Townrow and Sanko History 1995

National Radiators Limited – Celebrating 75 years -1934-2009


Taken from: National News Spring 1995

In January 1949, Len Townrow and Ted Sanko opened their first radiator shop in Hastings. As the population and industry grew so did their business and 1966 saw them expanding to a second shop in the twin city of Napier. Len ran the Napier shop, and his son Peter told us “I started straight from school 36 years ago,” while Ted’s son Richard joined the Hastings shop in 1965. A new shop was built in Hastings in the late 1970s, providing the facilities and image the industry was starting to demand.

In the mid-1980s, when the radiator industry was at its peak, the Napier shop moved into Ford Road and both shops had a staff of three.

In true family business style, Richard’s wife Pat has handled all the office work for the business since 1970. Their three sons have chosen other careers.

Len retired in 1973 and with his wife Ivy is still enjoying life to the full in Perth. The National News recorded Ted’s passing in March 1994


I have worked in the industry for the past 48 years starting out helping my father in the school holidays.

Highlights: A client, who was a guest of Her Majesty in one of our jails wrote a very well-written letter saying that upon being released he would call and settle his account. This he duly did and also had another job done for his mother. He asked if he could pay it off and we said, “of course”, and so he did.


I worked in the industry for 46 years and my son Glenn worked for 14 years before moving to Australia and a change of direction.

Highlights: When a priest brought his Model A radiator to be repaired which was duly done. Two days later he came back saying it was still leaking. On inspection we found a clear sign of damage caused by the nut which holds the fan on in the middle of the core.


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