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Haywards Heath Thermogene employees enjoy a great day out

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 29 June 1920



From Haywards Heath to Bury in Motor Char-a-Bancs.

The Directors of the Thermogene Company have three things to their credit; (1) They have relieved many aches and pains placing Thermogeue—a curative wadding—upon the market; (2) they have made Haywards Heath a familiar name place to persons in all parts of the world; (3) they adopt the Golden Rule methods in business management, believing that harmony and co-operation are the basis of any real success for an undertaking.

The Chairman of the Company is Mrs. Windsor, Mr. E.G.B. Prickett is the Secretary, and Mr. Harry Vivash is the driving force—driving force in the sense that, with mental alertness and tact, he combines wonderful energy, and by the strength of his personality can obtain from the workers the very best that is in them.

Three charabancs conveyed the party to their destination

The factory is situated in Queen’s Road, Haywards Heath, and in business hours it is like a great beehive. Men, women, boys and girls—to the number of over 60—are found employment, and all are industrious, happy and contented. On Saturday last the “busy bees” rested from work and concentrated on pleasure, the Directors having arranged an outing to Bury—an old-world place near Amberley in West Sussex.

Three motor char-a bancs conveyed the party to their destination, and it was indeed a glorious ride. “Affinities” got together, and found charm in association. This really is the secret of the success of any gathering.

To drink in God’s pure air as the cars travelled along gladdened the heart, and the beautiful scenery—the hedgerows fragrant with honeysuckle and coloured with wild roses, the poppies, in robes of scarlet, in the wheat fields, and the cattle browsing on the hills—frequently drew forth expressions of delight. It was good to be alive—good to have such sights to gaze upon. They were genial balm to the jaded mind.

On arriving at Bury the party made for “The Black Dog and Duck”!(1)—the headquarters for the day. At half-past twelve luncheon was served in the garden attached to the qualnt-looking inn. Mr. Vivash presided, being supported by Mrs. Vivash, Mr. and Mrs. Prickett, Mr. J. V. B. Roe and Mrs. Roe, Dr. and Mrs. Young, Captain Prestwich, Mr. Cumming, Mr. Carr, Miss Depree, Miss Botting. Mr. A. E. Wood and Mr. E, G. Hayden. The whole party numbered 75.

The Black Dog and Duck in Bury 1905

The repast served by Host and Hostess Henly gave great satisfaction, and when all wants had been satisfied the Chairman submitted the loyal toast, and later expressed the pleasure it gave the Directors to give the employees that outing, and they hoped very sincerely that they would spend a happy day. The speaker expressed regret at the unavoidable absence of Mrs. Windsor, who. with her usual kindness, sent them a message of goodwill.

The Directors hoped to make the outing an annual event, as it gave them an opportunity of showing goodwill towards those who served them. They were all welded together because of the business; it was a link between them all. (Applause). A great measure of success had been achieved in the past, but the Directors had hopes of doing even better the future, and to enable their hopes to become reality the hearty co-operation and loyalty of the staff were essential. On their part the Directors would not be unmindful of the interests of those who served them in the matters of hours, wages, &c. One of the staff, Miss Florrie King, who had been with them for about five years, was shortly getting married, and in recognition of the faithful way in which she had discharged her duties —she was one their most respected workers - the Directors had great pleasure in asking her to accept from them a little cheque, together with their best wishes for future happiness. (Loud applause).

Miss King then stepped forward and received the cheque (£5), and, on behalf of the employees Mrs. Field handed her a handsome cruet.

The recipient, in a very pleasing way, expressed her grateful thanks, and she was further applauded on returning to her seat.

On the call of Mr. F. Black, supported Mr. A. Pace, the healths of the Directors, with especial mention of Mr. Prickett and Mr. Vlvash, were enthusiastically drunk.

Mr. Roe (a Director) made a cheery response, and added to the general good feeling his references to the Directors and staff. “We have always been happy together in the past, always worked well together, and I trust always shall.” (Applause).

After luncheon Mr. W. Marchant, the well-known photographer of Lindfield, got busy with his camera, and took a number of excellent group photos.

A programme sports was carried out in a meadow, some of events causing much amusement. The prizes gave the recipients great pleasure. Here are their names:-

Skipping race for girls under 18 —1st, B. Springham; 2nd. D. Stiles. Blindfold potato race for women. —1st, C. Jenner; 2nd, M. Franklin; 3rd, B. Turner. Wheelbarrow race (men and boys).— 1st, E. Hillman and R. Dawes; 2nd. W. Field and E. Mitchell; 3rd, B. Geore and G. Budden, 100yds. flat race for girls under 18.—1st, F.Cripps; 2nd, D. Stiles; third, D. Masters. Thread the needle race (pairs).—1st, W. Boxall and B. Turner ; 2nd, F. Smith and I. Longhurst; 3rd, A. Hatfield and M. Franklin. Egg and spoon race (open).— 1st, H. Taylor; 2nd, E. Mitchell; 3rd, I. Chatfield. Cigarette and lemonade race (pairs).—1st. J. Perry and C. Jenner: 2nd, P. Smith and I. Longhurst. Boots sack race (men and boys).—lst, Geere ; 2nd, W. Field; 3rd. F. Smith. Shoes in a sack race (women and girls).—1st, F. Cripps; 2nd, P. Ede; 3rd, I. Chatfield. Tug of War.—Mr. A. Page’s team beat Mr. P. Black’s team. Winners; A. Page. W. Boxall, W. Field, J. Perry, J. Page, A. Hatfield, B. Geere and L. Pinch. Tug of War for women.—Mr. Prickett’s team beat Mr. Vivash’s team. Winners; V. Taylor, B. Turner, P. Ede, Mrs. Cook, I. Longhurst, D. Masters, V. Mitchell. L. Carpenter and M. Fermor. 100yds. flat race (consolation). —1st, A. E. Wood; 2nd, S. Sharpe; 3rd, A. Kenward. 100yds. flat race (consolation).— 1st, M. Fermor; 2nd, L. Carpenter. Guessing competition —Cash prize divided between Miss B. Taylor and Miss D. Taylor. On the Sports Committee there served Messrs. A. E. Wood (Secretary), A. Page, F. Black, W. H. Boxall, E. Crompton, Mrs. Field and Miss B. Taylor.

At five o’clock the party reassembled for tea, after which the sports prlzes were distributed by Mrs, Roe. Further rambles and visits to the river followed, and shortly after seven the homeward journey was started, Haywards Heath being reached at a late hour. Everybody, however, was in good spirits and in agreement that it had been fine outing.

Charles Tucker writes:- The Thermogene factory was situated in Queens Road Haywards Heath and made medical wadding and jars of medication similar to Vicks vapour rub today.

Many thanks to Charles Tucker and Dave Tucker for the photograph of the Thermogene charabancs and to Richard Kneller for the photograph of The Black Dog and Duck

(1). Richard Kneller writes: The Black Dog & Duck was a grade-II listed building situated on The Street. I lived here from 1959 through 1966, when my mother Barbara Joan Kneller died. She was the life and soul of the pub and was a leading light in the Licensed Victuallers. The building was originally a couple of farm labourer’s cottages and started when cider was sold to the “Navigators” building, firstly the Arun canal and later the Southern Railway across the nearby Amberly Wild Brooks. I remember the remains of the cider apple press and visited the apple orchard near the local church.

I have several photographs and a video captured from TV showing Sir John Barbarolli and Kathleen Ferrier outside the old wooden public bar. In my time this had been replaced by a brick structure. There was a small saloon bar, a public bar and a tap room, where darts were played. The main game in the public bar was cribbage. All beer was drawn from the wood until the arrival of Watney’s Red Barrel in about 1961. Tamplins owned the property and had a monopoly of supply. We served meals in our dining room and a later owner discovered a large inglenook fireplace hidden behind plaster board. In about 2000 the pub was closed and sold as a private residence. Half the land was sold and a new house built. The old pub was completely refurbished to luxury levels, complete with a swimming pool!

Richard Kneller

Listed Building details

Public house. L-shaped C17 or earlier timber-framed building with plaster infilling, partly refaced with stone rubble, the north-east wing flints with red brick dressings and quoins. Roof partly thatched, partly tiled, partly slates with pentice on north side. Casement windows. Two storeys. Two windows to each front


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