Sesame Access was founded in 1996 by Charlie Lyons, a talented hydraulic engineer. Charlie was down the pub with his friend one day, and his friend was really annoyed that his wife, who used a wheelchair, couldn't get into an art gallery. The London art gallery was 200 years old and a Grade I Listed Building, with steps up to the front door. "We are a Listed Building" said the gallery. "Sorry there is nothing we can do about the steps".
The best ideas are made down the pub
Charlie thought in this day and age, surely something could be done about those steps? What if they hydraulically moved out the way? Could that be possible?
So Charlie drew up some early sketches, and an idea was sown.
When Charlie's son Steven finished University, father and son built an early prototype in a shed in Staines. After many revisions and developments of the lifts, finally the Sesame lift was ready for market.
The first ever Sesame lift was installed in Merchant Taylor's Hall, Threadneedle Street in 1997. This lift is still working beautifully to this day. High quality British Engineering at its best.
Sesame has now installed their award winning lifts in more than 200 buildings across the world. Our team of Sesame Engineers and Designers are some of the most talented technicians in the world. The whole Sesame team are passionate about innovation, design and British Engineering.
In November 2016 we were presented with The Grant of Appointment by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey which was hand signed by The Queen and The Prime Minister.
Here you can see Charlie Lyons, the founder of Sesame Access Systems holding a commemorative crystal bowl to mark the occasion. This photo also shows the Lord Lieutenant on the left and The Lord Lieutenants wife Mrs Sarah More-Molyneux talking with Charlie Lyons' wife Brenda Lyons.
The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey was so impressed with the work we do here at Sesame that he invited His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, centre of photo, to our workshop to see it for himself.
As you view the photo, to the right of HRH The Duke of Kent, in the red jumper is Steven Lyons, Managing Director. On the far left you will see Alison Lyons, Director of Business Development standing next to the then Mayoress of Woking who is standing next to Charlie Lyons. On the far right you will see Brenda Lyons standing next to The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey. In the background stands some of the Sesame team and a few of our clients.
Shortly after HRH The Duke of Kent visited our workshop Her Majesty The Queen invited us to Buckingham Palace to present us with The Queens Award for Enterprise. It seems we made an impression on the Royal Family
As you view the photo, to the left is Charlie Lyons standing in front of Alison Lyons who is addressing Her Majesty The Queen. Alison is reminding Her Majesty that she had met James Bond when she famously jumped out of a helicopter with him at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. Alison then went on to say that where Q is the genius inventor behind James Bond's gadgets Charlie Lyons is the genius inventor in the world of wheelchair lifts. We are extremely grateful to the photographer taking this shot just as Her Majesty laughed at Alison's Joke.
Charlie built a prototype and the first Sesame lift was installed in Merchant Taylor’s Hall, Threadneedle Street, London in 1996. This lift is our oldest lift, still runs perfectly and is used about three times a week for disabled access for functions in the building. After the third lift, Steven Lyons, Charlie's son helped to build during University and joined the company thereafter.
Threadneedle Street London with the Bank of England on the left hand side. Sesame have two wheelchair lifts now down this road including the front door of the Bank of England.
As well as the Queens Award for Enterprise we hold an Independent Living Design award and a Millennium Product marquee awarded by the Design Council in testament to the creativity of our products.
All of our working processes including risk assessments, method statements and general practices are accredited with the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (SHSAS) certification. Our project managers additionally hold the Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) and are qualified first aiders.
An unrivalled level of expertise and unsurpassed commitment to service comes as standard with every Sesame wheelchair access solution.
With a focus on the user experience, all Sesame wheelchair lifts, platforms and stairlifts are ergonomically designed and tailored to your exact requirements.