My name is Malcolm Richard Simpson, I started work at Vik Supplies April 21st 1961. At that time Vik Supplies as owned by Lotus factory. The type of product was impregnating cloth which was made and cut into toe puff stiffeners for shoes. The shape of stiffeners was shaped by skiving machines on which the girls in the skiving shop were on piece work. Mr Clark the forman known to his staff as Nobby Clark, also Brain Butler worked in the same shop on presses, Brian would ties the toe puffs together and cut them to size on the press also on the presses was George Shief. It was on day Brian Butler was drilling the toe puffs together with string and cut the top of finger off. Mr B C Preece was the factory manager and Mr Geoff Matthews was the production forman in the impregnating dept., my job then was storeman and helping on production. This was unloading wagons and filling latex drums and checking the cloth in for the impregnating process. During that time I was given a months notice for being too outspoken. But was given time off to find another job but went to the corner cafe on Browning Street instead. I was kept on eventually.
In may 1962 Evode took control of Vik Supplies, also that year Twinstik caught fire and was transferred to the Common Road site. Later on in the year Vik Supplies was transferred to the Common Road site, my job was to go on the wagons to move stock up the Common Road site it took about two months. It was about 3 months production started up again, both impregnating and the skiving shop. Later on in 1970/71 the skiving shop closed and went to Leicester which was eventually shut down.
About 1973/74 Vik Supplies was changed to Evode Coating Dept. New machine called the Revaplast was put along side the Greenbank coating and impregnating machine which coating customer on materials like Chamberlains, Kodak E.A.C. Sandpaper, bullet proof material, headliner for inside of car roofs. Also on the Revaplast it made Twinstik, castfilms made with hot melt then the Automaster came in to do the coating of toe-puff and combing to the toe puff and the Greenbank only impregnated the cloths. It was the Dixon Hot Melt Coating Machine came in, also the One Metre Coater and Silverseam Slitter machine, now only the Greenbank and One Metre Coat are left. The Greenbank now coats Idenden foil and logging machines and slitter take the place of the other machines. It is a shame for instead of multi products, coating has only one other products Vik Supplies and Coating produced was Cladfast and Rok Rap, a cement bandage, if you check the old latex shed you still find Cladfast on its walls after 200 or more year.
I stared as a storeman and went to college and passed the British Certificate of Storage and Control of Stock. Also later I took the exam for N.E.B.B.S National Examination of Supervisory Studies, but these qualifications got me nowhere. If you face does not fit, you don’t get on or maybe they done me a favour.
I ran the stores on my own for a number of years then went as storeman/production stand-in then onto machine operator as I am to date. I am shop steward and form safety rep.
A few funny memories, like being sent up the yard for a left handed spanner and a long weight. My bike hung up in the air like John Gilliath and Cyril Hancocks said they could not get in because of snow, but were seen in the Newsletter. Noel Smaller taking time off in the week and asking for overtime at the weekend but all my memories would not be possible without Jim Brotherton, Geoff Matthews, Cyril Sargeant, Jack Skellon, Arthur Smith, Brian Butler, Cyril Hancock, John Gilliath, John Davies, Stewart Holmes, Billy Dean, John Buttery, Sid Hill, Don Bradley, George Clark Nobby Clark, Charlie Myatt, Ron Myatt Cyril and Dave Purvis, D Butler, T Mace, C Titley, R Rowland Preston, J Green, H Powell, R Davies, P Mossman, John Meacham Ernie Webb, Wally Richards and Bob Lynch.
Just a few who made up Vik Supplies and the Coating Dept. past and present.
A list of product and items used in the past and present included.
But last but not least the man who made Evode, Dr Hermann Simon, he ran the company as a family firm and knew everybody's name or face. It was a pleasure to work at Evode he taught his son Andrew to do the same, respect your workers and they will respect you.
M Simpson 7 August 2000