P.R.V. - Employees
I list erstwhile P.R.V. employees as they become known to me. Strictly, only names &
location/occupation (if known) is given and, for living persons, no personal identifiable detail is
stated. Any other detail given has either been obtained from information in the
public domain or permission has otherwise been granted with the express intent that
the information is published on this website.
The "PRVdesign Group" is a group of ex-PRV Drawing Office staff who have a website dedicated to sharing personal memories, photographs & memorabilia. Please click the link for more information and to see their latest video.
colleague & friend of John William Rose (see below). Surname
unknown. [Tony Rose]
Drawing Office - Steven was an Apprentice Draughtsman at PRV from 1974-1979. He says he was taken under the wing of Alf Hill and learnt everything he knows today!
|Stan||Anniss||Drawing Office (MOD) - Trainee Draughtsman 1958-1960.|
|W. C.||Ansley||A "finisher" in the factory from the mid 50's to at least the early 70's.|
colleague & friend of John William Rose (see below). Surname
unknown. [Tony Rose]
|Charlie||Babbs||Drawing Office (MOD)|
|Jack||Bailey||Composite Shop - Charge Hand|
|?||Barnard||(aka Barney) Drawing Office - LTE Compiler|
Drawing Office - Ken Barnes was born in 1946 and worked in the PRV Drawing Office as a Design Draughtsman from 1970 to 1975 and as Project Engineer from 1975 to 1977. He moved to C. H. Roe (Leeds) in 1977 as Chief Designer then was appointed Engineering Manager at Eastern Coach Works (Lowestoft) from 1982 to 1985. He joined British Rail Engineering Ltd./ABB Rail Vehicles Ltd. (Derby) as Senior Project Engineer (Mechanical) from 1986 to 1995 and became Senior Project Engineer (Mechanical) at Alstom Transport Ltd. (Birmingham) until early retirement in 2006.
Andrew Barnes (aka Andy) - Was a PRV Apprentice from '62 to '67 but
after he finished his apprenticeship he left PRV to work at Bonallacks, a body building firm
specialising in outside broadcast TV units. This involved building the vehicles from start to finish
(with just a mate) so he learnt quite a bit more about vehicle building after
he completed his apprenticeship.
Two years later he returned to PRV, as the money was so much better, and worked in the bodyshop until
leaving to work for London Transport and then Stagecoach until January
2011 when he called it a day after looking after Titans 1 & 2 from 1978 to 2004 when they were sold to Blue Triangle.
During his time with LT and Stagecoach Thomas bumped into many
colleagues that also worked at PRV.
|Victor A||Bell||Aircraft Factory|
|Ms||Betts||Secretary or Telephonist|
|Don||Black||Works Charge Hand (father of Jim below).|
Drawing Office (son of Don above) - Circa 1963. Jim left around 1966 to join Duple at Hendon and later he joined Commer then Karrier at Dunstable
Drawing Office - John Bland was born about 1944 and worked in the PRV Drawing Office as a Design Draughtsman in the late 1960ís. Well known for his fast riding motorbike escapades and office pranks, he moved on in the early 1970ís to become Stylist/Designer at Mulliner Park Ward (Willesden). Believed to have later worked at Rolls Royce Head Office as a Stylist developing new Rolls Royce car designs.
Sir William R. Black J.P. (later Lord Black) Chairman - Joined Park Royal Coachworks in 1934 as Director & General Manager until 1939 when he became Managing Director, a post he retained until 1957 when he became Managing Director of the parent ACV Group. In addition, becoming Chairman of AEC, he also retained Chairmanship of PRV.
Probably born around 1935 and, formerly at MCW, worked at PRV (as Chief Body Engineer?) in early 1970ís. Appointed Plant Director at Eastern Coach Works (Lowestoft) during the 1980ís but after Leyland management restructuring moved on to Northern Counties Motor (Wigan) to develop new Bus project/designs in Engineering Office.
Nickname - (real name unknown) a metal polisher.
|Eddy||Bonney||Charge Hand in the trim department.|
Born in 1947, Ernie started as an apprentice in the body shop working on the RM in 1963. He then moved to the setting-out department under Les Foster. Eventually he worked alongside Fred Porter on all five proto-types of the B15. When the B15 went into production he became body shop foreman until PRV closed in 1980.
(aka Buzz) Drawing Office (MOD) - A well respected amateur photographer in his spare time; in the early '60's I knew him as a prominent member of the Ealing Photographic Society. Mainly concentrating on architectural photography, he became an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and was later awarded their highest accolade, a Fellowship (FRPS). He mentored me through my own photographic exploits and sadly I'm advised that he passed away during the early '90s. [Ed].
James Burnell (Bill Burnell) - was born
in 1910 and apprenticed at Park Royal from 1924. He either stayed
on or returned later as I have a booklet of his relating to the Park
Royal Workmen's Mutual Aid Fund of which he was apparently Chairman in
or around 1937. He also built vehicles for Watney, Combe Reid in
Mortlake (but I don't know the dates). He finished his career at
Lambourn Engineering Ltd. (at Lambourn Berkshire), designing large motor
horseboxes, luton vans, dropsiders, blood transfusion vehicles and
Office - Bert used to sell newspapers
at an underground station before going to work.
- Jack Allen Byfield (b-28/11/1902 Croyden, d-Q2 1977 Eastbourne).
Jack Byfield apparently worked at the factory sometime during the early
30's. A student of the RCM in the 20's, he was an evidently
talented pianist and was persuaded by colleagues to "go
professional". By 1934, he was making recordings as part of a
trio with Albert Sandler (violin) and cellists Joachim Samehtini
(1889-1942) & Reginald Kilbey. Sandler formed the Palm Court Orchestra
in 1943 but after his untimely death in 1948, Jack, along with Kilbey,
began a long association with the violinist Max Jaffa. Jack was also a
talented arranger & conductor and became a household name with his
Drawing Office - Born in 1952, he started as apprentice at PRV in 1968 (after employment at Duples, Hendon was cancelled due to closure). After his apprenticeship in workshops & Inspection team, he joined the PRV Drawing Office in 1972. He moved on to London Transport (Chiswick) in 1975 as a Design Draughtsman in the R&D Design Office. After LT Chiswick closed in 1988 he started at Wandle District (Mitcham) in their Tech Team until being made redundant in 1995. He joined London Coaches and became Manager of Kent Coachwork's (accident repairs, conversions & repaints) until the company collapsed in 2003. He is now employed at Stagecoach in S.E. London.
Composite Shop - Apparently he won the "Pools" about 1954 and with some of the winnings he bought a new cream Ford Consul (full rate then was about £9 pounds a Week).
- One of a band of "Old
Retainers", great men who went to work in pin stripes, wore white
pinafores, and highly polished shoes. His son, also Jock, worked at
- John Clayton (Albert) worked in the PRV Maintenance Dept. during the 50s/60s.
|Sid||Collett||Drawing Office (MOD) -|
|Bill||Cook||(aka Ted) Composite Shop - A great Lancastrian|
|Ray||Craker||Joined as an apprentice in 1959.|
|Charlie.||Cummings||Setting Out department -|
|L.||Da Silva||Girl Friday|
William J. (Bill) Davis was appointed Works Manager at Park Royal in 1945 having previously been in charge of the London Aircraft Production factory. He lived in Hanger Lane where he kept a sharp piece of shrapnel in his garage as a souvenir of the time the family was 'bombed out' during WW2. He retired around 1952/3 and since then was always telephoned on Christmas Day by several of his old colleagues including Victor Bell, Ted Needs and Sir (later Lord) Bill Black. [Nigel Davis]
Drawing Office - Ann Daniell (1922-2003) was my father, Alf Hill's, sister-in-law who worked in the PRC Drawing Office during WW2; primarily tracing drawings.
Alfred Henry Darvill was a jobbing carpenter at Park Royal from at least 1943 until he died from lung cancer in 1971 aged 61.
|Arthur||Day||Setting Out department -|
unknown department - nephew of (Albert) John Clayton
|?||Dobsworth||Works Manager - During the mid 60's|
|Graham||Downey||Drawing Office - from 1975 until closure in 1980.|
|Bert||Durham||Experimental Shop, and later, the Drawing Office|
|Harry F||Endersby||Personnel Manager - Aircraft Factory|
Worked in PRV Drawing Office in late 1960ís/early 1970ís until emigration to Norway around 1972. Originally from West Country (Devon or Cornwall), was tall, had a dry sense of humour and very interested in UFOís (coordinator & magazine editor).
|Jack||Field||Plant Director: Jack was a member of the Bomb Disposal Squad attached to the Home Guard during WW2. He died in 1995.|
|A Cliff||Folland||Wages: Wages clerk in the mid 50s. Also ran the PRV Fishing Club.|
Edward (Ted) Fossey worked in the stores department from about 1978 to closure in 1980.
at Park Royal with his father in the 'Setting Out' department and
finished as a Tooling Engineer shortly before PRV closed in 1980.
Joined Charles H. Roe in Leeds as Factory Manager until its closure in
1984 when he joined Optare in the same role.
Setting Out department -
|?||Francis||Supervisor in the Finishing Shop|
|Margaret||Franck||Awaiting further details.|
Drawing Office - Norman worked in the PRV Drawing Office until 1971 then moved on to London Transport (Chiswick) as a Design Draughtsman in the R&D Design Office. Promoted a few times then finally became a Senior Executive in 1984 until being made redundant in 1988. He started as Engineering Manager at a luxury motor caravan company (Reading) but was made redundant again after four months. He was then appointed General Manager of Horseman Coaches Ltd. (Reading) from 1989 until 1997, but moved on to become Commercial Manager of Reading Transport Ltd. until retirement in 2012. He is still employed part-time for Reading Transport Ltd. as Company Secretary & Trustee of Pension Scheme. He is also a Justice of the Peace and Magistrate in the Berkshire courts.
Foreman Aircraft Factory - Cyril Fuller was apprenticed at the GWR in Norfolk, where he learned woodworking. He then went on to Shorts of Belfast working on timber framed aircraft and apparently spent time in Poland before the war. A long time friend of his was RAF Wing Commander, Stanley Timmis. He was also associated with Harry Endersby, Sir William Black and a 'Curly Guyert'. [Adrian Fuller].
colleague of John William Rose (see below) was an
inside trimmer. Surname thought to be Garret [Tony Rose]
|George||Gosling||Drawing Office (MOD)|
|A (Bob)||Gregg||Sales Director also one time Plant Director|
PRV in 1966 as an apprentice in sheet metal work.
says: "I did my apprenticeship at PRV from November 1965 to December
1969 working on the Routemaster, Bristol Cars & Army Trucks
etc.. Upon completion my main job was working on the RM's staircase and platform areas.
After the RMs I worked on the rear-engined buses for Birmingham City
Transport, in the cab area, then on the B15 (Titan) for LT where I fitted the folding doors
until I left in 1979.
|Edward||Hatton||Ted Hatton - Bodyshop Foreman|
Composite Shop - Ken was a N.U.V.B. (National Union of Vehicle Builders) Shop Steward in 1952 and later a charge hand.
Drawing Office - Percy Hayward was at PRV before 1947 and left to start the HBH company with Freddy Biggs and Alf Hill.. When the HBH company closed Percy joined Duple and rejoined Drawing Office at PRV after Duple closed.
|S. G.||Hearne||Factory? - also N.U.V.B. (National Union of Vehicle Builders) representative.|
|Edwin||Higgs||Paint Shop: Edwin worked in the paint shop from from 1974 until closure in 1980.|
Office - [often called "Teapot" for his love of very strong
tea - I could never drink it. Ed.]
Born in 1909 Geoff was the Wages Clerk & Works Cashier [Paymaster] in the late 40s early 50s. His later years were spent travelling around the country as the timber buyer. He spent almost all his working life at PRV. On one occasion in 1948, his son Brian recalls his father showing him the weekly pay-cheque - £24,000 for about 2000 employees. He was accompanied by an armed guard when he went to cash it.
Spare Man (Factory) - George Alfred Instrell was born at Pontypridd South Wales in 1908. He left school aged 15 to work in the Lady Windsor Coal mine Ynysybwl Pontypridd until 1931 when he left for London. He joined Park Royal Coachworks in the early 30's and got married in 1939 living then at Beresford Avenue Wembley a short walk from Park Royal. He recalled Park Royal building Tanks & Fire Engines during WW2 when he was also a member of the Home Guard. He was at PRV until his death in 1962. The term "Spare Man" meant that he was a multi-talented worker who could perform many different jobs within the works. [Mary Manley]
Drawing Office (MOD)
Office: Junior draughtsman from March '77 to July '78.
Drawing Office - Born in 1943 he started as an apprentice at PRV in 1960 going through the Works to end up in the Setting Out Shop with Les Foster, Charlie Cummings & Arthur Day. Worked in the PRV Drawing Office from 1964 to 1974. Then moved on to work in various Design Offices in the Aircraft Industry manufacturing aircraft galleys (incl. Concorde & Airbus A321) at Henshalls (Byfleet), British Aerospace (Farnborough & Kingston), Rumbolds (Camberley) and finally Lontec (Blackwater) until retirement in 2008.
|Sony||Kendle||Forman in the paint shop. Married to George Offord's sister.|
|Wesley||Keys||Plant Director: went on to coachbuilder Walter Alexander.|
|Mike||Liefboro||Electrician: Emigrated to South Africa circa 1975/76|
|(Brother)||Liefboro||Electrician: Emigrated to South Africa circa 1975/76|
|W||Lovidge||Wages: Chief Clerk|
Drawing Office - Started work in the PRV Drawing Office in the early 1970ís as a Stylist/Designer for the Royalist coach project.
Drawing Office - Born in 1947, Ian joined the PRV Drawing Office in 1963. He left in January '70 to join Modernair Processes Ltd that designed spray booths and stoving ovens. In June 1970, he joined Glover, Webb & Liversidge, designing Security & Refuse Collection Vehicles; rejoining PRV in January '72 until June '74 when he moved to Torquay and worked for Booker Motor Bodies at Newton Abbot. Then in February 1975 he joined Marshall of Cambridge in the Motor Bodies D.O. leaving in January '78 to join Pye Telecom Ltd in Radio Communications as a contract design draughtsman in their Systems D.O. The company was acquired by Philips in 1986 and was then sold to Simoco International in 1997. Ian became part of the Confined Space Engineering & Systems Installation Group as their only mechanical design draughtsman. He then moved into Simoco Digital Systems group for Tetra Radio installation from Dec 2001 until its failure in March 2002; from which a new company, Simoco Digital UK, was formed in the July and Ian worked there until June 2009 when that company became insolvent and Ian retired.
John was just 15 years old when he started work at PRV soon after New Year's day in 1952. He was taken to the Composite Shop (where timber bodies & buses were made) by Bill Cook, a great Lancastrian?, well-respected, who smoked cigarettes, coughed a lot and called everybody 'Matey'. Jack Bailey, a big man, was the chargehand. John then went to work in the RT shop, making the intermediate floors and working on the Green Goddesses, and the timber cabs for the London Brick Company. After moving back to the Composite Shop, John left aged 19 (just when the first Routemasters were being built in the RT shop) and started his own business that became the largest family run business in Hemel Hempstead.
|Donald||Matthews||Drawing Office (MOD)|
|Frank||Monaghan||Wages: Bonus Clerk|
Office - Mike worked
in the PRV Drawing Office in the early 1970ís then moved
on to London Transport (Chiswick) in the R&D Design Office.
Office - Born in 1949, Glen began his apprenticeship at PRV from 1965 to 1970 as
a Trainee Draughtsman. He continued working in the PRV Drawing Office until 1972 then moved on to London Transport (Chiswick) in
the R&D Design Office. Glen emigrated to The Netherlands in 1973 with
his Dutch wife and children to work in the Design Office of a large Dutch Coachbuilder. In 1974
he switched profession to work for Engineering Contractors in the Petro-Chemical industry as
a Design Draughtsman at various companies (incl. I.C.I. Holland, Shell Chemical, Esso & Heineken). In 1986, after
a five year contractor period at Heineken Breweries as Piping Designer,
he made a permanent move to Heineken's Engineering Department. Glen
spent nineteen years at Heineken firstly as Plant Designer, then Mechanical Engineer and finally Process Engineer, until being made redundant in 2005.
He was in the Heineken redundancy & pre-retirement scheme until early retirement in 2012.
|Ted||Needs||Arthur Charles Needs - Sales Manager|
|Moss||Nelson||Drawing Office - Joined PRV after Weymans closed.|
of George) - Began as an apprentice in the trim dept in 1959.
Eric Walker was the Forman and Eddy Bonney was the Charge Hand.
|George||Offord||George Offord - worked in the body building shop I remember him being a charge hand on the cab line. [Brian Offord]|
|Len||Oram||[Len] Oram - Rriveter from the late 40s.|
|Walter||Oram||[Wally] Oram - Riveter from the late 40s.|
Head of Inspection - Aircraft Factory: Before the start of WW2 James was working at the British Electrical Company as a Quality Inspector evaluating the bus bodies supplied by various coach builders to BET bus companies. At the commencement of WW2 James was put in charge of the Inspection Staff at the Aircraft Factory at Park Royal that built the outer wings & engine cowlings for the Halifax Bomber. At completion of hostilities James relocated to Leeds to join Charles H Roe in 1946. [Martyn Pearson]
Buyer - 'Johnny' Pidgeon joined the company circa 1930 and was the buyer at PRV. He retired in 1961. [Morwenna Dorma]
on the B15.
AKA Bill Powell - from Wales, he was by trade a coachbody builder. He worked on coaches (and also tanks during the war). He retired in the 1980s. [Phyllis Powell]
Office (MOD) - Cecil
Frederick George (aka Cyril) Rawlings - worked as a draughtsman from
about 1954 through to about 1967, which was some two years after the family moved
from the Abbey estate to Twyford, near Reading. After PRV he joined
Metalair to design bulk dry-storage 'silo' systems. Born in 1922 he died
suddenly at the family home in Twyford in 1988 aged 65. [Steve &
Drawing Office - Born about 1952 he began as an apprentice at PRV in the late 1960ís working in the PRV Drawing Office in the early 1970ís. Moved on to London Transport (Chiswick) in the R&D Design Office.
Drawing Office - Born in 1952 he began as an apprentice at PRV in the late 1960ís and worked in the PRV Drawing Office up to 1980. He moved on to the Ford Motor Company (Dunton) for 32Ĺ years until early retirement in 2012.
|William||Richards||(Bill) Richards: Chief Shop Clerk|
|Russell||Richardson||Facilities during the 1970's; went on to found Optare.|
Drawing Office (MOD) - Cyril Risbridger MBE was born at Willesden on February 14th 1920 and died at Ruislip in 2001 aged 81. During WW2 (from 1940-46) he served in the RAF, after which he worked at PRV within Sid Collett's team until its closure in July 1980. He was made an MBE around 1975 for services to the Country, a result of his designing vehicles for the BAOR (British Army of the Rhien). He married in 1947. In his spare time he was an avid amateur photographer winning several awards. [Anne James]
|Charlie||Roberts||Drawing Office - Sadly died early 1969|
|John William (aka Jack)||Rose||
- John William
Rose (aka Jack) was a panel beater and began at Park Royal before WW2.
After an heart attack in 1976 he was given light duties in the wages
office until PRV's closure in 1980 when he retired due to ill health.
Sadly he passed away in 2004. Notably,
he worked on the GWR Railcars, the Bristol Cars and the Routemaster. Before
his heart trouble he would ride to work on a grey NSU Quickly and upon
his transfer to the wages office he travelled in a white Mark 3 Cortina.
|N. (Sam)||Samine||Wages: Bonus Clerk|
Drawing Office - Born about 1950 Richard worked in the PRV Drawing Office in the late 1960ís/early 1970ís. He started his own successful double-glazing and home extensions company.
William (Bill) Scaplehorn was a chargehand in the body shop. He was at PRV from about 1960 to closure in 1980.
Line Leader in the body shop?
Shop - Harold G. V. Sear was born January 1899 and raised at New Bradwell, Buckinghamshire (now within the town of Milton Keynes).
He served his paint shop apprenticeship at Wolverton Carriage Works before being called up for military service with the Devon and Dorset Regiment, during which time he played tenor horn and cornet in the regimental band. He met his wife, Doris Bush, at a funfair about 1923 and my brother Gordon arrived the following year with
myself ten years later. During the lean Ďhard to find employmentí years we moved around quite a bit living in Ďdigsí ranging from Swindon, Coventry, Oxford, Brighton and finally
28A High Street, Feltham
when he worked in the paint shop at Park Royal Coachworks
from before &
throughout WW2. He became a Sergeant in the Middlesex Home Guard
and after hostilities we moved back to Wolverton as dad got a job at the
United Counties Body Shop; eventually settling in Northampton.
General Manager - Joseph William (Bill) Shirley; was born at Birmingham on September 5th 1910 and died at Bournemouth in 1998 aged 87. After training as an engineer he began work on the shop floor at the Eastern coachworks in Lowestoft in 1934. He became plant director by 1938 and in 1953 moved to Park Royal as General Manager. Apart from serving on the committees of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, from 1954-57 he was also President of the National Federation of Vehicle Trades and President & Chairman of the Institute of British Carriage and Automobile Manufacturers for 1966/7. [Extract from the obituary printed in the Daily Telegraph 21st May 1998 and supplied to me by Anne James; Ed.].
Drawing Office - Phil started as an apprentice at PRV in the early 1970ís working in the PRV Drawing Office. He moved on to London Transport (Chiswick) in the R&D Design Office and later to the London Underground Division.
& Chief Accountant - James
Derrick Slater - Jim Slater trained as a Chartered Accountant
and joined PRV in 1955. In 1958 he left to become Commercial Director of
AEC and later Commercial Manager of ACV and then Deputy Sales
Director. He was to become famous as a financier starting his own investment company in 1964 with
the MP Peter Walker. He
is also an author of both financial and children's books.
|Bert (Slim)||Sommerwell||Company Secretary|
|R||Stack||Electrician's Dep't. Also ran the PRV Rifle Club.|
|Ernie||Stanbury||Paint Shop: Joined Rolls Royce|
|R. G.||Stanford||Aircraft Factory - he may be one and the same Reg. Stanford.|
|Rod||Steward||Wages: Bonus Clerk|
Alf. Stone - Became a foreman in the Finishing Department but during WW2 he led the company's volunteer Auxiliary Bomb Disposal Unit (see PRV Wartime)
Clerk from mid 1974 to October 1975. Although it was 40 years ago I still remember some good times and people. As an Australian I wasn't allowed to work too much so I had to return home.
|Charlie||Thomas||Drawing Office (MOD)|
|George||Tobias|| Composite Shop
- He sang on the
BBC Recording of "Workers Playtime".
(I believe he was also part of the Royals Concert Party. Ed.)
Drawing Office - Frank worked in the PRV Drawing Office for about nine months in the early 1970ís. He had come from Duple Coachbuilders and moved on to work for Vauxhall Motors.
|Doreen||Walden||Sid Collettís Secretary|
|Eric||Walker||Foreman in the trim department.|
George Henry West - Public Safety Inspector at PRV working on the Titan.
He sadly died of lung cancer at age 52 in March 1978.
[Details from his son Ron]
|William||White||(Billy White): Finishing Shop|
|Edith||Whitehead||Johnny Pidgeon's Secretary|
|Adrian||Wickens||Began with PRV in 1973 as a trainee body engineer; left for Leyland in 1979.|
Composite Body Shop: Roy started work at Park Royal Coachworks aged fourteen in January 1946 remaining at PRV until they started laying off staff leading up to the closure. Although now 82, Roy remembers the many various vehicles he worked on and has very happy memories of his time there (see Anecdotes)
Owner of Park Royal Coachworks (PRC) from 1930-1946 (his death) - Chairman of
PRC from 1930-1935.
Yager: Director of Park Royal Coachworks (PRC) from ?-1935.
Yager (aka Solly): Director of Park Royal Coachworks (PRC) from
Page last updated 7th September 2017