By Doreen Lavelle (nee Clark)
These are some recollections of my time spent at H.L., from being a school-leaver at 16 until I left at 23.
I started in the General Office as an office junior, whilst on day-release to learn secretarial skills at Tottenham Technical College. When completed I was then upgraded to secretary to John Lenton in Production Control department.
In a copy of the ‘Lebus Log’, a regular journal full of news items related to various departments and personnel, dated May, 1961, there is an article by my boss, John Lenton, on “Production Control – how we do it at H.L.”, and there is also an announcement of my 1960 wedding.
The sports/social club was an absolute treasure, with many parties, dances and social occasions held there, many of which I attended and enjoyed (the group photo shows one such occasion, with some office pals – I am on the right). I often spent my lunch break there, in pleasant indoor and outdoor surroundings, and I also joined after-work ‘Eileen Fowler’ style keep-fit sessions, popular in the 1950s/60s.
I also have a 1964 catalogue, from which I chose my lounge (upholstery), dining room and bedroom furniture, including the mattress from ‘Eventide’ – (another branch of H.L.), all ordered on a House Account (and even delivered to my new home in Coventry). I visited the showrooms in Maddox Street, W.1, to view my choices: I was very proud of my Lebus furniture.
Some memories in short:-
Dodging the furniture on the conveyor belts crossing the main corridor/walkway running through the factory.
The eerie tunnel under the road leading to the other H.L. offices.
Comptometers – now outdated (and clumsy) types of calculating machines.
The company canteen, where good meals were available at a subsidised price – always well attended.
Rose, the tea lady, with her huge tea trolley, bringing us refreshments for morning and afternoon tea breaks.
I have many happy memories of my years at H.L. and the friends I made there.