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A roller coaster ride!

I was planning to be a teacher. At 18 I had to make the decision to do something very, very different – machine tool rebuilding and trading. This love of machine tools first led me through decades of wealth and then through decades of technical and commercial success without the wealth. Ultimately the biggest downside was losing my independent capability to fund business growth in 1993

From the very beginning I was very successful at machine tool rebuilding and trading and was soon able to enjoy these benefits

  • We moved house frequently and enjoyed some beautiful homes. These and all below can be seen on
  • I travelled extensively, always in a hurry – the nature of the business – usually driving 40,000+ miles a year throughout Europe and the UK. I enjoyed a frequent changeover of very nice cars
  • I was able to support a sports life both at homes where we had swimming pools and tennis courts, and competitively, especially for Even at high level it was amateur, travel at your own cost. I was lucky enough to be able to help others, especially at the Amsterdam Sevens where we took three teams most years and had very enjoyable and successful trips
  • When playing rugby could no longer be a serious sport for me I was able to fund motorsport for my adrenaline rush, a real cost!

For me the joy is that this happened and grew while I was young. I was 50 when disaster hit me and I lost all my capital.

I was not great at choosing financial partners so the next 17 years of technical and commercial success did not benefit me as they should have. I don’t complain as I lost millions but don’t have the problems that so many do in today‘s world.

During my first 20 years in business I would not have believed the UK could be in the divided state it is now, so many people needing food banks and so many homeless. 30 years ago I predicted civil unrest, maybe war. Unless we are lucky enough to appoint an intelligent, ungreedy government soon I still predict it to happen

As you see my frustration is directed firmly at Government and Politicians and the bad job they do year in year out for us

Look at me on if you want to see more of my ranting. And if I read or hear something I want to share with you I will put it in OPINIONS. Please start with this – everyone should read this recent article by Niall Ferguson. If the government and unions read and re-read it maybe they will come to their senses – IF ONLY. Judge for yourself

The Age-Fit web designer is giving me a blog so I can get up on my pedestal and rant and rant. So get fit and fight me if you disagree

If you look at my business life summary below and take a look at some of the (RED) links I hope you will understand my frustration

History brochures

60 years have passed by in a moment. This is just my business life – a million memories, new ones every day! I’m working at it!
KENT MACHINERY & ENGINEERING COMPANY 1960 – 76 This is the family 3 man business I took to a UK and world top tier machine tool rebuilding and trading position in 13 years. A family dispute ruined my successful partnership with my father – very sad
EXETER MACHINE TOOLS GROUP (EMT) 1976 – 86 Despite owning 49% of the KENT shares I left KENT with £0. Business friends loaned me money and machine stock to start again and growth back to world top tier level was fast
EMT with S A MULLER MACHINES – TIMEX 1983 – 84 Successfully managed the biggest ever single purchase and sale of machine tools (2500+) under huge political, commercial, time and financial pressures. Muller Machines – best partners in the world
WICKMAN EXETER 1986 – 89 Wickman Bennett had lost its way. They bought EMT into the company to create external trading profits and reorganise WB sales. Profits made, internal politics prevented reorganising Wickman sales
WICKMAN BENNETT – dream, triumph, national disaster. 1989 – 92 UK no. 1, world renowned machine tool builder. I purchased 50%. Refocused the product range, improved sales and reorganised production. From loss back to£4m+ profits in 16 months – then……
WEBSTER & BENNETT – Coventry. Small with big ambitions 1993 – 99 With no possibility to save Wickman as a manufacturer in the UK, Muller and I targeted the Webster & Bennett product line as our machine tool manufacturing way forward. Great success, then..
TAJMAC-ZPS – Czech Republic’s no 1 machine tool builder 2000 – 02 A complete machine tool factory. 2000 employees in design, foundry, machine shops, assembly, installation, commissioning. Appointed MD – increased sales, reorganized production. Part success
WEBSTER & BENNETT INTERNATIONAL Warwick 2003 – 07 Politics in Czech Republic were hurting progress there. In UK the venture capitalists were destroying W&B. I bought the W&B wreck. In 4 years back to world class but not with my capital again
WICKMAN BENNETT – Coventry – just vertical turning 2008 – 10 3 years of huge success in Warwick I would not cooperate to move W&B to Belgium. The owners put W&B into administration. American customers transferred their machines to us to complete. We started the super Aeroturn range in a high potential cooperation with Spark China. For a while very good then bad. Politics again!!
EXETER MACHINE TOOLS – Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleighfit 2010 – 16 After all the disappointment of the stupidity of the closure of Warwick and politics in China Petr went back to Czech Republic and I only dealt with service work if it came my way. Age 67 my focus went onto my gym. I became the oldest student Level 4 Fitness Professional and enjoyed Stoneleighfit (fitness for all) and The Ram Run
VTT Stoneleigh Park and Sheffield. DESIGNS – DSK MACHINES (Korea) 2016 – 22 Petr came back to a very successful Millennium modernisation contract from Rolls-Royce Defence, Bristol. DSK a huge machine rebuilder in Korea was contracting to buy our designs and supply machines and parts to us. A sale to a Sheffield company saw us move there. Good business ruined by one sad and one horror story… 2023 VTT-WB Birmingham – we go forward in the pattern of the past 6 years – sales and all services for W&B machines
If you are interested to see more information, mainly photos and brochures, from these periods click on the number in the right column. Should it interest you enough to contact me please do so or