Last month Midland Lead celebrated the retirement of one of its longest serving operatives, Martie O’Reilly.
Friday 1st June marked the end of Martie’s 35 years working full time for the company. Martie joined the business back in 1983 after having already worked in the lead industry in Dublin for ten years. His arrival at the company was timed to assist with the set-up of the Direct Method (DM) machine which was one of the first of its kind to be introduced into the UK. The same machine, give or take a few modifications, is still working to produce our lead sheets today.
Martie confessed the Direct Method machine had been a personal project of his over the last three and a half decades and that it would be strange not to be working alongside it every day. ‘I have really enjoyed working at Midland Lead,’ Martie comments, ‘From setting up the DM machine until now, it’s been a good company to have been a part of.’
After being at the core of lead manufacture for the duration of his working life Martie admitted that over 35 years much has remained the same when it comes to the production of the historic product. However, he has seen positive changes in other areas of the business. ‘These days’ health and safety is really important.
A key player in producing the high quality sheets which meet our customers’ needs, Martie holds the view that, thanks to lead’s durable and eco-friendly properties, it cannot be replicated. ‘As long as there is good quality lead sheet available on the market then there’s no competition from alternative products.’
Martie is now off for a much-deserved long summer in Turkey with a plan to return to Midland Lead in a new part-time role in the autumn.