50 years ago today, on 11 January 1972, a meeting took place at the premises of The Gas Council on Tottenham Court Road, London, to determine that the Catering Equipment Distributors Association (CEDA) should be officially formed.
The meeting was the fruition of more than a year of conversation and exploratory meetings between a group of distributors, driven by Michael Swerdlow of the Modern Kitchen Equipment Company of Liverpool Limited.
Swerdlow had been in the US in 1970 and met with a number of American dealers and was introduced to the concept of competitors working together for the benefit of all which had formed the US Foodservice Equipment Dealers Association (FEDA).
Upon his return, he contacted a number of competitors and outlined his vision for an equivalent UK association.
Informal meetings throughout 1971 sought to: determine the association’s purpose, outline a code of practice, categories of membership, and a list of desired inaugural members.
These were presented to a wider audience at the meeting 50 years ago today and positive discussion led to a vote that resolved that CEDA should be officially formed and the following were elected as committee members:
- Haydn Davis of Haydn Davis Catering Equipment of Newport (Wales)
- Geofrrey Alderson of Scobie and McIntosh of Edinburgh
- Pat Beazley of Berry and Warmington of Liverpool
- Philip Mollett of Molletts of Bradford – chairman
- Stanley Webster – cecretary
- Bill Wakeling of Staines Catering Equipment of London
- Frank Hall of County Catering Equipment of Canterbury
- Michael Swerdlow of Modern Kitchen Equipment of Liverpool
Present at the meeting were:
Victor Tucker Ltd – Bristol
Modern Kitchen Equipment (Liverpool) Ltd – Liverpool
Haydn Davies (Equipment) Co Ltd – Newport
County Catering Equipment Co Ltd – Canterbury
A Yeates & Sons Ltd – Croydon
Southern Cross Equipment Co – Hove
Scobie & Mcintosh Ltd – Edinburgh
Scobie & Mcintosh Ltd – Newcastle Upon Tyne
Scobie & Mcintosh Ltd – Edinburgh
Scobie & Mcintosh Ltd – Glasgow
Jeffery Higgs Ltd – Llandudno
D M Musitano Ltd – Truro
Roland Allen & Co Ltd – Luton
Burbridge Ltd – Guernsey
Burbridge (Jersey) Ltd – Jersey
John D Deas Ltd – Glasgow
Institution Supplies Ltd – Leeds
Gerard Gamble Ltd – Leicester
Wilson Watson Mcvinnie Ltd – Glasgow
G B Catering Equipment Ltd – Cardiff
Le Lievres Ltd – Jersey
Berry & Warmington Ltd – Liverpool
Catering Equipment Centre Ltd – Scarborough
Staines Kitchen Equipment Ltd – London
Autocatering Ltd – Brighton
W A Brown & Harris Ltd – Manchester
Shaws Hotel Service Ltd – Margate
Sidlock Of Salisbury – Salisbury
John Kelly & Son Ltd – Edinburgh
Benham & Sons Ltd – London
Hall & Rogers Ltd – Manchester
Peter Nisbet & Co Ltd – Bristol
CEDA’s director general Adam Mason, commented: “It’s been fascinating reading through the minutes of meetings that took place throughout 1971 and 1972. The landscape of the catering equipment industry was certainly very different then, though it is interesting to see that there are also consistent themes – cash and carry stores beginning to stock light equipment and tableware was the ‘internet’ of the 70’s.
“Catering equipment distributors from the 1970s to the present day have a lot to thank CEDA’s founders for. They put a great deal of time, effort and commitment into establishing and formalising the distribution channel and fighting for its recognition.”
The first CEDA Council meeting then took place on the 2 February 1972 in Birmingham.