Page 4.   SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Winter 2019.

Fifteen Years Ago.

SD Remembered 12th September 2004

Letchworth Hall Hotel.

Soon after I started the Shelvoke & Drewry Enthusiasts’ Club in 2002 with a Website I began to receive requests to organise a “Get Together” for ex-employees of the Company. This resulted in 200 people gathering at the Alington Suite at Letchworth Hall Hotel at 3.30 p.m. on Sunday 12th September 2004.

My records show that it was in the Summer edition of the SD Enthusiasts’ Club Magazine in 2003 that I mooted the idea of an event to take place the following year. By 6th October I was ready to send out 47 leaflets announcing the event which I named SD Remembered. By the end of the year 78 tickets had been either sold or reserved.

On 9th June I travelled to Letchworth to finalise the arrangements and met up with Roger Morrisroe, Reg. Bowles, Graham Lambert, Vic Negus, Barrie Woods and Roy Tindall with Frances Cossey from Letchworth Hall Hotel. By 24th August the final payment had been made to the Hotel, which amounted to 3,000.00 including the deposit paid in November 2003. The scene was set.

As I remember it 12th September was a fine day as Dorothy, my late wife, and I set out from West Yorkshire for the journey south to Letchworth. We were allowed into the Alington Suite at 2.30 pm. to set up for the event. When we arrived at the hotel a good crowd had already gathered and the display of surviving vehicles was already in place. 3.30 pm. arrived all too quickly and the ‘team’ consisting of my wife, my two sons and their partners and a friend of theirs and myself guided the guests in and checked their tickets. A few people arrived without tickets as sadly there was a maximum limit of 200 people allowed and by April this limit had been reached.

It was a very busy day for me, my memories are of a lot of laughter and the clear joy of people meeting former work colleagues. A great deal of happiness despite the underlying sadness that S&D was no more. Many of the former employees had spent a large proportion of their working lives at S&D. But there were others there who simply admire the products the company had produced.

The examples on display were:- The “1922” Folkestone Freighter. Mick Bicknell’s 1939 Freighter Gully Emptier, 1947 Freighter chassis/cab and 1958 ‘W’ type tanker had been brought up from Reading. A 1972 TN Pakamatic belonging to Bradford Council had made the long journey from West Yorkshire whilst David Jones 1972 TN flat bed had come from Hitchin. Andy Lang had brought his ex-London Fire Brigade WX pump ladder from Bedford.

It had been hoped to hold a parade of these vehicles through the town but it was felt impossible to fulfill the requirements of the Hertfordshire Police Force for such a parade. In the event the Pakamatic and the Fire Appliance were taken to Icknield Way and Blackhorse Road for a photographic opportunity.

With hindsight it was an opportune time for former employees to remember many years of fulfilled employment at S&D and I received many expressions of appreciation of that day.

People had travelled from Glasgow, the Isle of Wight, Wales, N.E., N.W., and S.W. England, the Midlands, Canada and the Netherlands, as well as Hitchin, Biggleswade and Letchworth. To single out individuals might be wrong, but several people represented the fine history of Shelvoke & Drewry. So we were pleased to welcome members of Morris Davenport’s family (M.D. 1949 – 69), Roy Pike an S&D Director, Tom Hall Export Manager, and Bill and Tony Drewry whose grandfather was James Drewry’s brother. Their presence added to the sense of occasion at what is believed to be the first large “get together” since S&D closed in 1991.

Among the letters of appreciation were:-

Thank you very much for a wonderful afternoon on Sunday. It was lovely to see so many of my old work friends again. I had a lovely time talking about old times. Thanks very much once again and I look forward to there being another one in the future.

Peter Hatchett Baldock. SD 1973 - 91

We would like to convey our sincere thanks for all your effort and hard work in arranging such a memorable occasion. The reunion was a 100% success and couldn't have been bettered.
We are absolutely certain that all the participants enjoyed it as much as we did. Thanks are also due to good your wife and all others responsible for a very well organised event.

Audrey (SD 1971 – 81) & Cyril Rayment

I'm sure I'll be one of the many to thank you very much for the well organised and very much enjoyed reunion you arranged. It was marvellous to meet again all those colleagues that we had worked with during our time at Shelvokes. Everyone I spoke with remembers our time there with great affection and as some of the best years of our lives.
Looking forward to the next news letter.
Thanks again

Steve Woodward, Biggleswade. SD 1963 – 91

Better Than Cyprus!

It was about 8.40 pm and the last guests were leaving Letchworth Hall Hotel after the SD remembered event; one of them turned to me and said: “It was better than Cyprus.” “I usually have a holiday in Cyprus at this time of year,” he continued, “but I decided to come here. I’m glad I did – it was much better than Cyprus.”

The three photos above courtesy of Allen Free who was the custodian of the TN Pakamatic at the time.

Financially the event was a success too. After receiving 53.84 interest on the money pre-paid for tickets, (Remember when banks used to pay interest when we deposited money with them?) we achieved a total surplus of 142.77.

Menu & prices.

Cocktail Sandwiches or
Open Rolls with various fillings
Mini Sausage Rolls
Chicken Goujons
With selection of 3 dips
(Garlic Mayonnaise, BBQ, & Sweet & Sour)
Spinach & Feta Goujons
Mini Wraps
Oriental Dim Sum
A selection of Quiche
Vegetable Samosas
Garlic Bread
Crisps & Nuts

Selection of Choux Buns with Chocolate Cream
Glazed Tartlets
Mini Scones.
Priced at 15.00
Tickets were charged at 16.00

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