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.
MEMORIES OF TIMES PAST
WHAT IS THIS?
recognise this, please? We understand that it served as paperweight in Gordon
Summerlin's office for a number of years. The design bears little resemblance
to other Baker Perkins Group logos - it might sit more easily on Flash Gordon's
uniform! WWSS might suggest Westwood
Works Sports & Social Club but what does the 'G'
represent - "Group" perhaps? Could it be a Foundry Apprentice Test Piece?
of three important reports re-surfaced during one of our final (?) rummages
through our collection of paper memorabilia. All had been used as source
documents when first adding material to the website but as each contained
a lot of colourful detail, in total adding much to our understanding of
what daily life was like in the Company during three distinct periods of
its history, it is felt important that they be reproduced in full on the
website. In a new section entitled - "Memories
of Times Past", we see:
reports mentioned above are accessible via a redesigned title page for the bphs.net
website Work on providing links between these reports
and the relevant website text is ongoing.
kindness of people out there, whom we have never met and, as far as we know,
have never worked for Baker Perkins, continues to amaze us. Frank Hay, a
member of the Queensferry (Edinburgh) History Group, was on holiday in Crossmaglen,
N.I. recently and dropped into McNamee's Bakery for a cup of coffee.
Prominently retained in the cafe as a decoration was the beautifully preserved
front end of a Cook's
Matchless (David Thomson, Edinburgh) drawplate oven and Frank
very kindly took the time to send us some photographs. You will recall that
we recently received unsolicited photographs from Norfolk of
Thomson oven . We will, of course, be making contact
with McNamee's bakery in the hope that we can discover more about the life
of this oven.
of memorabilia have arrived since distributing the last Newsletter,
Marsh Perkins had, by 1864, developed his space
heating business to the point where he was introducing "Improvements" to
his systems. We have a hand-written duplicate on vellum of one such Patent
from 9th February 1864.
copy of the Programme for the 1981
Long Service Presentation. In 1979, it had been decided
to aim to reduce the qualification period from 35 to 25 years. In view
of the numbers involved, a plan was implemented to stage the reduction
over a period of years. By 1981, those qualifying included all those
with 26 or more years' continuous service, and anyone retiring in 1982
with 25 years' continuous service. 65 employees attended the event.
from the Company's recognition of long service at the Annual Long Service
was customary for the retirement of employees to be marked by the presentation
gift donated by their colleagues. A 'Presentation Book',
prepared by one of the secretaries with an artistic flair, was invariably the
centrepiece of these Presentations. These are now providing both a nostalgic
reminder of such events and very importantly for us, a useful list of employees
at the time. The Retirement in December 1954, after fifty years service of
W.B. Frostick provides a practically complete roll-call of the Company's then
A Letter of Condolence
sent in November 1982 by his work colleagues to the widow of Eric Bryant
gives us a list of those employed in the Cutter
Shop at the time.
Bill Rout kindly delivered
a cast nameplate from an oven that was at OY Karl Fazer in Finland until
it was scrapped in the early 1980s. The plate which is chrome plated and bears
the legend “Baker Perkins Limited, Engineers, London andPeterborough” is
believed to date from the 1930s. Its history is currently under investigation.
Rout was one of the United
Biscuit Apprentices from the mid-1960s. United Biscuits
was one of Baker Perkins' major customers with whom large joint projects
were carried out, particularly in the mid-1960s. This co-operation extended
to offering to train United Biscuits' own apprentices at Westwood. We have
recently been contacted by another ex-UB Apprentice - John Robb. An attempt
to draw up a complete list of UB Apprentices is shown - HERE.
Perkins Developments at Twyford was a fascinating place
where ideas were turned (hopefully) into marketable process machines -
a veritable boffins' paradise.
to the section on "Reunions" has
been revised to reflect the BPHS Committee's latest thinking on the frequency
of these events
issue of this Newsletter mentioned the investigation we carried out
on behalf of the descendents of Herbert "Rusty" Sands, one-time Manager of
the Drawing office at Joseph Baker & Sons, Willesden. A
photograph has been received suggesting that as late
as 1906, salesmen visiting Argentina were
advised to be armed when calling on customers and, when staying at the
local hotel, to sleep with a pistol under the pillow.
And last but by no means least:
"If you seek
his monument............................................". Our last Newsletter reported
the death of Jim Deboo. It has often been suggested that a Baker Perkins
Apprenticeship set up for life those privileged to wear the green overall.
Two days before he passed away, Jim received a
letter from one of his 'old boys'. We think it speaks
Best wishes – Dick, Margaret and James Preston
PS - Each time the process of adding new material to
these websites is begun, I am reminded that navigation around both sites gets
a little more difficult as our coverage of the Company's history increases.
It is clear that a pause to re-index much of the text is long overdue. This
will be my next priority, after which the publishing date of any future Newsletters will