My early memories of Fielding and Platt go way back to when I was a child and I used to go to the excellent children’s parties at Christmas in the 1950s. Little did I know it then but one day I would be instrumental in helping to arrange these same parties and my own son would be attending too!
A feast to a five year old!
The parties were held in the canteen and to get there we had to go through the fitting shop. I know it was heavy engineering but, through the eyes of a child, it was huge!
There were always lots of cartoons being shown. It probably wouldn’t mean much to the kids today, but this was in the 1950s, and there was no colour television then! In fact, there weren’t that many televisions at all and we certainly didn’t have one. I thought it was magic!
Tea was always sandwiches, jelly and blancmange, and squash; a feast to a five year old!
Everything would be jollied along by “Uncle Jim”, who I later found out was Jim Haines, and it would all build up to that magical moment when Santa himself would arrive and we would all line up in our age groups and go up to collect our presents (always good quality!) before waiting for our parents to come and collect us.
My father, Bill Moseley, had served his apprenticeship at Fielding and Platt, and apart from seven years in the army and a few different jobs afterwards, had returned there and continued the rest of his working life on the spares’ bench.
I have other memories of going up to the gatehouse with my mother on the occasions when my Dad was ill when she would take in his sick certificate. There was always a jovial guy in there who I learned from my Dad was called Tom Mumford, who was apparently a bit of a character.
As I was to learn later, though, Fielding and Platt was never short of its characters!