New boy Albert was in for a ‘long weight’ at Hadleys

The staff at Portsmouth shopfitters AE Hadley at Christmas 1955
The staff at Portsmouth shopfitters AE Hadley at Christmas 1955
Looking down London Road circa 1903. The Horndean Light Railway tracks are on the right.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

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Readers might remember this picture (below right) of fresh-faced Colin Judge with colleagues from Portsmouth shopfitters AE Hadley in the 1950s.

There was quite a response, but now Colin and one of his former workmates have both sent the same picture of a larger group of the Hadley’s workforce taken at Christmas 1955.

Colin Judge (front, left) and Lewis Sinclare

Colin Judge (front, left) and Lewis Sinclare

The other copy came from Albert Wood, who now lives at Portishead, Somerset, who remembers Colin well.

Albert, who is partially obscured in the third row from the front standing next to the man with his arms in the air brandishing a drill (Ray Swan), started at Hadley’s in 1954 when he was 16.

And he tells a lovely story of a prank obviously played on all new, young members of staff.

Albert said: ‘I had just started at Hadley’s and John Coleman, the works manager, sent me for the long weight.

‘I was told to go to the storeroom and ask for it. When I arrived in the storeroom I was told by the storeman to sit on a chair.

‘Being the new lad I did as I was told and sat there for what must have been nearly two hours. At this point the storeman told me to go back and see Mr Coleman in his office.

‘On doing so Mr Coleman told me I had just had the long wait, and laughed.’

Between them, Albert and Colin have managed to put names to the following:

Colin is sitting on the floor (front left); Lewis Sinclare is in the back row behind the man with glasses; Ray Swan is in the third row from the front with his hands raised and holding a drill; on the right of him is Ron Panteny.

In the second row, sitting, with the moustache is works manager John Coleman.

Other names recalled by Colin are: back row (l to r) Ted Scut (joiner); Bill Murley (polisher).

Standing: Jack ? (press shop); Joe Reynolds (joiner); Len Cousins (joiner); George Paddon (machinist); Tom Broscousey (shop labourer); Brian Stallard (joiner apprentice); Cyril Wakefield (office manager); Dave Murley (polisher); Bill Whale.

Sitting: Jim ?; Richard (Dicky) Hughes (estimating); Rollie Ponsford (setter out); Percy Brooks (joiner).

Front row (right): Len Cousins (office staff).

Can you add any more?