Late last month, we said goodbye to John Vaughn, the longest standing member of the Gantrail team, as he took his well deserved retirement after more than 30 years with the business.
As if his 30+ years with Gantrail wasn’t impressive enough, John had in fact worked for the former owners of Gantrail since the tender age of 19. So retiring at 70, John is one of only a few people that will have seen some of the most significant changes to the industry during his 51 year long career.
“One of the most obvious changes I have witnessed is the role of technology. I remember back in the early days of Gantrail, working alone at a bench, fixing rubber noses to our clips. I kept diligent records of the products completed each week and can recall that in an average month I would have worked on 15,000 clips.”
John goes on to recall how he turned the production into a true family affair bringing his father in law in to assist him in the factory. And fittingly, as a family, is very much how John sees his entire career. It was back when John was only 16 years old and working as a coal man that a chance meeting brought him and George Molyneux into contact. George, at the time, ran a successful steelwork fabrication business that had a crane rail tracks division, and took John on to start work on 9th April 1968 as a Steel Errecting Radial Arm Driller. In 1990, John recalls sitting with Mr Molyneux in his Range Rover when he said “John I have another job for you”, referring to his recent purchase of Gantry Railing Limited. So in July 1990 John started his Gantrail career as Stores Supervisor, and remained a key member of the team right the way through to October this year. Mr Molyneux remained Chairman of Gantrail until his death in 2010, but John continued his career for as long as he could, as much out of a continued duty to Mr Molyneux as from his respect for his fellow team colleagues.
Having worked for 3 Managing Directors during his time with Gantrail, John has seen the business develop into a global success, and everyone at Gantrail respects the hard work John put in some 30 years ago to help set the foundations for its success.