Cherwell's 50-year Anniversary

We are delighted to announce that 2021 will be the 50th year that Cherwell Laboratories has been in business.  Our company was founded by Lawrence Whittard in February 1971, initially as a veterinary diagnostic laboratory.

Over the years the company has seen significant growth and evolved into a manufacturing and distribution company offering a fully integrated range of products for environmental monitoring and process validation.

We attribute our success to maintaining a focus on supplying high quality products, supported with excellent customer service. Our business is built on the principles of ISO 9001, a management standard we have held for almost 25 years, and a willingness to always help our customers.  We want to mark our Golden anniversary by engaging our customers in a series of activities throughout the year.

We believe that maintaining good communication is a key component in building a successful relationship and therefore, we have created this page, that will be updated regularly, to share the activities we have planned. We hope that you will join in to help us celebrate.

50th Anniversary
Agar Art Competition Winner

50th Anniversary Agar Art Competition

We were looking for ways to involve our customers in our 50th anniversary celebrations this year and we thought what would be more fun than holding an agar art competition.

A massive thank you to everyone who took part in our first ever agar art competition, the standard of the entries was fantastic.

There were a couple of themes amongst the entrants – animals and the NHS! We particularly enjoyed Sophie D’s elephant, who looked a little mischievous, and Jenny P’s rabbit.

The microscope from Jayasingh J was also very impressive and intricate. It was also great to see several entries celebrating the fantastic work of the NHS, now in its 73rd year and at a time when it has faced perhaps it’s biggest challenge.

As always with these things, a winner has to be picked and because of the intricate use of several organisms which provided a colourful display of flowers, we would like to congratulate Megan W for her wonderful creation. Many congratulations to Megan and many thanks to all who entered.

We will be planting a tree with the National Trust on behalf of everyone who entered.

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Cherwell's 50th Anniversary Air Sampler Promotion

Cherwell has been supplying customers with environmental air samplers, with the SAS range of portable units, since the 1980's. And providing after sales service and calibration.

To recognise this and celebrate our 50th anniversary, we would like to offer you a promotion on our SAS Microbial Air Samplers.

SPECIAL OFFER!
Throughout the month of August 2021, any SAS Air Sampler ordered, will receive 50% off the first standard calibration service*.

* Terms and conditions apply

 

Request a Quote
SAS Super Unit Hand Held - low res (1)

Our History - Cherwell through the decades

The 80’s –

Early in this decade, PBI launch the SAS air sampler and Cherwell introduce this to Evans Medical in Runcorn. They purchase units and ask Cherwell if they can provide the pre filled Contact plates, ideally irradiated.

 

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The 80’s –

Early in this decade, PBI launch the SAS air sampler and Cherwell introduce this to Evans Medical in Runcorn. They purchase units and ask Cherwell if they can provide the pre filled Contact plates, ideally irradiated. As Cherwell were already manufacturing some plates for their own use, expanding to commercially supply Contact plates seemed a natural step. By the mid 80’s Cherwell had started supplying Evans with gamma irradiated Contact plates for their environmental monitoring.

As demand for prefilled Contact plates grew, Lawrence identified a need for a Contact plate filling machine. None existed on the market, so he set about designing his own. The Aurac-20 was conceived and built and put into use. The company also sold a small number of units to clients who were still manufacturing their own plates, a trend that was soon to change.

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Cherwell’s first Redipor production cleanroom

During this decade other products followed including a peristaltic pump unit, Lidis 10, for users who wished to hand fill bottles or plates, and the Multi-SAS system. Originally conceived in the later part of the 80’s, Cherwell worked closely with PBI, the inventors and suppliers of the SAS, and Roussel Laboratories in Swindon, now Patheon, who identified a need for a more facility based microbial monitoring system.

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Lawrence with Roberto Ligugnana, PBI and Trevor Downey from Roussel

The 90’s –

Cherwell was expanding and built its first production clean room for the manufacture of prepared media. Demand for equipment for clients to make their own plates was starting to decrease as a shift towards buying in prepoured plates accelerated. The Redipor name and range was truly born!

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The 90’s –

Cherwell was expanding and built its first production clean room for the manufacture of prepared media. Demand for equipment for clients to make their own plates was starting to decrease as a shift towards buying in prepoured plates accelerated. The Redipor name and range was truly born!

The interest in the Multi-SAS system extends outside the UK as Allergan Pharmaceuticals in Ireland embark on a program of including the system in their rapidly expanding site.

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Cherwell’s Multi-SAS Plus system

The Noughties –

Cherwell’s growth continues and in 2004 the business relocated to a single new site in Bicester, expanding is capabilities with a new 500m2 clean room manufacturing suite. Cherwell also becomes the UK distributor for the Datatrace datalogging products.

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The Noughties –

Cherwell’s growth continues and in 2004 the business relocated to a single new site in Bicester, expanding is capabilities with a new 500m2 clean room manufacturing suite. The expansion in space also coincides with significant investment in new production equipment to increase output and batch size for plated media to meet growing demand for the Redipor range.

Cherwell expands its product range and is appointed the UK distributor for the Datatrace datalogging product range. These wireless devices are ideal for use in autoclaves for validations.

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Datatrace wireless dataloggers

In 2005 Andy Whittard, Lawrence’s son assumes the role of Managing Director and Lawrence becomes Chairman.

 

The 10’s –

Continued demand for the Redipor range sees Cherwell extend its premises and acquire a neighbouring unit, allowing its clean room facility to be doubled in size.

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The 10’s –

Continued demand for the Redipor range sees Cherwell extend its premises and acquire a neighbouring unit, allowing its clean room facility to be doubled in size. Plate production surpasses 5m units per year and European distribution extends as Dorte Egelund, Denmark and Sterbios, Poland come on board. Henry Franklin joins Cherwell board as Finance Director.

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Extension to Redipor cleanroom facility to house new automated packaging lines

In 2011 Cherwell becomes the UK distributor for the Raven range of biological indicators. This business grew successfully for 3 years before a change of strategy by the new owners of Raven brought the relationship to an end.

In 2014 Cherwell adds the Marcor range of decontamination products to its portfolio, offering clean room users the low impact, highly effective DryFog fogging solution which uses Marcor Minncare cold sterilant.

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Fogging head of the new all stainless steel DryFog 2 system

In 2015 Martyn Young joins as Operations Director.

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ISO-Con-90 slit to agar continuous monitoring system

Cherwell extends its environmental monitoring solutions by becoming a distributor of the Pinpoint range of ImpactAir slit to agar samplers. In 2019 Cherwell invests in Pinpoint to help the company develop a range of 90mm Petri dish slit to agar samplers to meet industry demands for continuous monitoring in pharma clean rooms, as outlined in the new draft Annex 1.

Cherwell makes a major investment into a new ERP system and goes live on November 1st 2019.

The 20’s –

In September 2020 sadly Lawrence passed away at the age of 83. His legacy is a successful, prosperous business that is well set for the years ahead, which places the importance of the customer at its heart.

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The 20’s –

In September 2020 sadly Lawrence passed away at the age of 83. His legacy is a successful, prosperous business that is well set for the years ahead, which places the importance of the customer at its heart.

Lawrence photo

Lawrence Whittard, founder of Cherwell Laboratories

And 2021 sees the company celebrate 50 years in business

The Cherwell business continues to grow, both domestically and internationally. New distributors continue to be added, SPD Scientific in Singapore and trans-Enor in Taiwan being the latest additions.

Cherwell also strengthens its team, Emma Millburn joins as Director of Sales to help lead the future strategic growth of the business.

The 70’s

1971 – Company name is set up by Lawrence Whittard, veterinary surgeon by profession, and starts trading performing laboratory analytical work as a result of consultancy work Lawrence had been undertaking for the Central Pathology Laboratory in Welwyn Garden.

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The 70’s –

1971 – Company name is set up by Lawrence Whittard, veterinary surgeon by profession, and starts trading performing laboratory analytical work as a result of consultancy work Lawrence had been undertaking for the Central Pathology Laboratory in Welwyn Garden.

In 1974 Cherwell becomes a Limited company, Mike Butcher joins the business as a fellow Director to help grow the analytical work.

It was in 1975 that Lawrence visits the British Lab Week show at Olympia and is introduced to Roberto Ligugnana from Pool Bioanalysis Italiana (PBI). Roberto is visiting the UK looking for a distributor for their range of laboratory equipment, which includes media preparation equipment. Cherwell are appointed and start selling into microbiology labs across the UK.

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Lawrence receiving a competition prize at British Lab Week

Press Coverage

You can find out more details about our 50th anniversary celebrations in our press release.

 

We'll be updating this page with further details as and when they are available.  So be sure to check back soon!

 

 

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What our customers say

Sam Mensah

Quality Systems Officer, Quality Assurance (Pharmacy), St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

“Wishing you a very Happy 50th Anniversary from all of us at St George’s Hospital Pharmacy! All of your many media products, that we have been using for well over 15 years to monitor the various manufacturing units within our hospital (Aseptic, Cytotoxic, Non-sterile and Radiopharmacy), ensure that we are fully confident in the microbiological safety of our equipment.

Over the years of working together, Cherwell’s products have proven to be highly reliable, and if there are any issues the customer support team are always very helpful and accommodating. Good communication is considered a top quality, and Cherwell has it in abundance!

They are also fantastic in an emergency. Whenever we’ve needed urgent or increased supplies of media, Cherwell’s team will go above and beyond to ensure we receive them ahead of a typical waiting time. This has happened on a few occasions, and we are ever grateful for it!”

Paola Parise

Business Development Manager, Microbiology, VWR part of Avantor

“Many congratulations on your 50th year in business! We have enjoyed working with you for many of these years, as our partnership is one of our longest-lasting, most profitable and stable.

This long-term success has been achieved because Cherwell is a dynamic company made up of people who really understand and listen to their partners, and who can also establish a solid collaboration based on the pillars of trust, respect and fairness.

Cherwell continues to add value to our business on a daily basis due to their concise and clear communications, excellent team working and broad vision.”

Peter Lloyd

QA Manager Harlow, LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare

“As a happy customer of Cherwell’s for nearly 20 years, the LloydsPharmacy team wish them a very Happy 50th Anniversary! In addition to being a long-term customer, we are also a growing customer primarily using Cherwell’s Redipor sterile media, but also their air samplers and associated calibration services. Over the last 10 years, our plate usage has risen 60% in our clean room facilities across our two manufacturing sites, this is to meet operational demand and regulatory compliance.

The customer support team at Cherwell are fantastic in dealing with our queries and orders. There may be occasions where an ad-hoc order is required, and from personal experience, nothing is too much trouble. They will always clearly communicate with us to ensure that we are fully updated on the order status and delivery dates. This helps us immensely with planning for any future projects or validation work.”

Gabriel Reynolds

Sales Director, Davidson & Hardy (Laboratory Supplies) Ltd

“Happy Anniversary Cherwell! The 40-year affiliation between our companies speaks volumes for our long-standing working relationship centred on their excellent customer service. Cherwell are such a good company to work with because, even as demand for their products has grown, they have never lost focus - they do as they say and say as they do!

As a distributor for all of their products, we know that Cherwell will always strive to go the extra mile for their customers. For example, in the ‘Amazon world’ we all now live, they have given one of our key customers the ability to track and trace plus monitor the temperature of their consignment using Dataloggers with each and every irradiated media shipment. This has proven to be very successful from both a customer and regulatory perspective.”

Redipor standing order prize draw

Redipor® Standing Order Prize Draw

We have several activities planned over 2021 to mark our 50th anniversary, including events, competitions and activities. The first of which is a prize draw.

Any company that sets up a standing order for our Redipor® prepared media, to start in the month of April, will be entered into a prize draw. At the end of April, one lucky winner will be picked at random. If we pull your company’s name out as the winner, we will donate £150 directly to your chosen charity.

Congratulations to Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who's standing order was picked at random as our lucky winner!

They chose to split the £150 donation equally between the following three charities: 


Setting up a standing order, which can be fully flexible, means that your deliveries can be pre-scheduled.  We can deliver weekly; fortnightly; monthly or whenever suits you best. Our team are happy to discuss  your requirements with you to ensure your media order is delivered when you need it

Enquire now

Meet the Cherwell Team

With 2021 seeing Cherwell celebrate its 50th year of business, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce you to some of the team.

We believe Cherwell's success can be attributed to our high-quality products and strong focus on customer support and service. It's our team of like-minded people here at Cherwell that make it possible  to deliver the high standard of products, customer service and support that we strive for.

Meet the team montage
ISO CON 90 Complete monitoring system Easter

50th Anniversary Golden Easter Egg Hunt

To celebrate our 50th anniversary we held a charity Easter Egg Hunt!

Over the Easter period we hid five golden Easter eggs, like the one shown, throughout our website.

We offered five chances to WIN a £50 donation to a charity of your choice

Congratulations to our five winners and their chosen charities:

CHERWELL SUPPLIES PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO THE PHARMACEUTICAL AND RELATED INDUSTRIES

A few societies and associations we are members and sponsors of