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    17th April 2019 the Centenary day of Crabtrees

    Pictures taken during the Centenary Day 17th April 2019

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    CRABTREE 1919 - 2019 100 Years of Electrical Safety

    17th April 2019, one hundred years to the day from when the J.A.Crabtree & Co.Ltd., was founded, people gathered in Walsall to celebrate. The first public event was a service at St Paul’s Church, to commemorate the influence John Ashworth Crabtree and the company he founded had on the townspeople Walsall.

    What would John Ashworth Crabtree have thought had he been at the Centenary events?

    Mr Crabtree, having such a keen analytical mind, would no doubt have been planning for the future, for the next hundred years perhaps? Possibly to a time when electricity was redundant and a completely new form of power had become available? He would have been planning how his new factory would manufacture the control systems necessary, might be built in Walsall.

    A man of vision indeed.

    At the service.........

    Allan Preston (Chairman, The Crabtree Society) spoke of the influence J A Crabtree had on the town of Walsall, and gave a brief resume of Mr Crabtree’s life and times.

    Paul Fisher (Managing Director of Electrium, brand owners) talked of the current Crabtree products, and how they fit in today’s market.

    Rosemarie McEwen (Daughter of David Ashworth Crabtree, younger son of J A Crabtree) travelling from her home in the USA, spoke of the achievements of her grandparents and of her uncle and father.

    Marco Longhi (The Mayor of Walsall) speaking about future development in Walsall, referred to people of vision being needed now.

    Vivienne Banks (The Crabtree Society) gave a reading from the Bible – Ecclesiastes Chapter III; ‘There is a time for every purpose’ applied very much to Mr Crabtree.

    Prayers and the Act of Remembrance were conducted by Rev. Mark Kinder.

    Following the service, guests were invited to view the exhibition of both old and new Crabtree products. The display included the original large-scale model of the ‘Quick Make and Break’ switch mechanism, patented by Mr Crabtree.

    Family members then took a short journey to the grave of Mr & Mrs J.A.Crabtree at St Peter’s Church, Little Aston. Lunch for was taken at the nearby Fairlawns Hotel, Aldridge. Guests included Mr & Mrs Paul Tucker representing ‘Tuckers’ the company Mr Crabtree worked for prior to starting his own business.

    In the evening, a large group of past and present employees (and guests) assembled for a social event at the original Crabtree factory premises now Lyndon House Hotel. Presentations were given by Rob Peters (Financial Director of Electrium) and Allan Preston (Chairman of the Crabtree Society). Attending the event were the children of David Ashworth Crabtree – Rosemarie, Sonia, and Robert, with their families. Family relatives also included John Crabtree (from Beckenham), and John Crabtree OBE (Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands) with his wife Diana.

    It was, for all concerned, a memorable Centenary day.

    The following day, Thursday, April 18th, saw the Crabtree family and Society members at Electrium headquarters in Cannock. The tower block resplendent with a large banner saying ‘Crabtree 100 Years of Electrical Safety’. Tour guide was Paul Fisher MD, and the visit was much appreciated by everyone. A buffet lunch was provided, and films of the ‘Royal Visit’ to Lincoln Works in 1962, and the BBC film ‘Going to Work’ 1966 were shown.

    ‘The Crabtree Society’ gives a big ‘Thank You’ to Electrium for helping finance such a splendid event. The company produced 5,000 copies of ‘The Crabtree’, which were distributed to Society members, Electrium staff and customers at home and overseas

    What will the next one hundred years bring for the ‘Crabtree’ brand?

    Time alone will tell, but in one hundred years from now, anyone reading this, or watching the films, may reflect on the maxim of John Ashworth Crabtree............. ‘That which is built soundly endures well.’

    Ted Richardson (Society Correspondent)