It?s perhaps not widely known that the Kelkay main manufacturing and logistics hub near Snaith in East Yorkshire is on the site of a WWII airfield which originally became operational in 1941 and from where 150 Squadron participated in Bomber Command until late 1942. 51 Squadron then moved in until the end of the war during which time a total of 57 Wellington Bombers and 148 Halifax aircraft were lost. A memorial garden is located on the site, close to the entrance to the Kelkay main reception building, which commemorates the 892 airmen who lost their lives on active duty.
So, when Kelkay invested earlier this year in a fleet of high performance fork lift trucks to streamline their material handing at the site, it seemed appropriate to give each of the new trucks badges naming them after WWII aircraft.
Barrie King, Logistics Manager said ?We wanted to give the operators a real sense of pride in their new forklifts as well as making it easy to identify them, so allocating WWII aircraft names seemed the obvious choice. It provides a poignant reminder of the history of the site here in Snaith and all those who bravely gave their lives.?
The Snaith air base was substantial, providing accommodation for 2,400 service personnel and some of the extensive buildings remain in use by the company. One of the main (type J) hangars now forms Kelkay?s main aggregate bagging and storage facility, whilst other wartime structures have been re-deployed for other uses. The main runway was bisected by the construction of the M62 in the early 1970s.
The new forklift trucks, which were supplied by Toyota Material Handling, have highly efficient and reliable industrial engines, counterbalance design and the unique SAS (System of Advanced Stability) to ensure driver comfort and safety. The new forklifts were handed over last month and are in full operation helping to manage the unprecedented demand Kelkay are enjoying for their new ranges since launching at GLEE in October.