I started at Evode Ltd. on 14th March 1949 at the Glover Street factory, ) I was set on by the 'Godfather', Mr Elias Peak, who turned out to be a very good boss for the next 20 years plus.) making Industrial Adhesives in the churn room.
I travelled to Common Road when the factory moved. The adhesives churn room was the first production department on site with me as charge hand. In the adhesive churn room we used to look forward to the visit of Fratelli Zucchini from Italy to see how the adhesives were made. The elder brother, Bruno, used to make sure all his team had a go at producing adhesive in a churn, pumping solvents and loading solids themselves. So at the end of the week we used to organise things so that there was always two churns being loaded with the same mix. We used to get the two teams, Zucchini and Evode, and have a race to see who could load the churns the fastest. They did win once, but Bruno would always come in early next morning when the product was being tested to see if it had been done properly.
Over the years I moved to mastic production and packing under Mr John Bryant ( a good 3 - 4 years). When the new factory was built (Building 17) in approx. 1962/3, the adhesives was joined by the mastics with me in charge of production and packaging. Production was carried out by approx. 23 men, packaging by approx. 50 women. A good team.
Things went well for a few years then mastics moved out and so did export to start their own departments leaving room for expansion of the packing area. Reg Moseley and some of his team from the Shoe and Floor Polish factory joined me in Building 17 when that department was sold off approx. 1971. I carried on with Building 17 till I had to go to hospital with Crohns disease, to return 9 months later in August 1982 as charge hand in Twinstik packing. This lasted for about 3 years. When redundancy was offered to all who wanted it. So I took the money and ran! The work was getting too much for me by then, so it was a life saver.
One of the memories I still have was during my early days at Glover Street, we had to produce emulsions for some of the adhesives to be made in the next few days. Sometimes we tried to get in front by more than one day, so I used to work on Easter Monday and Whit Monday. On these days of course the factory was closed to all other production, I used to work alone (illegal!) and make extra emulsions. Dr. Simon used to walk around in those days, and he used to bring Andrew (his son) with him, leading him by the hand. He used to say "Mr Newman you look after him while I go to the office". I used to stand him by the stirrer that mixed the emulsion to give him something to watch, hoping that when the emulsion inverted it would start spitting over him, but as usual, he always had an Angel watching over him, in three years he never got splattered once, (I got the splashes!)
It's now 13 years since I finished, but I can still remember plenty of good times in 37 years of continuous employment.