At the beginning of the 70s, the company saw a number of developments. This started in 1971, with a slight name change to Fisher Karpark Industries, or more commonly referred to as FKI. Technology was rapidly advancing and as a result new markets were emerging; something that FKI were keen to take advantage of. From carpark metering to street lighting controls, the existing portfolio was constantly growing with new products regularly introduced.

 In 1973 an MBO took place headed up by Michael Dawson with Tony Gartland and Fred Berry. Purchasing FKI from the Boston Group, the company became privately owned by management, which opened the door for many more business opportunities. The following year Margaret Fisher retired.

Manufacturing the company's future

Throughout the 70s the company got involved in various areas of manufacturing, while street lighting control products remained a key and valuable asset for the business. Dabbling in the manufacture of water balance valves among other electrical items, the company made a formidable name for itself in its ability to innovate in a dynamic and thriving industry.

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A Fisher water balance valve

Emerging as industry leaders in lighting controls, FKI was (and still is) deeply experienced in electrical lighting products. It was this that led them to the acquisition of the Low Voltage Lighting and Battery charger business known as IRL, in 1975. Originally based in Bath, the business relocated to Luddendenfoot and took the company into the caravan and auto accessory market.

Driving lighting innovation 

Products in this range included inspection lamps known as ‘Probelites’, used to assist drivers and mechanics in the inspection of vehicles when finding faults in hard to reach areas. This product was also adopted by the BBC, as television became a common commodity. Having a completely different use as a TV greyscale checker, the product gave FKI a new revenue stream, albeit short lived.

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FKI's Multi-use Probelite

Car battery chargers were in high demand in the mid-70s which helped FKI grow within a new market. The range was extensive and many products were introduced to meet increasing car sales. Although only for a brief period, as longer lasting car batteries were eventually itroduced which eliminated the need for home charging.

Moving with growing trends meant the company had the agility to deal with the manufacture and supply of a number of products at once. Employing more staff to support growing demand, FKI rapidly became a well regarded local employer and was equally respected  in the lighting industry. It wasn't long before a move was on the horizon, to house the company's expanding  workforce and healthy product range. 

Join us in part four of our commemorative blog series next week, where we look back at the company in new premises and it's successes in the manufacture of lighting for both outdoor schemes and leisure vehicle interiors.