H. Williamson & Sons Ltd is a marine electronic company based in Scalloway in the Shetland Islands, with more than sixty years experience in the supply, installation and maintenance of all types of marine electronic equipment.
The Williamson family moved from Delting in the north of Shetland to Scalloway in the mid 1920’s.
H. Williamson & Son was formed when Harry Williamson and his eldest son Jimmy started a cycle & motorcycle repair business just 100 metres from our present location, which they later expanded to include a motor car repair service. During the 1930’s the company took over a salt fish warehouse & converted it to a motor garage and also installed a motor driven 110v generator to power the premises. There was a big demand locally for domestic mains power so the company diversed into electrical work and installed additional generators and over time wired up most of the houses on the east side of Scalloway. This small electricity generating company provided power to the east side of Scalloway until 1947 (when North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board took over).
A photo of Main Street, many years ago During the 1930's, Harry’s other sons Arthur and John joined the company. Arthur was involved in the motor repairs side of the business while John looked after the electrical side and did radio repairs. After World War 2, ex-Royal Naval MFVs started joining the local fishing fleet, and some of these came equipped with radio telephones and echosounders. H. Williamson & Sons were called in to do repairs on these vessels and the electronic equipment and in 1948 they became accredited agents for Kelvin Hughes Ltd., later adding agencies for Marconi and Coastal Radio Co while carrying on the electrical contracting and motor repairs.
During the 1960's there was a big expansion in the local fishing fleet and development in fishing related electronics, and H. Williamson & Sons added electronic agencies including Decca Radar, Simrad AS, Decca Navigator and Sailor Radio.
Main Street around 1974. Williamson's original building can be seen with the steelwork being erected at the rear for the new building. This expansion grew apace during the 1970’s and in late 1982 on the retirement of the last of the Williamson family the business was sold to LHD Ltd of Lerwick and a new company was formed - H. Williamson & Sons (Scalloway) Ltd. In January 1983, LHD sold 40% of shares in the new company to the four senior engineers at the Scalloway business while retaining 60% for themselves.
In 1984/85 the company started doing full electronics installations in shipyards outwith Shetland, the first being for Raymond Smith of the Osprey LK25 at JN Millers at St Monans, Fife. This continued for the next 12 years and in 1996 the company started newbuild installations at Norwegian, Spanish, Polish and Danish shipyards.
Copius LK985 and Prolific LK986 Today we endeavour to provide the same level of service to the local fishing fleet and all our customers as the company did to the technically developing fishing fleet many years ago . Through our close association with the world’s leading manufacturers of marine electronics we are able to deliver competitively priced equipment and our attention to detail ensures the highest standard of installation and support to our customers.
Company Directors: Lee Firmin, David Poleson, Gary Tulloch (Managing)
Service Engineers: Sandy Leask, James Phillips, Neil Poleson
Accounts Administrator: Lyn Mouat
Administration Assistant: June Hamilton