I joined Evode in 1950 when the firm was situated in Glover Street in premises which I understand were once a cinema. I started work in the Waterproofing Division under the supervision of Don Ferguson. My job was to enter into a ledger the details of work done by outside staff who carried out roof waterproofing, a rather boring job. It was then that Evo-Stik came into being - I remember that we were asked to suggest a logo for the product. I think one of the office staff was successful.
I then joined the Sales Office - across the yard from where John Forman, Harry Hadley and Don Ferguson worked. There was no phone in the sales office at first, and in the event of a call to Sales, someone had to run across the yard to take it.
The retail sizes of Evo-Stik were tubes at 1/9d, half pint tins at 4/3d and 4/5th pint tins at seven shillings. The sizes of the tins related to the standard sheets of Formica made by De la Rue. Our job in Sales involved preparing invoices which had to be calculated in our heads (we made up our own tables) and then typed and sent out to customers.
We used to have a morning and afternoon cup of tea, brought round on a trolley by Mrs Collins, and as the Dove polish was still being made at that time, we each had an allocation of polish and impregnated dusters once a month. When the lavender version of polish was being made, the smell was very pleasant, but at other times, when solvent was in use, it wasn’t very nice!
There were two cats on the payroll; Auntie, the factory cat who slept among the rolls of Hessian, and George, the office cat, who I once remember sleeping on the mat outside Dr. Simon’s office. The doctor carefully stepped over him saying “Are you waiting to come in?” Happy days.
The move to Common Road brought about inevitable changes. There was so much more space and the number of staff seemed to increase dramatically overnight. We were blessed with a Gatehouse, manned by a uniformed attendant who seemed to recogize all the visiting cars and trade vehicles - those not known to Jack were severely scrutinized before being allowed on the premises.
New products were gradually developed by the laboratory staff, and it became necessary to establish an Industrial side to the Sales office as well as the now flourishing Household Division. Sales Managers, Area Managers and Representatives for both divisions were appointed, and soon Vik Supplies joined, brining their own staff with them.
We were all kept busy, but there was always a friendly atmosphere. There were quite a few husbands and wives working in the various departments and we all felt we were part of a family firm.
I retired in 1973 when my husband became 60 and didn’t wish me to continue working whilst he was at home.
I look back on my 23 years with Evode with very much pleasure and feel proud to have been part of a unique family firm.
The photographs were taken on the day of my retirement and show Dr Simon presenting me with some of the gifts I received and which I still have and treasure.
30 October 2000