National Savings at the English Electric Co. Ltd., Stafford

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Date:1940 - 1945 (c.)

Description:Standing on the left is Mr J W C Milligan, Manager, Stafford Works, the lady seated in front is thought to be Miss W Bates, and the others are unknown. They are pictured preparing to make the Monthly Prize Draw for employees who supported the Stafford Works National Savings Group. Please contact us if you recognise anyone in this photograph.

The National Savings movement began activity in English Electric’s Stafford Works in 1940. By 1952 more than £1 million had been contributed, and the Works Savings Group had become one of the most successful of its kind in the country. Much of the credit for this effort was due to Miss W Bates, the Works National Savings Officer. Her efforts were largely responsible for the yearly growth from £11,459.00 in 1940 to £102,115.00 in 1951.

Miss Bates was asked what people saved for and she replied that during the war there were “War Weapons Weeks”, “Wings for Victory” campaigns and many other encouragements. During a “Wings for Victory” Week in 1944 the astonishing total of £26,000.00, in cash was passed over the Savings Kiosk counter for investment in stamps, certificates and bonds. Helping Miss Bates were two assistants, Miss G Steward and Miss Brenda Southwell and in addition 36 volunteer workers sold stamps and certificates in the Works and district offices. By 1952 the incentive of playing ones part in the war effort was replaced by more personal means for savings such as the rainy day fund or for the annual holiday. Deposits in Trustee Savings Bank accounts were the most popular form of saving, although the National Savings were still strongly supported. The 15 shillings certificates, offered 3 per cent interest and were free of income tax. Over three-quarters of the Stafford Works people were consistent savers through the National Savings Group.

Acknowledgement for the above: The English Electric and its People magazine in 1952.
Also thank you to Ms Anne Lockley and Mr Chris Coates for additional details on this.

During World War II the Stafford factory manufactured Armoured Vehicles which included the Covenanter, Centaur, Comet and Cromwell tanks and the factory was also renowned for its electrical products including generators, transformers and switchgear. Siemens Brothers purchased the land in 1901 and built the factory and offices which were ready to start production in 1903. In 1918 Siemens merged with several companies, including Dick, Kerr and Co., to become the English Electric Co. Two years later in 1920, The English Electric Co bought the Stafford Works. The English Electric Co merged with GEC (The General Electric Company) during 1968 and the Lichfield Road Site became part of GEC Power Engineering Ltd. On 22 March 1989 became part of GEC ALSTHOM, an Anglo French Joint Venture. On 22 June 1998 became part of ALSTOM with global HQ in Paris and on 2 November 2015 the Stafford Grid and Power Businesses became part of GE (General Electric, an American Company).


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Creators: Mr Chris Coates - Contributor

Donor ref:BM-CC-010 (37/32509)

Source: Staffordshire Museum Service

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