top of page
  • Writer's pictureAye Media

From Humble Beginnings

In 1965 Pink Floyd formed, the Porsche 911 first appeared in car showrooms and Stanley James Mowat Govan’s daughter Lesley was born.

With national service for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps behind him and several years’ experience with Mavor and Coulson under his belt, engineer Stan (pictured right) felt ready for a challenge in his professional life too. He joined forces with his uncle and fellow engineer Joe Kee, at Clyde Associated Engineers Ltd (CAE). Matt Gregg then joined and the trio set to work supplying high quality pump and mixing equipment to industry.

Stanley’s daughter Lesley Cardiff remembers visiting the CAE offices on Drymen Road in Bearsden. A real family outfit, she would often stop in on her way home from school in the late 70’s /early 80’s – and find herself helping with filing and general tidying of paperwork. She recalls Stan’s dedication, “He would come home with files and folders and continue working at night. He had a true engineer’s mindset, remembered every detail and I always remember being amazed at how fast his brain worked”.

Lesley didn’t just inherit her father’s work ethic but also his love of numbers. Working for the bank for several years after leaving school, when a vacancy arose in the accounts department at CAE in 1984 it seemed like the logical next step in her career.

Lesley (pictured on the right), now CAE’s Finance Director, continues, “I was always keen on numbers and in hindsight, I’d have loved to have gone down the engineering route, but in those days, women were encouraged to focus on subjects like secretarial studies and languages rather than sciences. Thankfully that has all changed now and being an engineer is of course a terrific career choice for a woman.

“My father (pictured left) ‘retired’ in 2002 - although he liked to pop into the office most weeks to make sure everything was running smoothly! It was around that time that we moved to our current location in Beardmore Way and shortly after bought over Sutherland Engineers and Fabricators.

“Overnight we went from 15 employees to more than 40, and we’ve continued to grow, recently bringing in a team of experienced systems and calibration engineers. We now provide full turnkey solutions for all fluid handling requirements, from equipment specification, installation, commissioning, control and maintenance/calibration of pumps, pipework vessels and control equipment.

“My role is very varied; I deal with insurances, HR and change implementation as well as management of the Company finances. I am joined by fellow Directors in the management of the business namely Douglas McKerracher Sales Director since 1996, Adam Kelso as Engineering Director since 2011 and Simon McLeod Control Systems & Calibration Director a Director since 2011. We have a great Management team in place with Alan Mathieson, Daryn Whyte, being the younger guns and Graeme McDermott and Bobby Rodger managing the controls team too. Succession planning is very important to us, and the teams we have are very much part of our strategy.

Sadly, Stanley, who passed away in 2017, didn’t live to see a third generation of his family enter the business - grandson Lyall has joined CAE as a Service Engineer. Nevertheless Lesley finds comfort in the business legacy left by her talented father.

She said “From humble beginnings in Westerton, CAE has come a long way. We’re enjoying steady growth and the team is thriving. We’re creating employment in Clydebank and training apprentices in skilled work. It’s very rewarding and I’m proud of my father for his part in this thriving business”

145 views0 comments


bottom of page