Joyce’s column: familiar faces


Well here I am back at the grindstone after my recent travels, Aruba and Turkey in May and Spain in June, one thing is for sure I know how to pack a suitcase, I certainly have enough experience of it, my friends have christened me ’have bag will travel’ they can christen me all they want, as long as I keep holidaying, I don’t mind.

For those of us in the industry that remember Brian Devlin who was an operator and supplier of equipment in Northern Ireland for many years before his move to New Zealand, well he has recently reached the ripe old age of 60, and his friend Dave Tanner (another blast from the past) also celebrated his 60th birthday.

Dave was at the once successful Video Fruit Services in Cardiff along with Dave Evans and Keith Thomas, many years ago this was ‘The Company’ shame things have to change.  Anyway as you will see from the photo of Brian and Dave they might have gained a few grey hairs and a few extra pounds, but they both look fit and well.  Brian and I share the same birthday, the date not years, and he sent me some of their ‘Makana’ lovely hand made chocolates for my birthday, and believe me these were delicious, and certainly left you longing for more. Anyway Brian congratulations on your 60th, this seems a lifetime away from the younger days of the Mary Pentony era and the thirst quenching drinks!!


If you’d like to see and know more about the ‘Makana’ brand chocolates that Brian and his wife Carole are the proud owners you can watch a promotional video on, this is a nice promotional piece to watch and it will certainly make your mouth water.

I see Aidan Towey of Innovative Technology has become a TV star due to the fact that they couldn’t find more than 20 new staff despite the current high unemployment figures.  They had vacancies for various skilled posts including design and software engineers, and despite advertisements in various publications they received little or no takers. Trying yet another angle Aidan gave an interview for Granada TV about their plight and this was due to go on air on the day that Liverpool Football Club made an announcement about their then manager Kenny Dalgliesh, so Aidan’s interview was postponed until the weekend.  Since the TV interview they have felt more upbeat as this has produced some positive results for them.  Well done Aidan, as ever you are a fighter for what you want.

Some good news now, if you remember a few months ago I told you Barry Kirby late of NSM had suffered some strokes but he was recovering, well I have just been informed by his and my good friend Doug Hession of Sound Sense Electronics that ‘Captain Kirby’ (our pet name for him) has made a full recovery and is back to his old self. Great news Barry and must be a wonderful relief for Denise (Barry’s wife) and we can maybe now enjoy the meal that we had planned before the unfortunate strokes, mind you it’s your turn in the payment chair Barry!!  Only kidding it will be such a pleasure to see you fit and well again I don’t suppose we will bother who pays, as long as we are all together toasting your wonderful recovery.

Now to report some sad news; the deaths of John Toms and Howard Matthewman, John was employed for many years at DMD in London where he worked in the stores on spares and dealt with customers’ requirements excellently.  John was huge fan of the late Frank Sinatra and even went to Las Vegas to see him in concert.  Howard was for many years employed with Dransfield’s in Leeds, and he had the role of director with the company, he was with Dransfield’s in the early days and stayed with them up to his retirement a few years ago.  Howard had a fondness for sport especially rugby and football and he was an avid supporter of Huddersfield Town FC.

I would like to extend my condolences to the families of both of these men.

I went to watch the Olympic Torch coming from Ashton-under-Lyne to Oldham the other Sunday, well I couldn’t really miss it as it was coming right up the end of my road, and even though I have not had much interest in the Olympics to that day, I still felt I should see the torch, and do you know what I am pleased I went.

There were lots of people there cheering and waving, children with banners and bunting over the road and as the torch bearers came by they actually stopped at the spot I was standing to change over torch bearers and re-light the new torch bearers torch, it was magic, and well organised.  After this experience it has given me a new insight into the Olympics and might even persuade me to try and get to London to join in the fun and celebrations, I have left it late for tickets now, but the celebrations will still be there, and who knows so might I!!

Staying with the Olympic Torch Innovative Technology’s David Bellis knew someone that was a torch bearer and borrowed the Olympic Torch for 2 hours and any of the Innovative employees that wanted got the chance to hold the torch and have a photo taken, David naturally took the photo opportunity and here is the photo to prove it.  He says he was pretending to be ‘Chariots of Fire’ but I still think that for a mind blowing effect David you should have donned a toga!!

Now for some snippits from the Open Day at Park Avenue in London, once again a large crowd of people attended the day, and thanks to both Electrocoin and UDC for the splendid event, the ever popular Greek barbecue at Electrocoin was as always a huge hit and this year we were treated to an afternoon tea courtesy of UDC, very nice too, not too sure if the cream is good for the waistline, but what the heck who cares!!

One or two regular faces that were missing at the event this year were those of Harry Levy’s Colin Mallery who had undergone an operation on his hand and this really limits him, get well soon Colin we all want to see you up and around again.

Staying with the Harry Levy company, I was informed that Ray Britton who before his retirement was employed for many years by this company has also had an operation, and of course best wishes go to you too Ray.

Reg Morosoli was also missing, but he was not away due to an illness or any operations he was missing as he and his wife Caroline were on a cruise around the Mediterranean, hope you both enjoyed it, you deserve it.

Two more regular visitors to the open day that were missing were Billy Edwards and Robert Clarke, you were both missed, and Robert the barbecue was not the same without you being the first in the queue, as you have held that honour for so many years now, hope you don’t lose your crown for too long!!  As for Billy well I was disappointed as we always have a cuddle together, next year Billy we will have to have 2 to make up for this year’s missing one.

Innovative Technology’s Paul Curley was celebrated his birthday on the day of the Open Day, hope it was good day for you Paul and that you celebrated properly when you got home.  Also many thanks for the nice comments you made to me on my  two part article ‘My Friend David’ referring to David Bellis, the comments were much appreciated and I am pleased to hear you enjoyed the articles.

It was good to see Dawn Millroy attend the event, and I’m sure she was made very welcome by one and all, after the many years Dawn put up with our moans and groans at ATEI, she deserved to be welcomed with open arms.  Must also say Dawn I liked the new hairstyle, very chic.

Peter Rubin of PR Publicity is another character that turns up each year at this event despite the fact that he has very little contact with the industry these days, he likes this event as he meets up with people he used to deal with on a daily basis.  Always nice to see you Peter and share a glass or two of wine with you.  If we don’t see you before at any other industry events then I am sure that we will see you next year at the Open Day, and for once I promise I will try to get there before you!!

Peter had his other hat on at the Open Day and is now trying to get an apprenticeship for Westminster Automatics Steve Brown’s stepdaughter in the business and administration field.  Peter is employed by a company named Soloman – Society of London Manufacturers and their business deals with the following aspects Business Improvement, Training, Estates, Recruitment and Outplacement, and according to what I read and know of them from Peter they have gained excellent results in all of these fields, and are considered one of the top companies around in this type of marketplace. If you have any of these requirements why don’t you visit their website to find out more, you never know they could have just what you are looking for.  The website address is




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