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John Watson Thompson and Leslie Spaven formed an engineering partnership in the early 1930s and this became Thompson Spaven (Engineers) Limited in 1936. Registered as mechanical, chemical and electrical engineers, their precision machinery was in great demand in the years before and during World War II and they were contactors to the Air Ministry (AID Approval No 5261/52).

In the 1950s John Kenneth Thompson (son of the founder) diversified the company into packaging machinery and upon his death this very successful company was sold and became Thompson Automation.
History 2
History 3 The firm now specialises in gasifiers for biomass applications, along with gensets designed to run on syngas, heat recovery systems, and ancilliary sytems such as ceramic filtration units. P G Thompson, the current Managing Director, is the grandson of the founder.