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The Reyrolle Story: 45 - This Difficult Task

The management of the huge Tyneside manufacuring cconcern Reyrolle continue to face up to stern trading conditions.

To purchase a copy of Robert Owen's history of the firm please click on http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reyrolle-Story-History-Co-Ltd/dp/1905295073/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245678876&sr=1-1

Two bright spots occurred during the so called "Winter of Discontent" of 1978/79. One was the return of "Alphonse" to the north east. This was engineered by the Reyrolle Employee's Hospital Charities and Benevolent Committee who, for Christmas, bought a four year old horse for use by the Riding School for the Disabled at Washington. It was named in honour of Reyrolle's founder. The other was when the Company congratulated the Post Office on delivering three letters from abroad addressed as follows:

Mr Pay Roll

Reyrolle Switchgear
Tyne and Wear

Reyrolle Parcels

As Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female Prime Minister in 1979, Reyrolle lost its best known voice in the Company when Vera Kennedy retired as Senior Telephonist. Vera had been operating the busy switchboard for over 40 years.

Also in 1979, due to health reasons, Brian Tully relinquished his position as MD with NEI Reyrolle. Andrew Perkins moved over from The Bushing Company to replace him. The man at the top changed but the problems remained the same. "This Difficult Task" was Andrew Perkins' phrase as he reviewed 1979. The Company continued to shed workers and the number employed fell to approximately 2,800 in 1980. The new Managing Director blamed "even tougher market conditions".


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