MEMORIES OF THE EVODE GROUP

GLOVER STREET AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMON ROAD

I am now 72 and it’s the early part of 2001, a long time since I first joined in the early fifties at Glover Street. During my early twenties I knew Mrs Irene Wood (Director - later to be known as Mrs Elias Peake) who told me that the Evode Company Secretary, Mr Hadley, was looking for a junior accounts person. Had an interview and, was obviously successful.

Life at Glover Street turned out to be very demanding but at the same time colourful, interesting and rewarding. First of all I was all I was assisting Mr Ron Dale in the accounts department and then later on as Mr Hadley’s right hand man. When the offices moved to the Common Road I was put in charge of all the accounting, except the separate wages dept. Evode’s greatest days may well have been at Glover Street where everyone seemed to share in making the company successful. I will try and pay tribute to Dr Simon and describe something about the ‘Glover Street’ days.

First of all Mr Hadley, or H.E.H. as was known, (was a bachelor) came in late on Monday morning on the Birmingham train and left on Friday afternoon (living in digs in the week) H.E.H. was a great teacher with a great deal of first rate commercial experience behind him, liked a pint in the evening too - but that’s another story. He taught me more in the accountancy sphere than I felt I’d gained elsewhere. Mr Hadley’s office was across the yard from the main offices and was generally marooned in isolation by a large puddle, due to the drains into the river ‘backpounding’. He used to be a great one for telling jokes, sometimes much to the annoyance of JJEF (John James Ernest Forman) and the embarrassment of Sheila Banks, he also used to burst into song - to such an effect in the summer that, Dr S. had been known to open his office window and shout ‘stop de noise’. H.E.H.’s hobby was ‘stocks and shares’ and occasionally he would come over to accounts in the evening with a wad of dividend payment tickets about 4 inches thick and tot them up on the adding machine.

A story from the earliest of Glover Street days - Dr Simon was in the laboratory with Elias Peake and he came upon a lady lab assistant busily engaged in her work. Dr asked her what she was doing and, possibly not having seen the Boss before, asked him what it had got to do with him! Dr Simon turned on his heel and walked out saying to Elias ‘I think you should put the lady in the picture’. The office set up at the beginning could only be described as ‘small’, entirely different to what I was accustomed in a large departmental finance department (Treasurer’s Staffs C.C.). However I quickly learned to turn my hand to the many and varied tasks required of me and gained a vast amount of experience in a short time. Well taught by H.E.H. Who used to say to me - ‘do you know what I am going to do today Stanley ! B----- all - you’re going to do it’.

Spic and Span was now English Waxes - renowned for its ‘Dove’ polishes. I recall the two monthly stock takes which Mr Clipstone, Ron Dale, and I used to undertake in conjunction with the London based Sales Manager (John Arnott) and his senior staff. JJEF also did some. We used to get our rail warrants and be off of a Friday morning with an itinerary something like Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester and back in the office Sunday morning. A check of the stock in one town (and you had to have good stocktaking techniques - as some of the lads were a bit fly, with many secret agenda - the boxes at the bottom of the pile may quite well contain housebricks or some other foreign item) - off to another town the same day, if lucky, then possibly make your way to the next, possibly so late that it was best to get a taxi driver to take you to a hotel. I remember going to Newcastle on Tyne one Sunday evening late and finishing up in e temperance hotel, the good book and a cup of cocoa. Next move was back to the office and price up your stock sheets and the Stafford manufacturing stock before the sheets arrived on Monday from the southern region. The next week we worked flat out to produce a trail balance of the whole group's activities suitably adjusted by stock, prepayment, reserves and depreciation with the allocation of Head Office costs, so that H.E.H. Could put the final trading results together - this was done all the time I was with the Company, so that Dr Simon had a financial review every two months. We did not get ‘overtime’ (We did however get a generous year end bonus and 200 ‘Players’ at Christmas).

A ‘polish story’ which occurred some years later. There were two new reps in the city of Hull that were producing excellent sales figures (I checked their stock - it was spot on). Everything went all right until some of the polish and cloths started to be returned, especially after debt collecting procedures came into play. To cut a long story short, these reps would board an outgoing bus in Hull City and sit one each side on the top deck, then note the street names and details of likely shops and make up an order and send it to Stafford for despatch. It was surprising how much of this merchandise was accepted and paid for in full.

A little story from the last days of our last days at Glover Street.. For Mr Barrie Liss who was soon to join the Company. I was allowed to go on a visit to the Ideal Homes exhibition with other members of the staff - warrant, by train. Before we left, Dr Simon told us which train to catch on the return journey. His daughter, Marion would be on the train and we were to find her and accompany her to Stafford.

One day at Glover Street, there was all hell let loose, everyone was looking for the VASHER file which Dr Simon wanted urgently as he had to see this man in the afternoon. He kept repeating ‘Vasher, Vasher, what is wrong with you!’ ..... I do not know when the penny dropped, but he was after the personal file of Mr Washer, a roof waterproofing supervisor.

One of my main reasons in deciding to ‘write’ these lines about Evode was to take the opportunity to make my tribute to ‘The Doctor’. He may have been the Boss and he would let you know it at times, but you always sensed you were in the company of a ‘big man’, who could put all the status to one side and be human and considerate when justified or required. I was slightly in awe of him, but enjoyed working with him, I think in mutual respect.

To make the point ~ a few ‘Doctor’ stories **

After a long stretch of overtime of many days, I overslept and did not get into work until about 10 am. As soon as I came through the gates, I bumped into Dr S. (returning from his private toilet downstairs) ‘You had better come up to the office’ he said gruffly. I was in no mood for this and thought ‘don’t start on me mate’ but I held back from experience.

When I followed him into his office, he asked me to sit down and have a cigar, which I refused (a bit big for me), then he offered me a cigarette, a cup of coffee followed. He said he had asked me to go up to the office to say a personal thank you for the amount of work I was doing. I don’t know ... Mischief - kindness - or what?

One of my duties was to look after the detail and make royalty payments in respect of those products which were made under licence, exchange rate mechanisms - the lot, in those austere days - no computers. With Mr Hadley going home weekends, and Saturday discussions and account research fell to me, so I often provided management statistics. On one occasion, Dr S. Was going to U.S.A. To visit a manufacturer from whom we were licensed and required figures going back to the year dot. I told him it would take days and there were other things to do - all I got was to be told he definitely could not proceed without them. After a couple of days, on the Friday evening he was enquiring re the figures, I said I needed more time and it was finally decided he would come to Glover Street about half an hour before leaving on Sunday. He came in the yard at the appointed time and I gave him the figures in an envelope. He stood by my desk and said ‘Mr Thomas, I do not use my own cheque book unless I am forced to, but today is an exception. Here is a cheque for £100, and you are to tell Mr Hadley you are having a few days off to take your wife out’. Off he went to the States.

The German sense of humour was always there, I have mentioned the puddles at Glover Street, well Dr. S’s and J.J.E.F.’s garages were on the other side. Johnnie Forman had just bought a new Standard Vanguard, light blue, which would not start. Dr S told us to all give him a push into the middle of the puddle and then leave him there.

In the matter of accountancy, we used to charge an arbitrary figure to depreciation based on book values but it was obvious as time went by that some of the assets may not exist. Mr Hadley discussed this with me and it was obvious we needed a plant register. With his guidance, I delved through the old records since the Company existed and traced all the individual items capitalised, I then constructed a plant register and checked on each item, writing off those that no longer existed. This did mean that not only our financial records were factual, but we had the costs of each manufacturing unit. This register was still in use when I left the Company and must have been a godsend to future costs accountants. I would mention Mr Vin Weaver (Engineer) who was most interested in this project and generously gave me every assistance. I certainly learned a lot about chemical engineering - a benefit when conversing about the new factory and arranging the insurance in the future.

It may be of interest to record the 'birth' of the costing function.

I came to Stafford from Shaftesbury in Dorset in 1947. My widowed Mother bought a house in Stafford with my eldest brother who had secured a position in the cost office of Staffordshire County Council, County Surveyor's. Ml of those in his group were quaiified ACWA's, including Ken Hudson (a friend of mine in later years) and Harold Matthews to come back to Glover Street - Working on the accounts one got the feeling that English Waxes was taking too large a slice of the family cake. Expansion was afoot, new factory at Common Road in the offing and increased paint and adhesive sales and the smart beginnings of Evomastics (Mr Bryant)... .Money needed for development.. These manufacturing processes were also taking the Company along the road to chemical processing rather than 'mix it, thin it and tin it'.

It was no surprise therefore when Dr. Simon expressed an interest in costing in relation to the English Waxes Operation He did not want to advertise at this stage (Dr Simon liked to keep his beginnings private) so not being local, Mr Hadley asked me if I could come up with any ideas. Obviously, I knew where AC WA's were to be found.

Ken Hudson and I had already become close friends, and he said he would be interested. He saw Dr. Simon and Mr Hadley and undertook the investigation, I understand that Ken found the pressures on his existing commitments too much and the work was, somehow, passed on to Harold Matthews. a few months later a report was produced One can always be wrong, but I think that the days of E. Waxes were numbered from then on,although they had a few years at Common Road and tried to make a go of it with the polishing cloth range, it was eventually sold to Chiswick Products (Mansion).

Mr Harold Matthews joined the Company and a new office erected alongside Mr Clipstone's Polish Sales office in the Waxes warehouse at Glover Street.

Of the staff- one Trevor Bodflsb , David LeMaistre and Mrs George.

The Accounts Department. When I came to Common Road, I found myself looking after this department. It was a little daunting, but with youthfbl bravado and my knowledge of all around me, I soon settled in.

Before I left this post, the department had become quite a vibrant part of the Groups existence and I will try a describe it, and the people at this time. As, of course, it is now no longer a monument to anyone.

The accounts department was the right hand side of the ground floor of the new office block when viewed from the road. When we moved in it was just a floor area with a few pillars. We were shown a draft plan and laid out the office accordingly with all the old desks and bits of kit, restricted somewhat to where the phones had been fixed.

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To digress a little, I remember one Christmas, when the new cost office was ready for completion, the staff all went to their various meetings at the local pub at lunchtime, and as planned, we all downed tools about 3.30 and had a dance in the cost office, records and a player mysteriously appeared from somewhere.( Mrs Hesp, a member of accounts, lived in the house at Common Road with husband /factory manager Jack). Not much was said, but I don't think I was flavour of the month not that I had any choice on the matter.

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Along the side of the office near the car park, steel screened offices were built to dado height with about 2ft 6 ins of clear glass. An idea brought in by the Bostocks - worked well from my point of view, In the furthest corner was a double sized office occupied by Miss Thomas and her Comptometer ladies (Lillian Smith). They checked just about everything – pre computers machines were only as good as the operators and knowing how mistakes occur was part of the job. Also my Secretary - Veronica Parton, who I have mentioned before. When I advertised for a secretary I was a bit scared of getting too high powered a dame and anyhow the job was growing and there may not be enough work initially for that type. Anyway none of the aforementioned types applied, but Veronica came along. Her previous job was at Venables which she appeared to dislike intensely and, although her test was only moderate, she pleaded with me for a trial in a new job, I thought her to be a genuine person who would grow with the job! Veronica was still there when I had finished.

Next in line was my office, filing cabinet, desk and chair - and I tried to keep the door open so that all who worked with me felt they could walk in. Then there was Geoff Leedham's office he was mainly concerned with the ledger work and making payments, but I tried to keep him well in the picture as he had to take over when I was engaged on the bi-monthly accounts. We had a good rapport and as the younger of the two, I possibly benefited more from the association.

The department had to become aware of the Debt Collecting Situation. Joan Smith was appointed at Glover Street to start to embrace this problem. Constantly vigil and very capable, I believe Joan served the Company for many years, looking after English Waxes, then Paints Ledger, Chemicals Ledger, Evomastics & Adhesives Ledger. A lot of influence in similar trades, these ledgers very much cross pollinated (a customer could well have debt in 3 ledgers) Gordon Wardle looked after the Sales Invoicing and ran a rudimentary system of credit control By checking ledgers to see debt position- this meant trying to keep on top of the posting of cash and goods to ledger; When Joan Smith had finished with the daily cash, it went to Chas.Hill (who had previously worked at the Co-op offices with Ron Dale) TO PREPARE FOR BANKING. He generally managed the job by lunchtime and went down to the bank on the Midland Red bus. The Company used the District Bank, Greengate Street, Stafford, long since disappeared.

The Sales Ledgers were on cards housed in twinlock trays - we started with the Underwood Sunstrand Accounting Machine from Glover Street, then added another, then went to National to give more versatility for other jobs = wages etc. There were three large wooden benches holding just over 50 trays of accounts. Mrs Joyce Rae looked after the Accounting machines in the company of Mrs Burton - whose husband worked in the adhesives factory. They all took an immense pride in their work and were marvellous at balancing those large ledgers to the penny with the control accounts each month, Gordon Wardle's Invoicing Section was a pretty sound team - there was Sheila Wall as typist - Sheila started in the front despatch office at Glover Street -The English Waxes team was Jean Morgan and Pat Tavernor. Pat became a strong member of Gordon's team when 'Waxes' finished.

Probably one of the most significant things which I did during my time with the Company was to install the BANDA System. A few top men said it would not work - but they can remain anonymous as their reticence opened the door for me. I did a pilot scheme on one factory first after a lot of consultation with the factory, despatch, sales, costing and of course my own staff BANDA was merely a trade name for a spirit duplicator - a typed master was put on a drum and printed on various forms, labels, letter forms envelopes etc - depending how the forms were printed so as to reveal that part of the information required from the master for the function in mind.

As! have said, there were many 'doubting Thomas's' but Ken Shardlow who was over the Factory Ordering Transport and Despatch could see the potential and gave me his 11*11 support, also Myra Davies who had the everyday job of ironing out the snags and making it work. Office staff had to take on 'factory jargon' knowledge of products and labelling - I think they all became more interested in their work and appreciative of each other.

One other person that cannot go without mention is North Tams who operated the 'Banda' from day one. Norab wanted to do the job from the outset and was determined to make a good job of it. North came from despatch and certainly made the job go as planned and smoothed over a lot of rough edges with her enthusiasm and knowledge The Polish lads from the 'bitumen' also helped to get things going. The one thing is for sure - this system was up and running and tailor made for the day when we got the WOOLWORTH orders to the various stores.

I had an old desk sent to the joiners, a bit cut off the legs and fitted with two large visible filing frames and files (with the help of Anthony Pendleton, Kay's Business Services) This was the order desk and contained masters current in the system. This was Gordon Wardle's dept., who also operated the system enthusiastically. The stationery was produced by JO. Fenn from Stoke and Mr Bolton helped a lot in the design of forms and steered me into the field of accurate register. I enjoyed the 0 & M aspect and form design.

The system had its own tribute - in was in use for a long period of time.

There was also the purchasing side of the Accounts and of course quite a volume of road haulage accounts. Rose Arkell looked after this section for some time,but when the separate wages and commissions dept was created, transferred due to her previous experience, So it was Ron Dale, MrsWillims and Rose. Ron was very faithful to the company.

Mrs Bartleman came to take over the purchases and ran the job most ably - another conscientious lady. Just before I left the department, Bill Raffen took over the purchases.

Mrs Rae posted the purchase ledgers - similar to sales. We used to draw the cheques and keep a schedule of cheques ready to go out. Each Friday, I took a list of Cash Received, total Sales, and cheques due out, to Dr Simon and he would decide who got paid. It was wise to keep up to date with what was going on around the place and make sure of your figures - if Dr Simon queried the figures before him - he was not often wrong.

When English Waxes went, the Cost Office occupied the bottom end of the office.

Vik Supplies accountant - Dave Williams and Glyn Jones were in the office next to Geoff Leedham.

I could keep returning to this subject and probably think of more anecdotes, but I suppose 'sufficient for the day... .etc'.

I sometimes regret losing the accounts job to 'promotion' but I had the experience of a life time and nothing is gained by looking back. I am sure I did not purposely harm anyone.

‘Glover Street’ - I think I have exhausted most of the stories, just a few memories before we move to ‘the common’.

I REMEMBER - the purchase of two new Bedford lorries at Glover Street, mainly for ‘Evoset’ deliveries - Drivers Bill Weaver & Eddie Freeman. The accounting nightmare - returnable 40 Gall Evoset Drums.

Reg Moseley & Rainer Geheb in Polish (I met Reg just before he died).

The first Adhesive Churns to arrive in Glover Street, one small one and then two larger ones. When they finally went to Common Road, I got wind that we’d bought a Wetter Sausage machine. What are we into now? - no need to get the frying pan out - they were to fill Mr Bryant’s mastic cartridges with G.P. Mr Bates starting with an old press to make the C20 and C30 mastic gun.

The first accounting machine, an Underwood Sunstrand, in the accounts to replace the written sales. Margaret Holford was the first operator. We ran a control account and balanced those accounts to the penny each month, something we were proud to say we maintained when the company had four machines and two million turnover. Rose Arkell joined the Accounts about this time and worked with ron Dale for many years.

It was time to move to the new offices at Common Road, Ron Dale was to look after commissions and wages and there was to be a new accounts manager. I approached H.E.H. For consideration, but the consensus was I was too young. However, a meeting was arranged with Dr Simon who also thought I was too young but, in view of my past service he was prepared to give me a trial on the understanding that if it proved too much, I would accept a replacement. I loved the job.

When we moved to Common Road we were asked, as managers, to get the big company mentality and watch the expense and keep things on an even keel. End of Glover Street.

It was a very exciting time moving to Common Road, all done at the week end so that we were ready to start up on the Monday. I remember we had all our desks laid out in the positions in the one large area of the office. It was not until after the meetings with Mr James Bostock, who was keen on a new open plan system that the offices were finally built around. I was in my own office and after a few months a new secretary - Valerie Parton, who turned out to be a very able person indeed.

The firm grew apace, always some new department being constructed somewhere. It was apparent that we would be seeing less of Mr Hadley who was moving to be based at London Office, with a view to eventually retiring to Broadstairs. With the increased turnover all round, it was obvious a new order system was required and I was eventually given the task of bringing this about. There was need for prolonged discussions with the factory, despatch etc., (this was no problem as the family spirit was well intact and all co-operated well) So the ‘Banda’ system was born and I believe stood the test of quite a few years. Vik Supplies was taken over and David Williams and his accounts staff moved in alongside us. The work increased apace and as we still did the two monthly accounts it was necessary for me to have an assistant to look after the ledger work and day to day when I was otherwise engaged. When I had finished all the preparation for the accounts, Miss Thomas and myself would hide away in the canteen with her comptometer and do all the working out - originally bought up on timber, she used to tell me, on one job, she was flown by helicopter to join the Queen Mary at the Needles and revictual her ready for the supplies for the return journey when she docked.

There was such a lot going on with the increase in the Company’s activities. I remember the buzz that went round when news came of the first Woolworth's order for tubes of Evo-Stik. I mentioned my new assistant, Geoff Leedham, I knew him personally for many years and was sure he was the person for the job - what a reliable and able person he was - stayed with the Company until he retired, I believe.

During my time looking after the accounts there was another incident which reveals how considerate Dr Simon could be. Doctor had asked me to do some research into a project I was busy with the accounts at the time and asked my assistant, Geoff Leedham to do the job. He duly gave the finished article to me and I handed them to Dr Simon in due course. When I was with Dr S on another mater he complimented me on the figures Mr Leedham had produced, so I told him I had been busy on the accounts and that Mr Leedham had done them. As I was going out of the office with more jobs to do, Dr Simon said send Mr Leedham up with those things and I will express my appreciation of his work personally.

A lot of my memories of the Evode group anecdotal rather than documental. I remember when I was introduced to ‘banking’ in the raw. John Scragg (brother of local polish rep, Alan Humphries) had supplied a local market trader with small tins of polish to the value of about £600.00, which was a bigger figure than it is today, about September time, and after the account became overdue, I started to get serious with John about settlement. The credit position was that Reps were allowed to run their own market traders due to better local knowledge. John managed to brush the matter aside for a couple of visits, until I forced to tell him I was about to bring this debtor to book. He then gave me the true facts relating to the transaction..... Apparently this trader’s plan was to sell this polish as quickly as possible for cost, or less, to provide him with a sum of about £500 with which he could buy toys for Christmas on which there was a mark up of about 500%. Payment was promised as soon as we resumed work after Christmas. Sure enough the cash was brought to my office in large notes. A little bit that is not in my banking text notes?

A very enjoyable working situation was ended when I was informed that another had been selected to do my job and after an initial period of showing him the ropes, I was to be promoted. I have since had ‘bigger’ jobs, but considering the aspect of working direct with the ‘boss’ and the loyalty of my staff, working in ‘accounts’ was the tops.

I became responsible for the service agreements of Sales Representatives and Staff (except the very senior), looked after the Plant Insurance and was involved in the New Laboratory Block, Extensions to Adhesives Factory, Conference Room etc. I was supported by a very able Secretary, Jo Warren, who was transferred from Barry Jackson and went on to work for Stan Anderson. We are still friends of John and Jo. Compared with my previous active work, there was not enough in this job to justify its existence and life became a bind in an environment I did not relish.

The outcome was that I had change of direction and went off to learn the sales side of Evomastics with Tony Carwardine. I did not leave the employment of Dr Simon for many years and there are a few more interesting stories.....

I have one more story concerning Dr Simon which I think is worth relating, above all.

Late one afternoon there was a meeting in Dr Simon’s office, three very senior members of the staff were present - it was concerning a certain Sales debt (I can still remember the name of the account). After a while I was summoned - although not over accounts anymore, I did maintain a brief on Credit Control - and Dr Simon brought me up to date on the proceedings of the meeting so far. Where upon I told Dr Simon that he had got hold of the wrong end of the stick on this one and that the true story was a little different than that outlined to me. He blew up - how dare I say such things ‘go home and I will deal with you in the morning’. Off I went.

In the morning I was sitting at my desk wondering if I’d be allowed to say my goodbyes when, a shadow appeared over the desk, I looked up to see Dr S standing there. ‘Sir’ He said ‘I usually make people come to my office, but I come to you to apologise, you were right - I have spoken to the other gentlemen’.

From this and other storied I hope I have conveyed a little about the real man. We never heard about his war time experiences - a man who trusted me and whose trust I tried not to abuse or use to advantage in anyway --- Awesome.

I don’t think Edwin H Beaumont was at all keen on my being in the Mastics Sales force. However, I ended up with Birmingham - some challenge. After a few weeks I was ‘rep of the week’ with one of the largest orders we had seen for a while. I made a point of calling every week on a Terson site where the senior site agent over 7 high rise structures, on three different sites. For a few weeks I had refusals then I was called in and asked what he could do for me. I went into my well rehearsed patter and after it was all over, he said ‘you are obviously a new boy and you have told me all you know in 5 minutes’ However after a bit of well meant advice, he said it was his intention to gibe me the order for all their mastic requirements for the three sites as a reward for my persistence in calling. Apparently he did not like reps who tried to do business on the ‘phone and had no face. I had the blanket order off which they would call for supplies. I remember calling on a site off the Bham New Road, the site agent said he was in the process of closing the site down, but I should try their new site for the new Duddlestone Manor Grammar School - he threw in that the site agent was mad on golf. This I understood, having recently joined Brocton, so I went to see this agent duly equipped with a box of 1 doz. Dunlop 65’s. I got a message to push off - he was fed up with reps - I put my head round the door to say what a pity he saw fit to pass up the box of golf balls the Company was giving away - I got in and got the order.

Dr Simon, James Bostock and Mr Don Rivis became partners in a new business based at Don Rivis’ Yorkshire farm, to make and erect vitreous enamelled farm silos similar to the American Harvest Store. Basically, the silos were angle hoops, sheets of 6’x4’ mild steel enamel sheets bolted together with Bituminous mastic with a fibre glass roof. I came from a farming family and it may be that with my ‘Evode’ experience got me the invite to be the first Rep. The first year was hard graft, long journeys, county shows etc., market days etc., but it seemed to be paying off. In my second year it was said that I had sold most grain/forage installations except for Harvest Stores top American rep. At my first Dairy Show in London, Don Rivis bet me £10 I could not do 100 installations. I found myself a site architect and went to town - at the next Dairy Show I had to admit to Don that I had only done 98. That’ll do for me he said and gave me the tenner.

Shortly after this I had a car accident and decided to come off the road, rather than let me go, Don asked me to manage the vitreous enamelling factory at Accrington. I used to motor up on a Monday, stay in the Railway Hotel and drive back on a Friday (Shades of Mr Hadley).

One lesson to be learned in Lancashire - I spoke to the Factory Manager about some policy matter - he shut me up and asked me to go to my office. He told me to only discuss important matters behind screened glass - most people in that factory came from noisy cotton mills and could lip read me from 50 yards. Besides enamelling the silo sheets, we continued with the white ware, which was Blake’s original customers. I got to visit most factories - John Bloom (Rolls Washing Machines), Servis, Philips, Dixie Dean, London Aluminium Hoover - quite a busy time.

My wife’s Uncle Des, a seasoned bachelor stayed with us in Stafford, decided to get married - so my commuting days were over and I was forced to finally sever my connections with Blake’s Vitreous and return to a 9-5 job for a while. I later worked for Rediffusion, British Rolling Mills and had secured a position with John Summers Steel when the company was sold and the site eventually made into the Merry Hill Shopping Centre. After a few years in business on my own, I retired and enjoy a life of Voluntary Hospital Work, Golf, Gardening and Cooking.

I REMEMBER.....

Ted Wojtulewicz He taught me how to count stacks of drums..a real nice chap

Sheila Banks Don Ferguson Eric Nickson

Hughie Cardwell Mrs Carr Mrs Brough

Barry Jackson V Vohralik Cyril Lawton (still see him at SGI)

Ted Slaughter W.P. Contracts Manager - Williamson

Mr Ingram. Preservation Co, Channel Isle

Factory Guard System Dr Simon’s 1st Jag

Joany Griffiths - Mr Hadley’s secretary who made me dictate correctly

Mrs Pimble and her Cleaners (Mrs Winter – Taffy Winter)

Every person that worked in my office

The Gatehouse and first Commissionaire

Ken Shardlow .. Evodes football team

Vik Supplies Mr Mercer Bernard Preece

Stan - Dr Simon’s Chauffeur

The old brick kilns and chimney

My visits to Swords. Co. Dublin Ken Wood

The new Leyland Lorries - Burtonwood Tail lifts

Mr Hesp - Factory Manager - Common Road House

Ad Infinitum