E P. Barrus is celebrating its first 100 years on September 18th 2017
It all began in 1917 when Ernest Prouty Barrus set up a company in the UK to supply Starrett precision tools including micrometers and measuring equipment and distribute them throughout Europe. Over the last century, Barrus has constantly adapted to new opportunities and challenges and diversified into multiple market sectors including Marine, Garden and Industrial. E. P. Barrus is co-owned by the Glen family and MTD Holdings, also a family owned company based in the USA, and one of the largest producers of outdoor power equipment in the world.
Barrus entered the industrial engine market during the mid-1930’s with the introduction of Johnson Iron Horse industrial engines and Chore Horse generators. Both saw service throughout the Second World War, and most ‘Spitfires’ and ‘Hurricanes’ had their batteries topped up by Chore Horse generators. The Industrial Division was launched in 1985 with the introduction of the Yanmar L Series engines, the first industrial engine to meet C.A.R.B. (California Air Resources Board) regulations. They became the number one supplier of small air-cooled diesel engines in the UK and Ireland and grew market share in water-cooled diesel engines with Yanmar, and also as the UK and Ireland industrial engine distributor for John Deere.
Barrus has continued to introduce new, innovative products with potential to the British market. Today, the company has long-standing partnerships with global suppliers, representing over 30 leading brands which are distributed through over 3000 authorised dealers nationwide. Mariner and Mercury outboard engines; Quicksilver leisure and fishing boats; John Deere and
Yanmar marine and industrial engines, Cub Cadet garden machinery; WOLF-Garten and Wilkinson Sword garden tools are just a few of the well-respected brands in the Barrus portfolio.
Engineering excellence has always been a strong focus with expertise in specialist applications engineering support and the most modern custom-engine building facilities based at the company’s headquarters in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Proudly ‘Built in Bicester’, Barrus designs, develops and builds engines for customers across the UK and overseas.
Robert Glen, Chairman, E. P. Barrus and the grandson of the founder Ernest Barrus commented, “As we celebrate our centenary we reflect on our proud past and most importantly express our sincere thanks to our customers, suppliers, distributors and partners, and loyal employees who have put their trust in Barrus and helped build the company’s success.”
Over the years Barrus has been responsible for numerous innovative products and solutions including many firsts to be introduced to the UK market. These range from the first claw hammer, ride-on lawnmower and gas-fired garden barbecues. The D-BAT, a diesel powered all-terrain vehicle popular with the military; FAST PIRS®, an engine that can be rapidly restarted after being submerged, pioneered by Barrus for the Armed Forces and rescue organisations, and a multi-fuel outboard developed for the UK MoD capable of running on four different NATO fuels.
“One hundred years in business represents a tremendous milestone,” commented Robert Muir, Managing Director, E. P. Barrus Ltd. “Not only are we looking back but also forward, focusing on the company’s future to build on our success and best serve our customers. 2017 is, indeed, a momentous year with recent announcements including our exciting new location plans which will enable us to grow the business. The acquisition of the gardening gloves and footwear company, Town & Country, and the engine supply contract recently awarded to Barrus by Atlas Eletronik UK who will build the £48M next generation Royal navy workboats.
As our centennial strapline states, “We are celebrating our first 100-years, gearing up for the next.”
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