Throughout World War I, Varley received an enormous boost to its shipping and general steel manufacturing operations, due to the heavy reliance that national defence had upon these industries.
Profits rose steadily from £460 in 1913 to £3500 in 1919. This major growth in profit allowed the Company to offer preference shares to long-term employees, further strengthening the bond between management and workforce.
1915 also saw the commencement of production at BHP Steelworks in Newcastle. Not only were various engineering contracts on offer, but BHP was also constructing its own fleet of merchant ships, which were to give ongoing trade to Varley for years to come.
This affiliation with a major player in the industry subsequently led to additional trade relationships with other powers including Rylands, Lysaghts and Stewart and Lloyds. The quality of work that was presented by Varley as part of these contractual partnerships resulted in the Company firmly establishing itself as a well-regarded and successful business.
As World War I came to a close and workloads declined, however, G.H. Varley would face some tough decisions…
Stay tuned for more of the incredible Varley Story.