Introducing our founder, Mr. David Webster

June 2017, by Gemma Snelling, Marketing Manager

1935 - 2006

The best way to understand our history and heritage is to look at the life of our founder,  David Webster. He was a remarkable man who built this company from the ground up, we’re very proud of him and still really miss him.

David was a born entrepreneur.  

As a young boy he bred rabbits and grew vegetables to supply to friends and neighbours when food was scarce during the war. His first ‘proper job’ was for his Uncle Frank’s company Bell & Webster’s, who produced, amongst other things, concrete lamp posts. David wasn’t involved in the design or manufacturing from the start though, his first job was to break reinforced concrete to recover the steel. Starting from the bottom and learning about hard work would come in very useful in his future pursuits!

He quickly made an impression on those around him and attended his first Lighting Engineers Conference in 1958 – he subsequently attended every year until 2005, that’s 47 in a row!

By 1960 Bell & Webster had become Eleco, a public company who believed that column installation was not profitable enough. David disagreed and in July 1961 he sold his sports car to finance the purchase of his department and DWL (David Webster Lighting) was born.

Seeing an opportunity to manufacture suitable lanterns for cast iron lamp posts, David began to investigate replica luminaires for columns acquired via various modernisation schemes and in December 1975 the concept that is now DW Windsor came to be.  We received our first order for 250 lamp posts and 50 lanterns and on the 12th April 1976 we started to manufacture our first production batch of Windsor luminaires.

David’s passion for lighting was far broader than for the benefit of his company. He spent a substantial amount of time working on behalf of the ILE of which he became the first private sector contractor to be elected President.

He was a great man and we’re proud to be part of his impressive legacy. Thank you, David.