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The Workforce at Leisure

The first mention of Staff jollification and possibly raucous behaviour was reported in the Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post on the 5th September 1850 - although the report implies it all got off together with a good send off from High Street it seems the whole company completely failed to come up to traditional standards set by Works Dos and all retired home in the early hours “In Good Order” without so much as a whimper!

Hopefully, with the name changed from Garton & Jarvis to Garton & King the next record of a big shebang might have shown a change in behaviour; unfortunately it seems that the next ‘Do’ that I can find any mention of was just over 100 years later at the Imperial Hotel, Exeter. An attempt by the Exeter Magical Society presumably failed to stimulate those present enough either to wreck the joint or even wake the neighbours when they left!

Thanks to George E Commins of East Grove Road, Exeter we are able to show a photograph of a Works Day Trip to Looe & Polperro - the photo was taken at Ashburton; quite when is uncertain though he tells us that the Works Outings were always in August. He has been able to identify some of the workforce in the picture.

(George, by the way was an apprentice Moulder for but a very short time, he joined G & K in 1947; however his father, Harry Commins, joined the Company on leaving school in about 1927 and retired from the Company in 1953 having worked his way up from Moulder to Chargehand. He can be seen in the Imperial Hotel Dinner Photograph.)

Both Harold Williams of Berkshire Drive, Exeter (the picture of him at his lathe appears in the section on Wheels & Gears) and George Commins tell us about the Sand Rats Skittles Team who were at one time in the early 1950s the League Champions - it is believed that the photograph was taken at the Prince Albert in Cowick Street (now The Showman). At the time the Captain was George Tozer (pattern maker), Fred Thorn (pattern maker), Tony Clark (electrician), Harry Wood (pipe fitter), Dennis Drew (foundry), P. Tucker (foundry), Harold Williams (machine shop) & John Heard (machine shop).There was also a Darts Team in the Exeter Sports League, a regular Cricket Team (no details but I believe my Uncle Alec was involved). There was also a football team - the only member of the team that George Commins recalls was that of his Dad, Harry!

You can see that there are gaping holes relating to the Social Side of the busines - any information that can add to this Chapter would be gratefully received - either documents, photographs or, particularly, memories - you don’t have to write to me, you can phone or email - see the About Me page!

1850 dinner
Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post for the
5th September 1850.
1953 dinner
Dinner at the Imperial Hotel, Exeter
see Menu
see Names in photo
Trip to Looe and Polperro
Trip to Looe and Polperro
Works Day Trip to Looe & Polperro.
Sand Rats skittle team
Sand Rats Skittles Team.

If you have any information, archive material, memories, photographs etc etc relating to Garton & King that you would be happy to share please go to the About Me page for my Contact Details.

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See also:
Workforce at WorkPersonalities
Wheels and Gears
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