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1:00am Jan 01

Norman Challinor

Ask Norman

Norman Challinor has been in the Rubber Industry for over 50 years. His wealth of knowledge in all things rubber is incredible and we would not be able to answer many of your questions without him.

Norman is a self-employed Polymer Consultant

J. Allcock & Sons Ltd., in partnership with Norman, have decided to offer a unique rubber FAQ service.

To contact Norman, with all things rubber related, please email:

 Message from Norman:

" I first got an interest in rubber when I was a pre-"O" Level schoolboy at Newton Heath Technical School, back in the mid 1950's. One of the tutors showed us how to dip a finger into rubber latex a few times and then dry it out to make a  rubber tube.

"O" levels taken, but no results yet and a certain tutor called Albert Crowther took a handful of us on one side and said, "have you got any job interviews lined up yet ?".  We hadn't, so he said leave it to me.

We all got interviews at five companies around Manchester – all of them Rubber Companies.

I picked Phillips Rubbers in Dantzig Street, started in about 1955, and the rest is history.

My first job, working in the laboratory, was to test every single consignment / lot, of all the rubber compounding ingredients they bought.  Some of this was sensible, some of it not so – eg  we bought Vanilla Extract– packed in a heat sealed, heavy duty, plastic bag, that was inside a metal can with the lid soldered in place, and the whole packed in a wooden crate.  It was clearly marked 100% pure, fit for human consumption, and I had to do a 300's mesh grit test on it, to make sure it was OK to use as a deodorant in our sponge insoles. Clearly being fit for human consumption meant it would be fit for a rubber compound!

However, after almost two years, I was finally allowed to reject something - -  a small pallet of "Red Tube Reclaim", which I said was "off shade" i.e. the wrong colour (slightly).  This had been supplied by J. Allcock & Sons Ltd, and (day of days) I was allowed to visit them to explain the problem.  I had a bit of a look round and thought, "This seems a nice place, I wouldn't mind working here sometime".  Small world.