The character that is Edward Way is hanging up his boots and retiring from Fordingbridge plc.
Fordingbridge began life as a specialist manufacturer of horticultural ventilation equipment. It was started by Bill Way who had a flair for engineering ideas and entrepreneurial spirit, perhaps a hereditary trait in the Way family! When Edward arrived to work, it was at a time that Fordingbridge was merging with Mark Hall’s company, Hall Hunter Polytunnels. His first task at Fordingbridge after 3 hours training was to fly to Libya and erect some polytunnels which had been sold at Tripoli and Benghazi.
It would seem Edward was used to being thrown in at the deep end – with more sink or swim activity by becoming MD of Fordingbridge aged only 26. The biggest change business-wise was buying the premises at the current site Fontwell in 1982 and moving in in 1984.
There was lots of innovation under Edward’s rule. Firstly, a move from using water pipe as the basic steel to high tensile steel tube, the development of Thermal Screens, an energy saving device and then ventilated sides on tunnels, all of which had positive impact on the turnover. Another major change was the use of laminated timber which developed from sales into France.
In asking Edward what’s the biggest change he’s seen during his 40+ years career, he said “it is one in which we would design a structure for a customer, build it and get paid all on a handshake rather than an interminable contract."
One of the main reasons for Edward’s retirement is the many projects he has a passion for and would like to be able to devote his time to.
Edward would like to finish the crinkle crankle garden wall and install an 1870 turret clock in the clock tower.
Another long-standing passion is cars and one project will be to rebuild Linda’s (his wife) 1925 Bentley. With all these projects and plans it would seem this would be full time hours with plenty of over time.