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The kindle version of George Fleming, "faithful servant" does not contain illustrations that can be seen in the paperback version. For the convenience of kindle purchasers, therefore, CLICK to see pictures & graphics.
Extract from Chapter/Book 1: Nearly all long distance travel in those days was by train and during that journey I recall sitting in a carriage with my mother, possibly in Basingstoke station, surrounded by British ‘Tommies’ (soldiers) eating sandwiches. Whistles were being blown, with shouts of “mind the doors”, the train was leaving the station. But where was my father?! He had got off the train for some reason and had not yet rejoined us. Major puffing noises and spinning of wheels from the steam engine at the front of the train, violent jerks of our carriage! Panic, we were going to leave without him! Heads out of the carriage window, there he was, running along the platform to where someone was holding a door open for him and within two ticks he was back with us.
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WHY THE BOOK? - As newly appointed replacement Construction Director PMC for a $1bn oil refinery mega-project in S.E. Asia, I arrived on site to find that construction was little more than 50% complete and only 12 months remained in which the main EPC contractor, a major international engineering & construction company, had to complete the project.
A PMC (Project Management Contractor) has several key responsibilities, one being to closely monitor the main contractor’s planning and progress, persuading him when necessary to increase resources in order to complete on schedule, at the same time reporting any problems to client. We duly launched an investigation to determine the amounts of work outstanding in the various disciplines, the rates at which progress would have to be achieved, the man-hours that would need to be liquidated and the manpower levels that would be required to complete on schedule.
We found that the work force, comprising a multitude of sub-contractors, needed increasing substantially. We duly informed all parties and issued S-curves/histograms to back up our findings.
Thereafter we carried out reviews at regular intervals, updating and reissuing the graphics to show where progress was falling behind targets and where manpower levels were not sufficient to recover the time thereby being lost. Unfortunately, the result of our efforts amounted to polite disbelief on the main contractor’s part, assurances that his planning system was adequate, and promises that the end date would be met. We kept up the pressure and even resorted to screening and regularly updating an animated S-curve in our office foyer, with the actual overall progress curve ‘flashing’ as it diverged from the target curve. It caused great interest, but minimal action! In an effort to bring pressure from above we conducted a slide show presentation for the Owner’s main board directors, pointing up the dangerous trend, but they did not react either. Eventually the manpower numbers started to creep up and we reached 7000 at peak, but it was too little, too late and the project overran schedule by in excess of 2 months, at a cost to both the main contractor and owner running into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The town of Windsor, in the county of Berkshire, England has been very much in the news of late, worldwide, due to a certain Royal Wedding!
Windsor originally was not the nicest of places to live, in spite of its beautiful setting on the river Thames and the magnificent castle in its midst, but in the 19th century improvements began to take place.
This book tells the stories of several of the towns families, whose members made things happen, led by a creative and not always insane King George III. Read about the Tebbotts, the Cleaves, the Goulds and the Flemings, their achievements, their trials and their tribulations.