Trio clocks up nearly 150 years with same firm

DM155464a Rupert Robin, right, with long-standing staff, from left, Paul Beachill, Keith Williams and Dave Grove. Photo by Derek Martin.
DM155464a Rupert Robin, right, with long-standing staff, from left, Paul Beachill, Keith Williams and Dave Grove. Photo by Derek Martin.

A SOMPTING man has retired after 50 years working with the same company.

But just like two other long-standing employees, retirement does not mean medical equipment firm Hawksley has seen the last of him.

In fact, Keith Williams, Dave Grove and Paul Beachill are all still working at the factory in Marlborough Road, Lancing.

Director Rupert Robin said: “Hawskley has been around since 1869. It was started in London as a medical instrument company.

“It has always stayed fairly small, making the same traditional niche products. Now, from its base in Lancing, it sends products all over the world.

“There is a workforce of 12 and it must be quite unusual to have three such long-standing members of the team.”

Quality assurance manager Keith Williams, 65, of Loose Lane, started as an apprentice aged 15. At the time, the company had a small unit in Ingleside Crescent, Lancing.

He officially retired on July 10 but is still working full time, with the aim of reducing to three days a week.

“Over the years, I have enjoyed working here and still enjoy it,” he said.

“Our name is well known throughout the industry.

“It is a good team. Everybody helps each other out when they want it and there is a good atmosphere. People know their jobs and get on with it.”

Dave Grove, 66, of The Drive, Worthing, has been semi-retired for a year.

He started in 1967, when the company was based in Peter Road. The company moved to its current site in 1986.

“I started off on the shop floor and worked my way up to production manager,” he said.

“I have seen a few changes over the years, including moving to bigger premises, but the last 30 years here have gone quite quickly.”

Reducing his hours has enabled him to travel more and last year, he went to Australia to visit his brother in Adelaide.

Dave was born in Worthing Hospital and brought up in the town but in 1964, when he was 15, the whole family moved to Australia as Ten Pound Poms.

When his father died, his mother wanted to move back to England, so he came back with her but his brother stayed in Australia.

“I got this job when I came back at 18 and I have been here ever since,” he added.

Paul Beachill, 67, from Patcham, came to Hawksley about 14 years ago, when the company he had worked for was taken over.

He joined A.D. Banks, a small design house in Brighton, in 1964.

“The company did sub contract work, we didn’t have our own products, whereas Hawksley as its own,” he said.

“It now comes under the umbrella of Hawksley. It makes it quite diverse here. I think it was our machining capabilities that attracted them. You don’t get many companies in this country making tools now.”

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