About us

Our story

The Mabey name in construction goes all the way back to the early 1920s, when Guy Mabey set up a successful building supplies business, supporting construction companies in the housing boom in South East England.

After the second world war, Guy’s son Bevil took over the family business. At the time, architects, civil engineers and contractors across the UK were rebuilding Britain. Bevil was a natural entrepreneur with a good grasp of engineering concepts. He’d been a soldier in the allied campaign in Italy, and had seen the speed that Royal Engineers delivered bridging solutions in the most inaccessible and toughest landscapes. Back in the UK, he bought a stock of components for the Bailey Bridges he’d seen in Europe, with the intention of selling and hiring these bridges to the contractors rebuilding the UK’s infrastructure in the post-war years.


The Mabey name is established in the construction industry


The Mabey Hire business we know today is established


The number of colleagues working for Mabey Hire today

Fast forward to the late 1950s. As those in charge of transforming Britain’s landscape worked tirelessly, Bevil saw another opportunity to speed up the construction process. He wanted to hire construction equipment that would be in the ground temporarily, keeping the workers safe as they enabled the permanent structure to take shape. And so Bevil set up the Mabey Hire business.

Trading from two depots – our current Hatfield site and one in Watford – Mabey Hire quickly developed a strong reputation for temporary works expertise. We like to think we played a small part in helping our customers shape this new post-war Britain with our specialist temporary works equipment and knowledge.

In the following years, we spread our reach nationwide and developed our range of products and services, as well as our expertise.

We created the world’s first steel soldier system and the first British-made steel trenchbox, which are used by construction companies all around the world. We have helped our customers deliver tens of thousands of projects, from the smallest sites to the biggest infrastructure projects in the country. And we’ve worked on all kinds of challenges, from engineering the mechanism that allowed for Pink Floyd’s ‘Berlin Wall’ to be built up and knocked down again at their concert to commemorate the fall of the wall, to designing, supplying and installing vital propping that allowed the Mersey Gateway Bridge to be built.

But our story doesn’t end in the present day. With one eye on the future, we’ve invested in the latest technology and training to make sure we give our customers the best service and created a unique STEM education programme to do our bit to help school kids see civil engineering in the same exciting way that we do.

Today, our 400 people have a mission that reflects our heritage and passion: to create solutions that give our customers the freedom to build with confidence.

Always remember that in 25 years’ time we won’t be doing it this way. If we are, we shall be facing extinction!

Bevil Mabey CBE

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