Engineering’s in family’s blood

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Exciting times . . . Oamaru couple Ross Hayes and his wife Ailsa are excited to be the managers of Oamaru's newest engineering firm Anvil Engineers. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Anvil Engineers – Oamaru’s newest engineering firm – is something of a family affair.

Located in Pukeuri Rd on the outskirts of town, the business had its official opening last month.

Owned by Oamaru man Andrew Hayes, who also runs an accounting firm, the business is managed by his son and daughter-in-law, Ross and Alisa Hayes.

Ross Hayes said a “huge” amount of work had been put in by his father to get the business up and running.

“The time that my father has put into this business is just phenomenal – it absolutely astounds me how he’s managed to keep his other business going,” he said.

They had been very busy since opening.

“I’ve spent half the time out on sites since we opened the doors, which makes it a challenge to get anything done here,” he said.

“In all honesty, it’s going to be a busy time and I don’t think I would succeed if I didn’t have Alisa in the office.”

Mr Hayes, who is a fifth generation engineer, and had been in the trade for 22 years, said he always had a knack for fixing things.

As a young boy he would often pull his toys to bits and put them back together just for fun.

Mr Hayes came from a family of engineers and it was his late grandfather Clive Hayes who had been a “huge” mentor for him.

A special moment for Mr Hayes came soon after installing his grandfather’s old workbench.

“I opened up the workbench and the smell of his workshop just came out,” he said.

There were several other small nods to his grandfather throughout the workshop.

One such homage was the name of the company’s work vehicle “Lofty” – the nickname given to his grandfather.

Mr Hayes believed both his grandfather and grandmother would be thrilled to see the business if they were still around today.

“If they saw this place they’d be over the moon,” he said.

“They would’ve been here with bells on. Grandma would be bringing pikelets every second day.”