100 not out – centenary year celebrations begin

wightman & parrish 1 SUS-151002-114013001
wightman & parrish 1 SUS-151002-114013001

A leading Sussex firm has marked 100 years in business with a celebration dinner.

Wightman & Parrish, based in Hailsham, began as a supplier of basic ironmongery products in 1915 and has evolved to become a leading distributor of healthcare and hygiene products, now in the fourth generation of ownership.

The celebration meal at the Cavendish Hotel in Eastbourne was attended by more than 150 guests, which included 75 members of staff and their partners, and special guests the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field, and Eastbourne and Willingdon MP, Stephen Lloyd.

Wightman & Parrish Chairman, Michael Parrish, said, “My grandfather and George Wightman set the company up in Lewes from humble beginnings and it’s changed enormously during that time to reflect customers’ changing needs.

“I’ve been with the company for 55 years and I learnt early on that a company is only as good as the people it employs – and we have a great team.”

A number of staff have been with the firm for many years and the Lord Lieutenant presented long service awards to Beverly Jordan (25 years), Simon Ayres (37 years), Richard Sargent (38 years) and Dorothy Martin (43 years), who was also congratulated for organising the celebration dinner.

The Lord Lieutenant said. “We’re here to celebrate an amazing success story. I don’t know of any other Sussex company still in business after 100 years with the same ownership and the same commitment to the community.

“My wife and I are delighted to be here as your guest and as Her Majesty’s representative here in Sussex, to say thank you to you for your contribution to our country and in particular to the community here in the county.”

Managing Director, Nicholas Parrish, added that 100 years is a feat that few companies ever achieve. He said, “There is one thing about our business that has been really important and that’s the ability to seize new opportunities which have come along and our willingness to adapt and change.”

Wightman & Parrish Ltd is based on the Station Road Industrial Estate in Hailsham. It is a leading UK distributor of healthcare and hygiene products. The company supplies more than 4,000 customers in the healthcare, educational, leisure, manufacturing and retail markets.