The History of EVODE Social History

by John Jones


The first recorded Evode Social Event was held in the year 1947.


A photograph taken at this event, held at the Salt works club rooms, Common Road Stafford, is shown below:



After that date and up the year 1969, all social events relating to the employees of Evode took place at various licenced premises in and around Stafford:

The Amasal Club, Common Road, Stafford.

The Shepherds Bushes, Marston Road, Stafford.


The above being the most popular venues.


On the evening of the 7th January 1955

The Evode Annual Dinner and Dance was held at

The Swan Hotel, Greengate Street, Stafford.




Extract from Stafford Newsletter

28th March 1958


Expanded Evode Still Retains Its Spirit of Friendliness



Though the Stafford firm of Evode Limited, has expanded and shown good progress it still retains the 'Evode spirit' of friendliness and co-operation that was a feature of the firm when it began operations in a small way more than 20 years ago, said Dr. H Simon (Managing Director) at a dinner given by the company at the Swan Hotel on Thursday.

Recalling that the firm had only a very small staff in 1938, Dr. Simon said they had been fortunate in forming a first-class team, which still remained today.


Chess Match


A chess match was held on Saturday, 23rd January 1960 at the Glover Street Conference Room.


Mr. Duligal (Manager of the Paints division) requested that £3.00 be spent for a boiler man and fuel to keep the heating on, because the fire was usually allowed to go out at Glover Street on a Friday nights.


Exhibition Painter


On 8th December 1958 Ron Johnson joined Evode Limited at Glover Street as an Exhibition Panel Painter.

He says soon found out what a great gang of people worked at Glover Street, who always looked out for you, and helped you, but also had a wicked sense of humour, such as the day he came to cycle home for lunch only to find his bicycle had gone missing.

He spent all lunch searching every nook and cranny without success.

Mid afternoon, Dr. Simon arrived on one of his many visits, walked into the factory and retorted in a loud voice "WHAT IS THAT?"

Low and behold there was Ron's bicycle secured to the roof rafters.

"That's my bike, thank you for finding it", Ron replied.

The Doctor saw the funny side of it, but it was never repeated.


Evode Sports and Social Club


The Evode Sports and Social Club organised a trip to London on the train the cost was 19/11d for Sports and Social Club members, 29/- for their guests. Departing from Stafford on Saturday 20th October 1962 at 8.15am. returning from Kensington at 11.15pm.



Presentations to mark Evode Chairman’s Long Service.

27th December 1963


The presentation speech was made by Mr. C V Lawton to Dr. Simon.


“Guest of honour at the annual ball of the Evode Group of Companies at the Borough Hall, Stafford on Friday was the Chairman and Managing Director, Dr. H Simon, to whom presentations were made to mark his completion of 25 years service with the company.







Children’s Christmas Party


On 10th January 1964 a memo from Dr. H Simon to All Sales Staff informed them that more than 260 children of the Stafford employees of the Evode Group of Companies were entertained at a party on Saturday 4th January 1964. Every child attending - their ages ranged from a few months to 15 years also received a gift




The biggest and best ever pageant for many years was the verdict of the Organising Committee for Stafford Pageant and Carnival.

Evode's entry, which won first prize in its section and the Pageant Cup for the second year in succession, was based on the theme:

'We are as proud as peacocks of our products and progress'.



The tableau consisted of a huge peacock on a dais and surrounded by examples of all the Evode products, but the two most attractive 'decorations' on the float were without doubt Miss Jennifer Lovekin of Evomastics and Miss Jennifer Hollins of the Accounts Department, who braved the weather dressed in leotards and sporting beautiful peacock feathers.



The committee responsible for organising Evode's entry was as follows:

Mrs. V Weaver, Filing room Supervisor Miss Joan Morley, Accounts Department

Mr. T L Knowles, Personnel Manager Mr. H Clewlow, Vik Supplies Limited

Mr.M Taylor Carpenter Shop

Mr. J W Bird Group Publicity Manager

Mr. V Weaver and Mr. F Hope who also contributed some sterling work.


Proceeds from the Pageant were donated to the Sick and Ages of Stafford and other local charities.

The Evode prize money, £6.0s.0d. was returned by the Directors to the committee and has been donated to Oxfam.

'You can't keep getting married quiet'


Graham Turner said 'You can't keep getting married quiet', and didn't he soon find out!!

He says that he was well and truly got. Imagine; 20 young ladies armed with cream cakes, lard, butter and worst of all red floor tile polish. The cream cakes, lard and butter finished up all over him, in his hair, everywhere, mixed with copious amounts of talcum powder.

He says he smelt like a pole cat. Where the red floor tile polish finished up well he would not say!!

Mr. Peake came to his rescue, and let him go home early. He walked up the road carrying his coat covered in balloons and naughty notes, and, hoping that he could get cleaned up before his mother saw him. Getting the red polish off was a bit painful, but they were great work-mates and the wedding presents were fantastic.


The Evode Sports and Social Club's

new premises at Mount Street, Stafford,

was officially opened by Dr. Simon, President

on Friday 12th September 1969



Dr. H. Simon cuts the tape to open the Evode Club, assisted by Miss Evode, Sue Corcoran.

To the right of Dr. Simon is Mr JJE Forman.

Behind the front trio are: Ron Dale, Mr JE Linnell and Mr BI Liss

Extract from the Staffordshire Advertiser, August 1969



A dream came true for the members of Stafford's Evode Sports and Social Club on Friday with the opening of their first club premises.

It took nearly a year long search and four months hard work by volunteers who converted an old cafe in Mount Street into a lush Club. Before the Evode people had a home of their own.

And on Friday over 200 members packed into their club to celebrate the unofficial opening - the official celebration will be held next month

Mr. Keith Ferguson, the club's full time organiser told the Advertiser; 'Its a dream come true for us. At last we have got a club building of our own'

'The club itself is absolutely perfect. Its not too large, and there's a car park nearby, and the bus stop is only round the corner.'

'Finally, it is well away from the factory, a point that I feel is important' said Mr. Ferguson ' Many members prefer to feel as though they are going out in the evening and not going back to work'

A licensing application for the premises was granted in March and work started immediately on converting the interior

A corps of 20 to 25 volunteers spent hours redecorating, rewiring and fitting out the building. 'They did a really marvelous job. It was hard graft' said Mr. Ferguson. ' There were times when we felt down because things weren't going right, but now the club is open the effort was worthwhile.'

'We have done most of the conversion ourselves, although one or two things such as fire precautions and plumbing have been done by outside bodies.

'I can't say how much the whole thing has cost us, but I can say that by doing most of it ourselves we have saved something like £3,000' said Mr. Ferguson

He explained that it was decided to have an unofficial opening so that any 'teething troubles' could be found and sorted out 'We wanted everything perfect for the official opening'

The club has three main rooms. Just inside the entrance there is a wooden screen and on the other side of this is the lounge.

This has a carpeted floor and red leather seating. The bar is at the back of the room. On one side of the bar is a kitchen and between these is a corridor leading to the Tudor Room at the back of the club.

This has been decorated in black and white with wooden beams spanning the ceiling. Though basically a games room, there is also a small stage.

'We shall be holding a Sunday night folk session every week and at times we hope to stage dances and have groups in ' said Mr. Ferguson

A flight of stairs leads from the lounge down to the cellar for the teenagers. There soft drinks are sold; there is a juke box and a small dancing square.

'Before we came here our membership was around the 450 mark. Since then it has gone up to over 500 and now the club is open we are expecting to get far more people from the factory joining.' said Mr. Ferguson.


The tenth Annual Diner of the Evode '25 Club'


Held at the Tillington Hall Hotel where 32 members and guests were present.

The highlight of the evening was provided by Mr. Cyril Golding who gave a sparkling performance of magic in his own special style.

Magic was no more than a hobby for Mr. Golding who was Sales Director of Allweather Evode Paints, but even so, his brilliance with sleight of hand led to his election as a member of the exclusive Inner Magic Circle.


Evode Works Fire Brigade


A team from the Evode Fire Brigade gained first place in one of the events of the West Midlands Industrial Fire Brigades Association Annual Competition. They were up against strong and experienced competition in this event.

Dr. Simon proposed a bottle of champagne in recognition of this success







Evode Group Christmas Dance 1970


In January 1970 the Evode Group Christmas Dance was held at the Top of the World Ballroom.

Amongst the guests were the Mayor and Mayoress of Stafford and the Town Clerk.

Miss Evode 1970 was elected and the winner was Miss Teresa Duncan (photograph on the right), Dr Simon’s, Secretary.








Official visit to Evode


On January 5th 1970 the Mayor, Mayoress, Chief Officer

and Town Clerk visited the Common Road site.





Evode Division Two Winners, 1970


The Evode Football Team ended the season as Division Two Champions, winning the game played on 11th May, and at the same time winning the Division Two Champions Cup and the League Division Two Trophy, and the Stafford Pageant Cup.



Back row: Stan Wooton, Keith Ferguson, Graham Jenkinson, Melvin Farmer, Pat Johnson (with the cup)

John Bevans, Keith Robinson, Bob Studzinski, Mick Gibbs, Bob Horne

Front row: Brian 'Chebby' Butler, Ian Ferguson (Mascot), Bill O'Neil, Mick Lavelle, Pete 'Ozzie' Challinor



The Evode '25 Club' Anniversary

Was celebrated with a canal tour by horse drawn boat from Shebdon Wharf to Norbury, a journey lasting one and a half hours.

The weather was ideal, and Mr. John Bird went along with his guitar which provoked 'lusty, but not always tuneful' singing!

The Dinner was held at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Shropshire, and was reported to be excellent. It was forecast that in the next four years the membership would double.

At the hotel, Dr. Simon, accompanied by his son Andrew, joined the party and during the evening, Dr. Simon recounted some of the highlights of his journey to the Americas from which he had just returned.

The Evode Annual Christmas Dance, 1970


The event was organised by the Evode Sports and Social Club was held at the Trentham Ballroom on December 11th, and was attended by about 1,000 employees and guests.

The Miss Evode 1970 Competition was won by Mrs Janita Wareham of Personnel. Dr. Simon was present at the dance.


The Judges were:

Alderman W. Dean, His Worship the Mayor of Stafford.

Mr. Ron Flowers, former England and Wolves footballer.

Rev H. Miers, the Vicar of St Bertlin’s.

Mr. H Brunton, assistant manager of the Top of the World ballroom.

Mr. A Moxan, the Sentinel Photographer.


Social Club Outings


From October 13th to 15th 1971, 49 members of the Evode Sports and Social Club enjoyed a short but hectic holiday in Belgium where they attended a beer festival.


Then on 28th October there was a coach party to London, some to see the motor show, and some to see the King Tutankhamen exhibition.



The Evode Annual Christmas Dance, 1972

This year the event was held at The Top of the World on Friday 8th December 1972, during which Miss Edwina Orr of Works Administration was selected as Miss Evode 1973, being chosen as from 10 beautiful contestants.





Annual General Meeting well attended.


The third Annual General Meeting of the Evode Sports and Social Club was held on Thursday 12th November, 1970 and the occasion was quite well supported.

In his review of the past year's activities, Dr. B S Jackson said that the year had proved most encouraging. Within the various sections there had been a tremendous increase in interest which augured well for the future.

In his report the Secretary emphasised to the meeting the urgent need for permanent Club premises. In a later discussion it was decided that the Committee should make formal approaches to the Amasal Club with a view to sharing the Club's facilities.

Brief reports were given by the various sectional secretaries, and the activities covered included Cricket, Football, Table Tennis, Swimming, Darts, Photography, Angling, Motorcycling, the Auto Club and other social arrangements such as Theatre and Train Trips, Social Dances etc.

On behalf of the Evode Board, Mr. J J E Forman informed members that the Management followed the affairs of the Sports and Social Club with great interest, and he was extremely pleased with the progress that had been made. As a mark of his own personal support of the Club's activities, Mr. Forman donated the sum of £10.0s.0d. towards the cost of any competitive shields the Club might wish to present. Receiving the donation on behalf of the Club, Dr. B S Jackson thanked Mr. Forman in the name of all members.


Children's Christmas Party, 1972. (1971?)


On Saturday 11th December, a party was held in the works canteen, for employees younger children, the party was also attended by the Mayor of Stafford Miss Stella Kidman, who was welcomed by Dr. H Simon.




Theatre visit.


The older children were taken to theatre at Wolverhampton, on the 3rd January 1972 to see Jack and the Beanstalk.



The Sports and Social Club Annual Christmas dance


Held at the Top of the World, on Saturday 21st January 1972, all entrants for the MISS EVODE 1972 competition will be helped by instruction from Miss Barbara Wimbush an ex Hartnell Model, all young ladies entering the competition will also be allowed time off for a hair-dressing appointment with a contribution towards the cost.



Evode “25” Club


On Saturday 29th April 1972 twenty five members attended the Eighth Annual Dinner at the Clayton Lodge Hotel Newcastle Stoke on Trent.

All the existing members were presented with an inscribed Scroll by Dr. Simon, President of the Club.



Cricket knock-out


A six a side Cricket knock-out as been organised to take place 0n August 20th 1972 at the Universal Grinding Wheel Cricket Ground. And on 30th of the same month a trip to Twycross Zoo for club members and children.



Inter Departmental Cricket Knockout


On September 17th 1972 the Inter Departmental Cricket Knockout took place and in the final the Factory team beat the Offices by 20 runs.


Evode Ladies Darts Team


The Evode Ladies Darts Team continue their run of success with two games against the Ladies from the North End Club, They won the first match 6-4 and made a draw 5-5 in the second game, the North End Club commented on the friendly reception they received from the Evode Sports and Social Club.




Social Club Events


On September 1972 48 members spent a tiring but most enjoyable evening ice skating at the Birmingham ice rink.


On 28th October 1972 a coach party left the Social Club on trip to London, it was please yourself trip with some of the party going to the motor show and some visiting the show King Tut.


Also during the month of October the Ladies Crochet Section raised £10.00 by means of a raffle the proceeds going to Fernleigh Home, Marston Road Stafford.



Congratulations to the Evode Saturday Football Team, although they were defeated 2-1 on Saturday 2.12.72. It was a great achievement to reach the quarter finals of the Staffordshire Cup. This is one of the highest standards of football an amateur club can play in.



Back row: John Ferneyhough, Bill Pitchford, ??, John Jones, ??, Roger Willetts

Front row: ??, Shaun Nolan, ??, Bob Whitworth, Bob Horne




Evode Ladies Darts


The Evode Ladies have finished with friendly games, they have joined the Stafford Ladies League, they don’t win many games but Friday evenings at the Club are more enjoyable in the company of these very good sports.







Social Club Events during March 1973


The Sports & Social have entered two teams in a 5 a side football competition which takes place every Sunday morning in Stoke on Trent, a very tiring but most enjoyable morning’s entertainment.


Mr. Roy Ecclestone and Mr K Paling members of the table tennis section have been selected to represent Stafford in a team to play Stone.


Congratulations to the Evode Sunday Team who beat G.P.O 2.1 in the Final of the Sunday League Subsidiary Cup on Sunday 25th March 1973.

Evode “25” Club


On 4th May 1973 the Ninth annual dinner of the “25” CLUB was held at the Little Barrow Hotel Lichfield, Dr. Simon. Made presentations to Mr.R. A. Moseley and Mr. J. R. Rycroft. who completed 25 years service with the company during 1972.



Miss Evode, 1973




Well done Gail.



Miss Gail Addison who works in the adhesives.

She is this years Miss Evode.

She entered in the Miss Recreation 1973 of Great Britain Beauty competition.

Out of 130 entrants Miss Addison reached the final of 8.

The final was held at the Lindon Hall Hotel Bournemouth on 23rd September 1973.

Evode “25” Club


Tenth Annual Dinner of the EVODE “25 CLUB was held at the Tillington Hall Hotel Stafford August 1973 32 members were present.


Presentations were made to 5 new members:

Mr. H. H. Taylor.

Mr. R. C. Dale.

Miss. S. Wall.

Mr. E. J. Newman

Mr. G. H. Clarke.








The new premises of the


Opened on Tuesday 30th July 1974

The opening ceremony was performed by the clubs President DR. H. SIMON. Who has long been associated with, and supported the clubs activities.



The club will provide a large function room, a lounge area, changing rooms with showers for sports teams, toilets and a small kitchen with catering facilities. Also a large area surrounding the clubhouse will provide a play area for children.


Chairman: Treasurer: Secretary:

Roy Ecclestone. Graham Cork. John Jones.

Evode Golf Section


It is mainly due to the enthusiasm of Mr. Z. J. (SPIG) Wojtulewicz Vik Laboratory that the Evode Golf Section was formed. At the first meeting held on 21st July 1975 at Hawkstone Park.

Harry Venton played a good game of 'hockey' and won the stable ford competition with 26 points. And in the afternoon Keith Challiner won the bogie competition. The only lady to take part was Margaret Pease. She was given a handicap of 24 for the day instead of her usual 36, and she still managed to come second in the afternoon competition.



Sports and Social Club, Landscaping


A total of £1000 will be spent on landscaping for the Sports & Social Club, and provision of a path from the main site to give lunchtime access.



Evode Panto', 1975


Rehearsals for this years panto

“Dick Whittington”

are well under way, as can be seen in the photograph below:




Presentation: Inter-department Knock-outs


On Friday 19th September 1975 Dr. Simon. Assisted by Miss Evode 1975 Christine Taylor. Presented awards to the winners of this years inter dept knock out competitions 86 in all.


Parents are reminded that coaches for the children’s visit to Wolverhampton for this years pantomime outing will leave greatrex garage Stafford at 1.00pm prompt.



Miss Evode Competition 1974


The Miss Evode Competition 1976 was held at the Top of The World Ballroom Stafford, Eighteen year old Linda Banks of Stone Road Stafford, won the competition and Sue Mauger was runner up. Linda was presented with the crown by the previous year’s winner Christine Taylor.


Badminton Section - Donation


The badminton section has made a most generous donation of 48 rose trees to the Sports & social Club, a gift which is much appreciated.


Evode “25” Club


May 21st 1976 The EVODE “25” CLUB celebrated it’s Twelve Annual Dinner at the Tillington Hall Hotel. 48 Members and Guests attended.


Stafford Pageant Cup Winners


Stafford Pageant members of the Evode football team entered Mayor’s Messenger Trophy which they went on to win.


Miss Evode Competition 1977


Miss Evode 1977 winner was Miss Allison Moss. Allison works in the cost office. Apart from winning the competition she also won a week-end for two in Holland and Belgium, awarded to Allison by Mr. J.R.Gillow a director of Land Travel, The Social Club use Land Travel for most of the Club trips. On her return Allison said she had a wonderful time, especially the canal boat trip in Amsterdam.


Evode Sports and Gala Day - Saturday 4th June 1977.


A most enjoyable day, one that we hope the children will remember.

All the sixteen events were well supported, each child that attended the gala day was presented with a pennant to keep as a souvenir of the Queens Silver Jubilee.



Evode “25” Club


August 1977:

Five new members joined the EVODE “25” CLUB. The dinner was held at the Tillington Hall Hotel. Sixty-one members and guests were present.

The new members were:

Mr. R.Geheb. Mr. C. H. Burton. Mr. B. C. Preece.

Mr. W. H Weaver. Mr. J. Scanlon.



19th May 1978:


EVODE “25” CLUB Fourteenth annual dinner was held at the Tillington Hall Hotel, Stafford, four new members were:

Mr. J. K. Shardlow. Mr. C. Hunt.

Dr. B. S. Jackson. Mr. A. L. Burton.


Presentations to the four new members were made by Mr. J.J.E. Forman.

Entertainment was provided by PAUL LISS, and his selection of Banjos and songs, and the table magic of CYRIL GOLDING.



8th June 1979:

EVODE “25” CLUB Fifteenth Annual dinner was held at the Tillington Hall Hotel with seven new members joining the club:

Mr. S. Spalek. Mr. S. Sims.

Mr. E. Winter. Mrs. M. Wall.

Mr. R. Ecclestone.


79 members and guests were present

The Evode Sports and Social Club visited Littleton Colliery on 10th September and they report as follows:

" We were taken to the depth of 1,000 ft down the No 2 shaft, whilst underground, the party covered approximately 4 miles. This included a short journey on the locomotive transport and a visit t o the coal face."





The first '200 Club' draw took place on the 10th October at the Evode Sports and Social Club, the draw was made by Mr. Forman. The prizes were £100,. £50 and £30.


The Evode '25 Club' celebrated its twelfth Annual Dinner at the Tillington Hall Hotel on 21st May 1976 when 48 members and some guests were present .


Five members of the Evode Group achieved their silver jubilee of service with their companies and joined the '25 Club' on the occasion of its 13th Annual Dinner at Tillington Hall Hotel when 61 members and guests were present.


The Evode Sports and Social Club presented their annual extravaganza 'Jack and the Beanstalk'.


Letter to hotel manager of the Saintgeran Hotel, Maurtitius.


Dear Mr. Laverdant


I would be very grateful if you could do me a great personal favour, and deliver to the Saintgeran Hotel, Poste de Flacq, Mauritius on the 19th May, a bottle of the best quality champagne, to be placed on the dinner table of Dr. H Simon who is a guest at the hotel. I would be much obliged if a card could accompany the champagne, reading

“With the Evode 25 Club’s best wishes. Please join us in a drink tonight.”

As you are no doubt aware, Dr. Simon is the Chairman of Evode Holdings, and members of the company employed for over 25 years belong to a ‘25 Year Club’ of which Dr. Simon is President.

This will be the first year that Dr. Simon has not been present and we are all extremely anxious that some little token or gesture should be made regarding his absence.

I have written to you as Chairman of the 25 Club as I have had the pleasure of meeting you when you visited Stafford, therefore I hope you will excuse the liberty I have taken in asking you to do this favour.

Please be kind enough to submit your account to me personally so that arrangements can be made for reimbursement.


Yours sincerely,












Folding Dingy Race, Stafford 1979


Evode were represented in a race held on the river Sow by:


John Brown (Transport)

Brian Smith (Stores)

Fred Chambers (Transport)



Evode “25” Club


The Evode '25 Club' celebrated its fifteenth Annual Dinner at Tillington Hall Hotel on 8th June 1979 when 79 members and guests were present.




Evode '25' Club Chairman's Report, Winter 1981


This years Annual Dinner was the biggest 'get together' in the Clubs history. There were 225 Members and guests present including eleven new Members. It was good to see you all. My one regret was not having time to talk to everyone.

When the Club was founded, Dick McPhee, whom many of you will remember as Sales Director of Building Chemicals Division, said the following, which I believe many Members today still feel expresses the feelings of loyalty and service, something which gives a warm bond of comradeship which can be earned in no other way and for which each member can feel justly proud.

"We as Members of this club should be most conscious of its importance. We should show enthusiasm in its future progress and we must at all times, with existing staff and new entrants to the organisation, impress upon them the value of long service as a position within the Group is not only a job, but also a future and with the expansion which is obvious to all, this fact cannot be stressed too highly."



The '25Club' was also a special day for Group Chairman Andrew Simon as it was twenty years to the day that he joined the company. Congratulations Andrew, it won't be too long before you are both guest of honour and a member too.

Perhaps some of you may have memories of events which seem 'just like yesterday' - why not write to me about it? There will be a prize parcel for any letter interesting enough to publish


Barrie Liss

The Evode Sports and Social Club, discontinued.


Membership subscriptions ceased at the end of June 1985, and the disposal of the Clubs assets was completed by Friday 20th July 1985.


Note to Evode Sports & Social Club Members , 5th June 1985

Unfortunately as part of the current manpower cost savings and profit improvement programme, the Company could not continue supporting the full-time employment of a Sports & Social Club Secretary, and John Jones relinquished that position in March.

The future of the Club has therefore been discussed at length with the Officers of the Club.

The temporary accommodation is less than satisfactory for the Club to continue and better facilities are urgently required.

Regrettably to provide better, more permanent facilities, would cost a substantial sum of money with a further commitment from the Company to underwrite the finances of the Club for the next 3 years or so.

Company sponsored clubs in the area have been in financial difficulties in recent times and have only been able to continue by encouraging an ever-increasing proportion of non-employees to become associate members, which means in effect that companies are subsidising growing numbers of non-employees.

Given the present economic difficulties the Company feels that the money required to re-establish the Evode Sports & Social Club would be much better invested in the business and by so doing provide wider benefit to the majority of employees, although it fully appreciates the severe disappointment which the Committee and the active members of the Club will feel.

The possibility of a link-up with another outside Club has been considered, but the Committee feels that this would lead to the loss of the separate Evode identity, and are not happy to support such a move.

Consequently, regrettably, there seems no alternative but to close the Evode Sports & Social Club.

Membership subscriptions will cease to be deducted from pay from the end of June 1985.

The disposal of the assets of the Club will be complete by Friday 20th July 1985.


Robin Tomkins

Group Director of Personnel

(Director of Evode Limited.)





The Evode Group - NOTICE , 27th July 1987



I am very pleased to confirm that H.R.H. The Princess Royal will be visiting Evode at 9.30a.m. on Tuesday 13th October 1987 and will be spending an hour visiting the Stafford site.

A detailed programme is currently being worked out and it is hoped to offer to as many of the company staff as possible the opportunity of seeing Her Royal Highness.


Andrew H Simon




Extract from the Staffordshire Newsletter , October 1987



An early start on the 13th, and a dreary chill wet autumn morning, would cause most youngsters to think twice about waiting around on a football ground, even for a VIP.

But seven-year-old Natacha Simon, had a big smile of warmth, and a bright posy of flowers, for the Princess Royal when she visited the Stafford-based Evode Group this week.

Even a blast of soaking leaves, and rain from the downdraft of the helicopter from the Queen's Flight did not dampen the enthusiasm of Natacha, daughter of Andrew Simon, Group Chairman.

Natacha's delight was the result of a last minute decision by the company directs. Originally the presentation was to have been made by Sheila Parsons, of Parkside, the longest serving employee. A road accident last weekend, however, resulted in the woman with 38 years company service having to stay at home recovering from her ordeal.

The visit by the Princess to Evode's Common Road adhesives and sealants division was one of three appointments in the county.


Despite the weather the Royal guest bravely ignored a limousine on standby to whisk her around the 22 acre site and set off at a smart pace to meet some of the 500 employees and learn something of the unit products.

On one occasion the Princess Royal, dressed in a heavy blue-green suit with matching head scarf, produced a handkerchief as the raw elements took a toll. In a big drafty warehouse workmen stood respectfully quiet as she toured around.

It was the women office staff, crowding in the centrally heated reception area, who broke into applause when the Princess unveiled a plaque too commemorate the 25 years that Evode has been in existance as a public company. And it drew a smile from Princess Anne who was by then showing signs of a cold.

It was clear, however, that she had enjoyed the trip, over-running the scheduled hour long programme by 20 minutes.

Later the Princess went on to visit the Chatterley Whitfield mining museum, an underground coal drift named after hare, and the new Century Oils complex at Stoke-on-Trent.











The Evode Group – NOTICE, 13th October 1987


I would like to thank everybody on the Stafford site for the tremendous effort that you have all made to make the visit of Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal such a success.

I am sure that it will be a day to remember for all of us and we shall be giving each of you in due course a small memento of the visit to commemorate this very special occasion.


Andrew Simon


John Forman, founder of the “25” Club, dies.


It is with real sadness that we have to tell you that our friend John Forman passed away on the 26th February 1990 aged 80.

John joined Spic and Span Shoe Polishes Ltd. in 1934 as Manger and became a Director in 1937.

He will be remembered for the enthusiasm and energy that he devoted to the Company, and his contribution undoubtedly helped to ensure its successful growth through some very difficult years.

John was always willing to give of his time to those seeking help and advice, and he made a point of talking to everyone he knew whenever he would visit the factory.

In 1964 John Forman founded the Evode '25 Club', and became its first Chairman. He was our Chairman for 14 years until his selection as President. A position he held until 1984. Through his efforts we are able to enjoy our annual function and he would be proud to know that long and loyal service continues to receive recognition.

We are honoured to have known John Forman, for he was a true gentleman and our friend. We extend our sympathy to his widow and children, Helge and Johhny.


John Jones, 2008