Back in the Day!

Hazard brochure

We are celebrating a business anniversary and uncovered an old brochure/pamphlet…

Hint: Assuming 40 hours 50 weeks a year = 94,000 hours. If it was a marriage the traditional gift would be books.

Hazard brochure

What a Plonker!

Only Fools and Horses

 

One of the smaller problems we solved was for the BBC. John Sullivan the writer had an idea for a visual joke in the Christmas special but there was a problem with the location in Bristol.

John’s joke was that Rodney’s new job found by Del was chief mourner and he was very angry. When Del and Trigger started shouting at him Rodney forgot what he was doing and led the funeral cars the wrong way up a one-way street…

THE PROBLEM

The BBC film crew knew there was no-one way signage at the location, how to put two 3 metre steel posts with large No Entry signs on the pavement for just a couple of hours for the filming.

GREAT IDEA

Film the scene on ‘bin’ day.

We made two large and very heavy steel bases with a spigot that the 3 metre traffic posts sat on and then because it was ‘bin day’ with piles of black bags waiting to be collected from the pavement put some of black rubbish bags at the base of our posts covering the steel bases…

Only Fools and Horses

Slow Down!

ROYAL LABEL FACTORY 1935 MAKING SPEED LIMIT SIGNS

Back in March 1935 drivers noticed new 30 MPH speed limit traffic signs appearing: it did not go well. A few days later a young lad was fishing in the village pond in Swanwick, Hants and ‘caught’ eight of these new signs. It seems that drivers have always resented being told they must slow down and obey the speed limit.
Back in 1972 lots of people asked me why have you made your speed bump in rubber?  Maybe I was worried drivers might them in ponds or canals at least rubber speed bumps would float…

The King of Sausage Rolls

Elvis is dead newspaper headline

A few days ago a visitor told me he had been driving past our site for years and this was the first time he managed to pop in. I know we have for over 40 years and I told him the date we moved is still listed on Google. I explained, Google the day Elvis died (Tuesday 16th August 1977) that’s when we moved here!

I didn’t finish the story. I remember arrivingvery early that day, keen to get started on our new site.Before I started work I popped round next door to introduce myself and met a very nice lady called Pat. She looked upset, so I asked if she was feeling ok?Turned out she was feeling sad because Elvis was dead, I asked had she had Elvis a long time? 

Pat clearly thought I was mad, she was a huge Elvis fan and he had died suddenly overnight, I had not heard any news that morning and thought she was talking about her cat…

The Dozy Policeman

Airmail envelope

In the early 70’s some people were very curious about what a rubber speed bump looked like. They wanted to slow down the traffic on their site roads and car parks but would rubber really work? The popular option was concrete or asphalt speed bumps, I lost count of the times I tried to explain that rubber was better…

The solution was get in my car and drive up and down the country and ask them to leave their office, to look at my rubber bumps in the boot of my car. Everyone did the same thing, they stood on them, followed by a little jump up and down and then suggested getting some cars and trucks to drive over. It was at one of these meetings that I came up with the phrase ‘Sleeping Policemen’ which I thought it added a little gravitas to my invention.

After spending five years driving around the UK, stopping at a garage on the outskirts of towns and cities and buying countless A to Z. I began to dream about other markets even foreign countries that might like my rubber Sleeping Policemen. Of course, I would need agents to do all the work, it was definitely going to be S.P.Q.R.(SMALL PROFIT QUICK RETURN) but I did dream of other places in the world that might want to sell my Sleeping Policemen…

Imagine my excitement when George our regular postman arrived early one morning clutching our first airmail letter, we could see from the stamps it was from France. A space was cleared on my cluttered desk for the unopened letter whilst I waited for Carolynne to get back to the office to read it and hopefully bring us some much-needed luck.

Could this letter really be our first export enquiry?Sadly, not but I do remember that they were asking if we manufactured‘the dozy policeman that sleeps in the road’…