MEYNELL VALVES LTD
15. Herbert Meynell: 1857 - 1944
Herbert was the type of man who builds up a society or a company or a
country because he epitomises all that is good in the qualities of his
life and his life style. Therefore, he was shrewd, tough, fair and
uncompromising. He was a
very good family man and an ardent churchgoer.
He was ruthless in his opinion of evil and he stood by his
principles, whatever the cost.
He was a devout Catholic and a regular churchgoer and a pillar of his
parish church of SS Mary & John at Snow Hill, Wolverhampton.
He had his own reserved family pew with its brass plate to
signify the fact. Yet one
Sunday he risked being excommunicated (or a least having to make an
apology to the Bishop) on the occasion of an Irish priest giving the
sermon and talking to the congregation about the wrongs of the political
Herbert stood up in his pew and said “I don’t agree with politics being
preached from the pulpit”.
He remained standing and was joined by Frank Gibbons and a few
others and the priest left the pulpit saying he would report them to the
His high principles cost our Company dearly in the Second World War when
he quietly announced that the Meynell company and the Meynell family
would not make profit out of the war.
He was as good as his word and when the war ended he had run our
machinery into the ground and faced our post-war competitors, who seem
to have been war profiteers at home and Marsall aided with massive
injections of American dollars in Europe and elsewhere.
I can testify to this myself because when I joined the company in
1948 I can remember very well all the layout of the factory.
We had hundreds of hand lathes with skilled mean beavering away
and a few machines for cutting spindle squares and a few simple Ward Ws
or similar and not much else.