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  • Aims of the Society1 Aims of The Crabtree Society
  • A photograph of the Author Ted Richardson


  • The Crabtree Society
    The article below was written by the author Ted Richardson, whose picture is to the top left of the page. Credit for his photograph goes to Coloplast, Copenhagen.

    I worked at Crabtrees

    By E A Richardson

    It used to be said, in the Walsall area, you either worked at Crabtrees – or you knew someone who did.

    Tens of thousands of people worked for the company from its start in 1919 – you may be one of them, and even if you are not, you probably know someone who was.

    Crabtrees Lincoln Works situated on the Broadway, Walsall closed in 1997 but the memories go on.

    ‘The Crabtree Society’ was formed just three years after the closure to bring together people who had once been employed by the company. The Society has been a great success, and is the natural ‘home’ for people who worked at Crabtrees. Some members joined the company in the ‘40s and ‘50s, though most are from more recent times. The Society is a good mixture of ages and talents and even includes children and grandchildren of former employees. Anyone with an interest in Crabtrees is made welcome.

    The Society has avoided simply being a ‘talking shop’, and one of its main objectives was to publish a book about the company. Launched in 2012 ‘The Crabtree Story’ contains 250 pages packed with information and photographs about the company, its products, and the people who worked there. Not just nostalgia, but a living history of one of Walsall’s most important companies. If you played your part in all this, ‘The Crabtree Society’ wants to hear from you.

    Information is wanted about the following: Albert Richards (Control Gear Stores); Charlie Jones (Progress Department); Pat Hackett (Works Manager’s Secretary); George Hooper (Stock Control); Maureen Hatfield (Fitting Shop); Barry Allan (Electrical Laboratory); Peter W Lawton (Apprentice); Janet Green (Control Gear); Rita Steele (Circuit Breaker Specials D/O); John Dicken (Pattern Shop/Foundry); Josephine Hand (Secretary); Don Hodson (Accessories Specials); Violet Stringer (Air Ministry Inspection); Eli Cooper (Progress Department), and John Littler (Control Gear D/O).

    From the above, photographs of Charlie Jones, Josephine Hand, Rita Steele, and John Dicken are sought. Can you help?

    Memories of David Crabtree (younger son of the founder) would be welcomed by his daughter Rosemarie (in the USA).

    Information about Sidney Lawrence (Assistant Works Manager) will be of interest to his daughter Jocelyn (now living in Cornwall); particularly about her father attending the Nuremberg War Trials as well as his visit to Germany in 1947 with Jack Crabtree (the founder’s elder son).

    Any private photographs taken at the works or on outings (including those taken in the Arboretum and on Barr Beacon) will be of great interest to the Society (but get in touch with the Society first, DO NOT SEND originals through the mail).

    The society has an active programme of lunchtime events as well day trips by coach. Recent trip have included, River Trent Cruise, Lake Vyrnwy, Gloucester Docks and the Severn Valley Railway. New members are always welcome, simply e-mail, or visit our web site for more information on the society.

    e-mail: info@thecrabtreesociety.co.uk