Wednesday, 30 April 2014

New Appointments at SWS UK

SWS UK, the leading manufacturers of security products Sales Manager, Kevin Lindeque has been promoted to Commercial Manager.  Kevin’s new role oversees the sales, installation, marketing and processing functions within the company.


Following Kevin’s promotion, SWS UK is pleased to announce that John Duffy has been appointed as Sales Manager.  John, who has been with the company for 20 years, and covered the East Midlands and Ireland areas, as Regional Sales Manager.  

Following his promotion, John will now be more office based and will oversee the sales office.  This has led to slight changes to the territories covered by each of the Regional Sales Managers.


Details of your Regional Sales Managers are:

Scotland / North East
Arron Williams – 01524 772424

South East / London
Andrew Levick – 07713 644 600

Wales / NW / West Midlands / SW
Philip Cooper – 07713 644 594

East Midlands / Ireland
John Duffy – 07713 644 598

www.sws.co.uk

 



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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

SWR Celebrate 25th Birthday with Price Freeze on all Spares

SWR Ltd., was established in 1989. From the beginning they have focused on supplying high quality products backed up by their enthusiastic approach to customer service. Their drive and determination to be the best, has seen the company grow from strength to strength.

Back in 1989, SWR solely concentrated on Steel Wire Rope, which is how the company name was born. That Wire Rope expertise led to the development of the widest range of garage door cable options in the UK followed by expansion into the garage door and trade spares market. More recently, they have become key players in the stainless steel balustrade, garden awnings and bi-fold doors world. 
Due to the company’s evolution, in 2009 SWR rebranded to become the SWR Group. “The changes since ‘89 have been dramatic,” Managing Director Jason Lee explains. “We have seen vast improvements in production technology so we have better equipment, communication and logistics. That, together with our dedicated team of professionals, has enabled us to expand the business considerably.”
 The SWR Spares Team has grown further with the arrival of Darren King, who is working alongside Craig in picking and packing stock. The Spares Catalogue has come a long way too - In 2001, it was hand-drawn and photocopied in mono. SWR have moved with the times, using top of the range hardware and software to ensure they remain the market’s leaders.
 
SWR have carried out their annual price review and can confirm absolutely no increases to any items. With this in mind, SWR have posted fresh copies of their current catalogue and helpful retail spares price list to all customers. If you haven’t already got your copy or would like extra copies, then please get in touch. 
 
If you do not currently have an SWR trade account, you can register online by visiting www.swrspares.com via the ‘join us’ button, or by calling their helpful Sales Team on 01442 219611.





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Monday, 28 April 2014

Maximise outdoor café space with P C Henderson’s sliding door gear systems

As summertime approaches, people will be looking to spend more time outdoors and enjoy the fresh air while sitting on a café terrace. 
With the UK coffee shop market growing considerably, according to Allegra Strategies Project Café 13 UK there was a strong sales growth of 6.4% on the previous year with £6.2 billion total turnover last year, P C Henderson's sliding door gear systems provide an ideal solution to make any café project stand out from the crowd.
Andrew Royle, UK Commercial Director at P C Henderson, comments on the increasing trend of cafés using the available exterior space: 
“Cafés offering a continental style with indoor and outdoor space are increasing in popularity. Our sliding and folding door hardware systems are perfect for maximising door opening widths and increasing available outdoor space whilst allowing natural light and fresh air to envelope the interior. Combining design and functionality, our systems offer a variety of design features, allowing for different finishes and the highest level of security to help achieve the right look and performance."
Specifically designed for commercial applications requiring endfolding doors and ideal for the retail environment are Securefold, Pacer and Flexirol folding door systems. The range covers everything from internal folding partitions to exterior folding entrance ways.

The use of folding doors is ideal for interior and, in particular, exterior situations where space is limited or in cafés where it is desirable to have the door leaves stacked behind a reveal. In the winter the systems can be closed without compromising on interior space or light and without affecting the ambience of the coffee shop interior.

Securefold
Securefold is the ultimate in exterior folding systems and opens up a wealth of new design possibilities. The Securefold system has been designed to maximise outdoor space which is ideal for a continental café look. Securefold Ultra has been tested to the European security standard BS EN 1627:2011, British standard PAS24 and Secured by Design as endorsed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

Pacer
The Pacer Exterior Endfold for timber and aluminium doors can handle weights up to 65kg per door leaf. 
 Flexirol
The Flexirol Exterior Endfold for aluminium and timber doors systems have a capacity of up to 125kg. All systems use high performance components that are extremely durable, ensuring a long, trouble-free operating life and are suitable for any high-traffic environments that require superior performance and an attractive finish.

To match the variety of materials used in modern day design, Pacer and Flexirol cater for doors for glass, timber or metal construction with Securefold specialising as a weatherproof system for timber doors.
P C Henderson products are extremely versatile and can be used in a multitude of retail applications such as hotels, conference centres, shop-fronts and showrooms.

For further information visit www.pchenderson.co.uk or email - sales@pchenderson.com





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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Icons of Monaco to go under the Hammer at RM Auctions' Exclusive May Sale in the Principality


RM Auctions, the world’s largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles, will lift the hammer on several lots that hold a particular place in the history of Monaco when its highly anticipated sale returns to the Principality on 10th May, during the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend. 
 
Whether it’s a race suit worn by one of the greatest drivers of all time to win the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix, a car driven to victory in the Monaco Grand Prix 24 years earlier, or a stunning Riva boat used by one of history’s most glamorous and romantic royal couples along the Monaco coast line, the exclusive RM sale has it all.

The stunning Riva Tritone, called Via, was famously delivered new to H.S.H. Price Rainier III in 1958 for use by the Royal Family. Via was one of only 26 boats built by the world-renowned Riva company that year, and was a regular sight on the Monaco coast line, being occupied by the prince and his wife, Princess Grace. Powered by its original pair of Chris-Craft MCL inline six-cylinder engines, each capable of producing 175 horsepower, Via boasts exceptional performance, and with only three owners from new, represents a unique opportunity for collectors. The recipient of a recent ground-up restoration, it is presented for sale in perfect, ready-to-go condition. 
 
A short video of Via in action is available for viewing here: http://bit.ly/monacoRiva (Estimate: €350.000–€500.000, without reserve).

“As well as being a boat of exceptional beauty, quality, and performance, this wonderful Riva in undoubtedly a unique piece of Monaco’s cultural history”, says Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Auction Manager and Specialist, RM Auctions, Europe.
 
If driving the streets of Monaco in a grand prix-winning car is more appealing than cruising the coastline in a glorious boat, you may like to consider registering to bid on the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix-winning Brabham-Repco BT21, chassis number F1-2-66. This 300 brake-horsepower, V-8- engine Formula One car is a genuine piece of Monaco racing history, as it was driven to victory in Monaco by Denny Hulme en route to his 1967 Drivers’ Championship. F1-2-66 first saw action at the French Grand Prix on 3 July 1966, but 1967 proved to be the most significant season for the car, as it became a focal point of the Brabham team’s championship efforts that year.
 
 
 The vehicle was driven exclusively by Hulme for the first half of the season, finishing 4th at Kyalami on 2 January and 2nd at Oulton Park on 15 April, before taking its first chequered flag on 7 May at the Monaco Grand Prix, a moment which was unquestionably the car's greatest racing accomplishment and is regarded by most within the sport as the “blue ribbon” event in grand prix racing. F1-2-66 returned to Monaco in 1997 to participate in the Historic Grand Prix. This Brabham-Repco is well-known in the F1 and vintage racing communities, and comes to auction in exceptional, fully-restored condition, ready to continue its racing career in the hands of a lucky new owner (Estimate: €580.000 - €720.000).

The group of items with local Monaco significance is rounded out by a race suit that was worn by Formula One legend Ayrton Senna when he claimed victory at the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix. In 1991, the late, great Senna was at the peak of his powers, creating a legacy that is regarded by many as the greatest in the history of sport. Senna’s 1991 Monaco win, driving for McLaren, represented his fourth that season. The race suit comes to auction accompanied by documentation supplied by Ron Dennis, the team principal of McLaren when Senna was driving for them and who once had the suit in his own personal collection. It is preserved in wonderful condition and is being offered without reserve at next month’s auction, where it is expected to fetch between €30.000 and €40.000.

“When a race suit can claim to have been worn by one of the greatest drivers of all time on his way to winning the most important race on the grand prix calendar, it is safe to say that the market is being presented with an incredibly special and valuable piece of motorsport memorabilia”, adds Sabatié-Garat. “Set to be the centrepiece of any F1 memorabilia collection, its sale is made all the more special by the fact that it is offered in Monaco, the very place it was worn by Senna on the podium 23 years earlier”.

A highlight on the global collector car calendar, RM’s biennial, multi-million euro Monaco sale returns to the Principality on the 10th of May. In total, the exclusive sale will present a magnificent roster of more than 80 blue-chip automobiles, joined by a stunning pair of Riva boats, two motorcycles, and four lots of coveted automotive memorabilia. As many as seven automobiles are expected to fetch prices exceeding €1.000.000, of which three vehicles carry pre-sale estimates of more than €4.000.000. 
 
For further information, or to view the complete digital catalogue, please visit www.rmauctions.com or call + 44 (0) 20 7851 7070.





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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Woodrite on Millionaires Row


Garage Door Installations of Maldon in Essex was asked to supply doors by the builders Berkeley Homes Urban Renaissance that fulfilled the design brief of these very special homes. Mark Finch of Garage Door installations was quick to instruct Woodrite for the traditional style, brick built houses at Wimbledon Hill Park, a prestige site of 8 houses on sale for between £6m and £9m.

The door design for the job was the Woodrite Buckingham Cedar Coleshill, finished in white inside and out including the bracing and with 90mm timber frames. The special feature of these doors was the size - at 5.5m wide and 2.7m high with toughened glass windows, these doors were heavy and, because the garages have suspended ceilings, fixing had to be made with specially fabricated side wall brackets. Well done to Mark and his team for their sterling work on the installation and their professionalism in securing the contract!

“We always like to support our garage door specialist customers and bespoke designs or design tweaks like this are just the sort of thing that makes us the first company to contact for wooden garage doors!” said Sharon Cleaver, Woodrite’s Sales Director.

For details of Woodrite’s garage doors call 01280 841010 or email to enquiries@woodritedoors.co.uk.

 



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Friday, 25 April 2014

90% Of Tradesmen Refuse To Recycle

Huge majority of traders defy rules for disposing of waste.
Virtually all of Britain's hundreds of thousands of traders have broken the law at least once when it comes to disposing of work-related rubbish, it's been found.

As many as nine out of ten of the UK's army of White Van Men have taken refuse from a job home and put it in their own domestic bin rather than legally disposing of it as trade waste.

Those are the findings of one of Britain's leading waste management and recycling companies which has conducted an anonymous survey of workmen and found they've cut corners to save cash on dumping rubbish.
"We already knew that many workmen take the odd chance on avoiding trade waste fees," said BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall, "But we didn't realise that is was quite so widespread."
According to the BusinessWaste.co.uk, which deals with the legal and safe disposal and recycling of trade waste right across Britain, virtually every self-employed or contracted tradesman has illegally disposed on refuse at some time in their careers.

An anonymous phone poll of over 300 traders who were prepared to give an honest reply to our survey team's questions found:

• 91% had disposed of work-related waste in their domestic bins at least once
• 73% had disposed of work-related waste in their clients' bins
• 27% still dispose of work-related waste in their domestic bins
• 22% had burned waste rather than dispose or recycle it
• 12% had fly-tipped waste illegally

Of those who had disposed of waste illegally:

• 63% said it was because it was more convenient than taking it to a tip or recycling centre
• 37% said it was to avoid paying trade waste fees
"That's a shocking level of illegal activity," said BusinessWaste.co.uk’sMark Hall, "But for most one-man-band contractors they consider it a risk worth taking."
One consolation that Business Waste can take from their figures is that the financial aspect is less of a driver than convenience.
"Many tradesmen told us that the last thing they want at the end of a long working day or week is to queue to dump their waste at the tip," said Hall. "Far easier to stuff it at the bottom of the wheelie bin at home."
While it's a difficult crime for local authorities to police with slashed council budgets across the country, BusinessWaste.co.uk urges councils to ensure that local traders don't cheat on waste.

The last word goes to an electrician BusinessWaste.co.uk interviewed who had recently had a bathroom fitted: "I must have got the only trader in the world to dump the waste from their job in my front garden," he told us. "It made me so cross, I'm determined to change my ways with rubbish."

For more information visit: www.businesswaste.co.uk







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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Alutech Sectional door training days - Don't miss out BOOK NOW!


JD (UK) Ltd, in conjunction with the Alutech Group of Companies, are holding four one day training days for new and existing customers.

All of the training days will commence at 11am with a product and technical presentation of the sectional door range. After a buffet lunch there will be a practical demonstration of the door being installed, with a chance for attendees to "get hands on" to see how easy the product is to install.

The full range of Alutech roller garage door components and the Deprat barrel system will also be on display.

Dates are as follows:

29th April 2014 - Leeds

JD UK Ltd., Unit 2 Vulcan Works, Grange Road, Batley, WF17 6LL

www.jdukltd.co.uk

30th April 2014 – Midlands

Westmead Hotel, Redditch Road, Hopwood, Birmingham, B48 7AL

www.westmeadhotel.co.uk

1st May 2014 – Bristol

Alveston House Hotel, Alveston, Thornbury, Bristol, BS35 2LA

www.alvestonhousehotel.co.uk

8th May 2014 - London

BEST WESTERN, The Bell Hotel, High Road, Epping, Essex, CM16 4DG

www.bellepping.co.uk

BOOK NOW!

Places are limited so please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


For further information please call 01924 472924






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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Campaigners Wage War on Unsafe Automated Gates

Gate safety campaigners have declared a week of action in October in a bid to dramatically improve the safety of automated gates in the UK.

The Door & Hardware Federation Powered Gate Group (PGG) has announced that October 13 - 19 will be Gate Safety Week. But in the months running up to the event, the PGG and its members will be campaigning hard to raise awareness of the risks associated with automated gates. 


Said Andy Holz, the Group’s chairman:
“More than two thirds of all automated gates installed in the UK do not comply with latest legislation and could pose a serious safety risk.
“Even more worrying is the fact that unsafe installations are still being carried out by unqualified installers and gate companies who are quite willing to take dangerous short cuts in both gate manufacture and installation.

“We have organised Gate Safety Week to raise awareness of the dangers that powered gates pose, and to advise everyone on how to choose safe gates or make their existing powered gates safe.”

Britain’s leading manufacturers, suppliers, installers and maintainers of powered automatic gates and gate automation equipment, who make up the PGG, are all planning special events focussing on gate safety.

The PGG is also partnering with a number of influential organisations in the safety, enforcement, inspection, education and security sectors who will be lending their support to the campaign in the coming weeks.

The climax to the campaign will take place at Fencex, the fencing industry exhibition being held at Stoneleigh Exhibition Park, near Coventry, on Wednesday, October 15.

The PGG was set up by the DHF on behalf of the UK gate automation industry with encouragement from the Health & Safety Executive following the tragic deaths of two young children in accidents involving powered gates. It developed the DHF Guide to Powered Gate Safety, which has been endorsed by the HSE, and is followed by all responsible automatic gate installers.

In addition the PGG has set up the powered gate safety diploma course which covers all aspects of safe gate installation. Recognised as the most stringent gate safety training course in Europe, it is open to both DHF member and non member installers and gate inspectors.

Added Andy Holz: 
“With around 70 per cent of existing powered gate installations proving to be non compliant, householders and all those responsible for powered gates must take safety very seriously. We’re confident that Gate Safety Week will play a vital part in significantly raising levels of gate safety.”
www.dhfpoweredgategroup.co.uk




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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Alluguard Takes A Bow At The NEC

Leading garage door manufacturer Alluguard enjoyed a successful visit to the Homebuilding & Renovating Show at the Birmingham NEC in March, which is aimed at the growing number of people who are building or renovating their own homes. The value of the self-build market is estimated to be around £4.39 billion, with around 13,000 self-builds started each year – representing 13% of the UK's new build housing market.

The Alluguard stand was part of the Home Security Advice Centre run by Secured by Design (SBD) – the police-led association that teams up with suppliers that are proven to make products built with security in mind. The Centre provided an opportunity for visitors to talk to Alluguard and other SBD member companies about products that offer sound security, as well as obtaining advice from police officers on how to use products and design principles to maximise the security of buildings.

Alluguard’s attendance was, as Managing Director Gary Brooks says, intended to secure lead generation from the vast self-build and renovation markets for the company’s national network of installers.

 “Securing new business for our customers is always something that is at the front of our minds so attending a show that focuses on both the self-build and renovation markets, which are increasingly important sectors of the UK building industry, seemed like an excellent way of doing just that,” he explains. “The show attracts tens of thousands of people who are potentially looking to buy garage doors, so it gave us a chance to connect directly with the end consumers of our products. This is something we are looking to do much more of, as it means we can put potential customers in touch with a garage door installer close to them who supplies and installs our product portfolio. This helps us, our installers and their customers – so everyone’s a winner!”

Gary continues: “It was a first for Alluguard at this type of event but to be honest I wish we had done it sooner because it was a great success. I think the fact that we were present in the Home Security Advice Centre certainly helped as the area was particularity popular with visitors. Security is such a vital consideration for anyone building, buying or renovating a house that seeing that a product is accredited by SBD, and thus has passed a series of security tests, immediately makes it a more attractive prospect. This certainly won’t be the last time we attend the Homebuilding & Renovating Show!”

Who Are Secured By Design?


Established in 1989, Secured by Design (SBD) is the official police project that focuses on the design and security of new and refurbished homes and commercial premises. It supports the principles of ‘designing out crime’ through physical security and processes.
Member company status is awarded to companies such as Alluguard that make products that pass standards and related tests nominated by the police service. The standards and tests must demonstrate each product’s effectiveness in preventing or reducing crime, usually by resistance to physical attack.
SBD is certainly helping to fight crime as statistics show that housing developments that use SBD products and processes are half as likely to be burgled, have two times less vehicle crime and show a reduction of 25% in criminal damage. ‘Before and after’ studies on two housing estates showed that crime rates dropped by around 35% and 40% after SBD principles were introduced.
As a Secured by Design member, all products manufactured by Alluguard carry the SBD and ‘Police Preferred Specification’ logos that signify they have met the series of stringent security requirements laid out by the organisation.

The Homebuilding & Renovating Show in Facts And Figures
The national event is held at the NEC each year, with regional versions taking place at six other locations across the UK throughout the year
The show is organised and run by Homebuilding & Renovating, the UK’s best selling self-build magazine
This year’s event featured 500 exhibitors
Between 35,000 and 40,000 builders and self-renovators attended this year’s show. 78% of these already had a project underway or will in the next 12 months
Collectively, visitors to this year’s event will spend approximately £1.5 billion on their projects over the next 12 months
83% of visitors spend significant amounts with exhibitors as a result of their visit to the show
91% of visitors specify their own products and are the decision maker
86% of visitors do not attend any other show

To find out more about Alluguard garage doors call 0845 3665831 or email info@alluguard.co.uk
www.alluguard.co.uk






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Monday, 21 April 2014

Industry Veteran Eugene Perez Joins Doco International

Doco International, the leading provider of components for industrial and domestic doors, has announced that one of the door industry’s most respected professionals - Eugene Perez - has joined its team as Sales Manager.

Eugene has joined Doco at a transitional time in the company’s history, as it was recently acquired by Sommer – the well-known manufacturer of garage door and gate operators. This has led to the UK operations of both companies coming together to operate from two purpose-designed warehouses that are near to each other in York.

Eugene views this centralising of operations as an exciting opportunity:
“I am delighted to be joining Doco as it is a very well know brand within the UK and Europe and this represents a fantastic opportunity for me to be a part of the development of the UK operation,“ he explains. “The fact that Doco is now under the Sommer operational umbrella and both firms are based very close to each other in York was a big draw for me. Sommer and Doco complement each other's operations and this vastly increases the breadth and level of service that I can offer to new and existing customers alike.”

Eugene’s responsibilities as Sales Manager will see him liaising with the Doco customer base to facilitate a quick and efficient service.
“I am looking forward to meeting all of our customers to introduce myself and update them on how Doco has improved and what we are working to achieve,” he continues, “which is to provide customer service that is second to none. I understand the frustrations and difficulties faced on installation - we are serving customers who carry out emergency repairs in a fast-moving and cost-conscious industry and an inactive door is costing someone money, hence we are aiming to deliver parts to site, in full and on time, every time.”

Mel Lovatt, UK Managing Director of both Sommer and Doco International is delighted to be welcoming Eugene to the Doco team:
“The expansion to work with Doco means we have more responsibility to more customers than ever before and that means I need the brightest and best as part of my team, so to have someone of Eugene’s stature on board is excellent news,” he says. “He provides us with a wealth of experience, both in terms of knowledge of the industry and how to get the best for his customers, we are also very excited to have him as part of the team during this transitional period and for the future.”

There has, however, been teething problems related to Doco moving up to the York facility, as Mel readily admits:
“Having taken the decision to move Doco up here we all knew that it would take time for the joint operation to come together properly,” he observes. “It involved retraining of staff to help them adjust to a new way of working and during that time there was, unfortunately, an adverse effect on our performance. However, we have now put that behind us and our operational systems are fully bedded in, which means that after a difficult start the standard of service offered by both Sommer and Doco is better than it has ever been. The aim of the game is now to capitalise on the strengths of both Doco and Sommer and offer the best products and the finest level of service possible to all our customers.”

Sommer HQ in Kirchheim Teck
Germany
Sommer and Doco – Two Trusted Names, One Exceptional Alliance

Sommer and Doco International, two of the biggest names in the door sector, are headquartered in Germany and the Netherlands respectively and came together towards the end of 2013, when Sommer acquired all shares in the Dutch company.

 
DOCO HQ in Sittard Netherlands
With Doco making a broad range of door components – such as hinges, fastening elements, and frames – and Sommer producing door and gate automation systems, the complementary aspects of the two operations are obvious. Doco operates as an independent brand under the Sommer umbrella and the alliance between the two companies makes them better able to serve their core customer base of small and medium sized businesses involved in the construction and assembly of industrial doors.

Although they will still operate independently, collaboration in terms of marketing and logistics will improve both the quality and speed of service. In the UK, both companies operate from their location in York, Doco having relocated from its previous base in Northolt to occupy a new, purpose-built warehouse near to the Sommer UK base.

Sommer UK Ltd 
3 Harrier Court  
Elvington Airfield Business Park
York 
YO41 4EA
01904 608787

DOCO International
Unit B3
Elvington Industrial Estate
York
YO41 4AR
01904 607869






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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Famous abbey school invites classic cars and visitors to raise money for a new roof

 
Owners of classic cars are being invited to a new Concours d’Elegance to be held at the famous Downside Abbey and School at Stratton on the Fosse in Somerset on Sunday 4th May at midday.

Entry for the owners of cars and their passengers is free, however the Abbot of the school and Abbey is hoping that hundreds of people will turn out to view the cars and help raise money for Downside Abbey Restoration Appeal, which is raising funds for the roof of the abbey.

Already more than fifty cars have signed up to the event and many more are expected. Downside are inviting the owners of vintage and classic cars, in any condition, to the Concours.

Tim Mercer, the organiser, said: 
“This is not just about expensive cars that have been fully restored, it is about any vehicle from a Morris Minor to a Rolls Royce, which the owner has lovingly restored or is working on.”
The event is open to all vintage and classic vehicles up to 1984 but exceptions may be made at the discretion of the organisers. The Abbot's Choice class is for any other interesting and unusual vehicles.

There will be three classes with approximately 15-30 cars in each class plus the Abbot’s Choice class: (1) Pre war, (2) 1945-1967, (3) 1968-1984 and (4) The Abbot's Choice.

There will be a prize for each class and an overall winner being awarded the "Abbots Cup" by the Abbot, Dom Aidan Bellinger.
 
1936 Squire
Amongst those signed up is an extremely rare Squire sports car. The car was designed by former pupil Adrian Squire when he was at the school in the 1920’s and will be one of the many highlights of the event, including a talk about his car design by the well-known motoring historian and Squire specialist Jonathan Wood.
 
Said Tim Mercer:
“We have been staggered at the response from classic car owners. There are cars coming from all over the country and two Allards coming from Malta.”

He added: “It should be a great day out for the public and we are charging just £5.00 for individual entry and £15.00 for a family of two adults and two children. We want to make this an affordable day out for everyone that will help us raise money for the roof and one that we can repeat on an annual basis.”

The Abbott, Dom Aidan Bellinger said: 
“Downside Abbey and School has been in celebratory mood as we look back two hundred years in Stratton on the Fosse. A whole series of events has been arranged including concerts, dinners and of course the first Concours d’Elegance which will be staged on our playing fields and which we hope will raise a considerable sum for our restoration appeal.”
Downside Abbey and School is located at Downside, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock BA3 4RJ. 
 
Some background information on the project and a list of expected cars can be found below.
 
Restoration of the Abbey Church
 
One of the great masterpieces of the Gothic Revival, the Abbey Church was built by the monks of Downside between 1879 and 1925 with the tower completed in 1938. The project was funded at the time by individual benefactors and by the Monastic Community itself. Over a century later despite regular patching and maintenance it is now in desperate need of a new roof, repairs to some of the stained glass windows, cleaning and restoration of some of the stone work as well as modern energy efficient systems for heat and light. Sadly Downside doesn't have any significant endowment and have been turned down by English Heritage so we need to raise funds for all the work required ourselves. At current prices will cost in the region of £4 million.

£400,000 has been raised towards the project and thanks go out to everyone who has donated money which together with the sale of a property has enabled them to start Phase One, the repair of the roof. This first phase will take approximately a year to complete but will mean that by next winter the building will be wind and watertight again and the on-going damage to the internal stonework will cease. In the meantime  fundraising continues to raise the £4,000,000 needed to complete the project.

Cars definitely attending:


Pre War:
1904 De Dion Bouton
1921 Stutz Bearcat
1927 Trojan
1928 Bugatti Grand Prix Type 37A
1928 Alvis TG12/50
1929 Rolls Royce Phantom 2
1929 Alfa 1750
1930 Alfa Romeo 6c 1750 Zagato
1932 Riley Gamecock
1934 Aston Martin Ulster Le Mans Team Car
1934 Rolls Royce 20/25
1934 Jaguar SSII
1935 Squire
1935 Rover 12 Sports
1937 Jensen Open Tourer

1968 - 1984
1969 Bristol 410
1969 Ferrari Daytona
1972 Alfa Bertone GTV
1972 Fiat 500
1975 MGB GT
1982 Max Meyers Beach Buggy

1945 – 1967
1947 HRG 1100
1948 Allard M Type Drophead Coupe
1953 MG TD Sports
1954 Austin A30
1955 Jaguar XK140
1958 AC Ace Bristol
1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta spider veloce
1960 AC Aceca
1960 Abarth Allemano 2200 spider
1961 AC Greyhound
1961 Aston Martin DB4
1962 Aston Martin DB4
1965 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider
1965 Jaguar C Type
1965 E Type Roadster
1966 Lotus Elan SE DHC
1966 Aston Martin DB6
1966 Lotus Elan SE DHC
1967 Bristol 409

The Abbot's Choice
1987 Mercedes 420 SL
1989 AC MK1V Cobra
1998 Ferrari 550 Maranello
1999 AC Cobra Superblower
1999 Ferrari 360 Spider F1
Gilo Cardozo Skycar

The Judges:
Charles Trevelyan - Chairman Bugatti Owners Club
Bertie Gilbart-Smith - President AC Owners Club
David Barzilay - Motoring correspondent

For more information please go to: www.downside.co.uk





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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Displaying a 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible 1,000 Feet Above Manhattan – Some Assembly Required




•    Six weeks of preparation bring a Ford Mustang convertible to the top of the Empire State Building

•    Ford and Empire State Building honour 50 years of Mustang with a car display 1,000 feet above the streets of Manhattan

•    Ford partners again with supplier which was part of same feat with Mustang in 1965

As the world honours 50 years of Ford Mustang, what better way to celebrate one of the most iconic car brands than putting it back on top of one of the most famous buildings?

 When Ford and the Empire State Building decided to display a new 2015 Mustang convertible on the 86th floor observation deck, Ford turned to a longtime supplier for the unique expertise required to make this happen.

Ford Motor Company and Michigan-based DST Industries have been collaborators for nearly six decades. In 1965 – the only other time in the Empire State Building’s 83-year history that a car was displayed on its open-air deck – a DST crew was on hand to show off that Mustang convertible.

 “This week, the band is getting back together as Ford and DST bring the all-new Mustang to the Empire State Building to honour 50 years on sale,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “We’ve taken the new Mustang to new heights of technology and refinement, so we decided to take it to new heights literally for this celebration.

“When we sat down to start plotting this out in mid-February, everyone quickly realized that some old-school craftsmanship would be needed to successfully place this car more than 1,000 feet above the crowded streets of Manhattan,” said George Samulski, manager, Ford North America design fabrication. “The deck is too high to reach with a portable crane from the street, and the spire that towers more than 400 feet above that narrow deck makes helicopter delivery impossible.”

Going Up!
The only other car display on the Empire State Building observation deck happened in October 1965, when a crew from DST, including retired technician Claude Cochran, sliced a Mustang convertible so that it could be fit into the elevators of the building.

Following a site inspection in New York to measure meticulously all of the elevators and doors, the engineering team in Dearborn sat down with a scale model of the new Mustang and drew lines on it to represent where it should be cut. The Empire State Building is a historic landmark, with original art deco wood and brass trim in the elevators, so it was crucial to ensure plenty of clearance.

“The only real problem we had in 1965 was the steering wheel,” said Cochran. “When we tried to roll the middle section of the car with the windshield removed into the elevator, the top of the wheel stuck out a bit too far through the door, so we had to tip the cart a bit to get it in.”

In preparing for the 2014 event, the team worked with two early prototype Mustang convertible body shells. The car that would ultimately make the trip to New York was completely stripped down and the surface cleaned up to make sure everything looked perfect before it was sectioned and painted.

The second body was used as a donor by the metal fabricators to determine where to make the cuts and to fit a custom-built tubular steel subframe that would hold all the sections together. The fabricators built custom rolling carts and wooden crates for each section.


Getting from the loading dock to the observation deck requires riding a freight elevator and two separate passenger elevators. A wood mock-up of the smallest elevator was built in the workshop to verify everything would fit. Each of the loaded carts was then weighed to ensure everything stayed within the weight limits of the elevator and the observation deck.



 “The observation deck is open to the public from 8am to 2am, which left our crew with only a six-hour window to get everything out onto the deck and to get the car assembled,” said Pericak. “Before we shipped the crates to New York, the crew spent several days practicing the entire assembly process – timing everything down to the minute – much like a NASCAR or Formula One pit crew.”

The Triple Yellow 2015 Mustang convertible was displayed for visitors to the Empire State Building observation deck on Wednesday and Thursday this week. 

When the deck closed to the public at 2am yesterday morning, the crew reversed the entire process and removed the display car before visitors returned.






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Friday, 18 April 2014

Hardworking and Successful: The Modern White Van Man

http://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/News/Other/Business_is_looking_up_for_the_UKs_tradespeople-801429546
IronmongeryDirect, the UK’s biggest online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products to the trade, has conducted a study of 10,000 tradesmen which dispels the White Van Man myth and reveals that UK trade professionals are in fact hardworking and highly skilled. Full details of the story can be found below.

Business is looking up for the UK’s tradespeople. A recent survey, aimed at busting the White Van Man myth, has revealed that trade professionals are in fact hardworking and highly skilled with an entrepreneurial spirit that is helping them to recover from the recent economic downturn.

The in-depth research, which was a study of over 10,000 people working across a range of trades, reveals that tradesmen are three times as likely to be their own boss and employ on average two additional staff. A large proportion are also keen to progress their development and improve their skills to boost business, with 58% of tradespeople saying they have a professional qualification and 13% having undertaken a degree.

When asked to best describe how they operate, 67% responded that they are highly trained and skilled, while 93% said they take pride in doing a good job, demonstrating their hardworking nature.

The study has also revealed that over half of the UK’s trade professionals are happy with current business performance. With 40% of tradespeople responding that their current income is ‘comfortable’ (compared to 32% of the general population) and 14% said that business was ‘going well’ or ‘booming’ (compared to just 10% of the UK public), the results signal an upward trend for the industry and is a good barometer that sectors such as house building, shop fitting and domestic spending on home improvements are also on the rise.

The survey highlights how trade professionals are becoming increasingly more tech-savvy to keep up to speed with the latest industry developments and meet the demands of their customers. 75% use a smartphone at work, while a tablet device is now considered essential to a growing number of tradespeople for ordering supplies on site (31%) and on-the-go.

How are tradespeople driving their business forward? Trust is still high among trade professionals with 84% gaining new business through word of mouth. With 74% of tradespeople responding that they always turn up on time and 82% giving honest and accurate advice, their reliable and professional nature is helping to ensure future recommendations.

The report also reveals that tradespeople are amongst the happiest workers in the UK. Asked to rate how much they love their job, tradespeople gave an average score of over 8 out of ten, 16% higher than the general population’s average score of 6.9 out of 10.

The comprehensive research was carried out by IronmongeryDirect, the UK’s biggest online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products to the trade. The poll surveyed tradespeople about their work practices, background and tastes to build the broadest picture ever into what makes our tradespeople tick.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at IronmongeryDirect, said: 
“We conducted this in-depth research to gauge the current feeling of the industry. It’s great to see tradespeople not only performing well, but feeling so happy and confident about the future.

“The results show that their success can be attributed to their own hard work and determination to weather the recent recession. We’ve found that the outlook for tradespeople is resoundingly positive and, as such, they aren’t worried about future business. This is a good indicator for the wider economy, as tradespeople are a barometer of wider investment and an upturn in domestic spending.”

Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics also support the findings of the study and the hard working nature of our tradespeople, revealing that 60% of self-employed trade professionals are more likely to work a 45 hour week or more[1]. What’s more, its figures also highlight how the construction industry grew by 0.2% in the last three months of 2013, as house building increases by almost 20%[2].

Web: www.IronmongeryDirect.com
Phone: 0808 168 28 28
Email: sales@ironmongerydirect.com



[1] Office of National Statistics, February 2013
[2] Office of National Statistics, February 2014

 



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