The redevelopment for housing of the corner of Old Hill which was once home to the old Burton Delingpole factory has ensured that the former works has been at the forefront of many peoples memories of late.
One former employee, Henry Davies of Darby End, Netherton, paid us a visit recently to make a kind loan of a couple of items from his own time at the works. Henry was warehouse supervisor, and worked for Burton Delingpole from 1948 until his retirement in1992. The picture he supplies us with was taken roughly halfway through his tenure there, in 1972, and shows a group whose ties with the firm go back much further than Henrys own. They were attending the Annual Retired Employees Reunion Dinner, held a couple of weeks before Christmas, and were pictured raising their glasses, clustered around the bar in the works canteen.
Henry is not on the picture himself, as he was standing next to the photgrapher, but he wonders if any of our readers can put names to any of the faces. There must be one or two of you out there who recognise a relative.
Henry has also loaned us a copy of the menu from that evenings get together, which shows that the night kicked off at 7.15 with a welcome to guests conducted by Henry himself, in his capacity as chairman of the Burton Delingpole Sports and Social Club. A dinner of roast turkey, pork, creamed potatoes, bacon rolls, chipolatas, peas, sprouts and forcemeat balls followed, with apple pie or Christmas pud to follow; and then the entertainment began.
F Grainger played the organ, I Dalziel accompanied him, and D Darby took care of the vocals. Its our guess that the three entertainers were employees or associates of the firm, for there is a Mr I Dalziel listed on the back of the menu as Liaison Officer for the Sports and Social Club committee.
The Sports and Social at Burton Delingpole was a thriving club in those days, as another picture supplied by Henry demonstrates. They were able to attract some of the biggest acts on the local circuit, not least the M.W.M Stage Show, a Black Country outfit featuring our very own Tommy Mundon - his unmistakable grin is there at far right in the picture. Also in the show were, from left, Tommy Watts, Keith West, Tony West, Linda Marsh, George Willetts and Horace Mackay.