Ted Washer joined the company of 28th December 1941 in the Contracts Department, which consisted of three other man and himself, as one of the others was his father, and another his brother, it was quite a family concern.
Some new air raid shelters had been built behind the National Gallery off Charring Cross Road around a statue well protected by sand bags. This was his first job, and despite the times the escapologist still performed his daily routine of getting out of a straightjacket and yards of padlocked chain at the foot of the statue. He was never able to remember who was behind the sandbags.
The waterproofing of shelters was the prime function, and plodding on foot around the sites was quite arduous, at the time they could not afford to buy new brushes and buckets for each job and it was practice to wrap these up in sacking and carry them through the streets of London, this job usually fell to him. However, they soon graduated to static water tanks.
Stafford was of course all very vague and merely a place somewhere in the north which we had never visited, and never saw anybody from and only came to the fore when money and wages were the subject, and at 8d per hour this was of some importance! A quick phone call to Mrs Wood when things weren't quite as they should be soon put matters right.
Eventually, they had to venture forth into the wilds of the country and it was nothing to be sealing a water tank in Hertfordshire one day and a roof in Yorkshire or beyond the next. Those were great days for travelling too, with perhaps a four hour wait for a connection at Crewe late at night or arriving in Leeds or London during the very small hours and finding that with no public transport running they had to wait around the station for several hours until the first bus or tram He could well remember Mr Yudolph starting with the company and visiting his first job in the company of Mr Fishburn at Newly Mills Horsforth Leeds. Access to the roofs had to be gained by walking the length of the building along a series of pipes at eaves level. Following this experience he was surprised to see him visit the company again. They went on to deal with a considerable amount of work at A.V. Roes factory at Yeadon where they worked on their first T.2 hanger and various other sites and mills around Leeds and Bradford At this time the labour force had grown considerably, and temporarily with local labour taken on for these jobs, and the Ministry of Labour had to be satisfied that they were doing a job of national importance before they could employ them.
The first contact that he had with anybody actually in Stafford, and certainly the first time he had been to the factory was when he had to report to be taken by Dr Simon in his car to a pottery at Armitage. It was on this job that he laid felt for the first time in conjunction with an Evode treatment. By this time he had been on the 'permanent' staff of contracts by Fred Duffin and Joe Parker both from Stafford.
The end of the war found him at the Air Force base in Warrington, followed by many moves all the time getting busier and busier, until service in the forces caught up with him and he was posted to Shropshire where he visited Stafford one weekend, he also visited Dr Simon at his house and received a letter from Dr Simon proudly announcing the arrival of a son.
He returned to the company after service, and found many changes had occurred, including a very much enlarged Contracts Department and a Departmental Manager. But, the routine of travelling hadn't changed much and did not do so for dome time, but at last there was sufficient work to keep him down south.
Dr Simon visited a water tank in Rugby one day during heavy snow to find two frozen 'mites' trying to work with a brazier to dry the paste, and expressing such surprise that they weren't at the pictures that afternoon, and he wouldn't go away without leaving them with some cigarettes, which were in short supply at that time. Another time, some years later after the war, the Doctor visited them at the water tower at Stoke, it was a bank holiday Monday, and the Doctor arrived in his first new Humber car. When he saw the 120ft climb that was required to speak to the workmen, he managed to persuade Mr Forman that it would be a good idea to climb to the top of the tower to get Mr Washer down so that the Doctor could speak to him.
At the time it was customary for Dr Simon himself to visit all contracts, but with the enlarging of business in general this gradually ceased, and contact with Dr Simon was became occasional, and reserved for meetings and conferences in Stafford.