Much has changed since the start of the century. Thankfully, the trolleys Craven designed and built for the National Blood Service (now NHS Blood and Transplant) are still going strong.
In early 1999, the Euro was launched, but Britain chose to stick with sterling as unemployment fell to just over 1,300,000 – the lowest for 20 years. Fat Boy Slim battled with Steps for the Number One slot with Praise You and Tragedy respectively and Man Utd topped the Premiership followed by Arsenal, Chelsea and, erm, Leeds Utd. At that same point in time, the National Blood Service decided they needed a small bespoke trolley to transport processed blood components through their processing and issue site at Tooting.
Craven & Co were consulted to design, manufacture and supply the product. In consultation with the NBS, Craven designed a stainless steel, four-tier trolley with a stainless steel top and the capability to add foamex side panels. Meanwhile, one of Craven’s current Sales Administrators, Laura Wickenden, was 11 years old and looking forward to her final term at Junior School.
By June 1999, Baz Luhrman topped the charts with Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen), while Natasha Webster, another one of our Sales Administrators, tucked into jelly and ice cream at her 7th birthday. Balloon, anyone?
In August, following further consultation, production of a sample trolley and some slight amendments to the original design, the NBS placed an order with Craven. Mark Walsh, our current Purchasing Manager celebrated the order on the occasion of his 10th Anniversary working at Craven. He switched from Lager to Bitter that night as he resented paying £1.75 a pint.
By the end of September, the manufacturing run had been completed and 100 Bespoke Stainless Steel Trolleys were being dispatched to the NBS, over a two month period, just as Melissa Eggleston, one of our Sales Administrators turned 9 years old.
The world has changed a great deal since Craven manufactured those Trolleys back in 1999. The impact of the internet, 9/11 and its aftermath. Manchester is still on top, but City not United, and Leeds Utd are finally getting their act together after years in the wilderness.
Many of the artistes mentioned in this piece have moved on to celebrity reality shows and comeback tours. Laura, Natasha and Mel all finished school, started work at Craven and Laura and Mel became mothers.
Back to the future, 2015…
Some things haven’t changed , Mark Walsh has just received his 25 Year Long Service Award, He’s still grumbling about the price of a pint! And Craven STILL manufacture quality storage and handling equipment for the Healthcare and Catering sectors, in stainless steel with a range of quality, hard-wearing finishes.
The Trolleys we designed and built for the National Blood Service 16 years ago are STILL in use and look almost as good as new. They have cost our under pressure NHS less than 30p a week each. It’s a great story and it’s why you should let Craven make what you need for you, at our factory, here in Yorkshire.