One of the Brick Industry’s longest serving members, with over 50 years service, has been honoured at the 2011 Brick Awards, organised by the Brick Development Association.
David Armitage of York Handmade Brick joined the Industry in 1961 as an apprentice fitter with George Armitage & Sons.
He moved into sales in 1963, eventually becoming Sales Director and later Marketing Director when the business grew a £20m turnover.
After 27 years, the business was sold, so David decided to set up on his own and bought York Handmade Brick, based at Alne, near Easingwold, in 1988.
David recalls the significant changes he has seen throughout his time in the Brick Industry.
“The modernisation of the two factories at George Armitage & Sons combined with an upturn in trade in the 1970s and the first new modern factory at Swillington, changed the fortunes of the business. For the first time, bricks were handled by machine, improving quality and reducing waste, thereby increasing productivity and the value of our output”.
In the 1970s, David became involved with the Brick Development Association, firstly with the Publicity Committee and then as Chairman in 1994, a position he held for three years.
He continued: “Moving to York Handmade was a dramatic change for me, as I went from a mass market brick producer supplying large scale schemes, to a small niche supplier with a selective market”.
But York Handmade hasn’t stood still, continuing to invest in computer controlled kilns and state of the art machinery, enabling the company to compete with the best in terms of quality and capacity to a varied market.
David concluded: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my years in the Brick Industry, meeting some wonderful characters and the people I have worked with have been my abiding memory and the hallmark of my career”.