From humble family-owned beginnings, the story of Marshall is rich with heritage and achievements. Although, we are very proud of our past, we are more excited about our future, so watch this space as there is so much more to come.
Marshall of Cambridge was established in 1909 by David Gregory Marshall, in a small lock-up garage in Brunswick Gardens, Cambridge as a chauffeur drive company, which was an immediate success and prompted the move to larger premises in Kings Street in 1910.
The company’s first involvement in aviation dates back to 1912 when its mechanics helped repair the engine of a British Army airship, the Beta II, which had made an emergency landing in Jesus Green, Cambridge, just behind the Marshall garage.
By 1920 the first apprenticeships became available within the automotive industry for Marshall Motor Holdings.
It was David Marshall’s son, Arthur, who, having learned to fly after gaining an engineering degree at Jesus College, Cambridge in 1926, helped open a new aerodrome situated on the outskirts of the city beside the family home. From this airfield, known as Fen Ditton, flying training commenced in 1929 and a year later the Marshall Flying School was formed. Pictured here at the opening of the first aerodrome in 1929 are the famous British pioneer of long-distance aviation, Sir Alan Cobham along with Arthur Marshall and his father David Marshall.
Apprentices start to work on aircraft as Marshall develops its aircraft design and manufacturing facilities, becoming a natural sub-contractor to all the British aircraft manufacturing companies. Post-war, aerospace engineering work continued to generate new business, civil and military, with many different types of aircraft passing through the company’s well-equipped hangars and workshops. Most of this work involved repairs, structural modifications and conversions, but also included final assembly of the last production batch of 65 de Haviland Venoms. Many Canberra bombers were modified over the years as were several Vickers aircraft, including the Valiant, Viking, Varsity, Valetta and Viscount. Marshall also developed its aircraft design and manufacturing facilities, becoming a natural sub-contractor to all the British aircraft manufacturing companies.
Now equipped with world-leading skills and knowledge, former apprentices work on pioneering projects such as the manufacture of the Concorde droop nose and retracting visor in 1967, on behalf of the British Aircraft Corporation.
1972 saw the launch of Marshall Thermo King, which specialises in the sales and after sales support of advanced, vehicle-mounted, temperature control units. With over 100 fully equipped mobile engineers and apprentices on call 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year, operating from 10 depots across the UK, Marshall Thermo King offers unrivalled support to transport fleet operations across the country, including those for many of the UK’s largest retailers. Its sister company, Vehicle & Tail lift Repairs (VTR), complements the business offering, specialising in the service and maintenance of commercial vehicle tail lifts.
Additional services are developed and Marshall apprentices had the opportunity to be involved in a variety of projects from maintaining the MOD C130 fleet to working on modular medical facilities for the National Health Service.
In 2022 we re-brand as Marshall Skills Academy obtaining 'Main Provider' status allowing us to draw on the Apprenticeship Levy on behalf of our customers and provide delivery outside of Marshall for the first time in our 100 year history.
Marshall Skills Academy are the world-leader in aviation maintenance training. The people we train continue to work on pioneering projects that push the boundaries of what is possible, creating a sustainable future for millennia to come.