In the late 60s, Harry’s passion and knowledge of the aluminium industry drew his eldest son Richard’s interest, and instead of Richard investing his savings in a newsagent’s cabin in central Manchester, he offered it to his father, establishing Constant Aluminium Supplies Ltd in 1970. Although, suggested names for the business did include ABC Aluminium and Express Aluminium, before settling on Constant Aluminium.
Vera, Harry’s wife, became the company’s Secretary, with Harry leading the way on buying and selling aluminium to local businesses alongside Richard labouring (or goffering as Richard calls it). They did their deliveries by hand or by bus to local business. With orders flourishing, the company bought their first ‘truck’ for a modest £75. Their bus travelling days were over. Richard had met Maggie, and unknowingly to Harry, the legacy of the company was to continue with Matthew (Matt) and Emma born in 1978 and 82 respectively.
Unfortunately Harry passed away in 1977, leaving the business to Richard. With the business skills like his father Richard started to make his own business contacts and continued to grow the company. He saw an early niche in the market to use his left over aluminium sheets to produce finger-plates and kick plates. Constant Engineering, as we know it now, was born.
Maggie left her career as a respected Teacher and joined Richard, initially as ‘the sales girl’. Maggie would handle calls at home to prospective customers, receiving orders and passing to Richard the next day to manufacture and deliver. Once Vera retired, Maggie officially became the company Secretary.
While Richard and Maggie grew the business, their children flourished at University. Matt asked to join the company on the afternoon of his graduation from Manchester Metropolitan University, while Emma joined just days after her own graduation from De Montfort University, both keen to join the team at Constant. 17 and 12 years later, they’re both now hands-on Managing Directors.
The business premises haven’t moved that far from the original building, where Richard and Harry had a small warehouse. Constant’s current 50,000ft2 manufacturing site is just off the M60’s Junction 22, providing quick access to the motorway for easy distribution.
In 2015, the company changed name to Constant Group Ltd to reflect the depth of the business’ brands and multiple divisions. As a stroke of luck the company name changed on Richard’s birthday, the 10th of April, which certainly helped with the diplomatic side of broaching the ‘Dad we've changed the company name’conversation.
Richard comments, “45 years ago I couldn’t have envisaged being part of a company providing a range of metal work to companies around the world. Today we employ over 70 people from the Oldham and Manchester area, something again I’d never have thought possible when I started up with my father in the 70s. I never have to win the lottery. I’ve got my family and the business, and to me, that’s my lottery win.”