I got a lovely surprise in an email from Pan at Home Guard Double Glazing last week – a copy of an old press cutting from FGI magazine (anyone who’s been in the industry for as long as me will of course remember the long lamented Flat Glass International) headed up ‘Fitting the window market’.
It was an article on Mila from 1991 featuring an interview with my late father Ray Gyde, who was the MD at that point; and it provided a really interesting snapshot not just of Mila but of the wider industry from 30 years ago.
It traces Mila’s story from 1979, when Ray was first approached at Interbuild to launch Mila in the UK, up to the point when we had just begun work on the 600m2 warehouse we now occupy in Daventry.
While the scale of things here is obviously massively different now, what’s interesting is how Mila’s strategy has remained essentially the same.
Ray is quoted as saying
“I am proud to think that because we scoured Europe for the best quality products at the best prices and because we set up our own new product development programme to provide other hardware, we have played a significant and profitable part in the development of the industry in the UK.”
1991 was actually the point when Mila was really accelerating our in-house design programme and, in Ray’s words, ‘identifying needs not being met by manufacturers, including high security door locks, new hinges, espagnolettes, ventilators and handles.’ I know for sure that he would be immensely proud of how Mila’s own branded products have since become a byword for quality and durability in this industry.
He’d also be pleased to see that his prediction that Mila would slowly crack the new build market ‘overcoming the easy option of cheap softwood, cheap double glazing and cheap fittings’ would eventually come true.
I’m still not 100% sure why Home Guard have been keeping copies of trade mags for 30 years – but, given that I even got my own name check as one of the ‘second generation now moving into the industry’, I’m very pleased they did. Thanks Pan!