11 Apr Alex Haddow retires after 34 Years’ service
Gray & Adams is proud of its people and we recognise that their commitment and expertise is the key to the long success of the business to date. We have been fortunate enough to have had many long serving employees over the years and we believe it is important to have their dedication and hard work recognised.
In April 2023, Gray & Adams celebrated the retirement of long serving welder fabricator, Alex Haddow. Alex was based at Dunfermline and worked for the business for 35 years. We caught up with him on his first day of retirement to find out more about what he will miss about working for us and what he is looking forward to as he enters this new chapter.
Tell me about your time with Gray & Adams
I worked at the Dunfermline depot for 34 years as a welder fabricator, My main responsibility was fabricating the back frames for new rigid vehicles and I’ve seen some significant changes during my time here. For example, how the company has grown and the different technology that has come in which has allowed us all to do our jobs more efficiently. This has also meant that we are capable of doing more builds per week than when I first started. Back then we used to do one build per day, or five per week and now that has increased to thirteen. The team was kept busy, but we all had a great laugh and got on well.
What did you do before you came to Gray & Adams and why did you want to work here?
I’m local to the area and worked with the National Coal Board to serve my time as a welder fabricator initially, I then worked as a labourer after that but wanted to get back into welding. I then came across an advert for Gray & Adams in the local job centre and set up a meeting with Bob Smith who was the Managing Director at Dunfermline at the time, we had a discussion then I did a weld test and he told me that I could start the following Monday. I’ve been here ever since! One of the reasons I was initially attracted to the company is that it was local to me and I am involved with a lot of community groups in my spare time so it was important to me to work locally as well.
What did you enjoy most about working for Gray & Adams?
I really appreciate the Gray family making you feel like you are part of the family and being very supportive over the years. I also will really miss the guys on the shop floor that I worked with, we all got on really well and had a great laugh. Getting on with the people you work with really matters, especially during busy periods. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to show some of the younger lads how to carry out certain tasks and give them a bit of support. It’s more effective to show someone how to do the job rather than just tell them as you will get the most out of people that way. It’s important that people who are really experienced in a job, pass that information down to the younger generation so the skills aren’t lost.
What are your plans for retirement?
I’ll be kept quite busy as I am involved with a lot of community initiatives in Cowdenbeath. I currently run a youth club which can sometimes see over 200 kids turning up. I’m also now on the board of Cowdenbeath Football Club and I’m also involved with the local Gala Day. Apart from that, I also have 12 grandchildren who will keep me busy!
Comments from the team
Bryan Easton says “Alex is one our people who have helped shape the company we see today, team players like Alex are the real wealth in any business.
They say there is “nothing more constant that change” and certainly things in Dunfermline will never be quite the same again, although Alex legacy of mentoring and guiding our new recruits has ensured we have the skill set synonymous with the renowned quality of the Gray & Adams product.”
James and Peter Gray would like to thank Alex Haddow for his commitment to the company and wish him all the best in his retirement going forward.