Sir George Dowty & Employee Memories

Dowty employees, were on occasion, lucky enough to meet Sir George Dowty, in most cases this was at the Annual Apprentice Prizegiving Awards or maybe at a Sports Day.

Here are some memories from ex. apprentices and employees of their meetings and interactions with Sir George.

Peter Whittaker recalls: I met Sir George when his wife had broken a pull handle on her dressingroom drawer. He asked if, the apprentices could repair it. I was given the task and with the help of my instructor I managed to repair it and reassemble it to the drawer.

Ian Mence recalls: I met him twice, once when I was an apprentice working late to get an estimate done for a job, in the old D block, and a apprentice prize giving in 1977 (I think that was the year) when I collected my award.

Maurice Blakeway recalls: I used to work on the GWR Dining Cars to Paddington, Sir George used to travel very often on our train and I used to serve him Breakfast, he was a true gent I then left GWR to work at Rotol for 24 yrs.

John Compton recalls: I won the slow bike race at sports day. I won a suitcase. Sir George presented it to me possibly 71 to 73.

Paul Carter recalls: Sir George commissioned my grandfather to do a portrait of his family and I believe one of my Uncles taught his children to play the guitar.

Jonathan Ward recalls: I won the Sir Roy Fedden prize. He shook my hand at the prize giving.

Sue Lewis recalls: I shook his hand at Town Hall indenture prizegiving in ’68 I think and then worked in Arle Court House ’69 onwards as PA to Steve Hinchliff and stood in whenever Sir George’s PA was not available. And yes he was a perfectionist – firm but fair and a real gentleman.

Joy Elliot recalls: When I finished secretarial training. We all went to the House, it was like being at school. When he walked in we all had to stand up and say Good Morning Sir George.

Daphne Kavanagh recalls: He would very often walk around the sports field football pitch when the team had a home game and it wasn’t raining!!

Pip Harris recalls: I was sent up to the house when I was a secretarial trainee under Miss Trueman. I had to take paperwork to his secretary. He was in her office, he just said “good morning“ but did not shake hands.

Andrew Turner recalls: I met him in 1972 whilst on a course at Arle Court. As a non-Dowty apprentice I was surprised how much he knew about my background. I gained a couple of Brownie points by opening a door for him.

Joan Wood recalls: My husband shook his hand twice, Sir George also bought him a drink in the skittle alley at Arle Court 1962 but my husband was only 17 !!!

Colin Miles writes…. The story in our family was that an Uncle of mine, George Attwood, worked with George Dowty as a draughtsman at the very start, maybe in Lansdown Terrace – from the description. Unfortunately my uncle fell on hard times, but whenever George Dowty met him in the streets he would give him a tenner.


L-R: John Hale; Sir George Dowty & Apprentice Kenneth Moore
Kenneth Moore

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