Cardiff chip fitters Preston and Thomas in administration

Fish and chips being served in a traditional British fish and chip shop The Preston and Thomas name can be found in thousands of fish and chip shops across Britain

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A south Wales company that makes fryers and cooking ranges for Britain's fish and chip shops has gone into administration - in its centenary year.

Preston and Thomas Ltd has been operating in Cardiff since March 1913.

Since World War II alone, the firm has installed more than 11,000 cooking ranges at chip shops across the UK.

The company, which employs 25 people at its Rumney factory, says a fall in turnover is the main reason for calling in administrators, Begbies Traynor.

Directors said falling orders were due to customers' difficulties in obtaining finance and delays in customers taking delivery of ranges.

'Culinary stalwarts'

The firm has remained in the same two families since its birth in Caroline Street in the city centre when Harry Preston and Evan Tudor Thomas bought a dairy utensil shop.

Three generations later, and the firm was being run by Simon Preston and David Thomas.

The administration is being managed jointly by David Hill and Steve Wade of Begbies Traynor, who described Preston and Thomas as "a stalwart of British culinary culture".

Mr Hill said: "Preston and Thomas Ltd has played a major role in British culinary culture, manufacturing the cooking equipment that millions of fish and chip shop customers have relied upon for decades.

"Having been appointed joint administrators, Mr Wade and I are looking for interested parties to acquire the business and assets of this long established and highly regarded company with the aim of securing its future."

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