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Tony Watkins - Hero of Data Centre Cooling with 51 years service

Tony Watkins - Hero of Data Centre Cooling with 51 years service




Throughout Tony Watkins career he has been a hero of Data Centre Cooling, something that allows us to use technology like never before.

On 1st September 1970, Tony Watkins joined the UK company. Now, almost 51 years later he is leaving us and retiring.

The training room at the Hereford Head Office was named after Tony on his 50th anniversary.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Tony for his outstanding service and wish him a very happy retirement!

FläktGroup is celebrating his retirement this week, with donations from colleagues in the UK & throughout the world. With that, we are matching the contributions of our employees. Giving Tony a personalised cake, personalised Plaque for retiring and a presentation virtually and from our Hereford office

Our previous company names are Denco - Denco Miller -  Gea-DENCO - DencoHappel - Flaktwoods & now FlaktGroup following the successful merger in 2016.

Words from Tony

Today is my last day of work after nearly 51 Years with the company in its various historical forms and titles.

It has been a fantastic journey from my first day, at DENCO in Hereford England on 1st September 1970, until today.

The start of my journey was with “Denco Miller Limited” where I worked alongside the joint company founder Allan Miller on some of the very first “Computer room units”, and Refrigerated Compressed Air Dryers. This was also the year the original founder DENares COlam retired, so as you see I am part of the history, which does make me feel old but also very proud.

From a local perspective over this time I have worked with, I think, about 12 Managing Directors and somehow survived all changes and restructures.

As Einstein once said, “it is not to strive for success but only to be of use”

I have many memories that are and will continue to be long lasting.

It has been said that this length of service within one company is not that common.

My recipe for the longevity is my deep passion for the involvement in product designs, taking many forms with continuing evolving technologies, every single day presented me with a new challenge.

In my opinion, each and every product I have had the pleasure of being some part involved in, have been world beating if not in some cases pioneering.

This I believe is still the case to this day within FläktGroup, again it has been a pleasure to work alongside the brilliant professional engineers within FläktGroup.

I would like to make some special thanks for this week to;

  • All colleagues and the company, who have donated to my retirement collection, it is a very sizable sum of which I am eternally grateful.

Aidan Flannery for his kind words and retirement presentation yesterday, and also with an apology for having to do two speeches in a short period of time, with the 50 years presentation last September, Thank you Aidan and all of the people that attended in person and virtually.

Apologies for my garbled speech as it took me by complete surprise and as you saw I was not prepared.

  • Matthew Philo and Edita Szuketiova for additional reflection on their experiences whilst working with me, mostly good I think.
  • Nick Onyett & Matthew for organising all of the events and presents, that started on Monday and has only just finished with the presentation of a cake, which has all of the company names in the icing. This will save me time by not having to add all of these to this email.
  • My close colleagues in Dolphin House for a local collection towards a bottle of champagne. Yet to be opened.
  • Oliver Finckh and engineering team leaders for a prank that they played with me on Monday, where I remained completely professional in a very un- professional meeting.

This went on for 20 mins where I was surprisingly, completely oblivious to the “wind up” They did in fact have to tell me as I was completely fooled. Well done all!

I would like to thank all colleagues who have been involved in the many projects over the years and last but not least, thanks to the Executive board for Guidance and support especially in the participation of the accolades that have been bestowed on me in recent events.

I am in danger of just wittering on, so it just leaves me say I hope to see some of you sometime in the future.

I wish you all the best of Health, happiness and great success for the future.

Thanks for the memories

Bye for now


Tony Watkins   IEng, MIET, MinstR

Chief Engineer”