A gift from one successful engineer to another – The history of the tool box!

Wickman’s winner of ‘Young Apprentice of the year 2013’, Alan Hands, is ecstatic to be selected as the receiver of a tool box owned by a very successful Engineer of the mid 20th century.

Mr Ronald D Patrick, aged 85, has asked Alan to be the new owner of his tool collection of over 60 years! Ron started his engineering career aged 20, at a company in Coventry called King’s engineering. In 1956, Ron moved to work at another company in Coventry called W.E Jones (Engineering), owned by Mr Walter Edward Jones.  W. E. Jones (Engineering) was a Press Tools manufacturing company with a special purpose machine division. He stayed there throughout his whole working life, retiring as ‘Technical Director’ on August 20th 1990.

Ron spent many happy years at W. E. Jones, building up his tool collection and working his way up the career ladder, from a ‘Fitter’ in the early days, to ‘Works Manager’, then ‘Production Manager’ he had over 250 Engineers working for him. He formed a very strong working relationship with a gentleman called Keith William Marshall; together they were given many opportunities to build special works machines for different companies. They explained how different it was back then compared to now, as when they started as engineers all they were given to work from was a drawing and a box of steel.

Although Keith decided to move onto a company called Systematic drilling in 1969, his friendship with Ron never altered and they both continued to succeed within their engineering careers. Today, they stand side by side; Ron aged 85 and Keith 75 reminiscing over all the years and experiences that make up the history of Ron’s collection of tools.

The toolbox itself, was handmade by Ron’s Father-in-law in the 1950’s and Ron explained that he wanted to find someone who will continue to use his collection of tools and look after them the same way that he has throughout his life.

So as the sun sets on the successful career of one engineer, it rises on another. Alan says he will continue to grow the collection, and in 60 years time hopes that he will be able to pass on the gift and make another young engineer as happy as Ron has made him.  

Alan & Ron







Alan Hands receiving the ‘Tool Box Gift’ from Ron Patrick