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Antonin Machala

Antonin Machala was born in 1958 in Communist Czechoslovakia and started work at the Let Kunovice aircraft factory in the town of Uherske Hradiste where he has lived all his life.

After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 he was the chairman of the Uherske Hradiste Social Democrats – the sister party of the British Labour Party, and in this capacity wrote for international help in the elections that followed the collapse of Communism.

His letter was answered by Brian Smedley and the two became friends thereafter forming the Bridgwater Czech Slovak Friendship Society.

In 1992 Antonin set up his own business Altech s.r.o. - working in the field of wheelchair ramps and stairlifts, from the privatisation of the Let Kunovice factory and over the years built it up to become a major employer in the town employing almost 200 workers in his Prumyslova base.

Antonin is married to Marie and has two sons Marek and Martin.