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Westwood Works 1903-2003

Humour at Work

A number of talented artists have worked at Westwood over the years - see Rudolph Ihlee (Lithographs) and Frank Ball (Characters from WP&P - 1917). Bob Bains, a Section Leader in the Drawing Office in the 60s/80s, produced a number of perceptive cartoons as Christmas cards and to commemorate special events.

We are trying to locate originals or prints of any of Bob's cartoons as they would make a very appropriate addition to this website. We would welcome hearing from anyone who has any information.

1957: Green Cheesecake Plant?? 1959: The Plant Layout Section 1961: The usual Sales Office/Drawing Office conflict! 1964: Christmas Card 1967: Murray Ellis - Bakery Sales 1969: John Peake moves to Australia 1985: Change of Management in the Holding Company
1986(?) - A big order for Bob Woolley Date?: The Apprentices build a Flour Plant Date?: The Experimental Bakery

Working for a living might not be everybody's idea of fun but an enlightened management style can contribute towards making the experience more enjoyable. It is often said that the addition of a little humour makes even the most serious subject more accessible and it is interesting to find that humour found its way even into the "rules" of the Company Suggestion Scheme.

Possibly unique among the many booklets produced for employees (See Documentation) aimed at explaining the role of the various committees, discussion groups, funds, etc., the Suggestion Scheme booklet relied heavily on humour to attract attention and involvement. The use of cartoons helped to put across the message that contributing to improving the overall efficiency of the organisation need not be an onerous or formidable task and the rewards - as set out in the page headed "If You are Successful" - were not insignificant.

Although we are not certain of the date on which the Scheme was launched, - possibly around 1960 - there is no doubt that it was successful, attracting a regular flow of suggestions. The cartoon images are worth a thousand words of explanation and even its very first page could be argued to have anticipated future events with remarkable accuracy.

The booklet also introduces us to more Westwood-based "artists". The rear cover acknowledges the work of A.P. Allies and E. Heslop in drawing the cartoons. Both were Westwood employees - Albert Allies worked in Despatch, the Drawing Cabinet and the Stores from 1931 until his death in 1961 - Eric Heslop was employed as an artist in the Advertising Department from 1959 to 1960.

Another artist whose work is instantly recognisable from its regular appearances in the Group Newspaper is Ivan Cumberpatch. Ivan worked in the Advertising/Publicity Department from 1960 to 1971 but was then commissioned to provide artwork for "Contact" after he left to become a freelance artist. We understand that Ivan is now well-known for his watercolours of birds.

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