Foreward

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Leaving AFN


For as long as I could remember, the AFN workshop floor was painted periodically in dark rust colour red. It was cleared of all cars and equipment, paint stripped and the floor cleaned with degreaser and then painted by a few mechanics with rollers. The work bays and walk areas were then marked out using white plastic sticky tape.
Usually this was done at the weekends for health and safety reasons, so only the painting team were about. However Philip Tyrell decided to get us all to clean and paint it just before the company Christmas party that was held in the AFN showrooms. The whole company was winding down for the holidays but Philip being the man he was, decided to impress the management and had us all clearing and painting. Well needless to say this did not go down well and it was also very dangerous as the degreasing fluid we used was very slippery (this was water soluble and was used for de-waxing all the new cars that arrived from Porsche AG). The workshop floor at AFN was always in constant use as they linked up a number of areas from upstairs, parts, and the body shop departments next door.
Ernie Gregory who managed the body shop was a good friend to me and had been receiving substantial treatment for a bad shoulder for some considerable time. Just as we were cleaning the floor with degreaser, Ernie stepped through the pedestrian door onto the slippery workshop floor and fell badly on damaged his shoulder again. I got over to help Ernie up and talk about an accident waiting to happen! In today’s world there would almost have been an investigation and a legal claim for negligence but Ernie although shaken up, just shrugged it off as best as I could see, but I knew he was in agony.
I was so angry and thoroughly disillusioned with Philip Tyrell that I went up to him and gave him a piece of my mind and then resigned on the spot. I bought my car around to the workshop door, loaded my tools in and that was that, I left AFN in December 1974.

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