John Pipe started the business as John Pipe Ltd in 1961 in Newport in South Wales. The company gradually grew and in 1977 expansion into the South of England was achieved when the Sturminster Marshall branch was opened under the guidance of Derek Taylor, one of the original employees who started things off in Newport.
1983 saw the move to the existing head office and main works occupying a one and a half acre freehold site in Poole, Dorset, where it has a 25,000 square feet premises with all the necessary facilities, such as heavy goods handling including a humidity controlled packing area.
Additionally, In 1995 the Company opened modern premises at Chandlers Ford, housing all the same facilities required to provide a complete service covering Hampshire, with full overhead craneage to 8 tonnes.
In 2002, the Company’s biggest news was the acquisition of freight forwarding company Active International Movements Ltd. With this expansion the John Pipe Group could now provide a true “one-stop-shop”.
2007 was the year in which the company decided to merge Active with John Pipe Ltd and John Pipe International was born. All aspects of the processes of importing and exporting are now available from the one company.
Fully accredited to ISO9001 from 1991 it places quality high on its list of priorities. Its success has grown out of the ability to provide a timely, economical and, above all, personal service for its customers large and small.
These days the basic message is still the same, says the Founder’s elder son, David Pipe, “Although now we offer a greater range of packing methods, most notably in resistance to corrosion through the use of laminated foils as a moisture barrier, the one-stop shop philosophy of providing all the services to pack and ship under one roof remains. We now cover the whole of the South Coast of England as it’s largest export packer and can claim customers all over the UK.”
In 2001 the Company celebrated its 40th anniversary at the Indoor Karting Centre in Bournemouth. Jenny Pipe, the Managing Director’s wife, presented a trophy to the Production Manager at the Hampshire Branch, Philip Williams, one of only three Employees who remember working at the South Wales Branch which was sold in 1985.
A fantastic 50th Anniversary party was held in Bournemouth at the Riveria Hotel in December 2011. Attended by over 40 former and current employees, the dinner was preceded by a reception with a speech by the Managing Director. Photographs were displayed recalling people and events down the years including a one of the first cases packed in the early 60s at the Newport Works.
The Pipe dynasty has had links to the sea going back for over a hundred years.
An uncle of Founder of John Pipe Ltd F John Pipe, a Mr Couth, was an English Channel pilot working out of Fowey in Devon, during the late 19th century.
Richard ‘Dick’ Street, grandfather of John and David Pipe, was the founder in 1939, of a famous shipping line called the South American Saint Line.
The picture here is of the “The St Essylt” – launched in 1940 by the 12 year old Marjorie Street (later Mrs F J Pipe).
More about the South American Saint Line is available by clicking the Ships Monthly article, originally published in Ships Monthly Monthly Magazine in Febrary 2001.
The present owner of John Pipe International, David Pipe, who is the Founder’s son, sails, fishes and cruises the coast around the port of Poole, which is reputedly the second largest natural harbour in the world.
MD David Pipe racing in Poole Bay aboard ‘Jeepers’ an International J24 keelboat.