40 Milestones of The Imaging Warehouse

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

Nova Darkroom's first barn in Warwickshire

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.

August 1983

Robin and Graham shaking hands with the gentleman who placed the first order

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.


Amstrad PCW 8256 Computer

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.

September 1986

Nova Darkroom's first employee - Steve Price

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 😉

September 1986

Selection of employees stood in front of Nova's first stand at Photokina in Germany

Robin & Graham pack up the car and head to their first Photokina Exhibition in Germany. This would be the first of many!


The Royal family from 1987

News of the Slot Processor travelled far and wide and The Royal Family placed their first order with Nova Darkroom Equipment.


Framed certificate of the European Patent

European Patent was awarded on the Slot Processor & later on that year Robin installs one on the QE2.


Vodafone mobile car phone

Robin acquires the first mobile car phone for the business – the Vodafone “brick”.

16th May 1990

First set of employees sat outside Nova's first warehouse premises in Warwick

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

Copy of certificate to showcase Nova becoming a limited company

Nova Darkroom Equipment becomes a limited company. Woohoo!


Stock image of the World Wide Wide

We left the dark ages and launched our first website & emailing system.


Laser 4 HP Printer

As technology advanced, we bought our first networked Windows PC’s & HP LaserJet 4 printer.


Screenshot of the first ERM system

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.


Framed copy of Nova's first award

Nova Darkroom Equipment receive their first Photo Industry Award for “Best Darkroom Product” with the Nova Slot Processor.


BBC's Tomorrow's World logo

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.


Robin shaking hands with Jobo after placing their largest order off to the USA

Our first full export container heading for for Jobo Fototechnic in the USA.


Kit used to make up the C41

We launched a High speed C41 chemical for Associated Press and Reuters News Agency.


Robin & Graham at one of their very first exhibitions - Photography at Work

Graham & Robin separate the business. Graham took over the manufacturing side & Robin & Elaine becoming whole owners of NDE.


Kit created by Robin & Steve, used to make up the CIS (continuous ink flow system)

Steve & Robin create a device for filling cartridges which later becomes the ink flow system that we have today.


PermaJet's first logo

The birth of PermaJet. Our first company logo.

June 2000

Certificate to showcase PermaJet becoming a Limited Company

PermaJet Ltd become a fully trading company.

September 2000

PermaJet's first PhotoKina set up

PermaJet attends its first Photokina in Germany.


First award from Amateur Photographer

Amateur Photographer award our C41 Film Processor as “Best Accessory of the Year”, as used by the worlds press photographers.

March 2001

Old advert dating back to 2001 showcasing the Continuous Inkflow System

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.


Image of a microwave

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.


Advert used to market our FB Gloss (our first paper)

PermaJet launch the World’s first Digital Fibre Based Paper – FB Gloss 295.

30 April 2005

Team picture outside the front entrance of the factory in Stratford

The Imaging Warehouse Ltd is formed incorporating Nova Darkroom, PermaJet and Nova Digital.


Inside our room used to host the academy

Louise Hill & Bob Moore launch The Training Academy. Now named The Photographic Academy, Lou run’s Saturday training schools throughout the year.

June 2010

Beautiful image of the sun setting across the Stratford countryside

As the company expanded we moved to a purpose built warehouse overlooking the countryside in Stratford-upon-Avon.


Profit Plus Homepage

With an ever growing database, we upgraded our system to Profit Plus, fully integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning).

2012 – present

Selection of trophy's awarded to PermaJet from The Societies of Photographers

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.


PermaJet's first award from Photography News - Best Inkjet Media - FB Gold Silk 315

Received our first award from Photo News for FB Gold Silk 315.

September 2015

Abi, our Marketing Exec, in the office

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

Online paper logo

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!

August 2018

Image of Louise Hill

Print Academy Manager, Louise Hill, beats cancer and celebrates 10 years with TIW! Wonder Woman!!!

February 2019

Premier Ink logo

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.

Jan 2020

Chinese team outside of one of their biggest exhibitions

PermaJet lands its first Chinese distributor.


Simon in charge of the Friday morning breakfast BBQ

Launched the Companies Friday BBQ which continues to bring The Team together!

4 July 2021

Image of our UK sales rep - Colin Hulley

Our UK Sales Rep, Stella Artois loving Colin Hulley, celebrates 10 years with the company. Beers all round!

4 October 2022

Simon driving his beloved forklift

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 at an export exhibition

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.

Jan 2023

Image of Steve Price using a Nova Slot processor

Steve becomes a Company Director after working 35 years in the business! In need of ANY technical help – Steve’s your man!

May 2023

Woodland Trust logo

Proud to announce that we have joined The Woodland Trust to support their efforts in creating and protecting woodlands in the UK.

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