Reply To: L.B. Holliday and Co., Limited
I was an 11+ failure but shone later and only failed the Late Developer exam by half a point which would have sent me to Royds Hall Grammar School.
Despite this I had some wonderful teachers at Crow Lane Secondary who gave me an interest in science and maths.
I can still see the look of horror on the face of the careers bod who tried to guide me to work in t’mill when I said I wanted to work in science.
I did well in my YCFE (Yorkshire Council for Further Education) exams and got the chance to take GCE’s at the Tech in Huddersfield, I was only 15 just after the term started and was a little overwhelmed by the freedom after school.
I didn’t do well but did get my GCE’s in Chemistry and Maths which lead to a job at L. B. Holliday’s, not quite I.C. I. but at least in science.
I worked in Dr. Manheim’s anthraquinone lab for three years until as many of my compatriots who got reasonable certificates which meant we should have got a pay rise.
This wasn’t in the L.B.H. song book as it was cheaper to let us go and employ cheaper starters from school, I got a job with a Colne Valley dye house as a lab technician working out dyeing recipes for bulk production.
I eventually went on to run a successful department of a local commercial dying company of multiple raw fibres.
While L. B. Holliday’s did teach me some of the skills needed for my future career I do not look on them as anything other than a company that exploited its staff.
As a technical dyer until I retired 12 years ago the fact that a large majority of my former colleagues worked for L. B.’s is testament to how they trained people and them and discarded them when qualified so as to save money.