To the Engineers of Britain

As greater pressure grows to join the EC monetary group’ we as an iron foundry ( ) suffer. People such as Lord Hanson rightly say that ‘Germany, at the height of the Deutche Mark’s rise, were still able to sell more Mercedes than ever before’. Why? They had the quality, the faith and the determination. They went out to sell their products. We in Britain have the quality advantage over the other Europeans who are tied to metrication. Millimetres and microns are good, but what are the metric equivalents to the good old British measurements of smidgin, cock hair or gnat’s knacker, these are immeasurable in foreign climes and provide exact fits.

To ensure these ultra fine tolerances, one could remove a tad, a touch, a whisper, or a whisker to give a fit beyond question. You could tickle it or freeten it for that immaculate finish. Dependent on how close to the finished dimensions you can remove a huggin to get there quick or just a shade when things are getting close.

As for tolerances, why stick to boring standard plus or minus; when after removing a smidgin or a tad you can end up with a perfect piece within unbelievable accuracies. Such manufactured components are held above normal products and are described as being, the dog’s bollocks, bee’s knees, dead right or just plain spot on. Again, where is the Brussels’s paperwork to describe this craftsmanship?

Moving on further, to be restricted by set tolerances in certain areas can actually raise the costs of items unnecessarily. When a product is said to be near enough or it’ll do a true cost saving has been made without loss of efficiency or looks of the product. Such phases, straight as a die, tight as a ducks arse, smooth as a baby’s bottom or flat as a pancake describe work beyond mere measurements. It is to be noted here that when the French try to get something akin to a pancake they end up with something, which is crepe.

Instruments may measure quality, however, the trained engineer can add his experience to comments on quality, which are bound to improve the operator’s performance. Miles out, bent as a dog’s hind leg, gap as wide as a barn door or bordering on pathetic all give a valid and constructive appraisal of work done and its accuracy or inaccuracy. This continual teaching is supported by phrases such as you daft apeth, useless git and would you buy it? . The last phrase being, the ultimate question to be asked of any manufacturer, to ascertain the finished quality of his product.

So now we have proven that British production techniques and practices are far beyond those of the rest of Europe, it is time to forget about the high pound and concentrate on spending time and money on selling quality British products abroad.

Nigel Downs