P.R.V. - Staff Dinner & Dance

The highlight of the year for all Staff at Park Royal was the annual Dinner & Dance for Staff employees, their spouses and other invited guests.  Seemingly always held early in the New Year, no doubt to avoid the Christmas period where it would be impossible to arrange the availability of all concerned, if not also to give the Staff something to look forward to in the dreary months to Spring.  Originally held at the Clarendon Hotel, Hammersmith, London, W6, the venue later moved to the Abbey Hotel on the North Circular Road, a venue more proximate to the works.

I am grateful to Anne James who found much of the material on this page among her father's (Cyril Risbridger's) papers.

Here are images of the original menus.
Cover '54 - Menu '54 - Cover '55 - Menu '55 - Cover '58 - Menu '58

Invariably attended by Sir Wavell Wakefield - (Baron Wakefield of Kendal b1898 - d1983); a rugby player for the Harlequins, President of the Rugby Football Union and a Conservative MP, the paper cover for 1958 suggests times were a little harder then although entertainments were explicitly stated; Patricia Varley - Colatura Soprano, Harold Taylor - The Witty Wizard along with Burt Green and his Orchestra.  Incidentally, in 1958 Patricia Varley would have been a 22-year-old budding opera singer; taught by the great Italian maestro Dino Borgioli, she was to enjoy a career in opera, teaching and in the 80's/90's as an actress.

Here are some pictures taken at various Dinner & Dances; names & dates given where known. (If anyone can confirm names & dates I shall be pleased to know. Ed.)

Undated; Left to right, Cyril Risbridger, unknown, Dolly Risbridger, George Reeves and Mrs Reeves.

Undated; Dolly Risbridger (right) - the man clapping might be Bert “Slim” Sommerwell (Company Secretary), the other dancers are unknown.

Undated; Top table left is Bill Shirley and along the table left to right; Dolly Risbridger, Cyril Risbridger, Lily Hill, Alfred Hill, Mrs Pearson & Bill Pearson.

At the Clarendon Hotel, Hammersmith, January 1958. Left to right; Sid Collett, Cyril Risbridger, Irene Collett, George Reeves, Mrs Reeves, Dolly Risbridger.