Changing of the Guards at city menswear factory

The cutting room at Guards
The cutting room at Guards
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Many of you will recall the recent picture here of the women workers at the old Guards clothing factory enjoying a tea break.

It provoked a big response and now I’ve heard from a Mr R Cloke who sent me the pictures of the cutting room and the exterior of the building adjacent to Fratton Bridge, Portsmouth.

The Guards factory at Fratton Bridge

The Guards factory at Fratton Bridge

He joined the company in 1960 as a trainee in the cutting room and left when it closed in July 1972 as cutting room manager. He says: ‘During the time I was there, a large textile company was buying up shares with the intention of using their fabrics in Guards’ production. This never materialised.

‘The managing director, George Schneider, left the company and the directors decided to close Guards at Fratton to be able to keep Basingstoke and Rochester factories open.’

Mr Cloke says when the factory closed he, along with management team Graham Cloke, Arthur Walker and Bernard Hayward, started their own business employing some of the staff from Guards and continued for many years.