Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Memories of Walls

 Below are a couple of photographs and a great account of working for The Walls Meat Company by Ken Charles...

 Over to Ken....

I worked for T. Walls Meat & Handy Foods (changed name to The Walls Meat Company) for 11 years from 1968 to 1979 on van sales in Cheltenham
We had five vans parking at Walls Ice Cream Factory and three in Worcester
I had some great memories .
I was taking £1,100 per week in sales of just sausages and pies.
The company were slaughtering 40000 pigs a week  !!
We were supplied with  a trilby hat, overalls, ties, and shirts. We also had van boys who had blue and white striped overalls.  We were the envy of our competitors.
No refrigeration in the vans we used to get dry ice from the ice cream cold store in the summer to put over the stock we had left and the company supplied a blanket to go on top.
I have attached a couple of photos of the van we had just had a new van with refrigeration the one where you can see the back of the van was one without refrigeration
I also have a model of one of the first T Ford sales vans yellow top blue bottom, advert Eat Well- Eat Walls
We used to in the early days have a conference every year in London with an over night stay..
One funny story we used to have auditors who would come and audit you stock some times over night .
The one auditor (I remember his name)left his weighing scales and when we all came back at night he had a bit of the scales in each hand and wanted to know who had run over it with the van .
No one saw that.
I have many more great memories."
Thanks so much, Ken. :)
Please send us a picture of the "Eat Well - Eat Walls" van if possible !


Anonymous said...

Funnily enough I live in Cheltenham now but grew up in Hyde. I knew a girl who's Dad was a butcher at the Hyde factory. It was a gruesome place with all those carcasses, but I remember at least two trips around the factory, with school and some other organisation. When you arrived at the canteen at the end you were given pork pie, plus a bundle of sausages and a bundle of choc ices (remember the blue and silver paper?), which were packed in dry ice, so that you could take them home. Ann Stafford(now Bacon)

Dave B said...

Makes me remember the running joke in school days 'Walls have ears..they also sell bacon' Sure there was also a local butcher who had a sign up in his shop which said 'Will customers refrain from standing with their backs too close to the bacon slicer as we are getting behind with our orders'...hope I've not made a pigs ear of these (very old) jokes!

Anonymous said...

Barry in Oz. I was a Walls van lad from 1961 to 1963 on the Bacon vans from Godley. Looking at the photo's the salesmens uniform had changed. In 1961-3 they were yellow with red collars and cuffs. I was on the Manchester city centre run.

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Alf King said...

I worked on and off at Walls in various holiday jobs in the early 70's, including time with the "Heavy Gang" on the night-time loading bays and doing some night-time jobs in the slaughterhouse. I believe that the number of pigs processed was more like 5000 per week. Quite simply the size of the slaughterhouse and holding pens could not have coped with the numbers cited in the original piece - maybe a zero got added by mistake?

Janichblue said...

Hi - I worked for Handy Foods for 14 years in total. Started as a van boy in 1965 and it led to me being a General Sales Manager elsewhere by the time I semi-retired.
I was based out of Gallows Corner garage at Romford when I started and remember trying to crank the starting handle on the old Thames 4D. Could have broke your arm! We regularly had to spray a liquid on the fuel injections to try and get it started in the winter. I have too many stories I could recant but one I remember well was the two weeks we gave a free half pound of lard with every singe packet of bacon. We even had to selotape them together and in most cases merchandise in store. How on earth did we do some 75 calls on a Monday Thurs and Friday? We had so much lard on the van I'd be slipping over all the time. Just opening the back door of the van at 6.00am or so and looking at all of the boxes of lard that needed unloading before it could be reloaded after you did the same with around 100 plus trays of bacon and hams etc. Those days were some of the best of my life! Thanks for the opportunity of posting this info.