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

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.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
3693 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

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...

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-...

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.

Sir Robert McAlpine speaks to CN on nuclear

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

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

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...

Sir Robert McAlpine's Railway Line

Private railway belonging to Sir William McAalpine in the grounds of his estate, Fawley House.

DRS 37425 Sir Robert McAlpine start up at Kingmoor 17/8/13

3693 videos foundNext > 

90 news items

The Journal

The Journal
Tue, 25 Mar 2014 03:07:30 -0700

After a depressing lull in business, Allan Oliver Reinforcing, of Newton Aycliffe, has won a 50-week, £550,000 contract from construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine, involving 1,800 tonnes of reinforcement and foundations at a Teesside chemical plant.
 
Premier Construction Magazine
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 07:37:30 -0700

Sir Robert McAlpine was involved in the construction of the Olympic Stadium which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics in 2012 as well as athletics and field events. The site was constructed on a 40 acre site to the southern side ...
 
Construction Enquirer
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 00:30:00 -0700

Sir Robert McAlpine and Keltbray have been instructed to develop detailed strategies for demolition and construction work. Talk to the Enquirer. To share your stories email Grant Prior or Aaron Morby... always off the record. earls-court-190x140 ...
 
Horticulture Week
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:15:00 -0700

Buck said top-tier commercial contractors such as Balfour Beatty, Bam Nuttall and Sir Robert McAlpine are looking for a one-stop shop when awarding landscape contracts and small companies are being pushed out. "We're a company that's a little bit ...
 
Construction News
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:53:11 -0700

Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Sir Robert McAlpine are the only three contractors appointed to the EFA's main Contractors' Framework that will not tender for the regional framework. However, Sir Robert McAlpine has been invited to tender for the North ...
 
Leicester Mercury
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 01:48:45 -0700

Sir Robert McAlpine contractors engaged in the construction of the M1 extension, have applied to the county planning committee for permission to quarry the hill. The object is to provide hardcore for the foundation of parts of the new road. The ...
 
Construction Enquirer
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 23:33:45 -0700

Miller Construction, Laing O'Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine are shortlisted bidders for a £120m batch of a dozen PF2 schools in the north east. And in the North West, Laing O'Rourke, Morgan Sindall and Vinci are bidding a £120m batch of 12 schools.
 
Western Morning News
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:56:15 -0700

In October last year major construction companies Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC apologised for their involvement with TCA and the impact its database may have had. They were ...
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!