I have been reading about the goings on at Davy’s on Prince of Wales Road.
It is a shame that it looks like this well-established firm, has come to an end, it has had a few second names over the years, ie United, McKee, Markham but Davy has always been the foremost name.
I know, and have known, many people who have worked there over the years, some who are no longer with us, I started my engineering career just down the road from Davy’s at Keetons on Greenland Road as an apprentice in 1968 and up until 1982 and remember we used to get some of the work Davy’s used to sub out when there was plenty of work about.
I remember big steel mill contracts Davy’s used to get to make the steel mills for other countries.
I think the Thames Barrier was another big job. It was great at the time making these mills, but the outcome we see today is that the other countries now make their own steel, and we as a country, now virtually have no steel industry.
I have experienced what they are going through, I went in to work normally, started work on the morning shift, at 10am, (breaktime),went for a sandwich in the mess room, took a bite then the gaffer came in and said to four of us that we were being made redundant.
We had to apply to the Government for redundancy pay, and eventually we got the basic due to us, no severance pay etc and I had worked there for 18 years.
We went to an industrial tribunal and the firm went into liquidation during this time, with administrators/receivers called in to wind the place up.
The outcome of a four – day tribunal was an award of a sum of money to us, not a lot but a win we thought.
Wrong, the administrators sold the company’s assets for a substantial sum, and when they had paid out some of the debtors at a loss, we were at the bottom of the pile.
There was no money left to pay us, which between us, was about £5,000.
The administrators sent a balance sheet at the end, and they charged for their services, £345 per hour for the top person down to £60 per hour for a secretary
This is where a lot of the money is swallowed up in these cases, and that was 15 years ago.
I wish all the people involved good luck in finding work, as eventually, from experience I am sure you will, even if it’s maybe not in engineering.