Durey Castings Limited was formed in 1974 by Ken Durey. He had managed the highly sucessfull manhole cover business Dunbro Ltd in Greenwich and Woolwich, South East London, and when the new owners lost their customer focus he decided to start his own business in order to improve that service. He was aided at that time by his wife Peggy, daughter Jan and some very established names in the industry. Moving out of London to rural Dartford at that time felt like going to work in the deepest countryside!
The new premises had a tiny office that needed quickly extending, and toilets for gents only, so the females had to befriend another local business in order to powder their noses.
Councils, contractors, builders merchants and the public quickly followed him to the new business and after only a couple of years trading Durey Castings Limited was fast becoming the 'go to' place for manhole covers and gratings with customer friendly service. The Dartford site on which the company started is still used by them today, although it is greatly expanded.
Early orders supplied by Durey Castings included covers and gratings for most of London's roads, the building of the M25, Universities of London, Surrey and Kent, London's visionary dockland developments, Blackwall & Dartford tunnels, Kew Gardens, the Thames Barrier, London Bridge station and the Victoria Dam project in Sri Lanka built by Balfour Beatty.
Success was down to the way Ken and his staff ran the business. Nothing was too much trouble, honesty ran throughout, the stock profile reflected the needs of 'local' buyers, and deliveries were organised to suit customers not the company. Sons and daughters of Ken joined the business over time together with knowledgeable staff migrating from competitor companies that refused to modernise.
Existing larger companies in the area tried to fight the 'new-comer', especially as these companies lost sales, but luckily buyers remained faithful to Ken and his philosophy. There was a customer loyalty that meant that during the eighties and nineties Durey Castings was able to 'kick on' to greater heights receiving orders for the Channel Tunnel and the High Speed Rail Link, the Faslane Trident naval base, the entire cable TV network in the South, Dartford Bridge, HMP Belmarsh prison, Kings Cross Station, Trafalgar Square, Millennium Dome, Lakeside & Bluewater shopping centres and the Beautification of Gibraltar Scheme. The company's committment to quality even in those early days (they were the first manhole cover business to win accreditation to what was then called BS5750 Quality Assurance standard under BSI) gave them access to many prestigious contracts.
Since the mid 1970s there has been a lot of changes. The customer base has grown beyond local councils and contractors to national and international clients. The product range has changed due to the publication of new standards, product development, heavier vehicles, new materials, etc. Our staff have obviously changed over this period, but one requirement of all people we employ remains constant: commitment to customer service. The company has always been a family run business and still remains so in 2017. Today, in our 5th decade, there are still 7 members of the family involved in the day to day running of the company.
They also believe the whole supply chain is important. Suppliers to Durey Castings are thoroughly assessed for suitability and once approved are treated with courtesy and respect. This includes paying invoices on time and without fuss.
Prestigious projects the company has undertaken since 2000 include the entire Transport for London network, Wembley and Emerate stadia, the Shard, Buenas Vista Park Villas in Spain, Heathrow & Gatwick airports, Thames Barrier refit, Westfield shopping centre and the 2012 Olympic Games.
In recent years the family have introduced DureyService™, opened additional depots to serve the south coast and the West, influenced the standard of steel covers and gratings through active membership of FACTA, designed Transport for London's D-L recessed covers, designed a range of Disability Discrimination Act compliant gratings suitable for wheelchair users & the blind, and are currently contributing to the introduction of a new EN124 standard. #dureyservice
Today, Durey Castings Limited is a £7million a year business, and yes, it returns a good profit to the family. We generously support local and national charities and have supplied equipment for local schools and sports clubs.
In 2017 we are the main sponsor for the Dartford Half Marathon, Kent's longest running road race.