The origins of Arena Structures can be traced back to probably the very first events business!
In 1761 a company was formed in Abingdon, eventually moving to Southwark. Led by Richard Edgington, the business manufactured and sold tents, flags, banners, ship ropes and decorations for public events.
This started a long association with London which continues to this day. Their tents were used by the armed forces in the Napoleonic wars, for example.
The business was eventually passed down to Benjamin Edgington and he joined forces with Stephen Silver, forming Silver Edgington. The area of London which is today known as Silvertown got its name from the large factory that operated there in 1852.
Silver Edgington earned a reputation for quality, something which was rewarded with two Royal warrants and significant involvement with ceremonial events, leading to being involved in the 1937 and 1953 Coronations, supplying temporary structures, seating, flags, banners and interior dressings of various buildings.
Both World Wars saw the company providing huge numbers of tents for the armed forces.
The Silver Edgington association with Royal events led to them being awarded the contract for Henley Royal Regatta, a partnership that exists to this day. Other contracts included Wimbledon and Farnborough Air Show.
On a sinister note, the business also manufactured and tested all the hangman’s ropes for executions, prior to the death penalty being abolished in the UK in the 1960’s.
In 1976, and again through acquisition, the business took on Black’s of Greenock. This business, much like Edgington, manufactured sails, ropes, tents and – importantly – had a rental division.
The company eventually became known as Black & Edgington and developed a number of marquee rental depots across the UK.
This was the start of the business we know today, and through various mergers and acquisitions became Arena Group, expanding not just across the UK but around the world.
The company has also diversified into grandstand seating, scaffolding, interiors, furniture, tableware and even ice rinks!
Today we are one of the leading global event design & rental provider and remain incredibly proud of our lineage and continued growth to this day.