Pat’s two sons, William and Michael, became joint managing directors of Wrington-based PJ Hare Ltd in 1966, shortly after Michael had completed his mechanical sciences (engineering) degree at Cambridge.
Michael was technical director of the company, heading the design department, with William in charge of management.
PJ Hare became a leading international manufacturer of high-speed hydraulic presses, assembly tooling, and integrated systems. The firm employed around 70 people at its height in the 1990s, when it operated a separate tooling division in Cheltenham, exporting products to Germany, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and Denmark.
After 72 years and well over 17,000 presses produced, PJ Hare sadly fell into administration in 2019 due to declining sales caused by Brexit destabilisation.
Michael’s innovative approach was behind the company's move to adapt to the changing market, shifting from its initial focus on standardised presses to go on to specialise in bespoke pressing and tooling solutions for the likes of British Aerospace, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, and Toyota.
He was always keen to expand his knowledge and developed design and research collaborations with engineers such as Ken Fisher (Concorde, Bath University) and German manufacturers Sick and AEG.
Michael always prioritised safety and not only created innovative in-process monitoring and guarding systems for Hare products, but was also heavily involved with the BSI in defining safety standards for the machine tool industry.