30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, October 23, 1981.

FALLING orders during the recession and increased competition are blamed for the shock closure of Horsham electronic specialists Telomex Ltd – with the loss of 49 jobs.

The company, which specialises in electronic calibrating and weighing machines, will shut down its Brighton Road operations at the end of November.

The news comes just one week after the Park View Laundry in Horsham announced 36 job losses, and it is the biggest single closure in Horsham since the recession began.

Many other firms have been shedding staff, but until now not in such large numbers and without closures. However, some Crawley factories have been getting rid of workers in larger numbers.

The shock news was given to the Telomex workforce by Neil Gardner, of GEC-Avery the parent group.

He said that until the early part of this year the Telomex organisations received sufficient orders to enable the Horsham factory, at Brighton Road, to operate on a continuous steady basis.

Mr Gardner, who is managing director of the Avery Weighing and Testing Group, said: “It was clear then, however, that orders would become much more difficult to secure as competitors introduced second generation micro-processor check-weighers at very competitive prices.”

A search was made for complementary products which could be manufactured at Horsham. But to date nothing suitable had been found and the order input had been further hit by the continuing recession.

THERE were 1,372 people looking for work in the Horsham area this week – and that figure does not include the new Telomex closure.

The total included 729 men, 317 women, 215 on the professional and executive register and 111 school leavers.

The number of men registered at Horsham Jobcentre had actually dropped by 40 to a new level of 729, said manager Norman Haines. But the Telomex losses would change that picture soon.

Biggest area of worry is among school leavers. District careers officer Margaret Arni said that there had been an improvement, but there were still 111 registered with the office.

Of these 81 were school leavers without work and 30 job changers. At the beginning of September the total had been 211 at one stage.

In addition there are 61 youngsters on youth experience schemes, nine doing short training courses and another six on community service projects run by the county council.

Figures for West Sussex for early October show a total of 17,016 unemployed, a drop of 361.

FOR THE third time this year, the weather has wreaked havoc in the Horsham area.

But, ringing the changes, instead of widespread flooding, it was a sudden ‘mini cyclone’ which struck on Tuesday.

Trees were blown down by the score, affecting power and telephone lines, many roads were either totally or partially blocked, and trains were delayed.

But, somehow, despite the fact that it was the rush-hour when the storm struck, no-one was seriously injured.

Among the luckiest to escape were milkman Peter Puttock, whose float was surrounded by power lines brought down by a falling tree at Mannings Heath and mothers and children using a footpath between Oakhill Road and Clarence Road, Horsham, where two large branches came down almost simultaneously at a time when the youngsters were on their way to school.

Horsham Police Station staff logged more than 25 calls for help in less than three quarters of an hour.