digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

This article is about the construction company. For the founder of the same name, see Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Baronet.
Sir Robert McAlpine
Type Private company
Industry Engineering / Construction
Founded 1869
Headquarters Hemel Hempstead, England
Revenue £743 million (2011)[1]
Operating income £19 million (2011)[1]
Website www.sir-robert-mcalpine.com

Sir Robert McAlpine is a private British company headquartered in Hertfordshire. It carries out engineering and construction for the oil and gas, petrochemical, power generation, nuclear, pharmaceutical, defence, chemical, water and mining industries.

History[edit]

Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Baronet who founded the eponymous company was born in 1847 in the Scottish village of Newarthill near Motherwell. From the age of seven he worked in the nearby coal mines, leaving at 16 to become an apprentice bricklayer. Later, working for an engineer, he progressed to being foreman before starting to work on his own account at the age of 22 (1869). He had no capital other than that he could earn himself and his first contract involving the employment of other men had to be financed by borrowing £11 from the butcher. From there, McAlpine enjoyed rapid success; the early contracts centred on his own trade of bricklaying and by 1874 he was the owner of two brickyards and an employer of 1,000 men. [2] (It was on one of the housing estates he built that he first experimented with using concrete blocks as well as bricks (from which he earned the nickname 'concrete Bob').[3]

With the capital he had acquired, McAlpine determined to build a garden city at Hamilton, South Lanarkshire. Relying now on the income from his estate, McAlpine’s attention moved away from his contracting business towards self-education. However, the financial panic following the collapse of the City of Glasgow Bank in 1878 virtually wiped out McAlpine financially: his mortgages were called in but his debtors did not pay him.[2]

The liabilities from the Hamilton estate were threatening the construction business and to protect it, Robert took his clerk into partnership, trading under the name McAlpine & Co; the clerk was bought out not long after. McAlpine’s first large contract was a building for Singer Manufacturing in 1883 and the profit from that enabled him to pay off his remaining debts. Almost immediately he faced further financial difficulties. Winning a contract for the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway without the necessary technical knowledge, the subsequent rebuilding work and litigation meant another fresh start.[2]

In 1887, Robert took his two eldest sons, Robert junior and William, out of school to help him, with Malcolm and Alfred following soon after, and they did much to rationalise the firm’s administration and finances. Undaunted by his earlier experience, McAlpine took on further railway contracts, this time successfully, including the Mallaig Extension Railway and the Glasgow Subway. There was an increasingly wide range of building and civil engineering contracts but the firm was almost brought to its knees again with the construction of the Methil Docks between 1909 and 1913. It was argued that this led to a much more cautious approach to risk on the part of the sons – if not the father. [4]

The inter-war period saw the firm focusing solely on construction. Gray wrote that Sir Robert McAlpine “seemed to have been involved in every major building and civil engineering project that ever hit the headlines of the day.” They included docks, harbours, power stations, factories; the Wembley Stadium and the Dorchester Hotel were notable examples. [4] The Dorchester was of particular interest. When the client was unable to pay for the construction works, the company took possession of the completed building and operated it on its own account.[5]

In November 1934, Sir Robert died aged 87. Two weeks later the eldest son, the new Sir Robert, also died. William was appointed Chairman while Alfred remained in charge of the operation in the north-west subsidiary, where he had been since 1918. These two deaths must have had some impact on what followed. The two London partners argued that the recession was impacting more on the north than the south and proposed closing Alfred’s company. Alfred, however, did not wish to return to London and, on an informal basis at first, the two businesses were run separately. The separation was formalised in 1940 and the northern business was renamed Sir Alfred McAlpine.[4] The two McAlpine firms had non-compete arrangements and sites had a common “McAlpine” board irrespective of which firm it was. When both companies first went public, they did so under the names Newarthill for Robert and Marchwiel for Alfred. These arrangements continued until 1983. [6]

In 2003, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. sued Alfred McAlpine plc over the use of the family name and won.[7] The dispute centred around Alfred McAlpine's intention to trade under the name "McAlpine". There was previously a long standing agreement within the McAlpine family not to make such a change but, following the death of Alfred McAlpine, the board of Alfred McAlpine sought to make the change in any event. The effect of the judgment was to prevent Alfred McAlpine trading under the name "McAlpine". In 2008, Alfred McAlpine plc was acquired by Carillion and dismantled, thus making the "name war" irrelevant.[8]

The Irish Connection[edit]

From the 1930s onwards, the company employed large numbers of Irish who had come to England looking for work. The harsh working conditions with which McAlpine's management treated their labourers has gone down in Irish emigrant folklore. The song "McAlpine's Fusiliers" (written by Dominic Behan and made famous by "The Dubliners") described the realities of life on the building site for many Irish expatriates.[9]

Structure[edit]

The company is organised on a regional basis.[10]

It has offices in Hemel Hempstead, London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The plant section is based in Kettering.

Major projects[edit]

The Emirates Stadium, built by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd

Projects undertaken by the company have included the Glenfinnan Viaduct completed in 1901,[11] the Maine Road Stadium completed in 1923,[12] the original Wembley Stadium completed in 1924,[11] the Dorchester Hotel in London completed in 1931,[11] the St. Enoch Centre completed in 1989,[11] the Millennium Dome in Greenwich completed in 1999[11] which the company also redeveloped to The O2,[11] the Millennium Bridge in London completed in 2000,[13] the ExCeL Exhibition Centre completed in 2000,[14] the Eden Project in St Austell completed in 2001,[15] the Bull Ring in Birmingham completed in 2003,[16] the Emirates Stadium completed in 2006,[17] the White River Place development in St Austell town centre completed in 2009[18] and the Olympic Stadium for London 2012 completed in 2011.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sir Robert McAlpine profits fall 38%". Construction Enquiror. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  2. ^ a b c J Saxon Childers, Robert McAlpine A Biography (1925)
  3. ^ “McAlpine The First Hundred Years” (1969)
  4. ^ a b c Tony Gray, The Road to Success Alfred McAlpine 1935-1985 (1987)
  5. ^ "Sir William McAlpine talks to Andy Milne". Railway People. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  6. ^ Wellings, Fred: Dictionary of British Housebuilders (2006) Troubador. ISBN 978-0-9552965-0-5,
  7. ^ Mark Milner (2004-04-01). "Court verdict finds for Sir Robert". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Carillion agrees to buy McAlpine". BBC News. 2007-12-10. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  9. ^ "McAlpines Fusiliers". Free Lyrics. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  10. ^ Will Mann (2007-12-14). "Sir Robert McAlpine boss Benny Kelly to step down". Contract Journal. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Sir Robert McAlpine Project Archive". Sir Robert McAlpine. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  12. ^ "Maine Road". Structurae. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  13. ^ "Millennium Bridge". Structurae. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  14. ^ "News from Worldwide". Worldwide Exhibition Specialists Ltd. Archived from the original on 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  15. ^ "The Eden Project". Living Places. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "Building the BullRing" (pdf). Birmingham City Council. Archived from the original on 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  17. ^ "First ball kicked at Emirates Stadium". Arsenal F.C. 2005-08-25. Archived from the original on 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  18. ^ Rebecca Froley (2006-10-02). "Sir Robert McAlpine wins St Austell redevelopment". Contract Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  19. ^ Tom Bill (2007-07-24). "ODA signs Olympic Stadium deal with Sir Robert McAlpine". Contract Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 



Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Robert_McAlpine — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
601 videos foundNext > 

Blacklisted workers serve arrest warrant on Cullum McAlpine

Police attend Victoria offices of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd today as an arrest warrant is served on Cullum McAlpine for human rights violations relating to bla...

Preferred Supplier for Sir Robert McAlpine

DISCOVERY SCHOOL - SIR ROBERT McALPINE CASE STUDY

APPLY NOW AT WWW.DISCOVERYSCHOOL.ORG.UK Opening in September 2014! Discovery School is the first of its kind; a new, industry-driven technical school for 14-...

Iluminati death Lord Macalpine

News, views, amazing things!McAlpine was born in London. His great grandfather was "Concrete Bob", Robert McAlpine,[2][3] the first of the McAlpine baronets[...

Sir Robert McAlpine speaks to CN on nuclear

Sir Robert McAlpine's head of nuclear sector speaks to CN at ICE nuclear conference.

FREE WEBINAR: The Olympic Stadium: How Sir Robert McAlpine over-delivered with ERP

Want to see more? Follow this link: http://www.wtg-ondemand.com/detail_webinar.asp?spcomp=335 Webinar discussion: Learn how to overcome operational challenge...

Prestatyn 30.6.2014 - DRS 37405 37425 Concrete Bob / Sir Robert McAlpine on test train

Derby RTC - Llandudno Junction - Crewe Network Rail test train with DRS Class 37 37405 and 37425 Concrete Bob/Sir Robert McAlpine.

37425 `Sir Robert McAlpine` Test Train @ Stafford ,16-09-13

DRS 37425 `Sir Robert McAlpine` Hauling the Test Train from Derby RTC (Network Rail) - Crewe CS (L&Nwr Site) arriving & Leaving from the Post Office Platform...

DRS 37425 being named Sir Robert McAlpine by Pete Waterman at Kingmoor 17/8/13

Sir Robert McAlpine with Dulux Trade

Sir Robert McAlpine with Dulux Trade http://www.duluxtrade.co.uk Created by Totem Films http://www.totemfilms.com.

601 videos foundNext > 

88 news items

Construction Enquirer

Construction Enquirer
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 06:30:00 -0700

The IHP joint venture between Vinci and Sir Robert McAlpine has won its third contract in three years from Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. The new £7.5m deal is for a Low Secure Unit (LSU) and work will begin in November ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:59:29 -0700

She has been employed at construction company Sir Robert McAlpine, corporate communications firm DF King Worldwide and the now defunct M: Communications, a public relations consultancy. Ms Knowles, 38, told The Times: 'I can't speak for everybody ...

courier.co.uk

courier.co.uk
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 03:13:09 -0700

This week major construction company Sir Robert McAlpine, which has hired demolition firm Keltbray, invited the Courier to tour the site. Those imagining the interior of the ABC cinema would provide a haunting vision of its former days with dust ...
 
News & Star
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 03:30:00 -0700

Nationally, a total of 3,213 workers – including 27 in Cumbria – are due compensation that could total up to £20m having been blacklisted by one of eight companies: Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska ...

Global Construction Review

Construction Enquirer
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 00:17:42 -0700

The companies – Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI – are all “apologising for their involvement with TCA”. It is being launched without agreement from the main construction unions which ...
 
courier.co.uk
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:00:00 -0700

Construction company Sir Robert McAlpine's contract manager Norman Clark said the percentage of recycling carried out during demolition would be “phenomenal”. Wood, metal and plasterboard is all re-used and concrete and brickwork would be crushed ...

Hull Daily Mail

Hull Daily Mail
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:00:00 -0700

... are going from strength to strength at present and the great thing is we are winning work from many different sources." Kingston Joinery works for some of UK's biggest contractors, including Willmott Dixon, Interserve, Kier, Mansell and Sir Robert ...
 
bdaily
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0700

Trust Estates are building new student housing in Newcastle, assisted by Walton Robinson, and construction company Sir Robert McAlpine. The development is launching in September 2015 and will become home to over 200 students, located on Clarence ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Sir Robert McAlpine

You can talk about Sir Robert McAlpine with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!