- Created: Thursday, 13 September 2007 16:58
- Last Updated: Monday, 20 June 2016 12:55
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Lec Refrigeration was a dedicated manufacturer of refrigeration established for over 60 years until it was bought recently by Glen Dimplex and now it makes very little outside of commercial produts.
Lec aims to make efficient, well engineered products for Domestic, Marine, Medical, Commercial, Scientific and Technical markets in the UK and overseas. But for domestic products the appliances that we have seen recently are merely rebadged Chinese and Turkish machines from the usual suspects making Lec, to us anyway, little better than most own label brands.
In 1940 Charles and Frank Purley owned a fresh fish shop and, as obtaining ice was expensive they sought a cheap method of keeping the fish in good condition had to be found. In 1942 with partner Leslie Jull they purchased a small engineering workshop in Longford Road Bognor Regis and Longford Engineering Company (L.e.c) was born. Through the war years the workshop produced munitions as well as developing a refrigeration system.
The founders obtained some land from Farmer Munday at Shripney Road Bognor Regis for £125 in 1946. This was the base from which the factory grew. In the same year their first prototype fridge was made, and the company acquired its first airplane, which was used for urgent deliveries and repairs, yes it was seriously used to do service calls, it isn't a myth. The plane was also used for transporting executives on business trips.
By 1947 the factory at Shripney Road was in full production and about 200 workers were employed. During the 1940''s Lec concentrated on their foreign export market, due to the fact that steel was in short supply and available only for the overseas trade. As a result of this 90% of all fridges Britain exported to Canada in 1948 were made by Lec, and at times 80% of all Lec fridges were for export.
In 1954 the company was renamed Lec Refrigeration Ltd.
In 1964 Lec was floated on the stock market successfully. In the same year Lec expanded to Burnley, Oldham and Northern Ireland.
Charles Purley Founder and Chairman of the board of Directors was presented with an OBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 1986. In October of 1991 at the age of 81 Charles Purley gave up the Chairmanship of the board, he became life president but sadly died in the December.
Sime Darby of Malaysia purchased Lec and invested £34 million into a new factory in 1994.
Then in 2003 Lec officially close their old factory with a ceremony held for employees. Long service awards were given to those employees who had worked at the company for over 20 years.
March 2005 and Lec is acquired by Glen Dimplex Home Appliances a major manufacturer with brands such as Stoves, Belling and New World. Chief Executive, Denver Hewitt said, "We are pleased to have acquired Lec and plan to continue with the management's strategy, to accelerate its growth and regain its leading position in the UK refrigeration market. We have a strong track record in acquiring and rebuilding businesses in the domestic appliance industry."
Lec Commercial products continues to be managed from the site at Bognor Regis, and Lec Domestic is now managed from GDHA head office in Prescot, Merseyside.
LEC Market Position
Despite the heritage good name and goodwill Lec has always seemed to struggle much outside of the budget end of the market. Why we don't quite understand as the products were actually not that bad and certainly could easily rival the wave of cheap Italian etc. products that came into the UK.
Now Lec seems still to be trying to shake off that stigma, an endeavour that will not be helped by persistent rumours that many of the new products under Glen Dimplex Home Appliances are being made in China. It's a shame now that no domestic refrigeration is being made in Britain by such a historic brand.
Due to that shift the focus now seems to be more on the value end of the market as it is with many other GDHA brands.
As with the other brands owned by GDHA service is carried out by GDHA service workforce, it isn't cheap. Service quality should be reasonably high from Glen Dimplex.
When you call Glen Dimplex for service outside of warranty, according to reports we've had, they will route you to a warranty company who will try to sell you onto a maintenance contract for a monthly fee. The offer will seem tempting but it is actually expensive when you add it up but you can find out more about this from this article and make your own mind up, at least you will be informed.
Alternatively, out of warranty servicing offers you up other options.
The independent engineers are liable to repair any New World appliance cheaper and more quickly that Glen Dimplex and, you don't have to deal with a call centre trying to sell you onto a never ending maintenance contract. You can search for an approved appliance repair company using our engineer search facility completely free.
Of course if you choose to service your New World appliance yourself you have to appreciate that there is little to no servicing information available publicly. In fact, there's very little service information available outside of Glen Dimplex themselves but then, they are going to promote their own service and try to protect that business.
LEC Spare Parts
We do supply and can obtain most LEC spare parts as long as they are still available but, due to dwindling numbers in recent years, not many spares suppliers will actually hold physical stock like ourselves. Most spare parts are ordered by request as needed for LEC.
Please do not use the comments below to ask for technical help or advice on any LEC fridge, freezer or fridge freezer as the engineers will not see the request. Please use the forums where much more help will be available and is a completely free service.