George, who was 100 years old in June 2010, used to work for Marston's, and spent much of his working life at the  Sunbeam works in Paul Street. Sadly George died in March 2012. He must have been one of the few people still alive, who remembered the factory when the excellent motorbikes and bicycles were produced. The Sunbeam products were well known and loved in many countries, and were a byword for quality. George's recollections give an insight into what it was like to work in a factory that was still run much as it was in Victorian times.

George joined Sunbeam in December 1923, only five years after the death of the founder, John Marston. This was still a time when sales of Sunbeam bicycles and motorcycles were high and the company was continuing its success in competition events and the Isle of Man T. T. The factory was then owned by Nobel industries, which became a part of I.C.I. in 1928, when the workforce numbered about 600. Also in 1928, Elm works opened on the Penn Road. It included the Service and Spares Departments, the Competition Department, a new canteen and assembly hall. It was also used by the successful works sports and social club. The Managing Director at the time was Sidney Bowers, who was appointed by Nobel Industries in 1919, and remained in charge until his illness in 1931. Bicycle and motorcycle production continued until 1937 when falling sales, and outdated machinery made the operation unsustainable. In order to make the business profitable and protect the workforce, I.C.I. decided to dispose of that part of the business and concentrate on building radiators. The motorcycle and bicycle side was sold to Associated Motor Cycles. Most of the outdated machinery was scrapped and the factory re-equipped for radiator production.

George's story is told in the following parts:

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