The Sports and Recreational Club expanded to include women’s cricket, boating, gymnastics and a Ladies Rifle Club, who reputedly used images of the Lady Welfare Superintendents as targets. Boulton & Paul were one of several factories to form women’s football teams. The matches lasted only 30 minutes and any number of substitutions were allowed, but the enjoyment of the spectators was no doubt enhanced by the ‘dainty’ kit the teams wore.
Alice Rudram was born in Great Yarmouth in 1893. During the First World War she was a munitions worker at Woolwich Arsenal where she put codite in shells. She returned to live in Norfolk after the end of the First World War.
LEGACY OF A BOULTON & PAUL MUNITIONETTE
Rivelyn Laight was a seamstress and used these skills to hand sew the canvas wings for aeroplanes and supervise their construction at Mousehold Aerodrome. Here she met Mr A V Roe, the founder of the makers of the Lancaster Bomber. Rivelyn returned to the textile trade after the war and married Corporal Thomas Dye an officer who had served with the Norfolk Regiment. Rivelyn and Thomas had three children Margaret, Ralph and Alan and lived a long, happy life, encouraging her three children in their careers.
Margaret joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in the Second World War and Rivelyn herself engaged in voluntary war work. She ran a Savings Club to encourage residents to buy National Savings Certificates, escorted elderly ladies to the air raid shelters and directed helpers to get buckets of water to put out fires in Haverlock Road.
COLMAN’S FACTORY WORKERS
During the First World War, many of the Colman’s workers volunteered to support the war effort and ensure life at home continued.
The photo below shows a group of workers who all volunteered at the Bracondale VAD hospital between 1915 and 1919.
Of these Annie Cooper worked in the Saw and Box Mill. Over the war period, she worked 923 hours at the Bracondale VAD hospital. She was elected onto the very first Colman’s Works Council in 1918.
Eleanor Sambell had a brother serving in the Merchant Navy. She was already a forewoman in the Starch department and was also elected to the first Works Council. Both Eleanor and Blanche Bush were lifelong Colman’s workers, the latter also being promoted to forewoman.
Maud Lovick worked in the Starch department at Colman’s and had three brothers serving in the forces. She volunteered at Bracondale working 1890 hours on weekend kitchen duties. In 1929 she sailed on the ship The Montrose to Montreal where she lived until her death in 1946 in Burnaby, Vancouver. Interestingly, Burnaby is full of Lovicks!
Florence May Hill worked 500 hours, according to her VAD card, as a kitchen servant. She came from a family of Colman’s workers, with her father working as a mustard miller for over 20 years and her younger brothers also employed there. Another brother, Thomas, enlisted to serve in the war in October 1916. Thomas survived the war and in 1939 is listed as a clerk at Colman’s.
Finally, Girl Guide Hilda Herring was in the Norwich Workhouse in 1911. By 1926, she was a trained and registered midwife who emigrated in 1930 to Winnipeg, Canada where she married and continued working as a midwife. Her brother Walter had emigrated to Canada in 1911, age 26, along with his wife and daughter, followed by a sister Sophia later in 1911.
In the First World War, Hilda’s father Robert enlisted at the age of 50 and was assigned to the Royal Engineer’s Railway Construction Company. The 1901 census states he had experience as a ‘destruction worker’. Walter also enlisted and served in the First World War. Robert Herring visited his family in Canada in 1932 and is listed on the passenger manifest returning to Liverpool aboard the ship ‘Duchess of Atholl’.