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Life in plastic is fantastic for Dereham firm

08:00 26 February 2014

At Henderson Plastics are company director Terry Henderson and machine operator Tony Hill. Picture: Ian Burt

At Henderson Plastics are company director Terry Henderson and machine operator Tony Hill. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

Terry Henderson’s simple idea of a pig feeding trough that would not rot led to the launch of a family business that today employs 15 people.

Two of those staff have been added in recent weeks as a major new order for a Swedish company signals a strengthening economic position for Henderson Plastics.

The £40,000 order is for four 15,000 litre tanks to be used as part of an industrial machining process filtering hydraulic cutting oil. The first one left the firm’s factory in Lyng Hall Road, Wood Norton, near Dereham, last week.

Mr Henderson said: “We are using a new plastic construction panel to manufacture what are the largest rectangular tanks we have ever made.

“The panel offers resistance against a large range of chemicals and its unique design offers greater stiffness over conventional plastic sheet.”

He said the idea for his enterprise came to him when he was running a small business selling animal health products to farmers.

“It became clear there was a need for equipment such as feeding troughs that did not rot when in with the pigs and plastic was the solution,” he said.

After going on a plastics welding course he launched his firm in 1990 and after starting on his own employed his first member of staff within weeks.

He said: “We are still making feeding troughs to this day but continued to develop new products for the livestick market such as pig pens and gates.”

In recent years they had diversified further to make other products such as fuel and water tanks, air filtration units - and even a moth trap for one customer who distributed them around the world.

Mr Henderson, whose wife Sandra works in accounts and son Max, 20 is “learning the ropes” as a welder, said: “We are still a small company but our turnover has grown to £650,000.”

And his first employee, John Springett, is still proud to be part of the success story at the age of 72.

Is your family business going from strength to strength? Email stephen.pullinger@archant.co.uk

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