Dispatch at Jarrolds (2006)

Location : Norwich

Ken began working at Jarrold about 1962 when the general manager Mr Sabey joined the firm. Mr Sabey left to build houses & Mr Bloggs succeeded him.

He was born in Caister Norfolk & the family moved to Norwich where his father Robert, a horseman became foreman of the stables at Colmans. His mother’s name was Mary Jane. A brother & sister died.

He went to Lakenham Council School & enjoyed his time there.

He worked for the International Stores as a delivery man, but when they stopped the delivery rounds he went to Jarrolds & Mr Langham helped him get the job. He was living at Harford Street Norwich at the time.

His job was in Dispatch where he worked until he left. He enjoyed his time there.

It was very varied, one day packing fine china, another day packing chairs, another day rocking horses. . Goods were sent all over the world and had to be ready for pick up by the delivery vans. He enjoyed his work & was very quick. Managers said he was a good packer and Mr Richard couldn’t understand how he could pack so quickly. His normal day began at 8.0am & finished at 5.30 with a break for lunch when he walked home. Sometimes he also worked on Thursday afternoons (Half Day Closing) and Saturdays

However when the Education Department was especially busy he stayed till 8.0pm to pack books for delivery to schools throughout Norfolk & Suffolk.

Ken remembers working in Dispatch with Mr Barnard (Barney) and Stanley Alden the foreman & David.

He saw a lot of changes in the Store with new departments being built. The old boilers were in the dispatch department where the doors to Bedford Street were kept open. The new gas boilers were upstairs.

He had a big bench with large rolls of paper & thick string. Also in the basement was gardening, hardware & china. The buyer Mr Barnard worked in the gardening Department. Ken’s hobby was growing roses.

In those days there was a lending library on the fourth floor

Two events have stayed in Ken’s memory: one was seeing a horse & carriage drive down The Walk & stop in Exchange Street. The Lord Mayor was the passenger. He thinks it might have been the 100 year Jubilee.

The other was the Garlands’ fire which started in the basement 35 years ago. Garlands’ store was just the other side of Little London Street a narrow lane. Ken was told to go up on the roof of Jarrolds with fire extinguishers and pick up any burning debris that blew there with the strong wind. Garlands was destroyed but Jarrolds came to no harm.

He also remembers a concert in St Andrew’s Hall.

The people he recalls are John in Education, Noel who worked in pens, and the Buyer Mr Becket in Education, Neville and Mr Stone in the Book department. He could talk to Mr Richard (Jarrold) & he would listen

He earned £10 a week when he started at Jarrolds. Sadly Mr Sargent died not long after recording his story. His daughter has sent us the following for inclusion.

At a later date Dad recalled having to help winch the passenger lift when it got stuck between floors & helping people out. Also he recalled the Wombles arriving at Jarrolds record department and taking my daughter to see them, where she had a dance with Orinoco!

He loved his time at Jarrolds and was always reliving the happy times he had there.

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