Last updated: 9.40am, Tuesday 16th January 2018
Our resident Mick Titman is celebrating the 45th anniversary of his business - Titman Tools.
Mick launched Titman Tools in a back-street shed in Tottenham in 1973. He had spent more than 20 years working for engineering firms before deciding to go it alone.
Mick had met his future wife Lilian when they were working at Benjamin's Electrics, and married in 1947 when they were 23.
After Mick decided to set up Titman Tools in 1960, Lilian worked to pay the rent and bills, while he was in the shed working on new designs.
He later graduated to a lock-up garage and then a small factory. After moving to Clacton in 1976, the business became the largest manufacturing company of its type in the UK.
Mick, now 93, said: "I worked for an engineering company for 20 years, but it had no prospects and a very low wage."
"I got a lucky break at the next company and was promoted to foreman, then manager, and it said me on the path to setting up my own business. With the support of my wife Lil, I chose to leave in 1960. I couldn't think of a product that I could make that was not already on the market so I thought the best thing to do was improve the ones that were there and then mass produce them."
Mick retired and sold his firm in 1986, but it remains a hugely successful business in Valley Road.
He continued to live in Clacton until the death of Lilian last April and he now lives at our home where his daughter Sue visits him with his grandchildren. His son John sadly died in 1990, aged 38.
Mick added: "It's 45 years ago now, but I'm proud Titman Tools became the largest manufacturer of router cutter tools in the UK and possibly Europe."
"We introduced so many new and various shapes of tools and employed over 100 staff during the 1980s. It was challenging keeping a happy workforce and staying ahead of all the foreign imports, but we did it."