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Hardy Spicers Ltd

Johnny Matthews

Brummie Baby Boomer
Hi Andy
I knew Phil Dawe very well - he's older than me so retired for sometime I should think. I recall he was commuting to Hardy's from Gloucestershire for many years. Did you know Joe Cahill?

Cheers
Johnny
 

Brumi61

master brummie
I was a Commercial Apprentice 1978-1982. Then worked in Production Planning on the Propshaft line before working for Tom Sheerin on the Outer race & tulip planning.
Before i left in 1990 i was Protype Planner working for Phil Dawe. Had a 12 motnth spell at IMI Titanium before emigrating to SA.
I remember being at Nels for a cuppa and she said my nephew works at hardy's, when i asked who that wa she said " Johnny Matthews", at the time i was working with you as part of my apprenticeship! I am now a Purchasing Manager at Aspen Pharmacare in Port Elizabeth. Bob's married again and lives in Cape Town
 

Brumi61

master brummie
Yes Joe cahill & his wife also worked there. ( also irish lass) Derek Clinton, Ray Jones, Ray Hipkiss, Les Owen (purchasing) Jimmy Wilkes.
Thats right Phil commuted everyday from Gloucester. I reall enjoyed working for him. A no nonsense boss but if you did your job everything was great.
 

Johnny Matthews

Brummie Baby Boomer
I was a Commercial Apprentice 1978-1982. Then worked in Production Planning on the Propshaft line before working for Tom Sheerin on the Outer race & tulip planning.
Before i left in 1990 i was Protype Planner working for Phil Dawe. Had a 12 motnth spell at IMI Titanium before emigrating to SA.
I remember being at Nels for a cuppa and she said my nephew works at hardy's, when i asked who that wa she said " Johnny Matthews", at the time i was working with you as part of my apprenticeship! I am now a Purchasing Manager at Aspen Pharmacare in Port Elizabeth. Bob's married again and lives in Cape Town

Tommy Sheerin was a top man. Was he still doing ok in 1990?

By the way, my late mother used to correspond with your sister regularly when she and Bob were in Port Elizabeth. Mom really appreciated the interest that your sister took in her and liked her very much. Amongst the mementoes Mom left is a photo of their wedding day.

OK Andy, I'm struggling to remember you ... give us a clue!

Cheers
Johnny
 

Brumi61

master brummie
When i worked with Tom he used to invite me for a beer at lunch time, i was the fetcher while he played the fruit machine! It was the same if i went to the Bromford club with him! Yeah Tommy was a great bloke, lots of great blokes at Hardy's, real characters like Sammy Rycroft! Its nice that my sister was in contact with your mom.

Not sure how i can spark the memory, my surname is Daniels. Just as i am saying that i was thinking of some other chaps, Paul Smith, Stef Odyniec, Andy Fearn - son of Peter!
or Silver fox as they called him! Allan Jones was Production Manager at that time, Bill King came in and out while I was there.You must have been managing a department then, did Sylvia work for you at all?
 

Johnny Matthews

Brummie Baby Boomer
I became Materials Control Manager in 1978, so Sylvia would have been on my team then - and the one and only Derek Morgan. I remember Peter Fearn arriving at Hardys - I think I was Customer Services Manager at that time. I recall Allan Jones - he was a Works Superintendent promoted by Dave Mackin to succeed Dave Sparks I think.

After GKN, I was in the Flat Glass Industry for about 8 years, then 3 years in Precision Engineering and finally the last 16 years with my youngest son and a friend, running our own business supplying and installing Window Film. I've been winding down for the last couple of years and am now very part time.

How do you compare living in Port Elizabeth to Brum?
 

Brumi61

master brummie
OK thats right. Derek Morgan! I remember as an Apprentice listening to him crap the suppliers out on the phone in no uncertain terms! Needless to say i don't use the same method myself :). Both his brothers also worked there. I spent 6 months in the training school & 6 months on the shop floor machine setting ( or making tea!) Did you know
Dennis the setter ( with hardly any fingers left) another character! Dave Sparks name rings a bell. So after a year i would have gone into the other departments. So probably 1979/80 i would have passed through Material Control Dept.

Did you know John Perry & there was another Derek who worked in production control & Maureen Thompson.

Port Elizabeth is totally different to Brum, on the coast for a start, 10 minutes from the beach all year round, if i left here i would miss that.
Outdoor lifstyle, schools are good, 2 boys out of school now and my yougest lad (11) dooing well all round. My eldest is a teacher & luke is playing semi pro rugby in London.
 

Johnny Matthews

Brummie Baby Boomer
I don't think Joe was married when I left Hardy's. I remember all the others. Used to play bridge with Jimmy, Tony Harrison (he worked at Hardy's but emigrated to Canada early 80's) and Pete Revett (he may have moved on from Hardy's by the time you arrived)
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
does the name peter bache mean anything to anyone..im sure he worked at hardy spicers...this would have been in the early 70s i think..

lyn
 

Brumi61

master brummie
I started working at Hardy Spicers in 1962 and worked there till 2007. Would be good to hear from anyone who as worked there. I spent most of my working days there on the assembly section.
Jim
I used to be involved with planning the assembly line. One of the foreman was called Noel, always gave me a hard time if we needed to change over on the line!
 

Brumi61

master brummie
where was the hardy spicer social club...just testing my memory


lyn
it was at the back of the factory behind the raw material stores. Tom Shjeerin told me some good stories about the blokes nipping off for a pint late on the afternoon shift.!
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
thanks brumi61 and did it have a couple of full size snooker tables with the bar to the right of them..again just testing my memory..

lyn
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
One memory I have of HSP was that the Managing Directors seemed to be 'characters', one in particular was known as 'Max the Axe'. I have photos elsewhere on the forum of a GKN group and Don Sargent from the HSP design office is in the main photo far right second row. He is also in two of the other photos.
The photos are here https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=19580&p=152393#post152393
Some other comments about HSP in a thread here https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=39818&p=452879#post452879
 

Brumi61

master brummie
I've just come across this thread and wonder if any of you folks have any more info about life at Hardy Spicers, particularly the heat treatment section. My dad worked there for most of his life. He worked nights, in the furnace shop, as he called it. That's about all I know, being a kid I didn't ask much about his job; I do remember they used to give him salt tablets because the blokes sweat so much from the heat of the furnaces, and we used to joke about how much salt he put on his dinner, even though mom salted the veg in the cooking. They used to have Christmas parties for the kids & my brother & me went to a few. One year I had a book about the universe, I found it fascinating, & I still have it to this day !

What was your dad's name?
 

Brumi61

master brummie
Hardy Spicers , I did not work for them, I was a service and Demonstration engineer for B.S.A Tools and we put in a hell of a lot of machinery to manufacture the original Birfield constant velocity joint, The first machines were the ones that machined the the ball grooves in the housing and also the ones that ground the tracks after hardening, very interesting work. We also supplied the machines that machined the ball cages, what a nightmare they were at times. On day I had to go to the security and get a pass for some parts which I was taking back to be modified, I said to the police, the machine is not yours yet so why the pass. He then related a story about car batteries being stolen from the M.T which they deduced it only happened on a wet day. A cyclist wa.s taking them out underneath his cycle cape on wet days.
Dave Edwards

Well i don't know how true it is but I wwas told that during the night shift prop shafts used to dissapear through the emergency exit and through a hole in the fence into house that backed onto the factory. Apparently the cops caught them in the end. MD was believed to have said that instead of going to prison he should make them Sales directors as they moved a lot of prop shafts! LOL
 

Brumi61

master brummie
Heres a few of the chaps from Hardy's when we went to Belguim to play in a 5- a side tournament at the invite of our shipping agent, L to R. Ernie Hatton, Stef Odyniec, Johnny Bennett, Les Owen, Andy Daniels (thats me Me) & Lee Westwood. Early 80's.
HSP 5 a side.jpg
 
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