The new Carrington facility allowed for expansion into heavy engineering and construction activities, which meant significant growth into new markets and diversification of the Company’s already strong customer base.
Throughout this period, the broad-ranging capabilities of Varley were fostered, as new markets outside of ship repair were explored. Rail works, vehicle modification and metal fabrication became strong channels for revenue. Despite this, ship repair remained the major earner, with the new facility being right on the Port of Newcastle. Existing close relationships with the BHP, coupled with the prime location for maritime works, led to Varley servicing each of the BHP’s twenty four ships on a regular basis by the end of the 1960s. This affiliation remained the bedrock of Varley’s success for many years to come.
This period also saw the retirement of Jim Colgan, Varley’s longstanding manager and Company icon. Jim remained as financial director after this time, and was a key cog in the senior management team for years to come. This change saw the Clem Varley Snr step up to managing director of the Company in 1965, which he added to his existing position of chairman.
With Clem Snr’s ascension to managing director came a series of events that would lead to even more changes and expansion at Varley throughout the following years…
Stay tuned for more of the incredible Varley Story.