Thursday, 1 December 2011

In Ginger’s footsteps

The following week after I left working with Chris Maltin, I telephoned Lawrence Hardwicke at AFN and arranged an appointment to see him. Lawrence was Service Manager and so I asked him for a job as a Porsche mechanic. Upon meeting up with Lawrence he told me AFN would be pleased to offer me a job based upon my reputation at Maltin’s and also being Ginger’s younger brother.
Philip Tyrell had not long joined AFN from VW Collingdale in north London, and as he was the workshop supervisor so he formally interviewed me and approved my appointment.
So on the 19th October 1972, I officially joined AFN Limited as a mechanic on a rate of pay of £0.60 pence per hour, which was confirmed by my letter of appointment (which I still have) signed by Peter Bulbeck as company secretary in his inimitable hand writing, penned with his fountain pen and ink.
Peter Bulbeck had started life as an accountant and went on to join AFN as a mechanic in the 1960’s. His brother was friendly with John Aldington and shortly after, John and Peter hit it off and Peter rose up the ranks of AFN and became a Director during all the changes John Aldington was making at that time. Peter was to become another person that influenced my life in later years.
There was always something magical to me about the famous AFN Falcon Works, located at London Road, Isleworth, Middlesex and ever since I first went there as a school boy. I often look back on Ginger’s time there and all my previous visits and subsequent career move with a sense of being a small part of AFN’s history, and in turn, Porsche motor cars in Great Britain.
The Aldington brothers H.J. and W.H. and latterly J.T Aldington had carved out their place in British automotive history, which is comprehensively covered in the 1984 book of “The AFN Story - From Chain Drive to Turbo Charger” by Denis Jenkinson (or Jenks as he was affectionately known to his friends and colleagues).
The move to AFN for me was good in a number of ways; firstly I was on the inside of an official Porsche main dealer as opposed to working for an outside organisation and secondly this opened up official Porsche approved training courses for me. It also opened my eyes up and let me understand about the workings of a Porsche Dealership.
So armed with my personal set of tools

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