1940

At the 7th annual general meeting held on the 8th January 1940 it was recorded that upon receipt of £100 from Wailes Dove Bitumastic Ltd. the name of the company would be changed to Evode Chemical Works Ltd. It was also agreed, that Evode would refrain from using the word 'Dove' except for polishes, shoe white and cleaners.

The name 'Evode' was derived from reversing the name 'Dove' and adding an E on the end. The new Company Name was registered with the Board of Trade and the certificate of change of name was approved on the 13th February 1940. Within a few months of the outbreak of world war two the company were having to contend with an increasing number of difficulties. The availability of certain raw materials were now under the control of the Ministry of Supply, and only available to companies on essential war work. Tinplate, drums, solvents, waxes to name only a few, were on strict allocation and many could only be obtained against Ministry of Defence Authorisation.

Although the company only employed a few workmen, some of these were quickly called up into the armed forces and so both, Dr. Simon and Mr. Forman now had to spend more and more time in the factory helping with the manufacture of products. The company was however now to suffer a major blow to its survival. On the 26th June 1940 Dr. Simon was interned and the company taken under the control of the Board of Trade. They appointed three 'Managers' to control the company affairs and their first action was to have all flammable solvents and certain chemicals removed from the factory. Production of polish and paints virtually ceased and because the company had no Ministry of Defence contracts the manufacture of "Mellitol" and 'Portite' stopped because no cement could be obtained. Every indication was given by the 'Managers' that the business at Glover Street was to be wound up since very little production was taking place. On the 29th July 1940 the situation was made even more precarious by the internment of Mr. Forman under Defence Regulation 18B. At the same time all of Dr. Simon's formulation books and notes were confiscated by the police but fortunately, Mr. Lawton's and Mr. Forman's note books were not taken and some products could still be manufactured where raw materials existed or could be obtained. On the 15th August 1940 the predicament of the company and the need to have Dr. Simon released from internment, in order that his products could be used to aid the national war effort, was raised in the House of Lords by Lord Farrington. On the 16th August a very significant meeting took place at Glover Street between the appointed Board of Trade managers and Mr. H.I. Clipstone, a director of Evode Chemical Products, and Mr.H.J.Bostock, a director of Lotus Ltd. It was learned, that the Board of Trade would relinquish control of the company if the police approved any proposals which the meeting may make. It was understood that the Stafford War Time Authorities were very concerned about the storage of chemicals in the factory which constituted a grave risk in the likelihood of air raids. Since there were public utilities ( Gas Works) on one side of the company and the hospital on the other, the logical answer would be to move the factory from Glover Street. The 'managers' agreed, that if other premises were obtained such proposed action could result in a favourable decision by the Board of Trade and the Police Authorities. Urgent action was therefore initiated to find other premises in or near Stafford. This was no easy task considering that a large number of firms, concerned with the manufacture of products for the war effort, had moved into the area. The final choice was a 80 year old three story shoe factory at 22, Stone Road Stafford. The Board of Trade 'Managers' approved the move and It took place on the 8th Oct. 1940.

The factory at 22, Stone Road (which still stands today) was far from ideal. Being situated adjacent to the main road created considerable traffic problem when goods arrived or were despatched. A daily occurrence was to find traffic at a standstill whilst an L.M.S. horse and dray backed through the arched entrance of the building in order to unload or load goods. In later years this situation was to get much worse, when building contractors lorries would park in front of the factory awaiting their turn to drive in and collect drums of Evode Frost Protective. The construction of the factory consisted of a basement which first required the laying of a concrete floor (at a cost of £21-18-10 ), before installation of the two 30ft lengths of polish tables and electric vats for heating the waxes. As there was no means of heating the building a coke fired boiler was installed with radiators at a cost of £112-10-0. The first floor was converted into offices and a large wooden bench was obtained with a water and gas supply. On this was placed the few pieces of laboratory equipment which now included a small electric stirrer (ex Lotus Laboratory). The few factory machines from Glover Street were installed on the second floor and at one end of the floor a wooden ramp was built on which stood four open topped 45 gallon drums connected to the hot and cold water supply. The third floor was used for the storage of raw materials but excluding solvents which were kept in a newly constructed petroleum store at the back of the factory. The only way to lift raw materials from the ground floor to the top floor was by a slow and laborious hand winch. Many were the near escapes from serious injury when raw materials broke away from the slings and fell through the open trap doors down to the entrance two floors below.

Production of some chemical products and Shoe/Floor polishes (when waxes were obtainable) now recommenced. Contact with Dr. Simon and Mr. Forman was maintained through correspondence and visits which enabled at least the most urgent matters relating to the running of the company to be attended to. New leaflets produced at Stone Road, are given in {_22_}

The balance sheet for the year ending 30th September. 1940 {_23_} shows that the profit has more than doubled. Considering the many problems which the company faced during 1940, that they made any money at all was a remarkable achievement.