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Westwood Works 1903-2003

The Works Drawing Cabinet

Those of you who have followed the fortunes of Bert Slater (see here), from the time that he joined the company in 1936 as a 14-year old trainee, might have been puzzled by the name of his first placement, perhaps entertaining visions of a large metal filing cabinet full of drawings. In  fact, the Works Drawing Cabinet was an important part of the Drawing Office/Works interface and a good place to begin to understand the business.

When the Drawing Office made fresh Works drawings were made, they were sent to the Works Drawing Cabinet where they were racked in numerical order and recorded on a card index. Drawer racks were used with divisions for each drawing number into which a man's number check was placed for every drawing withdrawn. Thus when a drawing was wanted in the Shop, the Librarian looked at the card index to check that it had been received from the Drawing Office and, if so, it would be either in the Cabinet or already in the Shop. If the latter, the check number of the man who had it would be in the corresponding division in the drawer rack.

A general clear-up of drawings in the machine shop was made once a week but this was not thought to be necessary in the other Shops.

This was an obviously simple and effective system. Does anyone recall the system used in the days of computers?

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