P.R.V. - Staff 

Some photos of the more light-hearted moments.

Here members of the drawing office relax on the roof of PRV's main building. In the group; far left Tommy Strong, next is Sid Collett, middle my father Alf Hill, next unknown and far right is Dave Pearson.  No doubt, in the second picture, Dave Pearson & Tommy Strong are battling out a concentrated game of marbles; but of course they used ball bearings!  I have little idea of the date but sometime in the early 50's I would guess. (If anyone can identify the others' in this picture I'll be pleased to know. Ed.)

I found these photos along with the H.B.H collection although I believe that they are associated with PRV since my father (fourth from left in the first photo) is clearly some years older and neither Percy Hayward nor Freddy Biggs are there. Obviously there were six attendees as my father must have taken the second photo as he is replaced by the gentleman with the lighter hat in that picture who was no doubt the cameraman for the first.

When was this, who are they and where were they? The sign on the window of the tea shop ***RPERS or ***PPERS is almost illegible.  It says Quality Inn, Barrack Road (somewhere) TAYLOR ** * ***, **** WEDNESDAY; but I guess this is an advert for something.  There is a Barrack Road in Hounslow near where we once lived but this is not that place.  Date; an autumn in the early 50's?  Leaves are still on the deciduous trees, it is warm enough for lighter clothed energetic tennis but cool enough for the long coats.

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Morwenna Dormer has kindly sent in some photos and written about her father 'Johnny' Pidgeon. 

This photo was taken at one of the annual management dinners (circa early 50's) at the Grosvenor House hotel in Park Lane.  Morwenna writes: My father (second from right in the photo) joined the company circa 1930 and was the buyer at PRV.

I recall my father talking of Reuben Yager [who's father Harry owned PRC (Ed.)].  He was a great gambler and thought nothing of losing 5000 in an evening (I think this was in the 50's [more likely the mid 40's - 5000 would have bought several reasonable houses then (Ed.)].  But given these excesses when there came a point where there was to be no annual pay increase for the blue collar workers my father was so furious  [about Reuben's excesses (ED.)] that he decided to leave, but his resignation wasn't accepted. 

As a result of an arm injury sustained in WW1, my father wasn't in WW2, but he used to "firewatch" at Park Royal - goodness knows whom with, but they seemed to have a secret supply of Drambuie to keep them warm on winter nights!  Another story he told was of having a lift home to Heston one evening with someone from Park Royal and, as they were driving along the Great West Road (main arterial road in West London Ed.), a bomb fell near Hounslow West Station. Dad went to say something to whoever was driving and found no one doing so - the driver was under the dashboard!  Obviously, not the traffic around as now, as they came to a halt without mishap!

These photos are of my father's retirement lunch at PRV in 1961.  My father is second from right in the first two images; the bespectacled gentleman (to his left) is his great friend Ted Needs the Sales Manager.

Upon his retirement my father was presented with a tankard on which is inscribed a list of names as follows:  
Lorraine Butfoy, Jim Tovell, Reg Stanford, Jean Colwell, Charlie Babbs, Will Pearson, Bill Rees, Alf Hill, Bert Butler, Jim Black, Charlie Holdaway, Jack Raynsford, Edith Whitehead (dad's secretary), Faith Bridgewater, Dave Pearson, "Barney", A.C. Needs, Viv Bradbury & Beryl Turner.
(Morwenna Dormer)

Do you recognise any names on the tankard?  To begin with, in particular, I recognise Charlie Babbs, Will (Bill) Pearson & brother Dave, Bill Rees, A.C. Needs, Viv Bradbury & of course Alf (my dad); I no doubt did sometime meet them all (Ed).

Do you recognise anyone in the photos?  I recognise J.W. (Bill) Shirley the General Manager.  He is second from left in the first image where unfortunately there is a stain.  He is again on the crease in the next two and second from left in the last. 

I'm reminded that upon my visits to Bill & Herta Rees in Mortlake, Bill would run me home to Hounslow West on his motorbike/sidecar; and one day on the A316 (Chertsey Road) we saw crowds standing by.  Bill parked up to see what was going on and after a while President Kennedy and Jackie went by in their open limousine.  I was just a few feet away from the President!  Such things would never happen today - irrespective of the fact that you can't just park up on the A316 anymore.  That would have been Sunday June 4th 1961!

I'm also reminded of visiting Bill Shirley's home at Sudbury Town on many occasions in the early 60's as his son was a school chum. I was in ore of his car, a Humber Super Snipe, and occasionally enjoyed a ride to his house.  I recall his settling down to "The Archers" (a BBC radio programme dating back to the 50's) that was clearly a necessary relaxation from his no doubt tough management role.  He and his wife were very nice to me (Ed.).

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This is clearly a male-only staff dinner, probably in the PRV Board Room and maybe celebrating PRV's floatation in October 1946.  Counting right from, and including, the person closest in the foreground, #4 is Charlie Babbs and #5 is Bill Pearson; and maybe Ted Needs standing far right? 

This is clearly another male-only staff dinner perhaps also celebrating PRV's floatation in October 1946.  For the lower staff echelons and factory management maybe?  Well there's no cloakroom and beer in jugs is supplied rather than the wine bottles above.  Left table second in is Bill Rees, far right second in is Dave Pearson, rear table facing forward with pocket handkerchief and hand on mug is Ted Needs and in front of him is Sid Collett.

I believe I can date these images to about 1947 as my father isn't in either but clearly might have been in one if he hadn't recently resigned, along with two colleagues, to start their own business partnership (HBH).   

This is yet another male-only staff dinner but this rare image might be dated to between 1932 & 1935.  Why, you ask?  Well, it is of the staff of Park Royal Coachworks before floatation in October 1946.  We know this because Reuben Yager (Director and son of the owner Harry Yager) is sitting centre of the top table.  He took a directorial role in 1932 but by 1935 Harry and his sons Reuben & Solomon had retired fom the board handing over the reins to Bill Black.  I believe Ted Needs is in the centre of the group of three by the door.  It is also in the same location as the other images above as the parquet timber floor is the same design.
(If anyone can identify others' in these pictures I'll be pleased to know. Ed.) 
(Images from the Don Matthews collection)

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(Images below from the Don Matthews collection)

A Christmas party in the offices.  Far left is Ted Needs, far right is Jack Goodacre and next to him is Keith Wren.

In the bar after work from left to right George Reeves, ??? & Tony Figgins.

A 'jolly' on the Alexander at Brighton.  Fred & Frank Dungate are aboard!

Was this a business trip or just another 'jolly'?

This photograph was kindly sent in by John Malamatenios who is pictured on the left with his hands on his jacket. Taken at a Composite Shop "beano" to Southend (circa 1952/3); to the extreme right is Tony Kelly? and in the centre is Derek Payne. Do you recognise anyone in this image? (Ed.).

(If anyone can identify others' in these pictures I'll be pleased to know. Ed.) 

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