Colonel F S Hanson

Mr F Hanson talking about his family, his father Colonel F S Hanson. Colonel F S Hanson was once Director of the Standard Motor Co. (Dated btw 1967 and 1975).

My father – came from a big family and his father was a brewer. It used to be Hanson’s Brewery it’s now Hardy’s in Nottingham, (Good God) and – he trained – he was about – a member of a family of thirteen, he was one of the younger sons, and he trained as a mining engineer – near Nottingham (yes) and eventually he came – having done his training and he – helped to sink Arley Pit in the original days – he and – Knox who was later the owner of it, and they sunk Arley Pit together and then my father went as the Manager of Haunchwood Collieries – and he was there for many years – this is prior to the war – first world war – and then he was one of the original people joining the T.A. in the old days – prior to 1914 again. Of course he was – served throughout the – first world war and did fairly well as you can see and after the war he came back again and went back to Haunchwood and – by this time we lived at a place called Fillongley Grange which is – near Fillongley on the Wood End Road and we then moved eventually to Keresley House which is – a house just before you get to “The Horse and Jockey” on the Tamworth Road, a pretty big house, a garden and – he was with Haunchwood right up to about 1936 I think or 35 I can’t remember exactly, when he left them, and all this time he’d done a lot  with the T.A. Incidentally he commanded – the – seventh battalion and the eighth battalion – of the Warwicks – during the war – first world war and while we were at Keresley – we got to know – or he got to know John Black very well because he lived on the Tamworth Road then just a bit nearer Coventry. This is when he was at – Hillmans and he was married to Daisy – who was a Hillman, Miss Hillman and – I was a boy at this time of course and you know he was a great sort of personal friend really and – they were – used to shoot together, they were in the same shooting circle and so on and – then Black moved to Corley and after that to Temple House in – a park now – oh – Arbury Park, that’s right. Now when father left Haunchwood about 1936 Black asked him if he would like to join the Board at Standards and that’s how he got on to it he was not – a working Director – if you get me he never worked at Standards, not an Executive Director if that’s the right word but he was on the Board as an outside Director. This is in 36 I think – then – the second world war came along and my father at that time – in 1938 – when the sort of panic was on after Munich, he and various other people of his sort of standing like – Catter and – like – one or two others I can’t remember – Colonel Rotherham and so on, anyway they, they went back to help with gun control I think, in some way, over at Birmingham before the defence of the Midlands I don’t know exactly about it and when the war started – by this time we were living at Alveston incidentally – we’d left Keresley – they were doing this for quite a time during the blitz and so on and then that packed up for reasons I don’t know, and my father was kept on in the army though he was over age by this time, he was about 56 I suppose, to go and command – a training unit up at Fleetwood and he went up to do this so we left Alveston and they rented a house up at Fleetwood in Lancashire and this went on until a period in the war when I can’t remember, when that folded up and my father eventually got his bowler hat proper, you know, out of it, so we sort of left this part of the world and – after this – he bought a how during the war up in Westmorland near Kendal where he thought he’d retire to and it so happened of course that Standards had a small factory up at Kendal, during the war, making carburettors or something I’m not quite sure what they made and father used to keep an eye on that as a Director in – in that area – and – there’s big agricultural engineers up in Kendal in that area whose name I cannot remember, Alick Dick would remember. I always think of Hogarths but that’s not the right word, and at one period just after the war, this is the story as I get it of the Ferguson set up, he was talking to this chap whoever’s name it was and he was telling him about this chap Harry Ferguson who had come over and was trying to get some manufacturer to take up his tractor and that he’d tried Morris and so on and so forth and was getting nowhere and he said to father “this is a thing Standards ought to do”, so father pricked his ears up and he rang up John Black. Again this is hearsay, and John Black said “Oh yes, I know about this chap Ferguson and if he likes to come and see me I should be delighted to see him. He has been in touch with me, he wants me to go and meet him and I’ve told him if he wants to see me here I am in Coventry and he can come.”  Now my father’s a very practical sort of bloke, he didn’t really get frightfully involved in these great personalities and he in effect, as I understand it said,
“Look,” he said, “this is a bit silly , surely if the chap’s worth knowing we want to meet” and eventually he  persuaded them, or Black anyway, to get off his high horse and to go out of Coventry and meet Ferguson. This is as I understood it, where I can’t tell you. As soon as they met I gather they got on like a house on fire immediately and Black – following that was full of enthusiasm about this and, as he always was on these sort of things that he took up and – he – was always very grateful to father, said this was a marvellous thing to have done and all the rest of it while the initial negotiations were going on and so eventually as you know they – they took this thing up and they went into production – now I know this is true, I used to laugh because by this time I’d gone back to the Standards, I’d been in the army during the war when I came back and started with them again I just had been at Standards for a fortnight before the war started you know, (yes) and I came back in 46 and of course I knew Black when I was a very small boy obviously but I used to meet him in the passage and things at odd times and he was always very nice but, it always used to make me laugh because when things were going well, one never heard about father, his efforts to get these two together, but when things were going badly I can remember Black stopping me in the passage one day and he said “the worst thing your father ever did was to get me connected with this so and so Ferguson”, you see, and stumped off – because that was one of the moments he was having a row you see and – but then of course that blew over and so on and so forth and that is really very basically how father came into it but the details of it I can’t tell you.