the death of J.P. Hall
In 1965 I was just finishing my apprenticeship with WH Allen Sons & Co Ltd when we learnt that a company called JP Hall had been purchased and closed down. The spares business, which was large and world-wide was to be transferred to the gearing Division of WHA in Pershore, where I worked.
No coherent plan had been made for the transfer and on the news of the company closure almost all employees left. At 21 years old I was told to take over the spares system and that several large trucks would be arriving in 3 days time - hows that for medium term planning?
One ex-emplyee of JP Hall stayed in post and between us we tried to keep the flow of cargo pump spares flowing to ships in places I had never heard of. After 12 months I handed over to a staff of 3 so I have no idea how the business declined over the subsequent years - there can't be many of those units in service now.
When some of the office equipment and files finally arrived one was marked with a label saying "RIP J.P. Hall: a great English company killed off by big business with little ideas"
Some of you must have worked on JP Hall steam pumps. The killing off of that company set the pattern for many take-overs I witnessed in subsequent years - corporate financial plans with no concept of the value of the employees or of the project management required.