Sykes Pickavant


It was 1921 - the start of the garage trade in England and the beginning of the Sykes-Pickavant story. Jack Pickavant saw the opportunities presented by the burgeoning garage trade and formed J.W. Pickavant & Co Ltd to market motor accessories, spares and tools. Joe Sykes also joined the company as its first salesman to call on garages and engineering shops. By the end of the twenties ‘Pickavant’ moved firmly into the field of manufacture of service tools as mechanics faced the problem of repair and service on more sophisticated cars and trucks. This presented an opportunity for ‘Pickavant’ to create new tools to do these jobs speedily and efficiently.


In 1931 Joe Sykes left J.W. Pickavant & Co Ltd to launch out on his own as a tool distributor under the brand ‘Sykes’. After the war, import rationing was a dominant factor such that J.F. Sykes also took the first steps into manufacturing and assembly. By 1950 Joe Sykes set his sights on export and his first overseas markets were Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. A mutual respect and trust was very much alive between both companies and they operated side by side in a spirit of friendly rivalry.


In 1968 a merger was formed and Sykes-Pickavant Ltd began operating on 1 January 1969. In the 1970s they built a large new factory and office block in Lytham, St Annes. This allowed full quality control of all manufacturing and distribution.

By the 1980s forty percent of the company’s business was export. Sykes-Pickavant continued to grow and expand into Europe and Asia with attendance at all major tool shows to launch world class products such as the 1500 series puller system and unique garage service tools. Participation in these exhibitions and trade shows played an important part in overall marketing policy.


The need to keep up with changes in vehicle and equipment design ensures that Sykes-Pickavant products are constantly updated to do the work for which they were intended. With over 450 part numbers now in the range, Sykes-Pickavant continues to offer the highest quality products with many applications in the field of automotive and general engineering maintenance and repair work.

The history of Sykes-Pickavant established the reputation of today - to supply high quality, practical and time saving products to industry and the motor trade. Sykes-Pickavant continues to provide solutions with unique and innovative products.