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2255, WA/03
Wathes Collection

Speaker: Pearson, GM (Matt), 1918 - 2005, Interviewee, Male, Electrical engineer; Manager; Publican
Speaker: Hyde, C, Interviewer, Male

Summary of interview item: Talks about joining TH Wathes, Leicester, as apprentice, interview with Mr TH Wathes, work wiring houses in affluent Stoneygate, working class areas, various refrigerants. Describes Mr Wathes, need for high quality work, end of apprenticeship. Brief mention of Midland Motor Factors. Talks about refigerators, refrigeration. Mentions mixed attitudes to unions. Reflects on business people in Leicester working together less over the years. Talks about setting up refrigeration for Marks and Spencer (M&S). Describes Sydney Wathes, son of TH Wathes. Explains family connection with Singers in Leicester. Describes Wathes' premises on High Street, Leicester, mentions fellow employees, need for move to St Nicholas Circle. Talks about various Wathes people, such as WC Turner. Comments that women wouldn't have been electricians until 1960s. Talks about Sydney Wathes' early days with company, his forceful character. Mentions pay, limited promotion prospects, changing attitudes due to Second World War. Talks about early work, pipe strangling, pushing handcart. Describes becoming director, not liking it, taking on M&S contract. Mentions events, changes in style, when Peter Thurnham took over company. Describes problems with first computer. Outlines three years taken out as publican. Describes changes in business practice, equipment. Talks briefly about events since retirement.
Place of birth: Leicester
Education: Beaumanor School, Granby Road School, Lansdowne Road School
Marital Status: Married, Children:
Father's Occupation:
Mother's Occupation:
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Leicester
Periods Covered: 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s
Language: English

Recording Date: 26/9/2002
Playing time: 4 hrs 43 mins
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
Summary: Yes
Transcription: No
Copies: Yes
Cross Reference:

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Last updated: 08/05/02
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.