As indicated in our last Newsletter, it is intended that the two websites
should be periodically updated, albeit at less frequent intervals than in the
past. This issue includes a number of items that were not complete in time
for inclusion in the August 2011 edition, together with a few that have come
to light since then.
The new items added since the last Newsletter can be accessed as usual via
the blue links. If you are able to add to these records, we would be pleased
to hear from you. They include:
Mary Jo Darrah (BPHS’s Patron and daughter of Sir
Ivor Baker) has been pulling together her father’s
personal papers and has kindly passed on a copy of an article that appeared
in the Investor’s Chronicle in March 1959, under the heading – “Men
The development of the Sports & Social
Club at Westwood Works has been well chronicled, both on
the Website and in Jim
Farrow’s book. We are gathering information on similar
activities that were carried on in other Group subsidiaries. So far,
we have unearthed details of Sports Clubs at:
Any further information on the above, or other Sports Clubs that existed within
the Group, would be gratefully received.
Baker Perkins is rightly proud of its Apprenticeship
Scheme and we were delighted to be contacted by a farmer
from the Fen at Crowland who presented us with three Apprentice Record
Books he had found in a filing cabinet in one of his barns. How they
got there is not known but they are in remarkably good condition after
20 years. They are:
Successes.The three volumes will of course be lodged in
the Baker Perkins Archive at Peterborough Central Library at a later
Canteen Ration Book – This was sent in to “Group
News” in the 1970s at which time no one was able to throw any light
on who might have used it. Does anyone out there have any suggestions,
To do justice to the history of biscuit design and the artistry and precision
that goes into the manufacture of biscuit
cutter and moulding rolls would justify a website on its own.
Unfortunately, we do not have that luxury so we will have to make do, at
the moment, with an article that appeared in “Group News” in
September 1968. Of course, we would love to hear from any brave soul out
there who might be tempted to add to this coverage.
PLEASE NOTE – “The History of Baker Perkins in
the Biscuit Business” is another of those rather large sections that
would benefit from a little more re-jigging and cross-linking from the main
Index. Until that happens, please click on to the blue link above and then
scroll down to the relevant sub-heading.
and Pistol Section of the Westwood Sports & Social Club
had its far share of internal and external competitions and relevant
trophies. As with many of the Sports Club sections, when the Sports club
closed down, trophies were dispersed – usually to members of the
section. Dennis Crouch has provided photographs of two of them.
Cards – Recent Newsletters have sought to break the
colour code used at Westwood for Clock Cards. We still seek verification
of our guesswork but the importance of Clock Cards justifies a reminder
of the strict Company rules governing their use.
Recent Newsletters have also covered our attempts to confirm the date when
the Heating & Ventilation
Department moved to Peterborough from Collier Street, London.
Fortunately, we have had the assistance of John Purse, the grandson of the
man who was in charge of the Department at the time. John’s research
suggests that 1940 is most probably correct, as there is evidence that the
move was accelerated by the growing menace of the Blitz.
The Website covers “Reunions” organised
by ex-Westwood employees but these are not the only attempts to keep in touch
with old colleagues. Rose Forgrove’s senior managers held Lunch
Meetings over many years and Peter Dyson tells us how, under
his stewardship, these are now attended by a much broader cross-section of
ex-Rose Forgrove employees.
We still hope to stumble across a copy of “Baker’s
Batch” – published by Joseph Baker & Sons
in World War One.
Memories of Times Past
The Westwood Machine Shop in 1923
The 1970s saw a major investment in the very latest machine
tools at Westwood and elsewhere in the Group. The details
recorded here barely scratch the surface of this complicated story so,
as this is not my area of expertise, is there anyone out there who can
add to our coverage, please?
There are still areas of Group and subsidiary company activities that remain
unrecorded and we would appreciate any help you can give in filling these gaps.
This Newsletter refers to our wish to add to:
Sports & Social Clubs around the Group.
Investment in Machine Tools.
Biscuit Cutter and Moulding Roll Manufacture.
We do not seek reams of Shakespearian prose – just a few clues that
we could research further. For instance, do you consider that we have covered
adequately the activities of that part of the Company in which you were employed?
One significant gap we have identified is the development of the Personnel
function around the Group. Discussions have taken place with Carol (Barrett)
Abell who is attempting to harness the memories of a bevy of beauties who,
like her, worked in this area.
WORK IN PROGRESS
We have a few more items in hand that we were unable to fully research prior
to publication of this Newsletter. It is intended that these will be added
to the Websites over the next few months and will be detailed in another Newsletter
to be distributed, hopefully, in the first half of 2012.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
We are most grateful for the very touching messages of support that we have
received. Your continued interest in our endeavors is greatly appreciated.
Best wishes – Dick, Margaret and James Preston