Finley family present Hitachi podgers

The Finley family which is constructing the steel for Newton Aycliffe’s iconic train-building factory presented key people with special mementos during a steel ceremony.

The Japanese firm hosted a special steel ceremony on site to celebrate a large bulk of the steel going up.

Managing Director John Finley watched on, a very proud man, as his daughter Julie addressed guests with a touching speech, before her daughter, seven-year-old Grace, presented commemorative podgers – specialist spanners used in the construction industry – to mark the occasion.

Grace presented the podgers on behalf of developers Merchant Place Developments to MP Phil Wilson, Hitachi Rail Europe’s managing director Keith Jordan, Shepherd Construction’s regional managing director Andrew Constantine and her Mum, Julie.

Julie said: “This represents a lot of hard work from John and Val, my Mam and Dad.

“I remember years ago when I was a child, our Sunday afternoon drive always involved looking at various sites, looking at where his next job was going to be.

“We didn’t appreciate it then, but this just makes it all worthwhile.

“It’s huge for the area. There was a lot of empty factory space on Aycliffe Business Park, but now there’s very, very little left.

“So it just shows how much potential this project can bring to the park.”

Hitachi Rail Europe Managing Director Keith Jordan was impressed to see three generations of the Finley family present at last week’s steel ceremony.

“Finley Structures being local, within a mile of this facility, it couldn’t be better than that,” he added.

“It’s quite a big contract that they’ve won and to have a local company that has been here for a long time, three generations, and to see the young daughter make those presentations was very good – and we hope she’ll become one of our first apprentices!”

● Pic: Grace presents podgers on behalf of developers Merchant Place Developments to MP Phil Wilson, Hitachi Rail Europe’s Managing Director Keith Jordan, Shepherd Construction’s Regional Managing Director Andrew Constantine and her Mum, Julie.

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