I was born in Stafford, 12th July 1933. I was educated at St Patrick's R.C. Junior School, Corporation St. Junior School and Stafford Girls' High School
I started working as a Laboratory Assistant at Lotus Ltd., reporting to Mrs Beryl Chalmers (formerly Heath) and Tim Taylor. Chief Chemist at that time was Frederick G. Mercer. Work was naturally all shoe-related, e.g. dyeing of shoes to match dress fabrics, evaluation of fat content in sheep-skins, mellowing of bottom leather soling and, more importantly at that time, development work on adhesives for bonding leather, crepe rubber and the newly arrived synthetic rubber soling materials to shoe uppers. The Vik-Stik range of adhesives included nitro-cellulose adhesives (193) and synthetic rubber (Vulcaprene) adhesives (108). Products developed by Evode under the Evo-Stik branding were also under trial in the Lotus factory e.g. the synthetic Hycar range (SH series). This was closely followed by the Neoprene range, i.e. 523, 524 and then 528. Eventually, practically all soling material was bonded rather than stitched to the shoe upper.
In 1957 (?) Lotus Ltd. decided that there was no longer any need for a laboratory and Beryl Chalmers, Tim Taylor, Bernard Preece and myself were offered jobs at Evode. I joined Bryan Pease in setting up the first Quality Control Laboratory reporting to Elias Peak who was Chief Chemist and Factory Manager at that time. Control tests on products were constantly being evolved (often because mistakes had happened). One strange job that we had to do was test the boiler water (I think for pH or maybe mineral content, Bryan would probably be able to verify this). Every Thursday afternoon, the boilerman on duty would bring a sample down to us.
After a couple of years or so, I was transferred to the Research Labs (Lancashire born Mr Peak suggested to me that the factory lab. was no place for a lass!). I worked for Colin Cooper, a Bench Chemist, on Richafix, Greenseal and 873 Flooring Adhesive and also did some work on customer queries and licensee requirements. V Vohralik was Chief Chemist for Adhesives at that time.
I terminated my employment in November 1962 to await the arrival of my twins in January 1963. I spent the next 9 years or so at home bringing up my children.
I returned to work at Evode in August 1972, working for Fred Waygood in the Surface Coatings Quality Control Laboratory. Here, Flashband, Bituminous products (Paste 1, 505, Bituminous Mastic etc., Liquid Concrete Waterproofer and Building Chemicals such as Portite and Mellitol and Powdered Tiling products were rigorously tested to higher standards than I had previously known. (Fred Waygood, a Cockney by birth, was a super boss. He sang most of the time - he was an amateur music hall artiste and practised his 'turns' on all of us. (I think he is still doing his Morris dancing even now).
After 4 years or so I was offered the post of Marketing Assistant in Evode (Export) Ltd. which was previously held by Beryl Chalmers who had retired. V Vohralik never quite forgave me for forsaking the lab bench for what he called the 'glamour of marketing'
I spent 4 very happy years with Export - a totally different world to the laboratory area. Names I couldn't pronounce at first like the Finnish licensee, Valkeakowski. Eventually, Export as a company was disbanded and became a division of Evode and I was offered a place in the Personnel Department. I spent the next 10 months working for Robin Tomkins, the Personnel Director, on wage-related statistics and the Evode Suggestion Scheme. I was then offered a post in B & CP Marketing, as it was then, as Sales Promotion Services Executive (wow, what a title!) working for Ron Binnington, Marketing Manager.
Eventually, many marketing managers later, my title was changed to Marketing Services Executive and of course B &CP became Building & Homecare.
I finally retired from Evode on 12th July 1998 but at this point in time I still work 1 day a week as a self employed contractor on the Marketing & Sales Development budgetary control (and anything else that always seems to crop up).