Over the next few weeks we will be introducing some of the key members of the team both here and on LinkedIn…you’ve seen the faces now wait for the bios!

Fantastic work at college from Pete Leonard and Jack Gibson two of our super talented HOME GROWN CNC programmers. Doing things like this makes engineering cool and appealing to the next generation of Petes and Jacks, which is very much what we need. Jack programmed the part and it took over 21/2 hours to machine giving them both a great insight into tooling capability feeds and speeds. Great job chaps, we’re proud of you..

Fantastic to recognise one of our outstanding employees in his latest achievement. Derek Wallwork joined us as a temp worker just a few short years ago, but with his drive, commitment, attitude and ability, progressed on to CNC programming, which is no small leap. This week Derek successfully completed his NQA ISO 9001-2015 QMS essentials auditing course, showing again he is up to any challenge, and we are all very proud of him. It is always great to see talent fulfilled…

With more and more important customers visiting the site it was about time we emblazoned our logo on a feature wall. A big thank you to our great friends at Envision Media in Skelmersdale for doing such a great job so quickly.

World aluminium day…reflections

I’ve been fortunate to have worked in aluminium (extrusions) for over 50 years. In this time starting from the lowest entry position, I’ve been a director of an extruder, a stockholder and a processor which makes me unique within the 000’s currently working in the UK aluminium industry.

My fascination with aluminium extrusions began in the longest harshest winter on record. I was 7 in 1963 it was the year the snow never went away, and it was way before you could buy a ready-made sledge from Tesco for three quid. If you wanted one you made it yourself or got your dad to do it. As my dad worked on the shopfloor of an extruder he had access to aluminium extrusions, thus mine was adorned with aluminium runners (originally destined for Harrison Drape as curtain track) but doctored to a level worthy of “Cool Runnings.” It was the then equivalent of the current Formula 1 DRS.

I was then photographed by the local newspaper going down Crouch Hill with everyone in my wake. Years on after I had done a speech at an Al Fed event in the Lords one of the Lords who lived in the adjacent county recalled the photo.

Over the years there have been quantum changes in the industry there are now just a fraction of the extruders from when I started, names such as Alcan, Midland Extruders, Ashley Aluminium, Almetex, James Booth, and many more now long gone. There have been huge advances in die making, die design, alloys, finishes, inspection, production methods and e`iciency. Indeed, there was no mention of sustainability back in the day, but now it is rightly one of the defining mainstays of our industry.

Throughout all this time the Al Fed have been a constant. It has been transformative in recent years in how it engages more conceptually with its members and the students and design engineers who in time will be the next generation of specifiers. I was proud to play a part in this, supporting many Al Fed events during the “noughties” and long may it continue this path.

There are always threats to aluminium, we would be unwise to ignore the potential that composites o`er and the rise in nano technology, but as an industry we remain in great shape, I believe, ready for all the challenges.

I’ve worked with amazing people over the years (thank you Liz at Inal in particular) I often introduce us as the Phil and Holly of aluminium though since his fall from grace I am currently rethinking this!

I’m enjoying the final chapter of my long and undistinguished career working with the Sherwood Group one of the few places where the owners, both industry titans, are older than me (thank you Paul and Terry). From winning awards to working with Apple, to speaking at the The House of Lords, to being held at gun point by the IRA, it’s been a journey….

Sherwood Group continue to invest in our Manchester site. We have just commissioned the second JIH saw which will see our daily sawing capacity increase to beyond 20k cuts, the majority close tolerance. With an increasing amount of material being supplied cut intensively machined and finished, this is another huge step forward in our plans for continuing to grow the business. Onwards and upwards in 2024.

Our fabulous Ellie took time away from her machine operating duties this week to raise the bar “ding dong merrily on high” in the annual Sherwood Group Christmas tree dressing competition. Ellie chose a more traditional colour theme this year with a reversal to golds reds and greens leaving our other group companies in her wake. Ellie we salute you!

Our delivery driver come roving ambassador Mark Ridgway ready for action with his newly liveried wagon. Mark has proved to be very popular with many customers since he joined us, and even with some of his colleagues …Mark Ridgway more deliveries than Santa Claus!

Not content with leading the Sherwood Group for over 30 years through the peaks and troughs of business, young at heart co-owner Paul Thurston showed his penchant for the uphill struggle in Cumbria last week.  Accompanied by a couple of friends Paul rolled back the years to scale England’s highest peak, the gruelling Scaffel Pike in the Lake District, a very challenging 3280 feet.

It was said Paul (far right in the photo) marched them up to the top of the hill and them marched them down again…well done Paul, we the sedentary, salute you

Fantastic performance by our CEO Michael Holden to win the gold medal in the light weight category at The British Ju Jitsu National masters last weekend.

You can’t beat being lead by a gold medallist! Just back 6 months ago from a major hip operation..Michael we salute you!