Page 6.   SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Autumn 2018.


Bert Kerr.

The Apprentice Training School. Photo courtesy of Chris Yeadon.
Bill Stimpson has written in to say that Bert Kerr passed away on 15th June at the age 90.

Bill remembers him as “A great teacher and mentor to hundreds of first year apprentices and a real gentleman.” I feel that many SD apprentices will remember Bill with gratitude.

Claude Menen.


The photo shows the Drawing Office staff in 1950.
Back row: l. to r. Jack Rowe, Ron Nicholson, John Baldwin, Claude Menen.
Front row: l. to r. Barbara Guyton, Vic Preston, Pansy Wells.
The photo was supplied by Pansy Mitchell (nee Wells.)

With sadness we received the news that Claude Menen died at the end of July at the age of 91. The editor remembers Claude as the Drawing Office Manager when he worked in the Drawing Office as a very junior draughtsman during his apprenticeship in the 1950’s. I understand that Claude continued at S&D for many years. Claude's daughter Sarah has written:- "My father thoroughly enjoyed working in Shelvoke & Drewry's Drawing Office and if he had not been made redundant I think he would of stayed working there until he retired.

Robert (Bob) Milne


A Welder working on Revopak tines (Not Bob Milne) Photo courtesy of  Darren Ainsworth.

Again on 17th August we learned of the death of Bob Milne at the age of 79.  Bob worked at S&D from 1979 – 1989 as a  welder in No. ! factory where he was also the union convener. His Funeral was due to take place in his home town in Scotland, but a get together in his memory was organised in Baldock  Bob’s two children both worked at S&D.  Andrew worked at the company for a brief time, and Susan from 1981 – 1986 firstly doing the time sheets and then in the wages office. At S&D she met Dave Chapman who was an apprentice 1979 – 1983 and they subsequently married. Truly an SD family.

Geoffrey Downing

We learned of the death of Geoffrey Downing in late August at the age of 74. Geoff was a fitter and worked on the chassis line with his twin brother, Kenneth, and then on Finish off.  They were always known as "The Bruvs"  Geoff’s twin died in May 2006 after suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. In the Bigglewade Chronicle donations have been asked for M.N.D. The funeral will take place on 11th Sept at 3.15pm at All Saints Church Stondon Beds.

After their retirement the brothers used their skills on a voluntary basis at the Stondon Motor Museum which has since closed.  Geoffrey nursed his brother during his final illness. the twins had consecutive clock numbers :- Geoff was 641 and Kenneh 642.

To the families of Bert, Claude, Bob and Geoff we offer our condolences.


When I spoke to Roger Morrisroe on the telephone following the death of Claude Menen I remembered that I as an apprentice in the Drawing Office I spent a lot of time producing alteration notes and remarked that I believed S&D were very efficient in keeping their drawings up to date. In my later career I learned that other companies were not nearly so meticulous, and that problems were often encountered when work was sub-contracted and parts were manufactured to the drawing which was not how they were made in the company’s works. From time to time works foremen would come to see Claude to request alterations be made to a drawing. I would then make the alteration, note the alteration number on the drawing and produce the alteration note, which include instructions for the treatment of any existing stock – use, alter to the revised drawing or scrap. The works production documents would record the issue of the drawing to be used.

Roger recalled an instance where a new chassis was to be built. The team doing the building were annoyed that the required drawings weren’t ready and wanted to go ahead without them, as they knew what to do. “No – work to the drawings” they were instructed. The drawings arrived and the team worked to them. The resulting chassis looked more like a tractor unit than anything like the vehicle it was intended for.  A ONE had been missed out on the wheelbase dimension and therefore the wheelbase was 10 feet shorter than it should have been!

Always be careful when giving instructions.

Email addresses of former SD Employees.

My list of email addresses for former SD employees has shrunk to just 44 names and I’m not even sure that all of these are still in use. I would be grateful if you would email any former employees with whom you are still in touch asking them to give me their email addresses. Thank you.

The Shelvoke & Drewry Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter is published four times a year on 1st March, 1st June, 1st September and 1st December. Items for inclusion may be e-mailed to me at: pinnerboy[at]

Next issue:- Winter 2018 will be published on 1st December 2018

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