Stockport based specialist tech firm CDL has celebrated its 40th birthday in verse with words from acclaimed Manchester poet, Tony Walsh.

Born 4 decades ago as Cheshire Data-Systems Limited, CDL has marked its landmark anniversary with a celebratory party at its campus in Stockport, featuring a guest appearance from acclaimed performance poet, Tony Walsh, who read a specially-commissioned poem to mark the occasion.

CDL’s relationship with Tony Walsh came about through their partnership with local foundation charity, Forever Manchester, who administer the ‘CDL Fund’ on the company’s behalf, awarding grants to a range of Stockport-based community projects.

CDL's Melissa Johnson with founder Tom Hogg and centre: acclaimed Manchester poet
CDL’s Melissa Johnson with CDL founder Tom Hogg and centre: acclaimed Manchester poet Tony Walsh

Melissa Johnson, CDL Group Director, commented:

“We wanted to create something special to mark our 40th anniversary and, having first heard Tony perform at Forever Manchester’s annual awards night back in February, we realised he could help us bring our story to life in a new and different way.

“He spent some time with our people in the spring and his live performance of the poem which this inspired was a moving tribute to the significant journey that the company has been on since 1977. It’s also been a wonderful way to thank everyone who has contributed to CDL’s achievements over the years and we look forward to the next 40 years of continued growth and success!”

CDL began as a living room start-up founded by Tom Hogg and his wife Jessica in 1977 and today employs over 650 people at its expanding campus on Kings Reach Road in Stockport. The company provides leading edge insurance solutions for household brands including Swinton Insurance, Sainsbury’s Bank, Tesco Bank and Ageas Retail.

Tony Walsh added:

“CDL’s story is hugely impressive, and the way in which they’ve stayed true to their values as they’ve grown is a real credit to the founders’ vision. It was a pleasure to share in the event.”

A former poet in residence for Glastonbury festival and a regular on television and radio, Tony Walsh is one of the UK’s most renowned performance poets and has written and recited poetry around the UK and beyond, in countries including Amsterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, Finland, Ireland, Turkey and Kazakhstan. In May 2017, he gained global attention for his ‘This is the Place’ poem, which was performed at a public vigil on the day following the bomb attack at the Manchester Arena.

CDL’s 40th anniversary celebrations also featured arcade games, a six-piece orchestra, disco, refreshments and a caricaturist in a marquee hired in for the occasion. 

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