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Allgood Technology Ltd. 1 Horton Court, Hortonwood 50, Telford, TF1 7GY, Shropshire, UK.

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Heroes, Friends & Inspirations


You don't normally see a page like this in a corporate website - but then, we are a company who likes to be a little different.


I'd like to share with you some of my heroes - the people, products, designs and things that have helped or inspired me down the years in one way or another. By definition, this page is highly personal and you'll probably wonder why some things are included but how many times has a chance remark from someone took you off in a direction you never could have imagined?


Perhaps something here might do that for you - we are all shaped by chances.


Aviators Network LogoIf you are into General Aviation, check this one out for weather info, aviation matters, the Flyer mailing list and loads of other aircraft stuff. Avnet provide Internet services as well.



Randem Associates LogoJust what it says on the logo.........We met Randem Associates in 1995 and their help and advice has been invaluable. Jolly decent chaps! Also aviation people (Tobago and Cub).



Telford SignOur home. Telford was the birthplace of the first industrial revolution in 1709 when it was discovered how to smelt iron using coal. So many things were built here for the first time - the first steam locomotive, first iron rails, first iron framed buildings, boats and of course the first Iron bridge - still standing in the beautiful Severn Gorge. The Ironbridge area is designated a United Nations World Heritage Site in recognition of the importance of the discoveries made here - which puts it on a comparable footing with the pyramids.


Kodak LogoNeed no introduction. I love Kodachrome, still the finest colour slide film. Lovely site.



EPSON Printers Lost track of how many Epson we have had - they just get better and better, we print our flyers on it. A bit pricey for the special paper but the (very) near photographic printing is incredible.


Hewlett Packard True design classics - I have bought a HP12C recently just to experience RPN again. I started my computer career on a HP2000 mini belonging to the Open University via a 110-baud dial up link. Those of you who don't remember Teletypes should count your blessings now...(ditto slide rules - anybody use a slide rule these days? Anyone still GOT one?). We have a HP DeskJet and use Colorado tape backup and in my earlier career at BT I loved their test gear. Inspiration to us as they started out in a garage too (as did Apple).


Other heroes and design classics (if you know any associated web sites, we'd be glad to include a link).


Cars: I’ve been thinking about this. What makes a classic? We all know one when we see one but what makes one in the first place? Well I reckon that true classics - in any field - are usually the work of a individual and never the work of committees. You can't set out to design a classic - but still the bean counters keep trying: Think of the original Austin Mini. Designed by Alec Issigonis as a personal response to the invasion of cheap bubble cars from the continent. Front suspension prototyped in Meccano for goodness sake! Or the VW Beetle (inspired by one Mr A Hitler) - both imperfect designs but classics. Now the accountants want an up to date version and so engage committee after committee to come up with an instant classic - or not. Ford did it with the XR2 - the original was cobbled together by a team of true enthusiasts from parts bin parts and went down a storm. The Mk 2 , no doubt the work of a committee and a focus group or two was heavier and uglier. VW had the mk 1 Gold designed by Guigiaro but thought they could do better themselves son the mk 2. Now we have a car that has grown bigger, heavier and slower since its release - a fact that even VW seemed to have noticed as the Mk1 features in their own advertising for the most recent model!


Sadly my own favourite make, Alfa Romeo have gone the same way - they hire two geniuses (Rudolf Hruschka, ex Porsche and Giorgetto Guigiaro for the bodywork) to design their Alfa Sud - arguably the best handling car of the 70's to design them out of mess by styling the Alfetta GTV and Alfasud


I also admired Colin Chapman and his classic Lotus philosophy - "simplicating and adding lightness" - resulting in sometimes fragile creations but so right - I came very close to owning a Europa once and might do it yet. Similarly, the Citroen 2CV, VW Beetle and Porsche 911 are all design classics - my own very favourite, the Alfa Romeo AlfaSud car - a single engineer's vision again - why else would a small family car have a flat four engine with race bred inboard disc brakes - a car designed by an engineer with scant regard to fashion. And what about Clive Sinclair? A Genius - I built the Cambridge calculator (first child at school with a calculator as a result!), the Black Watch (Still got both AND they still work!) and the MK14 MPU trainer.


I love books and have a very wide taste - notables: anything by Richard Bach (especially "A gift of wings"), Nevil Shute, Ian Fleming (we have tended to forget just how good the man was in creating vivid descriptions of scenes - go and have a read). Enid Blyton (politically incorrect they say but anyone who can make a youngster trade Easter eggs in favour of more books has to have something…….)


What else? Nikon Cameras (esp. The F2) - I have a Nikkormat FT3 over 20 years old and still goes like clockwork (which I suppose it is) and an F801. Not so keen on the newer ones with plastic bodies - cameras need to be Brass so that the edges wear off and acquire that patina of age. Still on cameras, Leica M series are classics too - and they did invent the format anyway. Alfa Romeo cars (especially the Alfasud - I had 3 culminating in a much modified '83 Sprint Veloce with Sprintex supercharger and water/methanol injection). Lancia Cars - the Fulvia with its narrow V4 and the lovely Beta Monte Carlo. And on Italians, you have to admire the hugely influential Industrial Designer, Giorgetto Guigiaro of ItalDesign and indeed Italians in general for their sheer style.


Optics by Carl Zeiss - excellent though Japanese optics are, you just have to have German lenses - I have owned a Rollei 35mm compact (when they were still German) and am currently collecting MINOX sub-miniatures - I have a B and an EC. Also bought a Yashica T5 compact with a Zeiss T* Tessar lens - superb!


Fred Dibnah the steeplejack from Bolton ( I have good friends in Lancashire - fine engineers all of them.) - did you know that the cotton industry was successful up in Lancashire because it is so damp and the moisture helps the cotton fibres stay flat while spinning?


Terry's Anglepoise lamps (and Terry clips).


Guns, well non-PC or not, I like shooting - although never at anything living! Particular favourites: The Walther P38 and of course the PPK - derived from the PP, the first DA automatic, I shoot clay pigeons and aspire to the Beretta 303 (Italian again!). A Remington 1100 would be nice - a classic gas-auto design. Cherished a memory of a day many years ago shooting a 357 Magnum, now of course we can't be trusted. Recently bought into the Brocock system, its the nearest we can get to full bore and bought as much for its engineering as anything else.


Richard Noble for Thrust2 and ThrustSSC - a thoroughly decent chap. Tom Peters for many management principles that are so blindingly obvious that you wonder why they aren't universal. American "can-do" business attitudes. Going back a bit I would have to include Brunel, Watt, Murdoch and Boulton.




Many have commented on this page and I have to say that it comes straight from the heart. I believe in the intrinsic beauty of good design, that form follows function not airy fairy swoopy injection mouldings housing indifferent works. Why I like something is so personal and sometimes completely irrational - I find that I cannot for instance ever consider owning a Japanese car (excellent though some are) but I covet the Nikon F2 or Olympus OM4Ti, on the other hand I don't like German cars - too cool (in the passion sense) too damned efficient and soul-less (OK I know the 911 isn't!) yet I admire German precision engineering in cameras and guns. Strange but that's me!


I'd like to end with a favourite piece of poetry by William Blake (writer of the famous hymn, "Jerusalem") - it could almost be the engineer's poem:


"To see a world in a grain of sand, a heaven in a wild flower.


Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour".



You may have your own classics, you may disagree with mine but engineering when it's done well is truly beautiful - whatever it is.