In 1930 Griff Services, an electrical shop sited in front of a synagogue on Bristol Street was established by Francis Arthur Griffin, the father of Peter Griffin, who later joined the company and took the business into the fledgling radio and television industry. Peter eventually took over the business and continued to branch out further – with a name change to Griffin Radio Ltd.; the firm went on to be one of the first TV rental services in Birmingham and later pioneered what was at the time the developing technology of ‘Stereo’.
Then in 1978, bringing new blood and a third generation of the family, Stephen and James Griffin created the new entity of Griffin Audio Visual Ltd. to cater for another specialised field; television and video. Launched on a capital of £50,000, new premises were purchased and refurbished to provide a showroom, studio, offices and workshop facilities. At the time when a domestic video machine would cost £800, a three-hour tape £15 and with popularity growing for people recording their favourite TV programs, Griffin Audio Visual found themselves at the beginning of a market boom.
One year on and long before the days of Blockbuster, the possibilities of domestic video expanded further with the arrival of Birmingham’s first video library; another Griffin Audio Visual venture, renting movies on VHS and the now defunct Betamax format. A £25 yearly subscription, complete with membership card, gave the public freedom to watch movies in their own homes.
The mid-eighties saw a demand in the corporate market for promotional and training videos. Using the latest technology and collective years of experience, Griffin’s next phase would be the creation of TV production facilities, an edit suite, complete with studio complex and location filming equipment, all at the hands of skilled personnel. Producing corporate videos for the likes of Lucas, Rover and Q8 petroleum this venture would eventually become a highly profitable part of Griffin’s ensemble.
More recently the production team, headed by son and nephew, Paul Griffin has enjoyed success in producing marketing, promotional and DVD training products for Midland companies such as Coventry Building Society, Six Continents, Coors Brewers, Taylor Woodrow and Goodyear Dunlop.
More than a decade on and now based in historic Hockley, Griffin Media Solutions have survived several recessions and seen many larger competitors come and go. Griffin put their survival down to their ability to evolve with the market and maintain strong relations with private and public sectors.
Overall, being a family business, now in its fourth generation, they continue to provide a highly specialised, flexible and personal service. Today, Griffin’s busy sales and installation team sustain a watchful eye on a rapidly evolving industry, as Video, PC and DVD technology are integrated into multimedia systems. Griffin Media Solutions have built a good reputation, supplying the likes of Jaguar cars, local Police authorities, The Children’s Hospital and other NHS health organisations. More recently, West Midlands Police have commissioned a state of the art remote controlled video system, which combining traditional CCTV with high-speed communication links, again puts Griffin at the forefront of technology development.
Griffin’s prime motivation has always been the needs of their clients. They understand the pressures faced by their customers of making the right choices in what is a complex business. Enthusiasm to support the customer through service, quality and care leaves the customer assured of making the right decision and Griffin Media Solutions with an evolving business.