At the turn of the 19th Century, John Newall (Jack Snr) founded an import export business, based in the centre of Manchester. The company, John Newall & Co imported products such as Cyprus lace and wine, Egyptian cotton, Russian oils and rugs. Many of the imported items were sold to retail outlets.
Jack Snr and wife Mary (aka Mimi) also ran a haberdashery shop in Broom Lane, Levenshulme, Manchester, where they sold many of the imported goods. In return, they exported high technology items such as machinery, pumping equipment, pipework, tractors, diesel engines and threshing machines.
In 1900, Jack Jnr was born and was soon to become a central figure of the business.
At the age of 22, Jack Jnr spent much time in Cyprus and the Middle East, trading many goods and revolutionizing the lives of many. John exported many high tech products, including pioneering agricultural equipment to some countries. He is thought to have exported the first tractor from England to Cyprus, and irrigation equipment for growing oranges.
John spent much of his time on the island of Cyprus. In 1926, his childhood sweetheart Jessie travelled out alone to Egypt, carrying a large box containing a wedding cake made by her mother. John and Jessie met at Pot Said in Egypt where they were married by the British Consul.
After a honeymoon in Egypt they moved to Cyprus, first living in Nicosia, then settling in Famagusta. John exported a beautiful Belsize sports car which, according to a local doctor, was “quite a headturner”.
In 1928, tragedy hit the family with the death of Jack Jnr’s father, grandmother, and brother Norman, who died following an accident in his Salmson sports car. John returned to Manchester, sold the family home in Marshall Road, Levenshulme, and took his mother back to live with them in Cyprus.
In 1930, John H Newall was born, who would eventually be at the helm of CPE for many years.
Jack Jnr continued to grow the import export business, and won the contract to supply the entire diesel electric generating plant to Cyprus Mines Corporation in 1930s.
On July 1st 1939, business was booming and the Newall clan decided to take a holiday to visit relations in England. The family Jack Jr, Jessie, Joan, John H Newall and Joy all left their house, their dog and their possessions and embarked on a long trip back to England. They arrived at Avonmouth Dock where they collected a brand new Morris 10 motor car, which they planned to export on their return trip to Cyprus.
Unfortunately, 1939 was not a good year to travel. World War II broke out during their stay and they were unable to return to Cyprus. All their possessions, including the furniture, the grand piano, the Belsize car and kids toys were auctioned off and the import export business ceased to trade.
During the war years, Jack Jnr worked on Crossley 500HP marine diesel engines for minesweepers.
In the 1940s Jack Jnr set up Compressor & Power Engineers in the corner of a carpentry shop in Blackheath, Birmingham. CPE moved to Rea Street, Birmingham in 1950 then to West Bromwich in 1952 (see picture).
During the post war years CPE designed and built many innovative products. The first products were double stage compressed air filters, supplied to Rolls Royce and Lucas Gas Turbine Equipment. Other products included a pneumatic paint stirrer, which was still being used by Rolls Royce cars up until the 1990s and a range of air compressors.
In 1960, John H Newall, Ted Scanes and Jim Hartshorne all attended a night school class to learn how to weld. CPE began to manufacture their own filter housings and air receivers.
In 1970, CPE moved to their current premises in Tamworth. During the 1970s CPE mainly produced filters and driers for compressed air systems. Innovative designs included cyclonic separators (a technique since used by vacuum cleaner manufacturers) muliti stage filters and supremely reliable automatic drain valves. CPE also produced air receivers for their range of compressors and filter housings for their many designs of filters.
During the 1980s CPE became more involved in the manufacture of air receivers and over the next 10 years began to produce more specialised work such as stainless steel vessels and offshore specification vessels. CPE progressed into a producer of high quality pressure vessels and established its excellent reputation for quality pressure vessels.
In 1992, Stephen Newall joined the company to add a 4th generation to the family business.
The company has steadily grown in size with the building being expanded twice in 1990 and 2007.
In 2013, CPE opened Anders Works, a brand new purpose built pressure vessel shop
CPE now has excellent facilities for manufacture of vessels with a brand new stainless steel workshop and upgraded lifting capacity. With these new facilities, production is now more efficient than ever.
CPE still aims to offer the same levels of service, quality and value on which it has built such a wonderful reputation.