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Foundry Daily News

18. September 2008

UK - Pennine Castings' farewell to loyal staff

STAFF who have clocked up almost 200 years' service between them are retiring from a Yorkshire casting company this year.

Five employees at Pennine Castings, previously known as Blakey's Malleable Castings, are retiring after working at the company for a combined 191 years.

The latest person to retire is sales manager Roy Whiteley, who left at the age of 65 after clocking up 50 years of service.

Later this year, machinist Roy Lowther, 70, will retire after 42 years, along with sand plant operator Joseph Tierney, 67, who retires after 37 years, and Dhurubhai Patel, 65, who leaves after 19 years as a general labourer.

Earlier this year, metallurgist Dori Edna Fazi, 65, retired after 42 years' service.

Blakey's Malleable Castings was formed in 1902 and became known as the inventor and supplier of the famous Blakeys Segs and Protectors, which are hammered into the undersole of leather shoes to protect them from wearing.

While the company, based in Armley, Leeds, still supplies this product, it has now diversified to a wider range of iron castings.

Peter Blake, the firm's managing director who has clocked up an impressive 35 years of service himself, said: "It's incredible really, we must be doing something right because long service like this is unheard of these days.

"We are an old-established company and we do have people coming and going but the die-hards stay here."

The firm, which currently employs 37 people, used to have 200 staff on its books but 133 people were made redundant in 1990 during the last recession.

However, Mr Blake said the firm was not experiencing many problems due to the current economic climate.

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