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GEC WITTON WORKS

The Baron

master brummie
Wow, just came across a Parsons Tyburn Road staff photo posted by The Baron. I'm the 1 next to Jogi by the steps. Great to see faces from 30+years ago. I left Parsons to take up a position with Ashanti Goldfields in Ghana then I moved to Takoradi also in Ghana to run a limestone factory. I presently run a specialised chemicals company and a small hotel, check out africabeachhotel.com.
Bob Baldry
Hi Bob, I posted that photo under my username ( The Baron ) I hope you and DI remember me Keith Jenney Mining Projects under Viv Horder.
Are you no Facebook?
Nice to hear your doing well.
 

bobbaldry

New Member
Hi Bob, I posted that photo under my username ( The Baron ) I hope you and DI remember me Keith Jenney Mining Projects under Viv Horder.
Are you no Facebook?
Nice to hear your doing well.
Surely I remember you Keith, I look back on the RPD period as the good ol' days. I also remember applying for a job in RPD: the boss was Bruno Adler and I asked for GBP1000 (presumably per annum), he laughed like a baboon and told me that I'm only worth GBP950! During my time at Ashanti Goldfields I used to meet up with Chapman's lot, Outside Services, when they came to service the mine hoists. No, I'm not facebook man but you'll find my kids Robbie, Michelle and Chris on it. Di returned to the UK in the late 90s. Do you ever hear of Alan Firth, Kurt Wright, Len Moore, Jim James?
 

The Villan 1956

Brummie babby
Hi @Bob
Surely I remember you Keith, I look back on the RPD period as the good ol' days. I also remember applying for a job in RPD: the boss was Bruno Adler and I asked for GBP1000 (presumably per annum), he laughed like a baboon and told me that I'm only worth GBP950! During my time at Ashanti Goldfields I used to meet up with Chapman's lot, Outside Services, when they came to service the mine hoists. No, I'm not facebook man but you'll find my kids Robbie, Michelle and Chris on it. Di returned to the UK in the late 90s. Do you ever hear of Alan Firth, Kurt Wright, Len Moore, Jim James?
Hi Bob
I have only just found this. I no longer live in Birmingham. I worked as a commercial trainee for soem year from 1960. I did training in the cost office, Transformer Division, Rectifier Division and the Plastics division.
When GEC started to sell of the units, I worked in the Rectifier Division as the boss of the Costing department and then moved to Witton Moulded Plastics at the bottom end of Electric Avenue. They eventaully moved to the Rectifier site and they were eventually sold to Guinnes Plastics. I worked for both of them before moving up to Scotland to work for a plastics manufacturer.
The Magnet Club was brilliant. I played Football, cricket, snooker and darts as well as badmington. I stopped playing foorball due to a football injury where I lost part of my sight.
It was great at lunchtime, becuase you could go up there to have a meal at very cheap prices. You don't get that anymore. Mondays were always the worst if Villa lost. :) Is The Barron still alive?

Baldrey
 

The Villan 1956

Brummie babby
Worked on the same floor as Terry Doidge When we were with PARSONS PEEBLES I was with Projects dept & Terry Parsons Accounts Great Guy & Happy days.
OMG. I did a bit of work in the wages department as a commercial trainee in the the mid 60's. I remeber the name of the boss. I also think I remeber the guy called Rooke. If my memeory serves me right his first name was Harold. I had an interview a few year later to work in the Accounts department for Parsons, but I decide to work in the Accounts department for Witton Moulded Plastics, at the end of Electic Avenue.
 

The Villan 1956

Brummie babby
Hi , Rupert, Imay have some place in the darker reaches of my loft but how to find them well thats it!
The main admin frontage is listed and still stand proud at the top of the main drive,but Witton Kramer (are Nigel Steeley) and switchworks, domestic supply dept, and all those many fond memories gone alas,
If IAM DOWN that way I may take photo of the MAGNET Club.But some one will have to tell me how to upload it onto this site?
Regards ASTON 0
Ha ha I used to run up and down the central stairs in th emain admin. Th esargent with the posh hat on alwys used to catch me and tell me off. Can't remeber his name anymore.
 

JonnyB

New Member
I think when the cricket club packed up some of the pads/balls/bats etc were given to the orphanage at the Beggar's Bush, New Oscott which is now a Tesco supermarket. I was about ten years old at the time and on their way my father, who worked at Witton from when he left school just before the war until it closed, let me have a bat that I still have. It was originally from Harry Parkes' shop who I believe also worked at Witton for a time.
I think when the cricket club packed up some of the pads/balls/bats etc were given to the orphanage at the Beggar's Bush, New Oscott which is now a Tesco supermarket. I was about ten years old at the time and on their way my father, who worked at Witton from when he left school just before the war until it closed, let me have a bat that I still have. It was originally from Harry Parkes' shop who I believe also worked at Witton for a time.
I think when the cricket club packed up some of the pads/balls/bats etc were given to the orphanage at the Beggar's Bush, New Oscott which is now a Tesco supermarket. I was about ten years old at the time and on their way my father, who worked at Witton from when he left school just before the war until it closed, let me have a bat that I still have. It was originally from Harry Parkes' shop who I believe also worked at Witton for a time.
I think when the cricket club packed up some of the pads/balls/bats etc were given to the orphanage at the Beggar's Bush, New Oscott which is now a Tesco supermarket. I was about ten years old at the time and on their way my father, who worked at Witton from when he left school just before the war until it closed, let me have a bat that I still have. It was originally from Harry Parkes' shop who I believe also worked at Witton for a time.
Hi - I was interested to read your stories of the cricket teams/names in the 1960s. My father Fred Bennett was the cricket president of the cricket teams in that era & I remember the players that u quoted fondly. My father played cricket for many years for the GEC & I also played with him from when I was 13 onwards with the players you mentioned.& remember the fast bowler Thomson (very fast, I was in the slips) but a lovely friendly man.
I played there for about 4 years & remember all those players you mentioned plus another bowler Ron Hewlett! What lovely happy days they were & as you say the ground was of such a high standard! My name is John Bennett & I went on to play for Aston Unity @ Court Lane Erdington In the late 60s & early 70s & played against Tommy Cotton when he played for Smethwick. You painted a lovely picture of those times in your comments & one of my finest memories is having a drink with my dad/players in the Magnet Club after the games! Kind regards
 

trevor bow

knowlegable brummie
Hi - I was interested to read your stories of the cricket teams/names in the 1960s. My father Fred Bennett was the cricket president of the cricket teams in that era & I remember the players that u quoted fondly. My father played cricket for many years for the GEC & I also played with him from when I was 13 onwards with the players you mentioned.& remember the fast bowler Thomson (very fast, I was in the slips) but a lovely friendly man.
I played there for about 4 years & remember all those players you mentioned plus another bowler Ron Hewlett! What lovely happy days they were & as you say the ground was of such a high standard! My name is John Bennett & I went on to play for Aston Unity @ Court Lane Erdington In the late 60s & early 70s & played against Tommy Cotton when he played for Smethwick. You painted a lovely picture of those times in your comments & one of my finest memories is having a drink with my dad/players in the Magnet Club after the games! Kind regards
I never played cricket or football against GEC but as a member of the "Old Griffinians Rugby Club", I played year in year out against "GEC WITTON RFC", as they were officially known, from the mid sixties. The changing rooms were down in the bowels of the Magnet Club as I recall, and the pitch was the furthest away of any. It was on a shelf and there was a set of steps leading up to it. It was always in immaculate condition and we loved playing there, not least for the club bar and facilties afterwards. GEC were a great bunch of lads and after the game, there would be endless games of snooker and darts with the losing team buying the opposition the drinks. As can be imagined, these games were even more hotly contested than the one on the pitch ! I remember them telling us that they were thankful for the nearby motorway being built because they could then train at night under its lights ! But all good things come to an end and I played in the very last rugby match at the Magnet club which I think was at the closure of the 1983/84 season. The club itself upstairs had closed its doors for the final time a couple of weeks before. But no one was going to be denied their after game drinking session. The GEC lads had somehow 'come into the possession' of a last barrel of beer, a gas tank to serve it up, and thirty one glasses which included one for the referee. So there we all sat in the one changing room singing our heads off and proposing toast after toast to the "GEC WITTON RFC" and the good old Magnet Club. I think they moved to another pitch somewhere but shortly afterwards, they merged with "OLD CENTRALS RFC" near Streetly to become a new club which they called "ALDRIDGE RFC". The Old Griffinians played against all the works sides in Birmingham e.g. Lucas, Kynock, Bakelite, GKN etc, but there was something special about "GEC WITTON" and the Magnet Club. Sadly, all of these clubs have now disappeared with only memories left.
 

lmr3103

master brummie
I never played cricket or football against GEC but as a member of the "Old Griffinians Rugby Club", I played year in year out against "GEC WITTON RFC", as they were officially known, from the mid sixties. The changing rooms were down in the bowels of the Magnet Club as I recall, and the pitch was the furthest away of any. It was on a shelf and there was a set of steps leading up to it. It was always in immaculate condition and we loved playing there, not least for the club bar and facilties afterwards. GEC were a great bunch of lads and after the game, there would be endless games of snooker and darts with the losing team buying the opposition the drinks. As can be imagined, these games were even more hotly contested than the one on the pitch ! I remember them telling us that they were thankful for the nearby motorway being built because they could then train at night under its lights ! But all good things come to an end and I played in the very last rugby match at the Magnet club which I think was at the closure of the 1983/84 season. The club itself upstairs had closed its doors for the final time a couple of weeks before. But no one was going to be denied their after game drinking session. The GEC lads had somehow 'come into the possession' of a last barrel of beer, a gas tank to serve it up, and thirty one glasses which included one for the referee. So there we all sat in the one changing room singing our heads off and proposing toast after toast to the "GEC WITTON RFC" and the good old Magnet Club. I think they moved to another pitch somewhere but shortly afterwards, they merged with "OLD CENTRALS RFC" near Streetly to become a new club which they called "ALDRIDGE RFC". The Old Griffinians played against all the works sides in Birmingham e.g. Lucas, Kynock, Bakelite, GKN etc, but there was something special about "GEC WITTON" and the Magnet Club. Sadly, all of these clubs have now disappeared with only memories left.
I never played cricket or football against GEC but as a member of the "Old Griffinians Rugby Club", I played year in year out against "GEC WITTON RFC", as they were officially known, from the mid sixties. The changing rooms were down in the bowels of the Magnet Club as I recall, and the pitch was the furthest away of any. It was on a shelf and there was a set of steps leading up to it. It was always in immaculate condition and we loved playing there, not least for the club bar and facilties afterwards. GEC were a great bunch of lads and after the game, there would be endless games of snooker and darts with the losing team buying the opposition the drinks. As can be imagined, these games were even more hotly contested than the one on the pitch ! I remember them telling us that they were thankful for the nearby motorway being built because they could then train at night under its lights ! But all good things come to an end and I played in the very last rugby match at the Magnet club which I think was at the closure of the 1983/84 season. The club itself upstairs had closed its doors for the final time a couple of weeks before. But no one was going to be denied their after game drinking session. The GEC lads had somehow 'come into the possession' of a last barrel of beer, a gas tank to serve it up, and thirty one glasses which included one for the referee. So there we all sat in the one changing room singing our heads off and proposing toast after toast to the "GEC WITTON RFC" and the good old Magnet Club. I think they moved to another pitch somewhere but shortly afterwards, they merged with "OLD CENTRALS RFC" near Streetly to become a new club which they called "ALDRIDGE RFC". The Old Griffinians played against all the works sides in Birmingham e.g. Lucas, Kynock, Bakelite, GKN etc, but there was something special about "GEC WITTON" and the Magnet Club. Sadly, all of these clubs have now disappeared with only memories left.
Wonderful memories Trevor. Certainly a different world. My Aunt worked at the GEC and it seems it was a very special place in many ways. I have a Witton News dated 1966, which was an in house magazine for the GEC. If anyone would like it they are more than welcome.
 

trevor bow

knowlegable brummie
Wonderful memories Trevor. Certainly a different world. My Aunt worked at the GEC and it seems it was a very special place in many ways. I have a Witton News dated 1966, which was an in house magazine for the GEC. If anyone would like it they are more than welcome.
Yes, it was a different world and all those great industries and their factories have gone forever. The Lucas factory in Great King St - I was born a stone's throw away from it in 1946 - GEC at Wittton, GKN, Kynoch, the giant Austin/BMC/Rover site at Longbridge, IMI, the BSA, the breweries of M & B, Ansells, and Davenports, Typhoo Tea, the HP sauce factory, and lots more that were part of the fabric of Brum. We were known as the city of a 1000 trades, but I think that title has long since faded away.
 

Richarddye

master brummie
Yes, it was a different world and all those great industries and their factories have gone forever. The Lucas factory in Great King St - I was born a stone's throw away from it in 1946 - GEC at Wittton, GKN, Kynoch, the giant Austin/BMC/Rover site at Longbridge, IMI, the BSA, the breweries of M & B, Ansells, and Davenports, Typhoo Tea, the HP sauce factory, and lots more that were part of the fabric of Brum. We were known as the city of a 1000 trades, but I think that title has long since faded away.
Trevor, that is a wonderful summary of our Great old city!
 

Newtfrogman

Brummie babby
Hi
I’ve acquired this magazine, Witton News, the in house magazine of the GEC. Lots of articles and mentions of people that I’m sure would be very interesting to ex workers. If anyone would like me to send it to them, just PM me...free to a good home!
lynn.
Hi my name is Ian freeman, my father worked at the G.E.C. from 1947 till the 60s, and we lived nearby. I have a march 1966 Witton news, which I am going to scan and put on this site and the Aston/Witton / Birmingham history facebook sites to see if anybody recognises the various names, I would be happy to do the same with your September 1966 copy if you would let me, please email/message me to let me know what you think. Many thanks Ian Freeman.
 

Newtfrogman

Brummie babby
Hi my name is Ian freeman, my father worked at the G.E.C. from 1947 till the 60s, and we lived nearby. I have a march 1966 Witton news, which I am going to scan and put on this site and the Aston/Witton / Birmingham history facebook sites to see if anybody recognises the various names, I would be happy to do the same with your September 1966 copy if you would let me, please email/message me to let me know what you think. Many thanks Ian Freeman.
Sorry correction my copy is March 1961.
 

daimlerman

Brummie babby
My father, Jim Egan, worked at GEC witton from 1938 to 1974 (including army service WW2. I still have the engraved Smiths watch he was presented with for 21 years service in 1959.
I remember when he worked as a maintenance charge hand in the battery box shop. He would come home filthy from the black dust.
Eventually he was put on the staff as a foreman in the injection shop and finally, the compression moulding shop.
I worked there for a while in the early 1970's. First in the tool room with Keith Plumbe, under Douglas Tonks, and Alan Dolman. Then I joined the maintenance gang in the injection shop under Fred Coxon.
Some old names from the injection shop maintenance crew I recall was
Bob Lloyd, Jimmie Kelly, Dave Terry,
Jim Timperley (electrician). Tommy Watt, and many more.
Dennis Hill (from the switch works), Billy Dix, Fred Goring.
I was 16-18 years old back then. I'm 66 now and well and truly retired but it seems like yesterday.
My mom Dora, and dad met there in 1938, and they had many stories of their times at GEC.
During the late 50's early 1960's I remember the fantastic GEC Christmas childrens parties held in the magnet club.
Loads of food, stage acts including the first band I ever saw with electric guitars. It was fantastic.
The parties always ended with the compare Douglas Tonks, dressed as a clown, he would say.
"I was walking along Electric Avenue today when a man with a big white beard and a red suit, stopped his sleigh and reindeer and asked me the way here. Who do you think it was?"¥
All the kids would Roar, FATHER CHRISTMAS! and he would appear from the side of the stage.
We were called into an orderly queue starting with the call for "All the little girls aged 5" followed by the boys and so on up to about 10 I think.
Parents were waiting at the back and once you were given your present you were collected by Mom or dad.
The kids would be tearing open the presents and paper was everywhere., along with the odd puddle of sick where some over excited kid had exploded jelly and cake all over the place.
The whole thing must have cost a small fortune but they were great Saturday afternoons just before Christmas.
When we came out it was dark and foggy as we stumbled along to the bus home.
 
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