Our founder

Charles Albert Marques M.B.E. was originally from Adelaide, Australia. He enlisted in the Australian Expeditionary Force in 1914 in WW1 and with his father, he was sent to Gallipoli and France. After the war, both father and son decided to settle in England.

The company was founded in 1923 (under the railway arches at Broxbourne Station) by Charles Marques. Charles was in partnership with C R Belling of Belling Electric Fires and Cookers and the company was started to make miscellaneous concrete products. Later the company moved to Great Amwell in Ware, (where our Head Office still resides) and Concrete Utilities Ltd. was formed in 1925.

Concrete Utilities Ltd. formed producing pre-stressed concrete products. Charles Marques invented a spun concrete process that was ideally suited to concrete column production.

We aided the war effort by producing concrete bombs for the RAF to practice with during WW2.

Phosco was established producing a wide range of outdoor lighting lanterns and floodlights.

We produced the first high mast lighting towers and established our High Mast Contract Services Division servicing roads, airports, docks, and stadiums throughout the world.

We produced the first passively safe lighting columns and won the prestigious Queen's Award for Export.

We produced the UK's first tapered tubular columns. Concrete Utilities changed its name to CU Lighting.

We established a joint venture in China, CU Beijing, producing High Mast and other lanterns for the Chinese market. The partnership continued for 30 years and ended amicably when we ceased operations in 2023.

We started the production of masts for wind turbines.

We started the development of our award winning, energy-efficient LED Lighting Systems reducing energy consumption in the lighting industry.

We celebrate our 100th birthday in 2023, marking 100yrs of manufacturing in Britain.