Thorney Precision to close in August

Patrick Rowe - founder of Thorney Precision

A high-tech Thorney engineering company is closing down in August after 33 years.

Thorney Precision, which is based at Bridge Works on The Causeway, will close on August 26.

Most of its 15 employees have been offered alternative employment at ABC Stainless in Empson Road, Peterborough.

Thorney Precision was started by local man, Patrick Rowe in 1983, with just a couple of machines and working out of rented premises at the Bedford Hall.

It grew over the years and moved into its current premises, formerly Fred Harlock’s workshops, in 1999.

Patrick built it into a thriving business with a turnover of £1.3 million and it now operates 15 computer-controlled precision machining units building precision parts. Customers include Cummins of Stamford and Fujifilm at Hemel Hempstead. For many years, the company supplied components to Pedigree Petfoods.

The machines are being sold to ABC and the premises will remain empty for a while, until Patrick decides what to do with the site.

“It has been a hard decision to close down, but I’m now 70 and I want to take it a little easier,” said Patrick. “My son has been running the business, but he wants to do different things, so we thought it best to close.

“I will be sad. Many employees have been with us for 30 years and we’ve all worked hard to make it a success, especially in the early years, when I was doing a seven-day week.

“A lot of people walk past here every day, but don’t realise what we do. The machines we have and the work we produce is world class.”

Patrick was born in Thorney at Knarr Fen Schoolhouse, where his grandfather had been headmaster. He served an apprenticeship at Baker Perkins and then moved to Newalls in Fletton and was manager of Complete Tool Service in Ivatt Way for eight years.

He lived on Topham Crescent with wife Margaret and two sons and, as the business expanded, they moved first to The Maltings and then to Bridge House. He moved to Old Hunstanton a few years ago.

Patrick is a keen antiques collector and, in his retirement, he’s planning to do some buying and selling.

“Who knows, I might event convert this place into an antiques warehouse,” he said.


  • Rodney Metters

    Sorry to hear about the closure of one of the best places I ever worked at. Always a very good atmosphere in the workshop.
    Rodney Metters

  • Gary Beecham

    I worked there for nearly 12 yrs,some of the best people i have ever worked with and its sad to see it close.We produced good quality work for various customers,plus the workshop banter always created quite a few laughs which always helped the day along.

  • serge lafore

    Je peux confirmer l’exellence de Patrick Rowe à qui j’avais acheté en 1966 son automobile Morgan.4/4
    En France aucun mécanicien n’avait entendu un moteur tourner aussi bien ,,c’est aussi la meilleure voiture que j’ai eu.alors que par ailleurs méprisée.
    J’aimerais retrouver son adresse pour le remercier encore.
    serge Lafore

  • Tony Sinclair

    Just heard this – so sorry to know such a great place is no more. I worked closely with Pat and the guys there for quite a few years, first at Bedford Hall and then at Bridge Works and it was always a pleasure to visit the workshop and look at the quality work being produced. I dont think I ever totally stumped Pat or his team with a job, and always got a top quality result at a reasonable price. As an Engineer myself it was great to know I was dealing with other Engineers who were on the same wavelength, and I regarded Pat as a friend as well as a supplier. I hope he is enjoying a long and happy retirement, and that I can bump into him one day when visiting North Norfolk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *