| The following was
compiled by Miss E. Shuttleworth, Mr. L.R. Smith, and Mr.
T. Gardner and was presented to Mr. Francis W. Smith Esq.
on his retirement on 28 December 1955 after 50 years with
Dilworth & Carr Ltd., Bow Lane, Preston, Lancashire,
In September 1905, Mr. Francis
Walter Smith joined Dilworth & Carr Limited in
a junior capacity. No doubt, on that day, when he
first entered the building, he little realized
that the greatest part of his next fifty years
would be spent there.
The firm at that time were interested principally
in the installation of central heating plants, and
the foundry was engaged in a small way on the
casting of socket and spigot piping.
|| It was realized after a
short time that Mr. Smith's abilities were such
that he could be more usefully employed in
obtaining orders, and he therefore became the
outside representative of the firm. His keenness
and initiative were so appreciated that by 1912 he
had been appointed Secretary and also Director of
For many years the Firm
has supplied boilers to market gardeners and the
heating trade, apart from using them in its own
heating installations, and the first pattern for
the 'C' Type Ribble Boiler was made in 1913.
Also during the same year the first consignment
of flanged pipes was sent to the Ship Street
Barracks, Dublin. These pipes were only 4" and
6" diameter, but it was from this small
beginning that the foundry gradually developed
this type of casting.
It is interesting to note that during this
period the Firm purchased their first machine -
a drill made by William Allen of Manchester, and
this is still used for rough drilling work.
Early in the first World War, Mr. Carr, the
Managing Director, joined the Forces and was
killed in action within a few weeks of landing
in France, and Mr. Smith was appointed to
succeed him as Managing Director at the early
age of 33 years.
At the time of his appointment, there was an
overdraft of £12,000 and a scarcity of
work, but Mr. Smith, with his usual business
acumen, realized that our resources were not
being utilized by the Government Departments for
the war effort, and various officials were
contacted with the result that a considerable
volume of orders were received for the
manufacture of bombs and other war material.
|| During the war, one of the
largest heating contracts ever carried out by the
firm was secured at the White Lund Munitions
Works, Morecambe, the final figure being in the
region of £60,000.
The Red Lion Tavern, which adjoined the offices at
that time, was condemned by the local authorities
as a drinking house and its license was not
renewed, so the Firm purchased these premises and
they were used for quite some time as a store.
In 1917 an extension was made to the foundry,
which today is known as the Scotch Foundry. This
was necessitated owing to the increased amount of
foundry work which resulted from the large number
of orders received for flange pipes and socket and
Shortly after the war it was felt that the
business should be expanded to cover the southern
area of England, and in 1920 the London Office was
opened at 59/61, New Oxford Street.
| During the "twenties" the
activities of the company were still confined to
the heating and ventilating contracts, but the
foundry increased its output and capacity to
produce larger types of flanged castings up to 48"
1922 was the year of the Preston Guild, and a
display of the Firm's more popular products was
included in the Guild procession.
In 1924 the London Office was moved to larger
premises in Russell Square to cope with the
additional contracts in the southern area.
During the early part of the 1930's the Firm
suffered, along with the rest of the country,
owing to the depression, but old employees still
often remark that, although there was a shortage
of work, the Firm did not stand off any workmen,
and kept them employed at a time when many other
firms were having to close down.
It was in 1932 that Mr. Smith first contacted a
firm in London with a view to making emulsifiers
for them, and later the first order was received.
This business has gradually expanded until today
the Firm is solely responsible to these customers
for the major portion of their products, which
involve the making of special castings of a very
Round about the same
time the Company was approached by another firm
to make their Underfeed Stokers, and several
hundred of these were manufactured, which
entailed additional work in the Foundry and also
in the Fitting Shops in building up the complete
In 1934 the Firm started making
Superchargers and the offices were extended
(using the site of the Red Lion Tavern) to
accommodate the extra staff required, and new
workshops were built for the assembling and
testing of the superchargers.
The activities of the Heating Department
were developed to include the fitting up of
hotels with hot and cold water supplies, and a
special literature was compiled by Mr. Smith for
the purpose of advertising to the Hotel trade.
In 1936 the Company received its first order
from The United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd.,
for machining spare parts, and in 1937 the
machining of parts for the Aircraft Industry
| The presentation of a
silver salver was made to Mr. Smith on October
27th, 1939, on the completion of 25 years' service
with the Company as Managing Director. The
following is a copy of the presentation speech
made by Mr. Makin:-
"Mr. Smith, Mr. Threlfall, ladies and gentlemen,
you are called to this rather informal but
interesting gathering on the occasion of the
completion of 25 years' service by Mr. F.W. Smith
as managing director of this company.
"It is my privilege to have been with him for the
whole of that period and under his leadership to
have seen the progress of Dilworth & Carr
"I am also proud to have the honor of making him,
on your behalf, a small present to which you have
all willingly subscribed.
"As you are no doubt aware, I am the oldest
serving member of the staff, and I recall the time
of Mr. Smith's appointment - a time when the firm
was a small concern compared with its position
"The Company's progress has been due in no small
way to Mr. Smith's leadership and management. The
outbreak of the last war called for expansion in
modern methods and machinery, owing to the changes
in industry. The situation was taken in hand
immediately to meet war-time demands.
"The post-war period called for tact and ability to meet
the slump in trade which followed and, with his usual
determination as a background, the firm survived with a
steady although depleted trade.
"In my experience I have always found Mr.
Smith resolute and firm, and of sound judgement, and I
am sure that everyone who has come into contact with him
must agree that they have generally received a square
"There have been times when small differences
have cropped up, but personally I have always agreed
that the best man won.
"It is perhaps expecting too much to hope that
Mr. Smith may be here for another 25 years, but I am
sure I am voicing the feelings of all present when I say
I hope a good many more years may be set aside in which
the firm may continue to benefit by his guidance.
"And now I will ask Mr. Smith to accept this
Salver as a small token of appreciation from the members
of the staff (including London Office), and I trust it
will serve as a tender reminder of their appreciation of
your valuable services."
Preston-October 27th, 1939
|| With the end of the war
came the re-adjustment of production, and the turn
over to goods required for peace-time pursuits.
The output of parts for The United Glass Bottle
Manufacturers was greatly increased, and the
manufacture of complete machines for this Company
began. The first machine built was the Uprighter,
and since then sixteen of these have been made. It
is interesting to record that the first Uprighter
was assembled from photographs as no assembly
drawings were available.
The Firm found itself inundated with orders for
flanged pipes, the majority of which were required
to equip Power Stations, not only in this country,
but all over the world. At one period the Firm's
Order Book included orders for 35 stations. Apart
from the flanged piping, a large volume of work
was received for assemblies in connection with Ash
Handling Plant for Power Stations.
Female labor in the Machine Shops was dispensed
with as the type of work in which the shops were
now engaged did not require unskilled labor, and
the skilled labor force was strengthened by the
return of many employees whose services had been
lost during the war.
|| On the night of 29th
February, 1948, the Pattern Shop was destroyed by
fire. It was replaced by a more modern building,
and the opportunity was seized to equip it with
In April 1950, a presentation was made by the Firm
to sixteen employees who had been with the Company
for 20 years or over, Mr. F.W. Smith making the
presentation on behalf of the Directors. The
employees concerned are listed below:-
|Leslie R. Smith
|In 1950, the controlling
interest of the Company was taken over by the
United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd., Mr. Smith
retaining his position of Chairman and Managing
The nature of the Company's business remained the
same after this amalgamation, but a considerable
impetus was given to the manufacture of complete
machines for glass bottle making of a larger size
than had hitherto been attempted, the largest of
these being the Westlake Machine for the
manufacture of stemware.
In 1951 it was realized that the existing cupola,
which had given yeoman service, would not last
very much longer, and an additional cupola of 5
ton capacity and mechanically charged was
About this time also a lease was negotiated with
the owners of Ribble Bank Mills to acquire the
premises for the storage of patterns. The ground
floor was re-arranged so that the assembly of
large machines could take place in this building,
thus avoiding congestion in the existing machine
|| On April 11th, 1951, Mr.
Smith had the honor of being presented to His
Majesty, The Late King George VI and Queen
Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Mr. Smith was
presented in his capacity as Vice-President of the
Preston & District Engineering Employers'
The Following is an extract from the "Lancashire
Evening Post" in connection with this occasion:-
"The King, Queen and Princess margaret signed the
visitors' book, watched by attendant William Hogg.
"The Mayor then presented Mr. Julian Amery (M.P.
Preston North), Mr. E.A.A. Shackleton (M.P. Preston
South), Alderman F. Jamieson (Deputy Mayor) and Mrs.
Jamieson, Alderman Mrs. Pimblett (Honorary Freeman of
the borough), Alderman R.C. and Mrs. Pye, Alderman W.
and Mrs Beckett, Alderman J. Herbert, Alderman A.
Wilson, Councillor J.F. Gray, Councillor J.W. Taylor and
Mrs. Taylor, Councillor Mrs. M.A. Wignall, Mrs. W.E.E.
Lockley (wife of the Town Clerk), Mrs. H. Garth (wife of
the Chief Constable), Mr. W. Allison Davies (President,
Preston and Chorley Hospital Managemant Committee), Rev.
W.G. Fallows (Vicar of Preston), and the Very Rev.
Father F. McGuiness (Roman Catholic Church), Rev. N.
Armstrong, minister at Lancaster Road Congregational
"Mr. Edward G. Lee (Preston Textile Employers), Miss
Jessie Watson (Preston Textile Employees), Mr. F.W.
Smith (Preston Engineering Employers), and Mr. Robert
Bamber (Preston Engineering Employees)."
| At the present time the
Firm's activities are restricted by the limitation
of manpower, but the volume of turnover continues
to increase, the 1954 figure being the highest in
the history of the Company.
Although most people associated with Dilworth
& Carr Ltd., realize that it is principally
through Mr. Smith's efforts that the Firm has
grown from its humble beginnings to its present
position, they do not all fully appreciate the
immense amount of time and energy, very often at
great personal inconvenience, that he has expended
to bring about the present status of the Company.
He was a season ticket holder on the
London,Midland & Scottish Railway for 40
years, covering journeys from Glasgow to London,
and he invariably made the journey to London twice
a week, and on one occasion, three time in the
same week. He left no stone unturned in his
endeavor to obtain orders, and at one time during
the slump period, he made the journey to the North
of Ireland for the sole purpose of obtaining an
order to the value of £60.
Not sparing himself in his efforts to increase the
business turnover of the firm, he expected the same
enthusiasm from his staff, and generally this was given
wholeheartedly. He inspired loyalty and devotion to the
firm, as is proved by the large number of employees who
have been with him for over twenty, and in a few cases,
over thirty years.
All his staff and many of the firm's customers will feel
a grievous loss on his retirement, and we can be certain
that Mr. Smith's achievements and personal magnetism
will be a legend in the firm for many years to come.
Go to Mr.
Smith's Family Card
Pictures from Reminiscences of Bow Lane