I joined the company at the age of 17 on the 15th May 1967.
I left the company due to ill health with Multiple Sclerosis in January 1997.
Briefly what I did with my time with the company:-
I joined the company as an apprentice Electrician. Completed my apprenticeship in 1972. Carried on to get my National Certificate in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in September 1974.
Mr Knowles was the Personnel Manager
Mr Edwards was the Production Manager
Mr V Weaver was the Electrical Engineer
Followed by Mr C H Burton, with P Symonds my immediate Supervisor.
Mr John Binks was the Chief Electrical and Mechanical Engineer.
In those days 1960-1970 Mr Binks worked closely with shop floor workers. There was utmost respect for all the managers and supervisors in those days because you felt part of the company.
You were involved with the technical aspect of the job you were doing, subsequently you were getting more job satisfaction.
I always remember Dr Simon without fail walking around the whole factory week by week to see what was going on in the production and laboratory areas, normally Fridays. He would come over and talk to you about specific aspects of the job you were doing at the time. In his way he generated a lot of respect from people who worked for him. He also gained enormous respect, because he started out on the shop floor and guided the company through its prosperous years until his untimely death.
In 1984 went down to Hemel Hempstead to disconnect and bring back to Evode production machinery from Hiflo (Chamberlain Phipps) which was integrated into Kelseal and Mastics production areas on Stafford site.
In 1978 went to Bury (Lancashire) to disconnect and bring to Evode site a Hot Melt Production Plant. This incorporated 5 Hot Melt Pots, Vibrating Unit, Hydraulic Control Unit, Oil Heater Unit. This was a manually operated plant in Bury. When it came to Stafford site we computerised all the controls within the process.
With my time with 29 years with the company a great manu machines which were labour intensive we made them more automated with computer technology etc., the Fishback machine in the Mastics was operated by one person compared with what was 4.
An automatic computerised cutting machine was bought in to replace the labour intensive Flashband Slitting Machine of which there was six. The Spirit Bitumen stayed basically the same as years ago apart from putting on additional remotes and valve seals for work pumps.
Across the road, west side of factory was the Varnish Kitchen with gas pots, this was later replaced by just one Winkworth Mixer.
The buildings adjoining metered mixing dry powders. All this was gutted and replaced by a new Hot Melt production process from America called Evacor Building 19. This developed in size, originally one vacuum mixing vessel extrusion to water bath, hot melt chipped cooled and bagged.
The vessel was control heat wise by an automotive oil boiler. This doubled in size by installing additional vessel and oil boiler which was the first job I had to do on my own to attain my grade as an electrician, and took approximately 3 months to complete. Like most processes this increased in volume and got more automated process wise (machinery)
Across from Evode was Building 14 Pilot Plant Area, originally this was the Twinstik area which used to contain two machines, one was Twinstik and the other did Polkadot (Twinstik)
The old boiler house with brick chimney incorporating two boilers and one coal boiler, gutted and used as electricians work shop. Originally the electricians workshop was in adjacent buildings with fitters and pipefitters.
A new building was built on the east side of the Evode site and it still there, at one stage it had three oil fired boilers then changed to coal fired boilers and one oil. This reverted back to oil and gas fired.
There was an old hanger used for storage and material for motorway expansion joints. This was demolished and a new large raw material stores was built in its place.
Across from the stores was a building built to house seven large bitumen storage tanks, electrically heated. These tanks transferred the first bitumen into mixers and coating machine in the adjoining building. In the adjoining building it was called Bitumen Emulsions.
Quite a few changes were seen in this building firstly the Flashband rolling machines were directly under the Morton mixing machinery . Those Flashband rolling machines were replaced by one automatic/semi automatic machine called the Sandvik machine.
This is it today, the bitumen is pumped over from the storage tanks and Morton mixer, extruded, rolled onto machine belt, then put through an accumulator to be cut off at set length at the end, i.e. 3m 10m and 12m.
The Mechanical Engineering Workshop was at the end of the building which was originally the engineer stores. Eventually the engineers stores was at the other end of the building again was installed with all electrical work in this building.
Building 7. This was paint production area with mixers and paint rolling machine. The latex production area was in the adjoining building. Rubber used for expansion joints in roads was also in this building.
Was involved in changes here when all machines were removed. Flashband was bought into this building to be shrink-filmed and packed. Next door varnish was bought on to site and installed on this area.
Went down to Hemel Hempstead again to bring back to Evode blister packing machine. This was a new machine all automated and computerised which Evode sent me on a training course how it worked electrically and mechanically, duration was a week. This blisterpack machine did blisters for Araldite, Superglue and Colourseal syringes. Originally it was invented and constructed on Evode site by H Holdcroft and L Curry.
The house was the personnel area, later changed for the first aid ground floor and conference area for meetings 1st floor altered all wiring with N Wootton in this place.
Building 16 This was offices, 1st floor with works canteen on ground floor. Worked with L Woodwood Elec. In converting this building into laboratories.
Building 31 A new canteen Building was built which I worked up to 10.00pm at nights with the electricians to do the first fix wiring with flood lights, so contractors could do the shuttering and concrete work
Did quite a few changes in the office building, computer room with additional floor built above the computer room linked across to the canteen building.
Partitions were always being erected then taken down as people had different ideas regarding their office area.
Building 17 Adhesives building. This was adhesives and mastics building until a new building B35 Mastics was built 1970's The mastics was transferred to this building worked on transferring machines to this building. This area has developed in volume incorporating new automatic machinery.
The mastics was labour intensive when filling the cartridges, then a new mastics machine replaced the old mastics filling out machines and was operated by 1 person compared with 6. Again put the supply in for two machines and did some informal wiring within the control panel. Staying in the mastics factory I mention what plant I bought up from Bury Lancashire.
Was involved with most changes within the mastics factory e.g. Semi automatic the to existing Resin 'W' production lines. Did most control panels which required automatic controls for some of the processes N Gibson also did a lot of control panels work as well as upgrading the electrical on existing machines e.g. Fishback, Schwerdtel Mastic machine.
Sports and Social; side, I played football occasionally on a Saturday then on Sundays. Also involved in the football and darts knockout competitions. In the early 1970's Lionel Wilcox was involved with the sports side
In the electrical section in 1967 there was 9 personnel. In 1997 there was 4 personnel employed by Evode. Between 1967 and 1997 I saw many changes within the production area, being involved with many of the changes electrically.
Just to outline some of the changes in my time.
30 October 2003