Preston Asbestos and Rubber (PAR) started life trading from a small unit at Higher Walton Mill, near Preston. The company was started by local resident Sid Kirby, who established PAR as a distributor of rubber, insulation and janitorial products to businesses in the surrounding area.
In 1980, Sid Kirby retired and sold PAR to Ian Glen and Henry Lewis who between them had over 40 years' experience in the rubber industry. Henry Lewis had previously made his name at Dunlop-Angus (which later became known as BTR - British Tyre & Rubber Co. Ltd) and Avon Rubber, whilst Ian Glen had worked for CMT. The pair had met while working at the nearby Rubber and Allied Products (RAP), which is when Kirby approached them. They took the opportunity to start a new venture together and so began the fast development of the company.
Shortly after Ian and Henry took over, Dennis Hill joined the team from Rubber & Allied Products and became an equal partner. He would later go on to start PAR (Manchester) Ltd in 1982.
Under new directorship, PAR increased stocks of rubber sheeting, gasket materials and hoses. They also invested in moulding presses, gasket clickers and a rubber extruder. This new manufacturing equipment enabled them to convert many stocked materials into bespoke products cut to the customer requirements.