COBA Founded By Tony Cooke and Tom Bateman
The original COBA business was founded on 12 August 1966 by the late Tony Cooke and Tom Bateman who had both previously worked for Coventry Motor & Sundries. (The name is derived from the CO of Cooke and the BA of Bateman.) That business was COBA Plastics Ltd operating from small premises on Stephen Street in Coventry, in the heart of the Midlands, manufacturing plastic extrusions and tubing, primarily for the automotive, motorcycle and caravan industries, such as Standard Triumph and Sprite Caravans in the late 1960’s.
Production on the Increase
With production on the increase, so was the scrap material associated with it. This began an association in 1968 with Bedford Granulating Co Ltd in Kibworth, Leicestershire, a business that specialised in granulating plastics, cloth, rubberised cork and other materials. That same year, COBA Plastics Ltd moved to the Bedford Granulating Co premises in Kibworth, only a short distance from Fleckney.
COBA Plastics Ltd acquired Bedford Granulating Co Ltd
In 1971 COBA Plastics Ltd acquired 100% shares of the Bedford Granulating Co Ltd and its premises, which proved to be an inspired move.
The Three Day Work Week
Although starting small, the business very quickly went from strength to strength despite some challenging times during Edward Heath’s enforced Three Day Week (1973) to preserve dwindling national fuel supplies. COBA Plastics Ltd introduced its first night shift to maintain production levels.
In March 1974, COBA Plastics invested in another company called Creamfine Ltd operating from a small unit in Coventry to help accommodate the increasing cramped conditions at its Kibworth site.