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Cammell Laird Chief Estimator Jim Clark celebrates 60 years’ service to maritime industry

posted on August 30, 2017 categories Corporate News

A senior manager at Cammell Laird has become one of the UK’s longest serving Chief Estimators after clocking up 60 years’ in the ship repair industry and delivering more than 11,000 projects.

Cammell Laird Chief Estimator Jim Clark, 76, has worked with world leading maritime brands from Blue Star Line to his current role at Cammell Laird.

Since his first job in 1962 he has delivered estimates for shiprepair projects worth circa £100billion in today’s currency.

His influence at Cammell Laird has also been credited for helping secure the biggest shipbuilding project in the UK for a generation – the £150million Sir David Attenborough polar research vessel – currently under construction at the site in Birkenhead.

Mr Clark celebrated the landmark achievement at a surprise party at Cammell Laird attended by friends, colleagues and senior members from across the UK maritime community.

Cammell Laird chief estimator Jim Clark with Cammell Laird chief executi...

Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret, pictured above with Jim, CBE said: “For the last 17 years Jim has been instrumental in helping revive the Cammell Laird brand and has also played a significant part in rebuilding the maritime industry here on Merseyside. Without Jim, other members of our team and the broader supply chain this would never have been achieved.


“There are immense complexities within the role of a Chief Estimator who essentially needs to prepare quotes at a lower cost than competitors, most likely within a shorter time period, while most importantly retaining a margin of profit. We are very fortunate to still have Jim driving our Estimations Department, without which, none of us would do any business. His involvement, not just today, but his entire history is remarkable and one which the whole industry should celebrate.


“The shipbuilding industry is world renowned for its unpredictability and turbulent nature, but despite this, throughout his 60 years’ of service Jim has only ever been out of work for a fortnight. That in itself shows the capability, dedication and commitment of Jim Clark. This is understood and recognised not just by the people in industry today but for generations before us.


“We have welcomed Sir David Attenborough to our site in recent times through our new-build polar research vessel contract. People describe Sir David Attenborough as a ‘national treasure’ and Jim Clark is our own ‘Cammell Laird treasure’. He is respected by all who have worked with him and we congratulate Jim on this outstanding achievement.”


Mr Clark started his career at Grayson Rollo & Clover in 1957 embarking on a five-year mechanical fitting apprenticeship. In his last year, due to his dedication and commitment, he was promoted to the ‘Drawing Office’ before relocating to the firm’s Sandhills branch, in Liverpool, to join the Estimating team. In 1962, Grayson Rollo & Clover were taken over by Cammell Laird Shiprepairers which saw a move back to Birkenhead before the company was renamed to Western Shiprepairers Ltd in 1963, running a total 12 drydocks during a busy and vibrant period for the industry.


In 1975, Jim was offered a Chief Estimators position at Blue Star Line, a role which he enjoyed for nine years before being offered a position at the firm’s head office in London. However, he chose to remain in Merseyside and join a young, vibrant company called Seaforth Welding in 1984.


After Seaforth Welding closed its doors in 1986 Jim moved back to Birkenhead and Wright & Beyer later acquired by Cammell Laird Group PLC, which sadly fell into administration following a down period for the company. Jim then took up a position at Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd where he has remained for the last 17 years as the firm re-emerged as Cammell Laird Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd.


Mr Clark said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed every step of the journey, and each and every company I have been involved with throughout my 60 years of work. The Maritime industry is my passion and I have been able to fully immerse myself in it ever since I was an apprentice. I continue to love my work at Cammell Laird, largely because of the fantastic team we have here.


“I have a strong affinity with Liverpool because of the qualities of trust and loyalty within its people. In Liverpool, your word is as strong as a bond. That has been my experience here at Cammell Laird and with all the companies and contractors I have worked with. In my many years in industry I have created a network of contacts across the world and cultivated productive, long-term relationships. I would like to thank all those people I have come into contact with for their friendship and I look forward to continuing my work at Cammell Laird and further serving this unique and compelling industry.”


Notes to editors


About Cammell Laird

Cammell Laird is one of the most famous names in British industry. The business is located on the River Mersey, in the Liverpool City Region, on the West Coast of England. It is in the centre of a marine cluster, with direct access to many support services. It has a 120-acre site with four dry docks, a large modular construction hall and extensive covered workshops. Cammell Laird specialises in military ship refit, commercial ship repair, upgrade and conversion and heavy fabrication and engineering. It deals with a wide variety of projects ranging from specialist offshore conversions and fabrication, commercial ship-repair through to the refit and upgrade of highly complex naval auxiliaries. It has also recently re-entered the ship-building market. The business is further active in the energy sector. It has become a hub of the offshore wind industry and it is offering its facilities and highly trained workforce of engineers for work in the civil nuclear sector and the offshore oil and gas sector.