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Laurence Sydney Yoxall

(1901-1976), Businessman

Sitter in 1 portrait

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Laurence Sydney Yoxall, by Hay Wrightson Ltd - NPG x181575

Laurence Sydney Yoxall

by Hay Wrightson Ltd
bromide print, circa 1960s
NPG x181575


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John Disher

25 January 2018, 10:11

Just a comment but I thought Fox-Yox was bought by Cibie, a French company (I'm only querying the spelling and I think the 'e' should have an acute accent (ague) but I'm not sure how to do that on my keyboard.

John Disher

25 January 2018, 09:49

My Dad was his partner in the company. It originated as General Precision Instruments Ltd. Dad got dismissed from an employer, marched angrily out the drive and knocked Yoxall over. It was lunchtime so Dad took Yox to a pub by way of apology. They talked and Dad said he was an engineer and now unemployed and Yox wasn't doing much so they decided to try starting a company (GPI). As the company became stable Yox started going to America looking for possible business contacts and found the Foxboro Company. The idea was that, as they were in similar lines of business, they would market each other's products in the other country.
John Disher (son of Harold Thomas Disher, Yoxall's partner).

They used to refer to each other as 'Yox' and 'Dish'.
Yox died about six months after my Dad (as often happens in close long-term business relationships like this).


9 August 2017, 17:35

Laurie Yoxall was born in 1901. He founded an instrument-making company, under his own name, in the late 1920s which later merged with the US Foxboro company to form Foxboro-Yoxall. The company (based in Reigate and Redhill) was a pioneer in instrument electronics and process control equipment, with a number of important patents, and the company was an important supplier during WW2. By all accounts, Laurie was a sensitive and much admired boss. Foxboro-Yoxall went into a steep decline after his death, and was eventually acquired by Siebe plc (now Invensys).

He was appointed CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1971, for services to export. Although extremely wealthy, he was a man of simple tastes whose only indulgence was luxury cars; he commissioned a new Rolls-Royce coupé every 2 years, which was then sent to Hoopers to be painted in his particular shade of light blue. He and his wife, Rene (née Cocking), had one daughter (Sheila). They lived in a fine house with extensive gardens outside Kingston-upon-Thames. Always full of life and enthusiasm, he was tall with a mischievous sense of humour. A keen sportsman throughout his life, he died quite suddenly in March 1976, aged 74.

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