The proud staff of Strix’s Ramsey factory been praised for their contribution to the company’s standing as the world leader in kettle safety controls.

Thirty nine people work at the plant tucked away on the town’s Gladstone Park Industrial estate, Ramsey.

Bosses were determined that the 30th anniversary of the factory should be marked by a celebration which boiled over in joy and smiles.

And among the guests was Mike Bradshaw, the first manager of the factory when it was opened in July, 1989. He flew over from his home in York to meet up with old work pals and to give the thumbs-up to the business.

One of the three members of staff who received long service awards, Mike Hendrickson, delivered an impromptu emotional address to the audience saying he was overwhelmed by the gesture.

Current chief executive Mark Bartlett welcomed guests who included the Chief Minister Howard Quayle, Treasury Minister Alf Cannan and local MHKs.

He said: ’Today we are here to celelebrate all the achievements over the last 30 years in Ramsey.’

Mr Bartlett, who has been with the company for 13 years, told how the origins of the company went back to the 1950s whenEric Taylor set up Castletown Thermostats.

In 1982 Strix was formed by its founder John Taylor, son of Eric Taylor. He was later joined by the late Eddie Davies to ’build what we have now, a pretty incredible company.’

He added that when the Ramsey site was first developed ’it was a top secret place, nobody was allowed here. When I joined the company as sales director I wasn’t actually allowed to come to Ramsey in the early years.

’Things have changed over time, but still it is a bit of a hidden gem, I think it is fair to say.

’And a lot of our investors are starting to see that as well.’

Mr Bartlett explained that around the world more than 40% of kettles have a Strix safety control in them and they are used over a billion times a day.

Last year 200 million kettles were sold but in fact globally only one in three people have an electric kettle in their house ’so the good news is there is still plenty of room for growth’, he said.

In 2005 Strix was bought by a private equity company which held it until the business was listed on the AIM (Alternative Investment Market) in August 2017.

Going on to AIM had opened up a new chapter for Strix, Mr Bartlett said.

He added the Isle of Man was an ’excellent home’ for Strix.

Mr Bartlett praised factory boss Sid Bolton and his committed team of employees.

’Without doubt the thing that makes Strix special is the people that work within the business.’

He said the Ramsey factory runs 24 hours a day, on a three shift system, five days a week, with a workforce of 39 people.

The average age of the workforce at Ramsey is 44 years old and the average length of service is more than 12 years. The company also constantly used the government apprenticeship scheme to bring in new blood.

And he said that ’since 2010 we have actually built 3.5 billion parts out of this facility’.

’We actually make 35 parts every second.’