Our story.

From humble beginnings, this is our journey and the legacy of founder, John Sampson.

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About us.

In 1975, Founder John Sampson created Essex Electrical Services (Rayleigh Ltd), a family business which provided building services installation to the retail, commercial and banking sectors. Today, as ESG, it generates an annual turnover of more than £130 million with average MEP project values of £30 million+ yet retains the core family values it always has done.

ESG operates across a diverse range of construction markets including highend, mid-level residential, commercial fit-outs, data centre delivery, offsite modular engineering and the growing life science sectors. This is our late founder's story.

'Like any new start-up, we needed to provide a focused and trusted service to grow' John Sampson | Founder

John Sampson
Our Founder.

“At sixteen, I trained to be an electrician at a company called Escott Brothers in South Woodford. Completing my apprenticeship in 1965, I worked on a variety of projects having received extensive training associated with controls and motors for the printing, laundry and bakery industries, and in later years would be responsible for the design and installation of electrical services within major superstores, hospitals and other high-profile projects.

I stayed with Escott Brothers until early 1974 before taking the next step in my career. With the ever-present support of my wife Diane, I formed my own business, Essex Electrical Services (Rayleigh Ltd) and by the following year alongside Clive Allard we had set up a small working office in Benfleet, Essex. The cramped loft space we occupied offered what we needed to carry out general tasks, designs and accounts. This was the start of my journey, building the company ESG are today.

Like any new start-up, we needed to provide a focused and trusted service to grow. Operating seven days a week, we began to see a steady flow of work come through the business and by 1975, the supermarket chain Cator Brothers became our primary client. This family business was an early competitor to Sainsbury’s and Tesco and although later disappearing in 1979, this would be the first of many retailers that we would provide services for.

Although still in its early days, we were aware that our new venture needed to be better structured and supported. A relative, Stan Muffitt had agreed to invest, helping with future progression and for a short time became our first Managing Director alongside myself, Clive Allard, Mike Wood, Brian Sampson and Malcolm Cluness.

John Sampson & Mike Woods (Far Right) with Malcolm Cluness (Centre Left)

Our initial work within the retail sector had expanded into banking and commercial developments, thanks in part to the emergence of Canary Wharf’s regeneration plan and alongside major projects we established a special works department to support our larger contracts. This team remains an integral element of our company today as ESG Prime, delivering fast-track specialist fitout services, maintenance and aftercare.

Throughout the years as our business grew, we operated from various premises, moving from Manor Park, Redbridge and onto Ley Street in Ilford.

The 1990’s saw more changes, with the departure of Mike Wood who was instrumental in winning many of our early major projects, and the promotion of Barry Quinnell to Director who continued to run our retail sector projects for many years. We concluded the decade with another relocation to our current home in Danes Road, Romford.

Operating from a much larger head office and with annual turnover increasing, I knew the next step in our development was the task of becoming a single source, multi-services contractor.

Clive Allard

Brian Sampson

John Sampson on site in 2019, inspecting our work on the iconic Battersea Power Station development.

A new millennium saw the retirement of both Brian Sampson and Malcolm Cluness and a new face, Erich Emrich joining us in 2003. Erich had provided mechanical support to us over many years and his expertise helped us achieve a pivotal milestone, in becoming Essex Electrical & Mechanical.

Myself and Clive Allard continued to direct the company as Joint Managing Directors until 2007 when Clive decided to retire and as the company reached turnovers of more than £40 million, our growing business was reformed with a new Board of Directors.

John Sampson, pictured alongside our Board members in 2018.

I am proud to say that under the immense pressure of an ever-changing industry, market recessions, and a global pandemic, the Essex Services Group has remained true to its core values, operated responsibly, and has delivered some truly outstanding projects along the way.

In the years since, Barry Quinnell, Erich Emrich and others have retired from their roles and successful control of the business has now passed to my son, Mark Sampson.

The continued success of ESG is testament to the dedication, skill and commitment of its valued people. I have great pride knowing the business is in safe hands, with strong leadership, and its expansion into new markets, new locations and its creative ideas will above all, keep our people safe.

Our company, which started in a cramped loft space in Benfleet is today regarded as one of the best building services contractors within the industry and it retains the values I care for most dearly. Providing the exceptional quality expected by our clients and seeing ESG setting the standard for others to follow.

Thank you everyone.”

— John Sampson

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