After leaving school at the age of 14, I went to a commercial college to learn shorthand, typing, bookkeeping and general commercial business methods.
My first job after leaving the college was in a solicitors office.
During the war I was sent to a training centre in Birmingham to learn how to work various machines, i.e. lathes, milling machines and grinding machines. After 16 weeks training I was sent to work in an engineering factory based at Featherstone.
After the war I got a job at English Electric as a shorthand typist in their typing pool, working mainly for their Plant Sales and Mining Divisions. In 1949 I applied to Lotus for a job as a Shorthand Typist. I was interviewed by Mr. Gilbert Bostock, their Personnel Manager who said he did have one ore two vacancies.
I was then interviewed by Mr. Mercer (Chief Chemist of Lotus and a Director of Vik Supplies, a subsidiary company of Lotus) Mr. Sandy, Vik Sales Manager, and Mr. Atkinson, Assistant Sales Manager. The job was in Vik Sales Office and consisted of typing letters, invoices and general clerical work, also doing some work for Mr. Mercer, which related to Vik Supplies. He had his own Secretary to do his Lotus work. In discussing wages, I was getting a few shillings more than Vik was paying their typists, so as a result of this, Mr. Mercer said, if I would agree to months trial and proved satisfactory, then he would pay me the money I had mentioned. On the other hand, if either party did not like each other, then we would say so. I agreed to these terms. At the end of three weeks Mr. Mercer sent for me, and I was offered the position permanently, - thus the start of my 31 years service with the Company.
At the time of my commencement with Vik, they were supplying various components to the shoe trade, including leather soles, heels, PVC soles and adhesives for bonding to shoes. Vik also sold machinery, spares etc., for Lotus Engineering Division.
In the early 1950's, Dr. Simon of Evode Ltd. became Managing Director of Vik Supplies, instead of Mr. Godfrey Bostock. Vik then moved from Lotus Sandon Road Factory, to Evode Common Road factory. Numerous changes took place after moving to Common Road. Firstly, Mr. Buckley, who was previously a Sales Representative, was appointed Sales Manager. I worked for him until 1968.
In 1956, Lotus Engineering became Stafford Tool and Die Co., and moved to St. Patrick's Street. As Vik Sales really needed more space than was available at Common Road, it was decided to move Vik back to the Sandon Road premises vacated by Lotus Engineering. The Sales Office and Warehouse operated from Sandon Road until 1962 when a fire destroyed the building. Vik then moved back to Common Road.
About 1967/68 the Vik interest in engineering was taken over by Cox & Wright of Rushden. As a result of these changes, I was asked to work for Mr. Webb, who came into the Company as a Technical Director of Vik Supplies.
During the 1970's Louis Holts took over some of Vik's products and Vik Sales Office then moved to Leicester, with Louis Holts.
At Common Road, Vik were still dealing with adhesives for the shoe trade. This is where I ended my career, working for Mr. Webb in the Evode Laboratory.
It is 18 years since I retired, but I have many happy memories of the 31 years I worked for Vik/Evode.