This week’s Friday Gem is actually several items from the Stoddard Templeton Corporate Archive which bring to life the people behind the carpets. It’s difficult to single out an individual item from the Corporate Archive as the real strength of the corporate records is the context they provide when taken collectively.
Templeton was at one time the largest employer in Glasgow and the corporate records paint a picture of what it was like to work for the company. Pictured above is the female dining room which is a far cry from the typical staff canteen of today. Other facilities provided by the company included recreation grounds and a concert hall.
Further insight is provided by records such as the petition pictured above. A protest against the sale of the Crownpoint factory, it illustrates the vested interest employees took in the Company and reflects the nature of the relationship between the Company and its workers. The employees hoped that their petition would not be taken as an “impertinence” and reminded the company that “for your words on many occasions and deeds such as the gift of the Trust Fund have led us to believe that you did desire to do as much as any single manufacturer can to improve the position of the workers”.
Even on occasions when relations could have become strained, employees seem to have taken matters in their stride. They even managed to make light of situations such as the closure of Gray’s of Ayr with an ‘entry by P45 only ‘Redundancy Rag’.
Perhaps the richest resource are the many photographs which picture employees at work and give a real sense of what working conditions were like and how they changed over time.
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