Friday 18 July 2014

Harvey's Jubilee outing to Brighton - three train loads

The following article comes from the July 1934 comes from the house magazine of Charlton metal fabrication company, Harveys

Harvey staff in the Brighton Pavilion 7th July 1934
On July 7th all roads led to Charlton Station, and as early as 7.30 a.m. many “Harcoites" had arrived intent on catching the first Harvey Special for Brighton. In fact, so keen was the "time-keeping spirit” that we are not aware of even one person who failed to “clock on" in time to catch one of the three special trains. Long before the first train was due the platform was thronged, and it was amid loud cheers that the 8.10 was boarded. In spite of the fact that there was ample room and to spare for everyone, we noticed that some compartments had an unusual number of people standing, and no amount of persuasion could entice them to occupy some of the empty coaches.

Such is the spirit of comradeship which causes one pal to stand for over an hour in order to associate and look after the safety of his bosom friend. In some cases we under- stand "two friends" were the cause of this temporary sacrifice of personal comfort.

Brighton was reached in due course, and one train after another discharged its load of passengers, all eager to find whether the tide was in or out. Having ascertained this fact, another query had to be settled. "Was Black Rock really Black," or was the privilege ticket only provided in order that hundreds of " Harcoites" might be lured out of the town to relieve the congestion caused 'by the continued arrival of one Harvey Special after another? However,' remembering the spirit of adventure which has made our Company what it is to-day, the resources of the Cliff Electric Railway were considerably strained in order that our minds might be put at rest regarding the colour of the above-mentioned rock. After a perilous trip over miniature- chasms and canyons, it was found that we had been done, and that the" rock" was just the same as in Brighton-" three for a shilling, with the name all through."

Towards the hour of noon the tide, which for some hours past had been steadily flowing from the station, now changed its course, and a bee-line was made towards the Regent Restaurant, wherein our hopes were centred on a real "blowout." We were not disappointed in this, for the tables literally groaned under the weight of foodstuffs, ranging from salmon down to cheese and biscuits via cold meats and pies with offshoots of jellies and fruit pie, etc. It was a truly satisfying sight. After the photographer had done his worst-which, by the way, is here reproduced, Mr. Sydney Harvey, in a few well-chosen words of welcome, gave us the word to "set to." For a period the silence was most notice- able. Course after course was dispensed with until, replete unto the state of fullness, we honoured the toast of His Majesty.

As was only fitting at this stage of the proceedings Mr. Kerridge (Chief Engineer) proposed the Health of the Company in the following words :-

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, - I am going to ask you to honour the toast of 'The Firm; but before doing so, I want to express on behalf of all employees our thanks for being entertained here to-day.
“We have had outings before, but never one like this, and I can assure our Chairman that our appreciation is real and sincere.
“Speaking of outings, I would like to call remembrance to one particular outing to Rosherville Gardens. It was to celebrate Mr. East joining the Firm. There are just a few here who went to it. We had a good time, but our number then was about thirty, including the Staff. The great progress the Firm has made is clear from the numbers here to-day. "
We are proud of our Firm, proud. of its history, and it is a great satisfaction to all to share in its Diamond Jubilee.
“One other thing. I am sure I am speaking for all when I say how pleased we are to see Mr. Harvey (Senior) present.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Toast- The Firm - Long may it continue to grow and prosper."

And then the stentorian voice of the .Master of Ceremonies was heard over the micro- phones: "Pray silence for Mr. James Wells! Who-why!! Someone surely has blundered! But no. Along came the most recent addition to our Company in the shape of a lad of some fourteen summers, who in the-most approved manner presented to Mrs. Sydney Harvey a magnificent bouquet.

Mr Harvey receives the employees presentation
from Mr Icough
So far, all this was very nice. But the point upon which were centred the thoughts of every single person present in that huge gathering had yet to come-namely, the tribute in which every employee had taken part in order to .honour he who founded our Firm, and through whose intrepid will and spirit has been built up the organisation of which we are so 'proud to-day, and it was a moment to be remembered when Mr. B. W. Icough rose and in a speech, brief, but full of sincerity, requested Mr. George Harvey to accept a silver-gilt rose bowl as a token of the esteem and respect in which he is held by every employee. Mr. E. R. Clarke, as Senior Director, also presented on behalf of his co-directors a similar token in the form of copy of Grecian Vase.

The applause .which followed these presentations, stupendous as it was, could not be compared with that which greeted Mr. George Harvey as heroes to reply to the sentiments which had already been so well ex- pressed by Mr. Clarke and Mr. Icough.

It is with pleasure that we print the remarks of Mr. Harvey.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,-I thank you. It has been a long pull, but we have pulled together, and again I thank you for your loyal help. Some have passed on. I hold in affectionate memory. Mr. A. Clarke, Mr. Brown, Mr. East, and Victor, my son.
“I wish you all a happy day, a safe return home ':
Greatly as I appreciate these gifts, I value even more highly the kind' thoughts which prompted you to make them."

Even with the few words which Mr. Harvey spoke, it is safe to conjecture that the minds of many present went back to those early days, and as the eyes' of those who have not served the Company so long swept the "25 years' service and over" table, and saw all the old servants of the Company grouped around Mr. Harvey, our minds were filled with but one thought: " Well done! Thou good and faithful servants."

For on that table, in particular, was seen Loyalty in all its fullness-Loyalty and Good Service, which requires something more than mere £ s. d. to obtain. And then we would focus our attention on the central figure of that long table, and there we found the answer: the personality of Mr. George Harvey, which has so enthused those who worked with him that, in fair weather and foul, they manned the boat, with their faith, so rightly placed, in the man at the wheel.

Those who were fortunate enough to be present will long remember the occasion.

As a fitting climax to this part of the proceedings, Mr. Sydney Barvey rose and. gave, in the following words, a speech which not only looked back e on success, but with the vitality which so characterises the speaker, deals with the future in a manner full of the assurance of attainment.

After extending a hearty welcome to all Mr. Sydney Harvey said:-

“This is a day to which we have all been looking forward for some time, and I hope one that you will thoroughly enjoy.
 “Among our guests we are very pleased to welcome Mr. B. D. Roberts, Director of Art Galleries, Museums and Libraries, and to know that we are helping in the vast improvements which are being made in Brighton, one of the most popular seaside towns in England.

Our Day”
One does not like, as a rule, to blow one's own trumpet, but now that we have .a Brass Band and an alternative Conductor in case of need, I suppose it is excusable. In any case, this is OUR DAY, and I am sure we want to hear something about ourselves.
"Brighton has bedecked herself with flags and, garlands-I presume in honour of our visit;

60 Years
" The firm of Harvey's was started in 1874 by Mr. G. A. Harvey in a small shed at Lewisham standing on less than half an acre of ground: The whole story forms a most interesting and fascinating romance of industry, far too lengthy to relate to-day, except for a few details.
“At Lewisham Mr. Harvey worked his first machine with the help of a boy, and that same machine is still doing work in one of our shops, and one that the Duke of York took a great interest in when he visited our Works.
“Twenty years later, owing to the growth of the business, we moved our Tank Making and Galvanizing Works to West Greenwich. In 1912 we closed both Lewisham and West Greenwich and moved to our present works, The Greenwich Metal Works, where we have added building after building and extended department after department, until to-day the Works cover some 25 acres of ground and employing nearly 2,000 hands.
“And without any desire to boast, I make bold to say that we hold the premier position in our particular line of business. “Our Founder, who is now in his 82nd year and has lived a very active life, still takes a keen interest in the progress of all departments, and I am sure that we are all very glad that he is able to pay an occasional visit to - our Works.
" He views, with mingled pride and pleasure, some of his early dreams and aspirations coming true; and we are continuing to build up our organisation, step by step, on the solid foundations he laid of HONESTY, HARD WORK, ENTERPRISE and SERVICE.
“We have a long record of which we are justly proud. People judge of what we can do by what we have done.

Newspaper Cutting
“Pasted on the wall of Mr. Harvey's office at Lewisham was a newspaper cutting, as follows:-
Nothing that is can pause or stand still.'
“The meaning is clear; no one can mark time for long-one must either go forward or backward. Our way has always been along the progressive path-the pathway called, Straight '-and I sincerely hope it always will.

Familiar Faces
"One sees many familiar faces here this morning - men who have been with the firm since their boyhood days (we have over 40 employees who have been with the firm more than 25 years-a fine record), some who are now past work and are enjoying a well-earned leisure. And we think of those who are no longer with us, and who did their part in helping to build the success of the firm. I should like to mention Mr, East, Mr. A. Clarke, Mr. Brown and my brother.
"Their work lives on and forms part of our tradition.

Iron and Steel Exchange '.
"The other day I was the guest of Sir William Firth at a luncheon given by the Iron and Steel Exchange, and Dr. E. L. Burgin, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Trade, was advocating that the members should use more steel and suggested ways and means. He then turned to me and said:  'There's Mr. Harvey, one of our largest manufacturers, who can make up anything in steel.' A splendid tribute!

Copy of Postcard received Last Week
“Listen to this: 'Forty or fifty years ago I had a tank from you. I shall probably want a replace next week-one about 60 or 80 gallons. Will you please send me a price list? '
Employees with 25 or more service
“I am not surprised at receiving this testimony to our workmanship, but I hope that ALL our tanks are not going to last as long as that one.

Youngest Firm
“Many interesting stories could be told, but time will not permit on such an occasion as this, except perhaps one or two.
"In the early days, a firm of competitors added as a recommendation to their goods that they .were the' oldest firm in the trade.” We immediately got out an advertisement styling ourselves 'the youngest and most up-to-date firm in the trade,' and although we cannot claim to be the youngest to-day, we still try to "be the most up-to-date. The same spirit exists, and there has been no abatement of our energy or enterprise.

Fashions are fickle things for both men and women. At one time beards were fashionable. Then the fashion changed, and Mr. Harvey turned up to the office one day minus his beard. When he went to his safe he was rudely accosted by one or two members of the staff who failed to recognise him in his new guise. First aid was not necessary.

 As some of you may be thinking of going fishing, the following story, told to me by Mr. Harvey, may help you in sizing up your catch, (if any) to your chums afterwards.
" One man: said to the other (probably an American), 'Where did you go for your holiday? ",' Fishing.' 'Did you catch any- thing. ' 'A fine large fish, I guess.' 'How big?' 'Oh, ever so big.' 'As big as a cod? ‘‘Oh, bigger than that.' 'Well, as big as a shark?' 'Oh, much bigger than that.' 'Well, as big as a whale?' 'No! I used that for bait! '

“It so often happens in a large concern that the personal touch is either neglected or forgotten. We are very proud of our Welfare Section, and, like one huge family, fathers, sons, daughters, uncles and aunts (though I am not sure if we have any grandfathers), all WORKING WELL and PLAYING WELL.
" Welfare work includes not only sport and social activities of all kinds, but safety of work, canteen facilities, practical sympathy with the sick and convalescent, training of youths, interesting wives and families, and many other things. And if I were asked a question as to which is the most important department in the concern, I am not sure that I should not say' WELFARE ' but I am quite sure what my wife's answer would be; and we all owe her a debt of gratitude for what she has done, and the great interest taken in our womenfolk.
“Welfare has to do with human material- the best of material-but sometimes the most difficult to handle.

Benevolent Fund
"I should like to mention here that our Founder has started a HARVEY BENEVOLENT FUND with a gift of £10,000, and the fund has already been of great help.”
A rumour has been circulating that we have bought land in the district. On this occasion Dame Rumour has not lied, and we hope shortly to be starting a block of "Harco" houses, which will meet a long-felt want in the district.

Some of the party at lunch
" I do not wish to talk about trade to-day, as the factory gates are shut; the telephone bell may be ringing, but no one .is there to answer it; the machinery is quiet and the mail unopened; but I must mention how pleased I am to see that the clouds of depression are passing and we are getting busy.
"We are continually adding to our numbers, and piles are now being driven for further building extensions. Such is our confidence and preparation for the future.
“Let me again just briefly extend to. you all a very hearty welcome and to thank you one and all for the splendid co-operation, goodwill and loyalty which have meant so much to the success of the firm; and thank all those responsible for making the arrangements for today, which have been exceedingly well planned and thought out in typical ' Harco' fashion."

When all was finished so far as the" Regent" was concerned, we dispersed to wherever our fancy led-some to bathe, some to obtain forty winks, others to the speed boats or skee ball.

All too soon came the time to return to Charlton, and for over an hour platform No. 7 rang with the exultant shouts of hundreds of " Harcoites" who had enjoyed to the full every minute of a glorious day.

 And our sincere thanks are due to the Company for their kindness in not only bearing the entire cost of the whole day, but also arranging that employees attending the outing suffered no financial loss in respect of wages.


- glad they didn't dock their wages

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