard, sited in the middle of the village of Long Marston in Hertfordshire.   The main building had previously been a wheel -wrights, then a local bakery and for the next 30 years it became the workshop for the fabrication and the assembly of generating sets.   The early 1970’s included a period known as the ‘three day week’, when power cuts and ongoing blackouts were common place.  This caused a high demand for generating sets and led to commercial sized generators being produced.   Overseas sales agents and end customers started visiting the office typically after flying into London, and from just supplying the United Kingdom with generators, the export side of the business was started.   From a sole trader enterprise the Company of TW Generators Limited was formed in 1975.  The quantity and variety of generators being built increased and the export of generators developed from supplying mainly the Middle East to include Africa and the West Indies.    For periods in the late 1970’s, the company became one of the largest UK based purchasers of Lister diesel engines, and was constantly collecting engines from Dursley, Gloucestershire.

Tom Wallis and Paul Munton pose in the 1970's beside generators destined for Oman

Over the next 20 years, the combination of UK and export sales continued and the range of products and services increased.   Used generators were added, on-site servicing arrangements offered and custom control and distribution panels were designed and built.    Specialist panels, diesel generators, motor/alternator buffer sets and water pumps were built for a variety of organisations, including defence contractors and governmental agencies.    The equipment was supplied either direct to the customer or as a specialist sub-contractor.

In 2003, the Company moved premises to Marsworth Airfield South Site, sometimes historically referred to as Cheddington Airfield.  The site has an interesting military history with rumours about clandestine wartime flights and other secret operations commonplace.   With the same Managing Director that started the business all those years ago, this ex-US military airfield is currently our base for the ongoing sales and support of generating sets.

Links for some history of Cheddington/Marsworth Airfield

Building 12, Marsworth Airfield South Site, Long Marston Road, Marsworth, TRING, Herts, England, HP23 4FE