Westwood Works 1903-2003
Customers and visitors from all over the world visited the Westwood Works site to see how the many different, high quality machines sold by Baker Perkins were designed and manufactured. These VIP visitors were of course very important to the business and were all treated with great respect and consideration. The company provided chauffeur driven cars to transport them to and from airports and to other Customers' factories around the country.
At one time there were two luxury Austin Princess cars, driven by Bob Griggs and George Preston. It was not unusual for each of the chauffeurs to clock up 40,000 miles a year. When they were not actually driving they would work hard at keeping the cars looking immaculate. If time permitted, they might also clean the Directors' cars. The cars were serviced by two mechanics – John Gripton and Norman Davey, who operated from the Directors' Garage that was situated next to the Main Works entrance on Westfield Road.
George Preston developed his own special polish that he used on these prestigious vehicles to achieve a very high gloss. This quickly became a talking point as people wondered just how he managed to get such a wonderful shine. Such was the interest in this that he eventually marketed his polish as "Prestone Wax" and sold it to employees and the public.
When the Austin Princesses were sold the company then purchased a Rolls Royce and after this a Jaguar. Mick Johnson became company chauffeur along with John Cox and later, Trevor Moore.
When the new office block was built in 1975 the Directors Garage was demolished and relocated in a building at the very bottom of the Factory yard. Once used as a Casting Store, it was adjacent to the Experimental Department building and the "Marsden Hut" (used for storing electrical items and later to become the Steel Stores).
|George Preston polishing the Princess with his special polish||George Preston (right) adds some elbow grease||George Preston's Retirement||Mick Johnson with the company Jaguar||1975: Bill Coppin - The Export Company Chauffeur||1978: John Cox bound for Buckingham Palace|
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