Bognor Regis is to get a new pub which is set to open in the summer. And the Marstons boozer, currently being built in Shripney Lane, will doff its cap to the town’s heritage by being name after Charles Purley, who co-founded LEC Refrigeration.
A job advert for a general manager reads: “In February 2017 we will start the build of a brand new pub restaurant Charley Purley in Bognor Regis which will be due to open in August 2017. This pub operates under our Milestone Carvery format offering a classic, seven day a week carvery operation.
“An extensive pub restaurant menu is also available catering for the mainstream market. With an emphasis on family friendly values, our main focus is on serving high quality, hearty food that tastes just as good as homemade – just the way our customers like it!”
Lec was a major employee in the town for 67 years producing thousands of fridges and freezers until it closed for business in 2007
It was formed in 1942 by fishmonger brothers Frank and Charles Purley as Longford Engineering Company Ltd. Charles moved to Bognor in 1929. It began making munitions for the war on Longford Road in Bognor, but began making experimental refrigerators from 1945. It made its first fridge in 1946, the year the Shripney Road site was obtained, with production beginning in 1947.
The name was changed to LEC Refrigeration on 13 December 1954. Around 60% of its products were for the domestic market, with the rest for commercial use. Before 1956 it was selling more products abroad than in the UK.
It was based at the Shripney Works, a 14-acre site at Bersted – now the site of Sainsbury’s – in the north of Bognor Regis in Sussex, off Shripney Road (A29) next to the Bognor Regis branch line. On the other side of the railway it had 33 acres of land, part of which was used as its own airfield. Charles Purley was be the company’s chairman for many years until October 1991.