Celebrations at top rail supplier, Rowe Hankins, marking 25 years in business, have been tinged with sadness following the death of one of the founding partners, Roger Rowe (77).
Roger Rowe trained at Brighton College and saw service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). A practical engineer with problem solving skills he had a passion for all aspects of engineering product development.
After a spell in the nuclear industry, he joined the world renowned engineers Lintots where he ran the apprentice training programme.
In a career move in the early 80s Roger became a regional sales manager for Electromatch, a small electrical components distributor which is where Toni Hankins and he first met.
Roger and Toni Hankins established Rowe Hankins Components Limited in 1986.
Initially a supplier of high integrity circuit breakers for the rail industry, the company has grown from just three people in a small industrial unit to a team of over 60 working on a dedicated site with design and development, manufacturing and warehousing facilities.
Roger designed and developed the first AC Earth Leakage Unit for the company.
This continues to be manufactured and sold by the company and was the foundation on which manufacturing and re-manufacturing activity developed.
Says Toni Hankins, “Everyone who ever met Roger had respect for his common sense approach to every problem. He was a practical engineer. I greatly appreciated his experience and wise council at the time we started the business.”