Since opening its doors in 1886 at a site in Wilford Road Coal Yard, Nottingham, Foster Industrial has been a family run firm.
In the early years, original founder Joseph Foster used railway wagons to move stocks of coal via the London, Midland & Scottish and London North East Railways.
The business grew and expansion led to a move to Castle Meadow Road. In 1919, Joseph was joined by his son William and the father and son duo broadened their operations into railway wagon building, repairing and hiring.
After the Second World War, the team grew and were joined by Gerald Foster, son of William, who spent his apprenticeship learning the business of wagon repairs. As his knowledge expanded, Gerald Foster came up with new and exciting ideas for the company. His first move towards the mechanisation of work procedures was the introduction of the oxygen-acetylene cutting. This paved the way for more machinery and the subsequent manufacture of Foster’s own components.
After years of operating within the railway industry, the company moved to the area of industrial gases and became Nottinghamshire distributors for Air Products Limited in the late 60’s. As business increased so did the need for larger premises so in 1975 the business moved to Church Street, Lenton, Nottingham.
The company went on to expand further and in 1978 opened branch premises in Leicester, supplying products throughout the East Midlands. Richard and Charles Foster took over the firm from their father Gerald in 1990 and in 2012 consolidated both their Leicester and Nottingham sites to a 15,000 sq. ft. site in Shepshed near Loughborough.
Foster Industrial is now one of the largest suppliers of industrial gases, welding, cutting and abrasive products in the UK.