History of McDonald Water Storage

McDonald Water Storage had its beginnings in the world of engineering back in 1930 but within two decades it became known worldwide for its plumbing systems.

When World War Two broke out the firm moved into the production of aircraft wings and it was to be peacetime before it turned its attention to plumbing, manufacturing copper cylinders and complete plumbing systems, mostly for Australia and the Middle East.

As the markets for complete systems decreased McDonald Water Storage found itself expanding within the copper cylinder market.

McDonald Water Storage is proud of its independent status – it is one of only a very few British independent manufacturers remaining in the plumbing and heating industry.

  • The 1930’s saw the original company formed as McDonald Engineers by the McDonald brothers, motor and general engineers.
  • WWII had McDonald Engineers rapidly expanding to three factories manufacturing various items for the war effort but mainly aircraft wings for Hudson Bombers and other aircraft.
  • The end of the war saw them to move into new products such as pre-fabricated plumbing, sheet metalwork and vented copper cylinders.
  • Financial instability in the 1960’s saw the company bought over by the Inglefield Group who employed James R Stewart (late Father of Bill, Jamie and Grandfather of David and Rachael) as managing director in 1960.
  • JR Stewart performed a management buyout in 1973. At this time the main activities were prefabricated plumbing, vented copper cylinders (solar cylinders from 1968, foam lagging from 1971, coils from 1975), truck bodies and waste disposal skips.
  • Due to declining markets and a recession, the decision was taken to close the steel fabricating factory in Kirkcaldy and rationalise the entire operation into the Loughborough Road, Kirkcaldy factory – concentrating wholly on copper cylinders and soon after, acquiring the BSI Kitemark. The company bought its first computer in 1986.
  • 1990’s Huge changes! The company moved premises to Glenrothes in 1992. The POWERflow unvented system was launched the same year, soon followed by the THERMflow mains pressure thermal storage system.
  • Jamie Stewart took over as Sales Director to support Bill Stewart as Managing Director and James Stewart became chairman. James sadly passed away and Bill also took on the role of Chairman.
  • During the 1990’s, it was decided to pursue product specification by appointing two technical sales managers. The company website and emails were setup in 1996 one of the first in their industry to do so.
  • In 2004 The Company bought the Amada CNC Punch Machine, our biggest capital Investment at that time.
  • In 2006 the company self funded and built a 10,000sq.ft. factory extension to accommodate increased sales.
  • More recently in 2018 Jamie Stewart became MD and David Stewart son of Bill, became Sales Director. The company took on a Divisional Director for England and to make it clearer to potential new customers what we do, changed our name to McDonald Water Storage and took on a full time marketing manager to spread the word!
  • In 2020 amid the Covid strife, we celebrated our 75 year anniversary. A year of challenging trading and working conditions with the worldwide pandemic. Despite that we saw the Company all pull together to ensure not only survival, but indeed many improvements, growth and investment and several product launches with the introduction of MULTIflow, ELSOflow, WHEELIflow and COPPERtouch
  • A redesign and relaunch of our website was undertaken, with improved customer usability and a dedicated spares and online cylinder section.

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