Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The death of Mr. Harvey (Jnr)

HARVEYS  was a large metal processing firm in the Woolwich Road - roughly on the site of the East Greenwich fire station.  In September 1958 the Harvey Magazine ran the following items about the death of Sydney Harvey, son of the original founder.


By the Editor

GEORGE ALFRED SYDNEY HARVEY was born in 1884 and educated at Mill Hill. On leaving school at the age of 17 years he entered his father's business at Lewisham and West Greenwich. His early training with G. A. Harvey and Company well fitted him for the more responsible duties he so ably carried out in subsequent years. He was appointed Assistant Managing Director on the incorporation of the Company in 1913, when the Works was moved to its present site in Woolwich Road. Very soon after this move Mr. Harvey accepted the position of Managing Director, and on the death of his father in 1937, he was appointed Chairman and Managing Director. After Mr. Eatwell's appointment as Managing Director in 1947, Mr. Sydney Harvey continued in the office of Chairman until his retirement from active participation in the Company's business in 1956 when he was appointed President.
The remarkable growth of the firm and the expansion of its industrial activities from 1913 onwards, reached its present position of high reputation and stability are visual proofs of his wise counsel and leadership.
His attention to the building up of the firm was by no means the limit of his activities. His great interest, one might say almost an all-abiding interest, was the welfare of the employees, and with Mrs. Harvey he sponsored most of the welfare schemes that exist today. Very often, after a walk round the Works by himself, a chat here and there with the workpeople, he would send for his Executives and ask searching questions about individuals and their worries and troubles and woe betide the one who had not taken some care of an employee who was in need.
On the occasion in the winter of 1947 when the power cuts were in full swing and many firms had closed down or were on a very short working week, the Shop Stewards of this Company had approached the management with a request asking, if at all possible, whether the Works could be opened for 34 hours per week (the guaranteed week). The meeting adjourned until after lunch when the delegation was informed that the Works would remain open for normal hours. In that interval a telegram had been received from Mr. Harvey stating that on no account must his people suffer because of circumstances for which they had no responsibility. At the time he was away from London but he kept his finger on the pulse.
He will long be remembered by the members of his staff and works for his continual consideration for their welfare and for the creation of an atmosphere of efficiency and service which is the character of Harvey's and which has never changed.
The sincere sympathy of all employees and indeed all who knew Mr. Sydney goes to Mrs. Harvey and the family.

MR. Sydney Harvey's funeral took place at the Parish Church of Greenwich, St. Alfege's on Tuesday, 3rd June 1958. The Service was conducted by and the Address given by the Rev. S. M. Epps, a relation of the family who came from Wimborne Minster for the purpose. The  large congregation was headed by Mrs. Sydney Harvey, Mr. Gordon Harvey and his sisters. In addition to members and friends of the family the Directors of the Company; Sir Thomas Overy, the Chairman, Mr. Cooper, Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Blakely, Mr. Llewellyn- J ones and Mr. Bliss; Managers, Shop Superintendents, Staff, Foremen, Chargehands, Shop Stewards and many other employees of the Company were present at the Service.
The Cortege passed the works on the way to the Church and hundreds of employees lined the road to pay their last respects.
After the Service at the Church a private Cremation took place at Lewisham.

WE reproduce from the Obituary Column of The Times of Monday, 9th, June 1958, the following tribute written by Sir Harold Spencer J ones, the former Astronomer Royal :- Sir Harold Spencer Jones writes :-

May I through your columns pay a personal tribute to Mr. Sydney Harvey, whose death was announced recently in The TimesHe was educated at Mill Hill School and then entered the firm, now known as G. A. Harvey & Co. (London) Ltd., which had been founded by his father. He was associated with this firm for 57 years, in succession as assistant managing director, managing director, chairman, and president. Under his direction the firm had a rapid growth. It was moved in 1913 from Greenwich to the present site by the River Thames at Charlton, while the number of employees grew from 100 to 2,500. Their welfare was the constant concern of both him and his wife. He had a tenor voice of rare quality and but for the claims of the family business could have made a successful career on the operatic stage.
He had a genial, generous nature but few even of his closest friends are aware of his many acts of private generosity to those in need of help. There are many old people in reduced circumstances who are living in comfort and security to-day through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey. He served for some years on the board of management of the Miller General Hospital, Greenwich, to which he gave a large donation that made possible the establishment there of a rehabilitation centre, a project in which he was specially interested.

One of Harvey's products in the factory - finished and ready to go to the customer  in 1951 - the original caption 'Another big'un'

1 comment:

Unknown said...

My father Arthur Low was a shipping clerk at Harveys up until his retirement in 1973.Every Christmas when I was young my sister and I went to a huge party at Harveys and the annual outing to holiday on ice in the new year.
Does anyone else remember the early 60's parties held by G A Harvey