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By Rob George Friday 08 February 2013 Updated: 20/02 14:44
DROITWICH mayor Coun Anne Taft has embarked on the latest in a series of visits to discover the beating heart of manufacturing in the town.
The respected councillor hopes to use her visits to highlight the importance of manufacturing and raise the profile of the companies who have chosen the Spa as their home.
This week, Coun Taft shares her experiences of her visit to the Roger Dyson Group based on the Berry Hill Industrial Estate.
ON ARRIVAL at the Roger Dyson Group just off the Kidderminster Road in Droitwich I was warmly greeted by Roger Dyson who gave me a guided tour of his business.
I was surprised at the size of the site it occupied. One side of the road is offices and the manufacturing units while on the other side is a large showroom with training facilities.
I was able to see the various procedures involved in converting lorry trailers and I must say it was a fascinating experience.
Roger told me the Roger Dyson Group included both Hardings Travel and Roger Dyson Trailer Conversions.
Hardings Coaches was originally owned by Roger Dyson’s parents who, on retirement, decided to sell the business and Roger and his brother bought the coach business.
I discovered the coaches initially operated from Redditch but moved to Droitwich Spa in the early eighties when they bought out Everton’s Goldliner coaches.
Older residents will remember that company was based by Chapel Bridge, on the site now occupied by Kingfisher Court.
As well as running the coach business Roger also started a business handling breakdown recovery.
Roger told me he decided to move all of his businesses to the town in 1982 and it was from Droitwich Spa that he started manufacturing a variety of lorry trailer conversions to allow them to feature crane installations.
Despite some troubled times, especially for Hardings Travel, Roger told me the business continues to prosper and today employs 45 people on the manufacturing side.
I learned a further 35 people are committed to Hardings Travel which currently operates 16 luxury coaches which will be increased to 20 vehicles this year.
I was delighted to hear they have a good export business and had received two enquiries from as far away as Russia in the week I visited.
Roger also told me they are the sole suppliers of trailers to the RAC and boast the Channel Tunnel among their clients.
I would like to say thank you to Roger for allowing me to spend time at this very interesting and go ahead company.
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