Edward Ken Wadsworth

My father (Edward Ken Wadsworth) came from Manchester and started working at The Standard Motor Co as a qualified electrician and progressed to the position of Plant Director responsible for all maintenance and tool room departments that included Canley, Fletchhamstead North and South, Radford and Western Avenue.

I ( Peter Wadsworth) first went to visit the Canley factory just after the war in about 1946 at the age of 6 years. It was almost inevitable that 10 years later I would start my Standard Motor apprenticeship training to be a Factory Layout Engineer. The school was located at the Massey Ferguson plant on Banner Lane where I eventually came back to finish my working life. My early recollections are having a ride on the fire engine and going into the boiler house and seeing a row of 13 huge boilers, originally coke fired and later converted to oil fired.

On the land at the back of the pavilion, off Tile Hill Lane, the Standard sports day and gimcarners used to be held. All the works fire brigades used to come and complete various tasks like unwinding and connecting several hoses together, starting the pump and knocking a target over. The winners taking home very prestigious trophies. The toilets were just a succession of hessian screens with a metal trough running through them with a hose pipe at one end and pit at the other. There was always someone who would light a piece of paper and send it down the trough when they knew someone in residence. No health and safety in those days just lucky to be alive.

Tom Neary Standard Triumph
Edward Ken Wadsworth (Right)

Initially my father was on nights for 15 years eventually as Maintenance Superintendent for the Canley factory. When my father gained the next promotion he moved onto the day shift and we moved into a semi. detached company house at 22 Canley Road and then after another promotion into the detached house at 28 Canley Road. These houses are still there but you can see that they are not covered by the same planned maintenance. At the back of the semi was the tinsmiths and I could hear them spot welding at night. I could always tell when they made a reject from the sound. By the side of the detached house was the new air conditioned computer room with the telephone exchange above. The telephone exchange had windows along the side facing my bedroom and therefore had to make sure I had some clothes on before opening the curtains.

Editor: Updated, 13th November, 2017 with photo.

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