The building in Pool Street contained the canteen and the stores on the ground floor. The ground floor is slightly below ground level and has small windows at pavement level. The canteen was poorly situated as dust and fumes from the polishing shop, plating shop and blacksmiths above, made conditions there quite unpleasant. You took your own food there before you started work. It was heated by Nellie on trays on a long gas stove. You went at lunchtime to collect your heated food, but often other people would already have helped themselves to your lunch.

Everyone was delighted when the new canteen opened in Elm Works, in 1928.


The first floor contained the Polishing Shop and the Machine Shop. In the polishing shop men and women polished the nickel plated parts. Nickel plating was eventually replaced by chrome plating. The second floor contained the Toolroom, Engine Bench, Motorcycle Frame Stores and the Motorcycle Building & Finishing Shop. The top floor contained the Enamel Shop, Polishing and Dressing Shop, Lining Shop, Cycle Stores, Cycle Building, Plating Shop and the Blacksmith's Shop. All of the bicycles except the 2 speed special with the oilbath were built on the top floor. The specials were built in a building in the centre of the yard.

The buildings in Paul Street contained the Motorcycle Finishing Shop, the Test House, Stores and Offices. The toilets were in the top yard. They were very basic, and were built of half-round tube with a piece of wood for the seat. There were 6 toilets which were each separated by a plywood partition.

Gas lighting was used throughout the works. Behind each gas mantle was a reflector which consisted of a 12" or 15" white enamelled plate. Over the years the enamel had been blackened by the flame and so the reflectors were not very effective. Each time you opened the door in the middle machine shop, the draught blew the gas mantles off the lights and they were broken. You couldn't have a replacement for a week, and so you had to work with a bare flame. This meant that you had to open the door carefully so as not to damage the mantles.

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