My maiden name was Bray, and I was of course not married when I joined Lotus.
There are three stages in a woman’s career; as a teenager she tries to look two or three years older; from thirty to sixty it is one long struggle to appear youthful, but over seventy most women are proud of their age.
As a member of the middle group, it is a mater of great delicacy to delve too far into the past! However, I am rather pleased to have been associated with the Company before Evo-Stik existed, and to have observed the evolution of this wonderful product.
When I first joined Lotus, the stuck-on process in the shoe trade (as we know it today) was not even in the embryo stage. There was a rather antiquated method of sole bonding but the old craftsmen shook their heads and vowed that sticking would never replace stitching in quality in quality shoemaking. There is no doubt that the enthusiasm of my former boss the late Mr F.G. Mercer, did much to overcome the pessimism of some of these craftsmen when trying to introduce new ideas.
He used to come to the laboratory each afternoon for a cup of tea, the water boiled in a flask on a Bunsen burner. I looked forward to tea-time each day because we used to discuss future developments. Some of these were beyond our wildest dreams, yet today, most of them have been fulfilled, and even surpassed through the work carried out at Evode on shoe trade adhesives.
Notes added later ...
Beryl Heath commenced employment with Lotus Limited in September 1936 in the laboratory. She worked quite closely with the late Mr F G Mercer in developing techniques to replace stitching in quality shoemaking by the use of sole bonding methods. Many of the ideas which Mr Mercer and Mrs Heath had in those very early days concerning new techniques in shoemaking have since been realised through work carried out by Evode on shoe trade adhesives. Mrs Heath currently holds a very important position concerned with co-ordinating the requests for information etc. from our licensees and ensuring that they are kept fully up to date with every sphere of activity at Stafford.