In the beginning
Aged 20, Arthur Holdsworth Leach purchases a photographic studio in Brighouse, Yorkshire.
Arthur Leach proves himself to be an innovator by becoming the first company to offer life size enlargements printed in one piece.
1914 - 1918
Business grew strongly during the First World War as the demand for portrait photographs for families separated by war boomed.
Leach Photowork Established
After the War, the advertising industry was born. In response, Leach Photowork was established, the forerunner of today’s display business.
Father and Son
Arthur Leach's son Eric joins the business, aged 18.
Arthur Leach retires at 65, leaving the next generation to drive the business forward.
Second World War
With the outbreak of war, the use of paper for advertising purposes was severely restricted by law and so the company once again redirected its efforts towards the portrait market.
Doing our bit
100 Leach employees, out of a total workforce of 330, served in the Second World War. Leach staff invested £20,000 on National Savings towards the war effort.
Leach secured its first significant museum customer, when the Victoria and Albert museum ordered showcards and display prints from a selection of its artefacts.
Leach retouched and printed the first official portrait images of Queen Elizabeth II. These beautiful images were used on the very first stamps to feature the Queen's head.
Keeping it in the family
Eric Leach’s son John joins the business, aged 18.
The first run of publicity prints for the Beatles was produced, a line of business which would grow exponentially over the next few years.
The first major retail display roll-out was secured when Joseph Hepworth tailors, the UK's largest clothing manufacturer and the forerunner of Next, ordered 2000 life sized fashion prints.
Eric Leach sells the business to Hunting Plc and retires. John Leach remains as Managing Director but the company is no longer family owned.
Leach enters the Guinness Book of Records with the production of the world's largest jigsaw.
Early entry into the world of digital imaging with the purchase of a room-sized Dianippon scanner soon to be followed by two Durst lambdas.
The Top 40
Weekly reproduction of best-selling music album covers as posters for display in Woolworths music departments.
The Modern Era
The Leach family, led by John Leach, buy the business back from Hunting PLC. John’s son Richard Leach, along with Jim Parkin, are appointed directors.
The business relocated to new larger purpose built premises in Huddersfield, just two miles away from the original studio in Brighouse.
Winner of the Queen’s Award for Innovation recognising a century of pioneering and innovative work within the exhibition and print sectors.
Leach produced the graphic panels for the British Music Experience at the O2. Many of the music publicity images printed in the 1960s and album cover images reproduced in the 1990s were once again produced by Leach, this time as large format displays and murals.
Preparing for our 125th anniversary with an exciting new brand and further plans for growth.
Happy 125th Anniversary
We are proud to be celebrating our 125th anniversary as we look back at our achievements over the last century.
Leach continues its international success and secures its largest ever heritage project, to produce and install the entire graphics suite for the National Museum of Kuwait (Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre).
Leach becomes part of the Chargeurs global group of companies, sharing the same vision for the future, and passion for excellency.