People Project - Meet Darryl

01 August 2020

Darryl Wicks is the longest serving member of the production team at Limbs & Things. Considering he started in 1996, he’s actually one of the longest serving employees across the entire business. In fact, it means that for 80% of Limbs’ existence, Darryl has been an integral part of the production team.

People Project - Meet Darryl

Keen for a change of scenery after a career in the Army and then construction, it was actually a newspaper advertisement that alerted Darryl to the job at Limbs all those years ago. Sitting in close proximity to the bench where he’s spent many a year perfecting his models, Darryl thinks back to the early days: “When I started working here, there were eight of us here in production and about 15 in Research and Development (R+D). There were a few in the office too but it was very small then - about 40 people in total! The firm has certainly done well!”

Darryl’s main area of expertise has always been the soft-tissue department and its integration into a variety of different models. The soft tissue department is the focus on creating a life-like material that mimics human tissue. It was Darryl’s area of expertise when he started, and it’s still the case to this day. Our Appendix Models, and there are three of them, rely solely on Darryl’s skill set. A trip to his immaculately tidy bench paints a perfect picture of how meticulous and precise the process is. He is in sole charge of their creation, and it’s something he relishes. 

Also a key component in the manufacture of the Clinical Male Pelvic Trainer and our Skin Pads, Darryl’s thorough attention to detail and ability to seamlessly adapt to the new products being made has meant he is now as important to the production of Limbs’ latest innovations, as he was the old. You’d be forgiven for thinking that once Darryl has done his bit on the production line, he’d never see the product again. You’d be wrong. On a visit to the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) a few years ago, Darryl noticed a Limbs & Things face model on display: “Once I was at the BRI and I was in the dermatology department and I realized they had one of my models! I asked the consultant if I could have a look at it. I turned it over and it had my (QC) number on the back and then I told him I made it! It was a great feeling to know people are actually using something you’ve made for training.”

Aside from his jolly general character, ability to keep hold of his original QC stamp and unquestionable work ethic, there’s another particular aspect that Darryl is particularly famous for at Limbs, and that’s his models. A stone’s throw away from his workbench, are two cabinets full to the brim of models Darryl has made of Limbs employees past and present. The immaculate detail of his every day work is also reflected in the models, so much so that the people depicted can be easily identified just by the fine details he has added. Much like Darryl, they are part of the furniture at Limbs. It was something that started in 2001, after a suggestion by his then-boss. Explaining the models and their creation, Darryl says: “Back then there was only 42 people in the firm so it was easy and by 2003 and I had done everyone in the firm.” Darryl didn’t stop at that, and by 2009, when he stopped making new models for staff, he had made 117. Darryl gently opens the cabinet and proudly lifts his own model from the shelf, “It was great, I loved doing them”, he beams.

As with everyone who knows of Darryl, our President, Margot Cooper, also can’t refrain from gushing over his models: “He’s so talented. He could make something wonderful out of absolutely anything.” Margot’s ringing endorsement of Darryl is a testament to the loyal and unrelenting service he has given Limbs over the last 24 years. Margot finishes off by saying: “He’s certainly won his stripes!”, and she’s not wrong there.