Family firm’s staff celebrate 35 years at the cutting edge

Stephen Lavender boss of Lavender International checks out this week's flags
Stephen Lavender boss of Lavender International checks out this week's flags
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A FAMILY business which has ensured the safety of metal structures the world over celebrated its 35th anniversary with a party for employees in Sheffield.

Lavender International, based in Penistone, near Sheffield, and run by brothers Stephen and Dave Lavender, trains professionals from as far afield as Brazil and India to test metals.

Lavender-trained experts have used their skills to test everything from aeroplanes and power plants to rollercoasters and suspension bridges - all over the world.

The firm is one of just six in the UK to be fully accredited by members of the metal industry to train metal testers.

It was founded in 1976 by Stephen’s parents Jack and Joyce Lavender and Dave.

Jack worked in metallurgy in Sheffield and founded the company to carry out testing before focusing on training.

And Stephen’s son Paul started work at the family firm 18 months ago - making three generations of the family involved in the business.

The company’s 40 employees celebrated their 35th anniversary at Cutler’s Hall.

Stephen said: “There aren’t many companies who do this sort of training because of the high cost of the equipment.

“We get people from all over the world because of the international reputation we’ve built up.”

The company flies national flags to welcome foreign trainees to the firm and has more than 50 stored at its offices.

Trainees are given lectures, practical sessions and examinations and receive industry-recognised qualifications.

“We teach people how to use X-rays and magnetism as well as ultrasound to find faults in anything from gas pipes to aeroplane wings,” Stephen said.

“It’s vital people are trained how to do it.”