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Terruta

Greenings

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I used to work at Greenings from 1960 to 1972, mostly in the offices. I've been out of touch for 40 years, and I don't really know what exactly happened to Greenings. I assume they went bust one way or the other, but for some reason there appears to be very little information online.

 

I used to know Frank Fearnley, Joe Bramhall, Dave Griffiths, Neil Thomas, Ted Pester, Norman Borst, to name just a few. I also remember some of the bosses, eg John Ivill, John Davey and so on.

 

I've lived in Nottingham for the past 40 odd years and very little information percolates over here from Warrington. I'd love to hear if anyone was around at Greenings at the same time, and what exactly happened eventually to the company.

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Hi Terruta and welcome to the forum :D

 

Was Greenings the old wire works on Bewsey Road (Britania Works?) :oops: If it was all I know is that it closed down around 1980's but I'm sure that there will be other people on here who know a lot more about it.

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Eventually demolished to make way for a housing development.

In its later years after closing down it was used as a base for Warrington Gymnastics Club.

Sadly Greenings went the same way as most of Warrington's other industries - out of business due to cheaper imports. :cry:

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I used to work at Greenings from 1960 to 1972, mostly in the offices. I've been out of touch for 40 years, and I don't really know what exactly happened to Greenings. I assume they went bust one way or the other, but for some reason there appears to be very little information online.

 

I used to know Frank Fearnley, Joe Bramhall, Dave Griffiths, Neil Thomas, Ted Pester, Norman Borst, to name just a few. I also remember some of the bosses, eg John Ivill, John Davey and so on.

 

I've lived in Nottingham for the past 40 odd years and very little information percolates over here from Warrington. I'd love to hear if anyone was around at Greenings at the same time, and what exactly happened eventually to the company.

 

Terruta, Hope this is of interest to you. These were taken just before demolition.

 

 

Wire-working was already established in Warrington in the 1770s. The well-known firms that came to dominate the trade appeared towards the end of the 18th century. William Houghton had a wireworks in Tanners Lane by 1775 and in 1799 Nathaniel Greening came to the town and set up a small factory. In 1805 Greening was joined by a new partner, John Rylands, and in 1817 the partners moved to a new site at the end of Church Street. By the late 1830s the Church Street works was one of the largest industrial concerns in Warrington.

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Credits to Northwest Exploration

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Greenings as such was bought out partly by the management at the time and split into two separate companies. Cannot remember the name of the one that carried on at the site but the one that was bought out by a separate concern was closed down and the assets sold off.

 

The part bought by the management carried on for a few years before having to close due to market forces.

 

My father worked there for many years firstly as a weaver and later on in the dispatch office. My uncle also worked there most of his working life.

 

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My uncle George Lloyd receiving what I think was his long service award

 

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I think this is from the same award night looks like it was held around Christmas from the decorations. My Uncle George on the bottom left. You may know some of the rest but I am afraid that I have no idea who they are.

 

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Yet another photo that looks like it is from the staff Christmas party. Again my uncle on the left.

 

Not got a picture of my Father at any of the Greenings do's but may have one of him from around that era will have to have a sort through when I get the time.

 

Do remember Charlie Harris from the childrens Christmas parties. cannot for the life of me recall what he looked like just that he always seemed to have a cigar on the go and a big smile on his face.

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Those were the days when WRLFC were called "the Wires". Wasn't it Carrington Wire that it finished up as? And was that taken over by an Indian firm? :?

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Thanks to everyone for responding. The photos of the factory just before demolition are quite sad, probably because I remember it when it was in it's heyday and thriving. Thanks also Evil Sid for the photos of personnel etc. I'm afraid I don't recognize anyone in them. I think they may have been taken before my time there. I do remember Charlie Harris. He had a permanent smile and you're right about the cigars, although I had forgotten that until I read your posting.

 

I heard a long time ago that Greenings were taken over by Johnson & Firth Brown (who have also long since ceased trading), but I don't know if this was true or not. When I worked there the main competition was from Lockers (known as APW). I have tried Googling Lockers and they appear to be still trading, although this isn't clear.

 

My family connection goes back quite a long way with Greenings. My grandfather worked at Greening Wire and my mother worked in the A&B weaving dept just before and after the war. I left in 1972, and I am now retired, but my interest was re-kindled when I had a look at the area on Google Maps. I am a Warrington lad through and through, but Nottingham has been my home now for 41 years.

 

Once again, many thanks for your responses.

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I worked there for a couple of years in the early 70's & it was a fairly good job at the time with plenty of overtime but it was spoiled by the reds-under-the-bed wanting to strike all the time...not very good when you have a young family to bring up, so at the time when people could walk out of one job & into another i did just that !

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I used to work at Greenings from 1960 to 1972, mostly in the offices. I've been out of touch for 40 years, and I don't really know what exactly happened to Greenings. I assume they went bust one way or the other, but for some reason there appears to be very little information online.

 

I used to know Frank Fearnley, Joe Bramhall, Dave Griffiths, Neil Thomas, Ted Pester, Norman Borst, to name just a few. I also remember some of the bosses, eg John Ivill, John Davey and so on.

 

I've lived in Nottingham for the past 40 odd years and very little information percolates over here from Warrington. I'd love to hear if anyone was around at Greenings at the same time, and what exactly happened eventually to the company.

 

 

I worked at Greenings in the machine shop/fitting shop as a turner, Bob Birkenhead was the chargehand, Dave Cundy, Gary Houghton, Pete Fellows, Gerry Plinston, Johnny Capper, Dave Roberts were all machinists. In the fitting shop were a plethora of characters, Billy Capper (blacksmith and bookie), Les Williams, Fredddie Dawson, the Boardman brothers, Bob Griffin (welder) etc etc. Who remembers the first strike in 1974 when we went out when Arthur Conheeny and Len Blood brought the place to its knees (all over the wire mill crane). Who remembers playing football in the yard....the ball used to go up the coal stack which didn't stop the flow of the match ! Happy days and I didn't know it.

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can't say I remember my dad being on strike mind you I had just started as an apprentice at UKAEA risley so was more concerned with that than anything.

 

Do remeber a few people form there though Billy O'Neil and his brother Terry O'Neil (now a councilor ), Dave Shaw who was a right character with long ginger hair and quite a few others who inhabited the club or the imperial when work was over.

 

Some where in the family we have a set of ledgers from there that my sister somehow "acquired" when she left just before it closed down. will have to ask her if she still has them.

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The photos with broken links can be seen here: 

 

http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/greenings-wires-28-07-07.t17597

 

These are some internal shots of a derelict shop floor (wire weaving presumably) and the file archive room which was accessed by a covered bridge from the first-floor typing pool and was known as "over the bridge". I recognise the internal phones on the racks because the internal phone system was replaced while I was there, bringing in push-button models to replace dial phones.

 

I worked in the perforated metal sales office for a couple of years up to early 1979 straight out of school. I remember a lot of names and faces.

 

For now I'll just list the people who worked in perf. sales:

Albert Bowen (Manager)

Peter Foy (estimator)

Jean Rimmer (estimator)

Bernard Pitcher (Mines & Quarries estimator who shared office space with us)

Greg Taylor (Order processing)

Tony Kolita (Sales)

David Moreton (sales)

Ian Sharpe (Sales - that's me)

Julie (surname gone) / Cheryl Roper (filing during the extended absence of...)

Jean Wood (Filing)

 

The photos here seem to slightly pre-date my time. I recognise about nine people but can only put names to a few. Bottom centre of the second image is/was called Jimmy (forget the surname), I think, and my memory puts him in Mines and Quarries sales. In the far background is 'Stan from Poland', also M&Q and I think the accounts and/or wages manager. Several other faces are familiar from the shop floor and offices but names gone and locations uncertain.. 

 

I think Charlie Harris *may* be top right at the far back of the third photo, partly obscured by a blemish. He interviewed me and I remember him as a thoroughly nice bloke.

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The truth behind the demise of Greenings may be more complex than cheap imports.

 

British companies that were mentioned almost daily as our competitors (Ash & Lacy, Lockers) moved on and are still in business.

 

The Greenings of my time (1977-79) seemed stagnant.

 

I hardly ever caught a glimpse of the directors who were remote, almost mythical beings. So I do not know if they had the desire or ability to move the company forward. Perhaps not - or maybe they were prevented from doing what was needed.

 

I remember what, with the benefit of experience, are now apparent as important management shortcomings.

 

I also remember the union was a force to be reckoned with and the air of conflict with management was very much part of the landscape.

 

There was clearly a game being played at Greenings that frequently overrode what a business needs to do to prosper.

 

I had to explain to customers far too often why their goods were late and the last X promises I had obtained from the factory had been broken. I can well imagine a lot of those people looking for another supplier.

 

Although I was in sales, I did not do much real selling, i.e. actively chasing after business. I was never told to do that. I was not taught to. I was fresh out of school and did not know how to do anything more than what the others said and were doing, which was much the same as me.

 

My job was taking enquiries and orders that happened to come in, and mainly getting my ear bent and chasing round after late deliveries. That side of it was consistent, significant, unpleasant and a sure sign of things being amiss.

 

I do not know how all this came about. Positions and attitudes were entrenched by the time I got there and I am not apportioning blame. I wish I knew.

 

It is hard to see how that doomed state of affairs could have changed quickly enough to save the company for the long term. Maybe it was too far gone... heads down and hope for the best.

 

I did not realise most of this at the time. I left of other reasons. 

 

Acres of old machinery in a vast Victorian complex would have needed a lot of investment to maintain as a viable concern. With hindsight, the company looks like a lost cause. If it was around today it would have to be quite different from how it was then.

 

Even so, it went under remarkably quickly after I left. Yes, it looked lost. There were occasional quiet but obvious panics over lack of sales but they were episodes. The directors must (or should) have known that it was on the edge but the gravity of the situation did not reach down as far as me.

 

On the plus side, I have many good memories of people I worked with. (A few not so good ones too, but a small minority). I did not appreciate them until I worked in other places away from Warrington which seemed cold in comparison.

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It was a living museum with all the old buildings & machinery. It would probably have been better,if the business was viable, to get a new town grant & move to a new factory somewhere.

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On 20 February 2011 at 8:09 PM, Terruta said:

I used to work at Greenings from 1960 to 1972, mostly in the offices. I've been out of touch for 40 years, and I don't really know what exactly happened to Greenings. I assume they went bust one way or the other, but for some reason there appears to be very little information online.

 

I used to know Frank Fearnley, Joe Bramhall, Dave Griffiths, Neil Thomas, Ted Pester, Norman Borst, to name just a few. I also remember some of the bosses, eg John Ivill, John Davey and so on.

 

I've lived in Nottingham for the past 40 odd years and very little information percolates over here from Warrington. I'd love to hear if anyone was around at Greenings at the same time, and what exactly happened eventually to the company.

Ted Pester would have been my Grandad if he was still alive

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