We have reached another milestone this year with Orchid’s 25th Anniversary!
Here are a few musings on our journey so far…
In some ways, it seems like no time at all since we were sat in the Rose and Crown discussing whether we should set up our own Technical Publications business. It was early 1996 and the three would-be directors all worked for a Tech Pubs company that was closing their Hertfordshire office and re-locating to the Midlands – so it was either relocate or take that brave leap in to the unknown. We leapt – and a few months later we had rented an office, bought some second-hand desks, acquired a domain name, purchased an Apple Mac and installed one phone line. It was exciting and nerve wracking times but we were up and running! The nerves weren’t helped knowing that my wife was pregnant with our eldest and about to stop work.
Our first significant project was for John Brown Engineers and Constructors in Sheffield, writing and updating the user documentation for their SCOPE and ENGINES engineering design and project management software. This project gave us that essential burst of momentum to enable us to take on our first employees and buy some office furniture. I remember one of the best days was delivering a project and then calling in to the Audi garage to collect a company car – the first ever car I had purchased from a dealership.
Since those early days there have been many notable projects. I particularly recall producing computer based training for the Atomic Weapons Establishment, visiting Tunisia to write manuals for the Hannibal Gas Plant, visiting numerous cruise ships in the final stages of construction in yards in the UK, Italy and Gibraltar. There have been so many more and I note, with I must admit a little pride, that we are now on Job Number J7250 – so that is 2250 projects delivered.
Over the years the company has shown its resilience by weathering two recessions and a pandemic. I thank our dedicated staff and, of course, our clients, and look forward to the next 25 years!
Keith Glanville, MD