Monday, 28 January 2013

Old Tom

It is obvious from many of the speeches that we have copies of that Vincent Brooks, Day & Son were always very proud of their employees and the way they were treated at the firm. Frederick V Brooks wrote in his autobiography,

"As will appear at a later stage of this Chronicle, I am Managing Director of a Company employing about eighty hands, with two exceptions the journeymen have all been apprentices of mine, while by the time that a new boy has been with me a couple me more than a couple of days, he feels that he has come to stay, that there will be no “blind alley” for him unless he makes one for himself and that a daily greeting, if we meet, is the custom of the house.
Have we any labour troubles? Certainly not, the staff is carefully selected by promotion from the lower grades and the work being high grade wages are well above the average. "

We were fortunate recently to be contacted by a descendant of one such employee. None other than Thomas George Broadstock who's name had already come up a few time in various documents.

Thomas had joined the company as a seventeen year old in 1869 soon after Vincent Brooks had taken over Day & Son. He was still working for the firm in 1924 at the age of seventy two!

During the company's centenary celebrations in 1923 Thomas presented the Brooks brothers with a portrait and in a later speech is noted for his length of service. In another comic pamphlet he is referred to as 'Old Tom'.

We were also sent this wonderful photograph of Thomas at work. If the picture that Thomas is holding in the photo is the same piece of work that we have a copy of (See post) then the photo dates to 1937.
If correct, this makes Thomas eighty-five!

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