Presentations in Wolverhampton

On Monday 2nd April, 1894, the Express & Star reported that a large number of officials and workmen employed by the Electric Construction Corporation, Bushbury, met at the Victoria Hotel, Wolverhampton, on Saturday evening, for the purpose of making presentations to members of staff who were leaving the company. They were Messrs. J.H. Woodward, E.S.G. Rees, C.H. Iles, and Mr. Armistead. Unfortunately Mr. Armistead was not present that evening.

The chair was occupied by Mr. Thomas Parker, and he was supported on the platform by Messrs. Richard Jones, Westwood, Hussey, Green, Cadwallader, Dodd, May, and Rock. 

Each gentleman was presented with an address in a neatly-bound album, containing photos of several foremen, clerks and employees, and also 180 signatures to a testimonial. The address ran as follows:

We the foremen and employees of the Electric Construction Company, Limited desire to express our great regret at your resignation of the position you have held in connection with our company, and our deep sense of the value of your services both to Elwell-Parker Limited and the present company during the past seven years; and to assure you that your departure will be felt by us all. We beg you to accept this album as a token of the excellent and kindly relations which have always subsisted between us during our joint service under the company, and our heartiest wishes for your future prosperity and well being.

Signed: R. Jones, Chairman; J. Westwood, Vice-Chairman; W. Cadwallader, Treasurer; and A.E. Robinson, Secretary.

Mr. Parker, in making the presentations, referred to the perfect harmony which until recently had existed between the officers and the staff engaged at the Bushbury Electrical Works, and regretted that so many changes had been found necessary. In addition to the resignation of the four gentlemen in receipt of souvenirs, they had also lost Mr. Walton, and no doubt the company would regret the retirement of Mr. Moore, who was in charge of the drawing office and is now leaving for America.

Upon the point of Mr. Parker’s own severance from the E.C.C., he said that there were many circumstances which need not be reviewed at that meeting, but owing to some of the serious matters that had lately been forced upon him, he jocularly compared his “lot” to that of the policeman in the Pirates of Penzance, which was not a very “happy one”; still he had a duty to perform to himself as well as those under him, and although he preferred peace best, he could not help fighting when there was any fighting to be done. Work was his motto, and he congratulated his men upon having done good service in the past.

He believed more in paying good wages to first-class servants and workmen, than in tolerating the parade of so many useless top hats and big collars. Good workmen too, should be kindly treated instead of bullied, harassed, and worried as they often were without cause or reason. Not withstanding matters as they stood at present, he has that day secured another order for the works at Bushbury, and, although they might not all meet together again as on the present occasion, they might rest assured that he would continue to do the best that lay in his power to promote the interests of those around him.  (great applause).

Messrs. Woodward, Rees and Iles each thanked the subscribers, and bore testimony to the high business character of Mr. Parker, who had well trained his leading men in the knowledge of electricity. Mr. Rees thoroughly believed that he and his colleagues had only done their duty by severing their connection with the company. After short speeches by Messrs. Jones, Westwood, Hussey (foremen), and Robinson (head chemist), wishing the recipients long life and prosperity in all their future undertakings, Mr. A.B. Jones gave the well known recitation, “Horatius,” and the remainder of the evening was spent in harmony and general conviviality.

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