Reunion for workers from the historic city factory still going strong

Laurence Scott Electromotors (L.S.E.) new apprentices, 3rd September 3, 1973.

Laurence Scott Electromotors (L.S.E.) new apprentices, 3rd September 3, 1973. - Credit: Archant Library

When we write about world-famous Norfolk factories it is usually in the past tense. You know the kind of thing. Do you remember when and how about the time…

The days when 'Made in Norfolk' and 'Made in Norwich' were a true reflection of craftsmanship and class. From making shoes, clothes, food, drinks, machinery, large and small, brushes and so much more

Men and women who manned these factories took a pride in their work and the job was more a way of life with a thriving social side. Clubs, outings, lifelong friendships.

Engineers at work in 1962 at Laurence, Scott and Electromotors of Norwich, 23rd February, 1962.

Engineers at work in 1962 at Laurence, Scott and Electromotors of Norwich, February 23, 1962. - Credit: Archant Library

Today so many of these factories are just memories… the developers are now waiting to get on to the old Colman “village” where generations of men and women worked.

But close to Carrow Works is one company which is still going strong. One we should all be proud of. You’ve guessed it… Laurence Scott & Electromotors.

It is quite extraordinary when you think what this company has achieved over the years and still is.

Yes, it is far smaller than it used to be, but LSE is still operating and is highly respected with a skilled engineering workforce under the new name ATB Laurence Scott.

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And if you ever worked for the company then you are invited to a reunion later this month. A great opportunity to meet up with old friends and colleagues.

The class of 76 at the last reunion for Laurence Scott Electromotors workers.

The class of 76 at the last reunion for Laurence Scott Electromotors workers. - Credit: Richard Harvey

Reunion of Laurence Scott Electromotors workers.

Len Burridge, aged 93, with Ivan Whurr, a former reunion organiser on the left with Dennis Moore on the right at the last reunion of Laurence Scott Electromotors workers. - Credit: Richard Harvey

It was in 1883 when the brilliant William Harding Scott arrived in Norwich to install electric lighting at Carrow Works.

With support from Jeremiah Colman he opened a factory in King Street with a handful of workers. It was Scott who instigated the generation and distribution of electricity across the city.

When Reginald Laurence decided to invest his money, Jeremiah sold them some land and in 1898 Gothic Works opened.

They were making “high tech” machinery for the world market before the term was used in everyday life. Over the years it’s work was carried out in six factories by more than 4,000 employees.

A view of the workshop at Laurence, Scott and Electromotors Ltd, Norwich. May 21, 1959. 

A view of the workshop at Laurence, Scott and Electromotors Ltd, Norwich. May 21, 1959. - Credit: Archant Library

Engineers working at Laurence, Scott and Electromotors Ltd, 23rd June, 1962.

Engineers working at Laurence, Scott and Electromotors Ltd, June 23, 1962. - Credit: Archant Library

We would need a book to tell the full story of just what LSE produced over the decades – but there is now a way we can all take a peep inside the factory.

The wonderful East Anglian Film Archive has shared a fascinating film of employees making computers in days gone by with the company Facebook group which you can enjoy by clicking on https://youtu.be/pixTRqmycFE.

Reunion organiser Richard Harvey, who has worked at LSE for more than 30 years and also runs LSE Facebook , is once again reaching out to other members of the family to join them.

The reunion for all LSE workers and anyone with a connection to the company is more than welcome at the much-loved Cottage public house, on Thunder Lane, in Thorpe St Andrew, on Friday July 22 from 6.30pm onwards.