Together Again - Sew good to get together

BMB Clothing staff in 1995
BMB Clothing staff in 1995

PAST and present clothing factory workers will take a trip down memory lane during a reunion.

The event is being organised for anyone who ever worked at BMB Clothing, in Hartlepool, as well as when it existed under its previous guises, Price’s, John Collier’s and Alexandre.

At one time, the Powlett Road-based company, which started out as Price’s in 1945, employed 1,000 people.

Today there are around 54 staff at the site, which is primarily a clothing warehouse, and past and present workers are being rallied up for a reunion.

It will take place at Owton Manor Social Club, in Wynyard Road, Hartlepool, from 7pm on Friday, October 7.

Staff members Annette Clayton (nee Marshall) and Linda Weatherill (nee Sharp), who have both worked for the company since the 70s, are organising the event.

Annette, a 54-year-old mother-of-three from Owton Manor, said: “It would be nice for any of the old staff from the 60s and 70s to come along.

“At one time our cutting room used to be on Thorpe Street at the Headland, and it would be good to see any one of the cutters.” Grandmother-of-two Annette, who is married to Les, started out as a machinist in 1972, and then went on to be supervisor, then production manager, and is now a quality assurance manager.

Linda, 51, who is married to Peter, started with the company in 1976 as a machinist, then was a supervisor and is now a team leader.

Linda’s sister, Christine Jobling, has also worked for the company.

Annette said other long-serving staff include Pauline Slaughter, who started as a machinist in 1972 and is now a receptionist, and Marion Gibbon, who joined in 1968 as a supervisor and is now retired but still helps out on a part-time basis.

Jim Smith started 20 years ago as factory manager and he is now divisional director of logistics and warehousing responsible for the Hartlepool and Goole sites, Gill Coates started as a machinist in the 70s and is now office manager and Maureen Morrison began in 1972 as a passer who would check garments and she is now in the quality department.

Annette, whose sister Kathleen Barnard also worked at the site, said: “The atmosphere years ago used to be fantastic, whereas there are not as many people now.

“They were like your family.”

Anna Marshall, who worked at the factory from 1968 to 1995, is travelling from Benidorm for the event and Sandra Hamilton, who was employed there from 1970 to 1995, is coming from Bulgaria.

Tickets for the event are £1, and any ex-staff who would like to attend can call into the factory’s reception, or call Annette on 07895 865327 or Linda on 07784 571539.

The money will pay for a disco and any cash left over will go to a charity.