The fifth annual fundraising bike ride in aid of the ‘Keep It Up’ campaign began in the early hours of Wednesday 23 April, when Siddall & Hilton’s sales director Neil Sutcliffe and his fellow cyclists travelled down to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium ready to start the 250 mile ride. After collecting their bikes, they were on their way to Cambridge, the first of three overnight stops.
Day Two saw the cyclists pedal 70 miles to Leicester in glorious weather, some making a short detour to have photos outside the King Power Stadium. Bad weather hit on Day Three of the ride though, which was rainy and drizzly all along the 80 mile route with some challenging (and very muddy) cycle paths on the way to Doncaster.
On Day Four the cyclists had a 40 mile journey into Huddersfield stopping at PPG Canalside where they were greeted by their friends and family and heard speeches from Huddersfield Town Commercial Director Sean Jarvis, YAA Head of Fundraising Paul Gowland and Chairman Dean Hoyle, thanking all those who took part.
Neil, who has completed 2 Pedal for Pounds bike ride, said: “To get 300 people doing it for the fourth year on the trot is a credit to everybody. I am aching but it’s been good. It was an excellent ride, superbly organised and a decent route, and the Guiness on route was superb!”
Siddall & Hilton, their customers and suppliers made kind donations, Neil raised over £1500 and would like to thank everybody who contributed. Neil also fund raises for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
As preparations for the 2013 East African Safari Rally hot up, we took time out to spend a day with Andrew Siddall and Dansport during a testing day at Blyton Park race circuit in sunny Lincolnshire.
The Kenyan Airways East African Safari Classic definitely shuns modesty, claiming to be “the words greatest rally.” But with a huge entry list of stunning historic rally cars, former world champion drivers such as Bjorn Waldegard and Stig Blomqvist, the rally may well have a reasonable claim to this title. Certainly the terrain, climate and navigational aspects of the event are some of the most challenging of any rally in the world.
The purpose of a test, or “shakedown” day such as this is to assess the progress in preparation of the car, making adjustments here and there with the aim of making the car more comfortable and capable of dealing with the multitude of pressures that the rally has to offer.
Immediately on climbing into the car, Andrew commented that his helmet was banging on the roof of the car, so the team set to work on adjusting the height of the Kevlar bucket seat. Hundreds of miles through the challenging terrain and climate of Africa are tough enough without your head banging back and forth over every bump, so minor adjustments like this are critical. Work continued on other mostly ergonomic adjustments until the car was ready for a few laps.
As the 6 cylinder engine burst into life from cold and after a few blips on the throttle, the immaculate Datsun 260Z was soon steadily warming up around the tarmac.
As the pace picked up it became clear that despite the huge suspension travel and gravel tyres intended for wildly variable terrain, this car is surprisingly capable flicking through the black stuff. With a particularly high pitched and revvy exhaust note, prior to the car emerging from the trees you could be forgiven for mistaking the noise for a Japanese superbike.
As Andrew pulled the car into the pits, the team set about discussing necessary adjustments to the car and in a frenzy of spanners and impact drivers the changes were underway. Time to switch to the immaculately presented MK1 Escort, currently in tarmac trim so perfect for scaring the living daylights out of friends and family.
With a 4 cylinder BDA engine in an immaculate engine bay, huge sticky tyres shod onto period Minilite wheels, a stance of timeless aggression and a livery of Siddall and Hilton razor barb, the Escort looks, and sounds totally purposeful. The cockpit is cosy to say the least and as I huddle my knees into my chest in an effort to keep my foot away from the floor mounted horn switch, Andrew hits the gas and the car lurches past the green light of the control building.
The difference between the two cars is significant. Whilst I thought the Datsun was capable around the tarmac, the Escort is in another league. As it flicks through the left-right-left at the bottom of the circuit, Andrew lets the back end drift just enough to catch it for the next corner and slide it through the complex with the Escorts synonymous grace. Although the suspension bears little resemblance to the standard Escort, the grip and speed at which the Escort changes direction is incredible, the sensation being more akin to a single seater or Caterham.
Passengers swap places and Andrew sets about whitening more knuckles.
As the Escort draws into the pits, the Datsun makes it way out again, complete with second gearbox and several other adjustments. The speed at which the team can replace major components is striking. A gearbox change in the Escort takes only 12 minutes, the propshaft left assembled to the output shaft in order to avoid topping up the oil level. Major operations that would take most of the day for a competent mechanic take a fraction of the time. Changeover time is assisted by the immaculate condition of the cars underbelly, chassis and transmission, no rusty bolts or rounded heads to slow them down. That’s my excuse anyway.
Andrew is clearly happier with the Datsuns setup now and he pushes harder around the track. My head is nearly torn from my shoulders as I prepare it for a 90 right and Andrew instead swings left onto the gravel. For a second I think he’s pushed too hard and lost it, but before I know it Andrew is lining the car up for a jump and we’re in the air. I tense up, waiting for the bang as the car lands and my head bounces off the roll cage, but there is nothing. You can hardly tell that the car has been in the air at all, such is the effectiveness of the suspension and chassis setup.
Just as well the car soaks up big hits like this. As the doors of the container open in Kenya come November, its shakedown days like this that will have fully prepared the car for the ultimate test of a historic rally car.
You can follow Andrews progress live once the rally starts at http://www.eastafricansafarirally.com/
Following the success of the January Perimeter Protection exhibition in Nuremberg, Siddall & Hilton Products have seen a marked escalation in interest and demand for several of their new and innovative products which were unveiled at the show.
Several of their new products have generated particular interest, the most successful of which has been the Safetop fencing panel. Intended for playgrounds, nurseries and other installations often involving the presence of children and where sharp edges and finger trap risks must be minimised.
After manufacture of the pre-galvanised flat panels on Siddall’s modern EVG mesh production lines, an automated cutting and folding machine first removes the appropriate wires for the post rebates and then twice folds the edges of the flat panel over to create the triangular Safetop profile. Panels are then subjected to pre-treatment and polyester powder coating in a wide variety of colours, often bright and appealing to children.
However, the panel is not limited only to installations where children are present. The Safetop concept is also very well received in public areas, highways and sporting applications for example, where spectators can comfortably lean on the top of the panel whilst watching the game. Safetop can even be produced in double wire and rebound variants making it strong, safe and reliable no matter which side of the fence you are on.
Sales Manager Steve Cockerham commented: “After announcing these new panel designs at the excellent January show in Nuremberg we were surprised at how quickly demand took hold and we’ve seen a steady sales growth of these products month on month. Because of our ability to accurately make multiple folds in our mesh panels, several specific designs of folded panels have been developed with our customers since the show and we look forward to more joint developments in future”
Siddall and Hilton also unveiled a new 200 x 50 profile panel in Nuremberg which has been extremely well received.
Siddall’s UK production facility already manufactured customer specific designs of profile panels but adopted the new panels as an in-house standard and stock item. Available from 1 metre to 3 metres high and in 3 metre widths, labour and hardware savings of 20% can be realised when compared to 2.5m wide panels. 4.5mm diameter pre-galvanised wires are pre-treated and powder coated in order to withstand the elements and provide a long and attractive service life which through sustained laboratory testing is proving to be at least equivalent to hot dip galvanising.
Andrew Siddall and co-driver Jamie Edwards were delighted to triumph over the class C5 pack at the Rally Isle of Man during the weekend of the 22nd September in their stunning MK1 Escort RS1600.
Rally Isle of Man is one of the longest standing events in the International Rally Calendar and victory brings much prestige and respect. Following Britain’s World Championship qualifier – Rally GB, Rally Isle of Man is widely considered to be biggest event in British isles rallying…it certainly has a roll of honour worthy of such an accolade. Consistently attracting a top quality entry, Rally Isle of Man is THE rally on the domestic scene that everyone wants to win.
That’s easier said than done however as the “Manx” is notoriously tough on both driver and car. Indeed, the super-fast lanes that criss-cross the Island are regarded as one of the best training grounds for the World Championship and the Island has played host to no fewer than 7 future World Champions!
And the action doesn’t stop there. Rally Isle of Man also hosts the biggest and best round of the British Historic Rally Championship. With spectacular sideways driving and an array of both nostalgic and exotic cars on offer, the Historic Rally is massively popular and equally impressive
Due to increased demand, our EVG ATT102 machine is currently producing weldmesh rolls in 3mm Galfan wire and with a popular 2″ square mesh aperture.
Available in several heights as follows they provide a simple and effective solution for fast-install security fencing;
- 106″ high (2.7 metres) x 492″ long (12.5 metres)
- 96″ high (2.4 metres) x 984″ long (25 metres)
- 84″ high (2.1 metres) x 984″ long (25 metres)
- 72″ high (1.8 metres) x 984″ long (25 metres)
- 48″ high (1.2 metres) x 984″ long (25 metres)
- 36″ high (0.9 metres) x 984″ long (25 metres)
Steve Cockerham, our Sales and Commercial Manager has just returned from 6 days in the French Alps having completed the brutal Megavalanche race in Alpe D’Huez for the first time.
Generally considered the ultimate mountain bike race, it involves 2200 riders competing for start positions in various races starting at the summit of Pic Blanc (3300m) and finishing in Allemont some 19 miles and 2500m of vertical descent later.
After two days practice and altitude adjustment Steve qualified for the third mass start final on Sunday along with 249 other riders in his group who had to negotiate snow, ice, rocks, roots, dust and other riders wheels and elbows to reach Allemond as quickly as possible.
With a personal target of 1 hour and 45 minutes, Steve was delighted to have completed the course in only 1 hour and 23 minutes and suffered only minor separations from his bike on the way down. A good thing really as a key Mega tip is not to let go of your bike if you come off as if it makes its way over the edge you may not see it again.
After completing the event, Steve commented, “It was absolutely insane, the craziest thing I’ve ever done. The buildup to the start was terrifying and the trails were by far the rockiest and steepest I’ve ever experienced. It’s almost impossible to train for the Mega in the UK, we just don’t have that sort of terrain over more than a few minutes at a time”
Steve’s high-spec Orange Alpine 160mm travel full suspension bike demonstrated perfect reliability during the event. Built by Steve from a frame manufactured locally in Halifax by Orange Mountain Bikes, as its name suggests the Alpine is perfectly suited for this kind of terrain.
Steve’s next challenges will be comparatively more sedate UK enduro events later in 2012 with a probable return to tackle the Mega again in 2013 with a view to improving his finishing time and position.
Factory visits can always be arranged for existing, new and prospective customers and we’d like to extend an invitation for you to visit our factory to see our facilities first hand.
Please speak to you usual contact in sales or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to arrange a visit and see just why others consider we’re the best at what we do.
3 members of the Siddall and Hilton Products team will be participating in the Acorn sponsored bike ride 2012 this weekend.
Neil Sutcliffe (Sales Director), Steve Cockerham (Sales & Commercial Manager) and Darren Martin (Warehouse Supervisor) will be taking on the charity cycle challenge on Saturday the 12th May 2012.
The 100km event is staged around the York area, West Yorkshire and around 500 riders are expected to raise around £30,000 for Acorn.
Since 1999 Acorn has raised over £790,000 and provided funding for equipment, facilities and a research fellow at Leeds General Infirmary Rheumatology Department, kick-started a service for people with early onset (working age) dementia, raised funds for a befriending service for carers and sufferers of dementia, organised and funded luncheon clubs and events for the Alzheimer’s Society and much more.
Later this year Darren and Neil will be tacking the 100th anniversary 11 Cities road challenge in Holland with 15,000 other riders where they will need to complete a gruelling 240km route through the 11 Frisian cities, finishing in Bolsward any time before midnight !
In July Steve will be taking part in the brutal Megavalanche event in Alp D’Huez, France. Widely considered one of the worlds ultimate mountain bike race events, 2000 riders mass-start on the glaciated summit of the Pic Blanc (3,300m) and descend over an extremely varied terrain of snow, ice, rocks and dusty mountain trails to the lush meadows of the valley bottom at Allemont (700m), after some 2600 vertical metres of descent.
Looking forward to the challenge, Steve commented “The Mega really is considered the ultimate event on most mountain bikers bucket list and is the one event that I need to tick off before I get too old and fragile”
Charity donations towards the Acorn event would be very much appreciated. Please contact Neil, Steve or Darren to make a contribution and look out for a report on the outcome of the event shortly !
The results are in from our recent customer satisfaction survey and the results should make uneasy reading for our competitors.
Our customers rated us 100% on three key areas:
- Quality and consistency of products
- Satisfaction with delivery performance
- Invoice accuracy
We were rated 97% on:
- Telephone response time, telephone manner and sales staff knowledge
- Product range
- Response time to issues and issue outcomes
Finally, we were rated 93% on:
- Enquiry response time
- Lead times
- Flexibility and willingness to help
- Quality of packaging
Several general comments were made about how we can improve our service further still and these are being fully investigated and the appropriate corrective actions put in place.
All in all, an outstanding result and a further demonstration of why our customers choose to contact us first.
Many thanks to all who participated in our survey and we look forward to announcing the results of our next survey, expected in around 6 months time.
Siddall & Hilton Products Ltd has scooped a top safety award at the Tata sponsored Livewire awards.
The company triumphed at the national event focussing on improving health and safety at work for people employed in the UK wire and tube industries.
All of the UK’s major wire industry employers are members of Live Wire – and Siddall & Hilton Products has supported the concept since its launch five years ago.
The Live Wire Health & Safety Award recognises firms which encourage employees to embrace health and safety at all levels, share best practice across the industry and come up with ideas which improve health and safety in the wire industry.
Siddall & Hilton Products’ winning presentation was made by Production Supervisor & Health & Safety Co-Ordinator Gareth Bush and production operative Dave Durrance.
They successfully demonstrated a working solution for an issue experienced throughout the industry – the failure risk of a spring loaded safety catch in a travelling crane hook.
Dave was previously injured after catching his glove in the spring loaded catch that is fitted to the crane hook as standard. His solution involved doing away with the spring loading arrangement and replacing it with a naturally closing arrangement, imaginatively named the gravity latch.
Siddall & Hilton Products said this issue had previously been the subject of “near miss” health and safety reports.
The gravity hooks are now in use across the company’s site on Birds Royd Lane in Brighouse. Since their installation, there have been no accidents and no reported near misses involving attachment of lifting chains.
Managing director Neil Stewardson said: “We are delighted to have won this prestigious award for the second consecutive year. Our success demonstrates our commitment to improving health and safety issues throughout our working environment and recognises the strategic importance of involving employees in the identification of risks and the identification of the most appropriate, practical and imaginative solutions to mitigate those risks.”
Siddall and Hilton Products have laid the perfect foundation to a record breaking 2012 with overall late deliveries totalling less than 1% since November 2011. Our wire products division, manufacturing high quality upholstery springs and container handles has performed particularly well with zero late deliveries since October 2011, further enhancing our already excellent reputation as a reliable and professional supplier.
Our Brighouse factory and HQ was recently been re-assessed by the external auditors UK Cares on our Quality management system to BS EN ISO 9001 2008. We are proud to announce that we have once again passed the criteria for our Quality System and the Production of D49 Wrapping Mesh to BS 4483 2005, with no non-conformances raised against us. This demonstrates our Quality System to be a mature and effective system which is further developing and bringing real benefits to the Company on a day to day basis.
Running from the 17th to the 19th of January 2012, the Perimeter Protection exhibition was one of the main European showcases for fencing products and perimeter security.
Siddall and Hilton took the unusual step of purchasing their own exhibition stand and show materials in the UK and driving a large van with heavy contents from Northern England to the show site in Germany. As if the loading of the van and the drive to Germany wasn’t enough, Siddall and Hilton’s Sales Manager, Managing Director and Sales Director undertook the first live build of the exhibition stand the day before the start of the show.
Sales Manager Steve Cockerham remarked “The way in which we attended this show was quite different to anything we have done before. The temptation was to go with the standard shell scheme offered by the show organisers but the additional exposure offered by a custom made stand over the shell schemes was far more appealing. The specification and procurement exercise, together with the journey and stand build were something of a baptism of fire but we were delighted with the eventual outcome.”
The 8 metre by 5 metre stand was designed and built by Display Makers of Burton On Trent and incorporated Siddall and Hilton’s powder coated mesh into the very fabric of the stand. Horizontal support beams for the two 3 metre towers were manuafctured and bent in house at Siddall and Hilton’s factory in Brighouse and 2.5 metre mesh panels were used where you would normally expect to see graphics and lengthy product descriptions in several languages.
The exhibition itself was a great success, with many new contacts made throughout Europe. Five innovative new products were unveiled at the exhibition, including the new Safetop and Vanguard panels, promoting the company’s commitment to safety and security through innovation. Interest was high in these new products and several new leads were converted to orders on return to the UK.
The hunt is now underway for the next appropriate exhibition for a repeat of the self-drive and self-build experience.
Siddall & Hilton Products has helped restore the Norris Green Youth Centre in Liverpool as part of a special edition version of BBC’s DIY SOS: The Big Build for Children in Need.
Due to be aired in November 2011 in the run up to the Children in Need appeal night , the programme calls upon the local community, trades and companies to pull together to fully renovate the centre to provide better facilities and attract new members to the centre. The centre is in one of the most deprived areas of Liverpool, suffering crime, high unemployment and social unrest.
The project was the biggest build the DIY SOS team have ever taken on and they had just ten days to do it in. A project of this size would normally take between six to eight months to complete and would cost in the region of £1m.
Siddall & Hilton Products donated 70 panels of 2.4 metre high Polyester powder coated anti-climb high security mesh to secure the perimeter of the facility. The mesh was specified as the ideal high security solution to previous issues with unauthorised access and vandalism, whilst avoiding the imposing appearance of razor wire.
Siddall & Hilton Products Sales & Commercial Manager, Steve Cockerham, said: “The Norris Green Youth Centre has done some amazing work transforming the lives of local young people and steering them away from crime. They have at least 50 children and young people attending every evening and they are open seven days a week. Siddall & Hilton is a long established, family owned business who were more than happy to make a donation to this very worthwhile project and we are delighted to have made a contribution to the lives of those who use the centre.”
The Norris Green Youth Centre is committed to offering young people from the area a chance to achieve and gain positive life experiences. Its programme is designed to help young people broaden their horizons, develop skills, competences, confidence and positive attitudes that will equip them for life and provide a pathway to further education, employment and active community citizenship.