Laurence Scott & Electromotors Norwich reunion brings the past and present together

Later this month a reunion is being held for employees of Norwich's world-famous Laurence Scott & Electromotors. Derek James finds out more.

It's party time for the men and women, past and present, who are part of the LSE family, the last of the great Norwich industrial giants.

There still is, and always has been, a special bond of friendship between all those who have worked at the world famous Laurence Scott & Electromotors over the decades.

Eight years ago two of its long-serving employees, John Jones and Ivan 'Spider' Whurr, decided to get together and see if there was any interest in a reunion.

'Thanks to you and the Evening News spreading the word the evening was a great success and once we had held one, people wanted to know when the next one would be,' said John, who spent no less than 50 years and six months with LSE.

That's an achievement never likely to be repeated today.

Since then the annual summer reunions have become gatherings to which so many people look forward. And there is a wonderful atmosphere.

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It is a rare chance for old colleagues to get together and for previous workers to meet some working at LSE today and discover how it has changed over the years.

So many reunions are for the people who worked at firms no longer with us, but LSE is still alive and kicking – making its mark in the world. A symbol of Norwich industry at its very best.

John and Ivan said it was good to see people in their 20s meeting up with former workers now in their 90s.

'That's what these reunions are all about. People getting together and having a good time,' added Ivan, who spent a mere 32 years at the factory!

There was a time when LSE employed more than 3,000 people at its factories – Gothic Works, the Switchworks, the Foundry and at Salhouse Road.

Generations of the same families followed each other into the various works where they were trained to be world class craftsmen.

It was back in 1883 when the company first opened in King Street to provide lighting at Carrow Works, home to its big brother Colman's.

The relationship between the two companies enabled LSE to expand into a huge operation making massive and complicated machinery which was sought after all over the world.

And it still is...

The reunion, open to all LSE employees and ex-employees and partners, is taking place at The Cottage pub, (car park entrance Spinney Road), on Friday, July 15 from 7pm. For more details call John Jones on 01603 435330 or Ivan 'Spider' Whurr on 01508 530392.

Don't miss my page on Monday for a special look at where people were working and what they were doing in Festival of Britain Norwich of 1951.