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Memories of Reeds - from the sales staff to the panto outings

The 1971 photograph which triggered lots of memories.
The 1971 photograph which triggered lots of memories.

It was one of the best in industry - and just as good for making friends and memories.

That’s Reed Corrugated Cases in Hartlepool which we spotlighted in a nostalgic social media post.

Another view of the factory.

Another view of the factory.

We shared a photograph of the town factory from the 1970s and asked if you remember it. The response we got showed that Reeds created fond recollections among the workforce.

Marie Hart had particular reason to remember the place. She said: “My dad David Lilley worked there for years... I remember going on the Children’s Christmas trip to Billingham for the panto.. xx”

Denise Walton told us: “My dad Terry Walton and his brother George worked there and played for the cricket team” and similar memories came from Philly Ross who said: “My dad worked here for years.... and played football for them.”

Our thanks go to Marty Threlfall who not only worked at Reeds in Hartlepool, he also had plenty of names of colleagues to share.

My dad David Lilley worked there for years... I remember going on the Children’s Christmas trip to Billingham for the panto

Marie Hart

He said: “Worked there 94-98 in Transport. Met some good people. Ken Gardiner(rip), Dave Cronin, Jim Laurence, Eddie Crane, Paul Unthank, Gordon, Shaggy. To name a few.”

Just as detailed with her recollections was Lyn Jewson who recalled some of the staff in the sales office and said: “Lyn Jewson, Graham Jewson, Lynda Wallis, Bobby Brown, John Lax, Brian Walker, Alan Douglas, Ann Tindale, Judith Butterfield and Peter Spoors.”

Some of the many other names of former workers to be shared with us included Ron Rigg and his brother Harry Rigg, Peter Griffiths, George Bland and Bill Playfor.

And thanks also go to Paul Harbottle who said: “I served my apprenticeship there. My name is still on the roof of the warehouse. Left to go to the Edinburgh factory in 1985.”

The 1980s were prosperous times for Reed Corrugated Cases. It won a gold star award at the Institute of Packaging 1987 Starpacks Competition.

The awards are made to promote the best standards of British package and design.

The Hartlepool team’s winning design was for a corrugated fibreboard clothes holder which was designed to hold eight men’s three piece suits.

The Hartlepool branch of the company was opened in April 1964 and employed 370 people at the time.

It was a major supplier of packaging to manufacturing companies in the North-East and Yorkshire.

In 1989, it enjoyed a £12m expansion of the Hartlepool plant to increase capacity by more than 50 per cent.

Grahame Sleeman would have been there at the time as he commented: “I started there in 1973 till 2006.”

Jackie Laycock said: “I worked here late 60s early 70s. Typist in the sales office.” Jackie told us that the general manager was called Neil McKenzie.

Thanks to everyone who responded and the 13,000-plus people who spotted the post.