Robin and Elaine Whetton embarked on their journey in March 1983 with the creation of Nova Darkroom Equipment with business partners Graham and Anne New. Little did they know, their ‘1st child’ would adapt and grow and would still be trading 40 years later.
Originally, they converted their loft into an office, and garage into a production area, what today would be known as “Working from Home”. Whilst Robin worked full time for another company, his Nova Darkroom evening shifts often crept on until 4am in the morning. Strangely enough – not much has changed.
Over the last 40 years our Team has grown and we’ve weathered many challenges along the way. UK recessions, Global financial crisis, Brexit and the recent Global Covid Pandemic.
With the resilience of our incredible employees, continued commitment of our suppliers, retail stores, print labs, worldwide distributors and our customers, who love and use our products, we have progressed to a purpose-built factory and could not be more proud of our achievements.
So, thank you from all of us at The Imaging Warehouse. Why not take a look at our journey 👇👇👇
1st March 1983
Where it all began. With the invention of the Nova Slot Processor, Robin Whetton & Graham New began the creation of Nova Darkroom Equipment in a barn local to the Warwickshire countryside.
5 months later, the guys receive their first official order from a Mr Lawrence Prime. 10 years later, in 1993, Robin & Graham swapped Mr Prime’s slot processor with a gold replica and still have the first ever slot processor on display today.
To celebrate the companies 1000th customer, Robin bought the business their first computer – the Amstrad PCW 8256. It sat on the dining room table for 3 weeks before he dared turned it on.
1st official employee: Steve Price joined Nova Darkroom Equipment at 17 years old. Steve is now Operations Director of The Imaging Warehouse – we’ll let you do the math’s to work out his age 😉
Robin & Graham pack up the car and head to their first Photokina Exhibition in Germany. This would be the first of many!
News of the Slot Processor travelled far and wide and The Royal Family placed their first order with Nova Darkroom Equipment.
European Patent was awarded on the Slot Processor & later on that year Robin installs one on the QE2.
Robin acquires the first mobile car phone for the business – the Vodafone “brick”.
16th May 1990
As the team grew and Nova Darkroom expanded, the company moved from the barn to its first purpose built premises in Warwick.
26th June 1990
Nova Darkroom Equipment becomes a limited company. Woohoo!
We left the dark ages and launched our first website & emailing system.
As technology advanced, we bought our first networked Windows PC’s & HP LaserJet 4 printer.
Company invested in FoxPro – the fastest databasing software available! Steve & Robin worked with a developer to write own mail order program which later went on to be used at Silverstone Race Course.
Nova Darkroom Equipment receive their first Photo Industry Award for “Best Darkroom Product” with the Nova Slot Processor.
We developed the fastest C41 Colour Film Chemistry Process with Speedibrews for Racecourse photo finish. The product was documented on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World.
Our first full export container heading for for Jobo Fototechnic in the USA.
We launched a High speed C41 chemical for Associated Press and Reuters News Agency.
Graham & Robin separate the business. Graham took over the manufacturing side & Robin & Elaine becoming whole owners of NDE.
Steve & Robin create a device for filling cartridges which later becomes the ink flow system that we have today.
The birth of PermaJet. Our first company logo.
PermaJet Ltd become a fully trading company.
PermaJet attends its first Photokina in Germany.
Amateur Photographer award our C41 Film Processor as “Best Accessory of the Year”, as used by the worlds press photographers.
PermaJet launches Europe’s first Continuous Inkflow System. The first PermaJet CIS Bulk Ink Systems, initially named as Eps-i-Gon, for the Epson Stylus Photo 1200 and Epson Stylus Photo 1160 inkjet printers were launched.
Following a previous factory break-in 2 months earlier, staff suddenly notice the dust marked rectangular space on top of the kitchen fridge freezer where the “popular” microwave once stood – those damn thieves.
PermaJet launch the World’s first Digital Fibre Based Paper – FB Gloss 295.
30 April 2005
The Imaging Warehouse Ltd is formed incorporating Nova Darkroom, PermaJet and Nova Digital.
Louise Hill & Bob Moore launch The Training Academy. Now named The Photographic Academy, Lou run’s Saturday training schools throughout the year.
As the company expanded we moved to a purpose built warehouse overlooking the countryside in Stratford-upon-Avon.
With an ever growing database, we upgraded our system to Profit Plus, fully integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning).
2012 – present
Presented our first award from The Societies of Photographers for “Best Professional Inkjet Paper”. We are proud to have held this title for 9 consecutive years.
Received our first award from Photo News for FB Gold Silk 315.
We took on our Uni intern, Abi, who went on to complete her degree and joined us full time. Abi is still a member of the team today.
13 August 2017
The Imaging Warehouse takes over Online Paper. We acquired Online Paper to further establish ourselves within the inkjet media market, distributing all of the most popular brands!
Print Academy Manager, Louise Hill, beats cancer and celebrates 10 years with TIW! Wonder Woman!!!
The Imaging Warehouse takes on the second acquisition in a short space of time – Premier Ink. Premier Ink distributes Original and Compatible ink cartridges as well as inkjet paper to the hobbyist and amateur user.
PermaJet lands its first Chinese distributor.
Launched the Companies Friday BBQ which continues to bring The Team together!
4 July 2021
Our UK Sales Rep, Stella Artois loving Colin Hulley, celebrates 10 years with the company. Beers all round!
4 October 2022
Simon celebrates 8 years with the company! Fun Fact: Simon once ate 18 Creme Eggs in one day! Yes – Simon does have a sweet tooth!
5 November 2022
The lovely Sue celebrates 20 years with The Imaging Warehouse. Sue has played a huge role throughout her time with us and now supports Robin with overseas sales.
Steve becomes a Company Director after working 35 years in the business! In need of ANY technical help – Steve’s your man!
Proud to announce that we have joined The Woodland Trust to support their efforts in creating and protecting woodlands in the UK.