- 1949 - 1954
- 1954 - 1970
- 1970 - 2009
- 2009 - Present
- Vernon Russon arrives from Manchester full of hope, little education and £160
- Stirling’s infancy in rented premises in Cuckoo Lane, Umbilo
- Land and building purchases in Balfour Road, Jacobs to accommodate growing business
- Matured business moves into new 4500 m² factory in Valley View Road, New Germany
- Stirling is restructured and moves to Clark Road, Westmead
The year, 2009 was a landmark for our business, a watershed, a time to remember things past, embrace history, and celebrate a future.
My father, Vernon Russon, had a vision when he came to Africa in the 1940’s, a dream to use his skills and training in metal fabrication and an ambition to realize these talents. Through hard work and commitment he developed his business, and built it up from humble origins, to a size demanding expansion. In 1970, together with skilled architects and builders, working with specialists in factory design and manufacturing processes, they built a ‘state of the art’ 4500 m² factory in Valley View Road, New Germany. These premises were able to accommodate the new presses imported from Germany, the plating, painting and assembling processes, and the technology to originate tools to meet their product range. Working with a committed workforce, Stirling manufactured toasters and geysers, and then moved into the vehicle accessory market, producing sunshields, roof racks and mirrors, whilst developing other products to meet market demands. Stirling Accessories, or Stirling Metal Products as it was known then, enjoyed the custom of both the Original Equipment and After Market sectors.
My father was competently assisted by his brother Dennis, and as a family we have enjoyed the loyalty of a number of employees who have worked with us for over 35 years.
Stirling was my father’s life - at the ripe age of 83 he was still actively involved! As a family, “Valley View” was also part of our lives for over 40 years. But times change! Product and market demand changes, process efficiencies get challenged, manufacturing technology changes, plastic content increases, and outsourcing becomes an input force. The need for factory reconfiguration became critical. The business had to evolve.
My sister and I were faced with a dilemma with my father’s death in 2009 - should we introduce the new efficiencies the business required, or succumb to the vestiges of old Stirling? With a loyalty to my father and what he stood for and a responsibility to our loyal employees, we decided to be the vanguards of Stirling’s resurrection!
In 2009, we purchased new premises in Clark Road in Westmead and, once again, with skilled architects, builders, manufacturing process technicians and advisors, the business was completely restructured. We adopted a green approach where possible - investing in the latest eco-friendly plating and effluent processes, embracing energy saving, taking advantage of outsourcing, and with these introductions and new efficiencies in product manufacture, Stirling Accessories has been brought kicking and screaming into the new century! With excitement and a hint of trepidation, 2010 saw us open our new factory doors, and the manufacturing processes gained momentum.
Stirling Accessories is synonymous with quality and value, endorsed with the SABS and ‘E’ Marks, and with an enviable position in the automotive industry.
At Stirling Accessories, we still strongly adhere to the foundations of my father’s ethics - an honest business, where our products are manufactured with integrity, by employees passionate about their work, supplying a loyal customer base who appreciates the quality and value we represent!
I know that my father would be proud of Diane and I, as his Stirling is revived and refreshed and still healthily in operation some 65 years on!