John Gilbert built his experience working for the family engineering business – Fred Gilberts in Cardiff. For some time, John had been looking to start his own business and the perfect situation arose when John heard that Hobrough Machine Tools were closing due to retirement. Hobrough had been a very successful engineering company trading in Llanbradach since the mid-1950s, offering the largest precision surface and slide-way grinding facility in South Wales. This was a perfect opportunity to start his business and continue with this niche service.

In 1983 two large capacity grinding machines were purchased from Hobrough Machine Tools and JR Gilbert Engineering was established. John was also fortunate to also employ 4 ex-Hobrough staff, within a very short time machine tool rebuilding was also introduced into the site at Llanbradach.

In 2012 John himself was looking towards retirement but also anxious that this business should continue to prosper into the future, it was sold as a fully going concern to new directors Colin Beavis and Nicholas Robbins. Colin and Nick rapidly grew the business by offering new services to the existing customer base. Gilbert Engineering has invested in new machinery and the biggest asset of any company – skilled employees.

Gilbert Engineering grew 10-fold to 45 staff and the turnover multiplied at the same rate to £3.1M in 2020. The business is still actively looking for further opportunities for expansion to enable us to offer a wider range of services to our UK customer base.