Frederick Frank Bird 1944-2007
1 February 2007, News release from Haldo Developments Limited
Fred, Technical Director of Haldo Developments Ltd, died Sunday, January 21 at West Suffolk Hospital after a short illness at the age of 62.
He was born and brought up in Birmingham and initially worked as a jeweller. However, it was on a trip to Suffolk to visit his in-laws that Fred fell in love with the quaint market town of Bury St Edmunds.
He re-located to Bury and initially worked for Moore Paragon before starting his own company with his father in-law, Bird & Hanson. This was a jobbing foundry and there began his connection with Haldo, casting the bases and light fittings.
In 1975 Haldo became the main source of income for the foundry and at this point they re-located to the Haldo site on Station Hill in Bury and at that time became Haldo Castings Ltd.
In 1989 Haldo Castings merged into Haldo Developments Ltd and Fred continued to run the foundry alongside the main works, it was in this year that the late Bruce Wildridge, founder of Haldo Developments passed away suddenly and Fred became Production Manager overseeing the whole factory.
In 1994 a significant milestone occurred when Haldo itself relocated to its current site - in fact the original site Fred first worked at when he came to Bury!
So it really was full circle for him -18 months after the initial re-location and work being completed on the building the foundry finally found its home, incorporated in the main factory, just as Fred and Bruce had wanted.
Fred moved on from being Production Manager in 1998 to Technical Manager as his role developed into that of more technical sales and support, plus product development.
He continued to oversee the factory all be it in a more advisory capacity for subsequent Production Managers. His well deserved elevation to technical director occurred in 2004 serving not only as a marker for his steadfast loyalty to this family company but also for his earned respect within the Street Lighting and Water industries that he worked with.
Fred's career at Haldo was as varied as the man himself! He was never afraid of a new challenge and embraced change with all his usual vigour.
He was involved in the ARTSM and was on the British Standards committee standardising BS8442. One of his greatest successes was the development of the Thames Water pillar, which has become an industry standard and has been adopted by numerous companies within the water industry and adapted for a variety of applications.
Outside work he was president of his local organ club. He also liked nothing more than to spend his weekends attending dances with his beloved wife Margaret and friends -they didn't call him Fred Astaire for nothing!
Planes too and a general fascination for all things astrological made for many interesting conversations.
Words cannot describe the sadness and shock at the loss of Fred. He was a warm, generous and genuine man and the void he has left will never be filled. His support over the years to all around him has been immeasurable.
Fred was respected and loved by all those that were lucky enough to have known him. He was one in a million and will be remembered for always having a joke for every single occasion (even if they were not always appropriate!)