Working at Cadby Hall

It has long been regarded that drivers working in the own-account sector have had an easier life than those in the haulage sector. A recent 'find' of a staff book, outlining the rules and benefits available to transport staff at J. Lyons & Co at Cadby Hall, Kensington in 1952 provides an insight into working conditions for a large own-account operator, albeit one that seems to be more forward thinking than most.

The booklet outlines benefits available to all Lyons' employees and sets out Company rules particular to drivers.

The normal working week was 44 hours. Anybody ordered into work and reporting for duty was paid a minimum 8 hour shift from Monday to Friday with 4 hour minimum for Saturday. Employees were required to work overtime when necessary, including Saturday afternoons and Sundays. A minimum 5.5 hours was paid for Sunday. An additional 6d (2.5p) per hour was paid for hours worked between 9.00pm and 6.00am.

Wages, including overtime and journey money, were paid the Friday of the following week. Overtime was paid for all hours worked over 8 hours from Monday to Friday and over 4 hours on Saturday with all hours after 12.30pm on Saturday paid as overtime. For the first 6 hours overtime worked per week, the rate was time and a quarter with subsequent hours at time and a half. All hours on Sunday were paid at double time. Wages were calculated by different methods for the 'Heavy Transport' and 'Light Transport' divisions.

For 'Heavy Transport' a bonus, known as 'journey money' was paid in place of overtime. This was calculated on the number and type of loads carried. The resultant 'base rate plus journey money' ensured no driver received less that the 'base rate plus overtime' wages and provide opportunity to earn more. Heavy transport was regarded as the heaviest lorries working the trunk routes throughout the country.

'Light Transport' which was smaller vehicles used for local deliveries. Drivers were expected to drive any type of vehicle in the fleet with the base rate calculated to reflect the variety of the fleet's make-up. An additional bonus was paid for punctuality and efficient performance of carrying out duties. One third of each week's bonus was deducted for each day of avoidable absenteeism. Any driver reporting more than 15 minutes late for work was deemed absent and not required for work that day. He would then be required to telephone his manager later that day for the following day's start time before 12.00 noon.

Any driver not phoning before 12.00 was deemed absent for the following day.

Any employee receiving an injury, however slight, had to report to the Medical Department immediately and an accident form had to be completed.

All vehicle accidents, whether at Cadby Hall or on the road had to be reported and in the case of a serious accident, immediately by phone for instructions. Breakdowns likely to cause delay had to be reported immediately. It was the driver's responsibility to ensure his vehicle's roadworthiness before taking it onto a public road.

Heavy Transport vehicle defects had to be reported in the Heavy Transport book, available in the office and Light Transport defects were reported on the back of the waybill.

Drivers were reminded that their behaviour before the public would reflect on the company and that arguing with customers or Shops Staff was forbidden.

Smoking was forbidden within the grounds of Cadby Hall, except in designated areas. Smoking was permitted outside the factory, though was expressly forbidden where it would create an unfavourable impression with the public. Spitting was expressly forbidden.

Within the Transport Department, existed the Transport Progress Committee, consisting of elected representatives of the men and selected representatives from management. This committee met once a month to discuss any departmental problems, internally and with other Lyons departments or customers. Each member of staff also had the right to see their Director.

The above rules pertained specifically to Lyons transport staff, although further rules related to all Lyons employees in general. Bicycles were not to be ridden in the yard; collections among staff; buying or selling goods, loan clubs, gambling, intoxicating liquor were forbidden and the wearing of the company uniform was compulsory. Employees were required to 'restrain their language and conduct themselves decently.'

The Welfare and Personnel Department was experienced in advising employees with personal or domestic problems as well as those arising from their employment. Home visits were arranged to employees on sick leave to see if anything could be done by the Company to aid recovery.

Arrangements existed with convalescent homes in the country and at the seaside to where employees could be sent on the recommendation of the Company's Medical Officer.

A choice of Hospital Contributory Schemes existed, the Hospital Saturday Fund, for example, costing 4d per week, deducted from wages. These schemes provided additional benefits to the statutory amount payable, entitling the employee to a grant if needing to attend hospital or convalescent home in addition to their National Insurance Benefit.

The Medical Department promoted the health of employees through advice and education in matters of personal and general hygiene. The health of employees was supervised through liaison with the employee's own doctor regarding special needs, such as diet. The Medical Officer could arrange for special diets to be available in the mess rooms.

A variety of physiotherapy was available including massage, artificial sunlight and electrical or heat treatment. A dental surgeon attended Cadby Hall 5 days a week with examination and treatment carried out to NHS regulations. An ophthalmic surgeon was available, providing a certificate was obtained from the employee's own doctor confirming the need for eye treatment. A qualified chiropodist was available, although this service was charged at 1s 3d for one foot or 1s 9d for both feet.

Welfare loans, a provident fund, life insurance, income tax advice and a National Savings scheme where 6d per week was deducted from wages and credited to a Post Office Savings Bank account in the employee's name were available.

Fixed holidays, (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday and the first Monday in August) were regarded as customary holidays and paid at normal hours. Staff required to work, were paid double time for these days with 5.5 hours minimum. Staff who were absent for the day either side of the fixed holiday were not paid for the holiday unless a medical certificate was produced or leave of absence agreed with their manager. Staff required to work, but absent on fixed holidays, were not paid.

Annual Holiday was additional to fixed holidays. Staff with less than 12 months service received 1 day for each month of service prior to April 15th. Staff with 1 year's continuous service received 2 weeks and staff with over 20 years service received 3 weeks.

The Lyons' Club provided recreational facilities and was open to all employees. The main club grounds were at Sudbury and railway tickets to Sudbury were available at reduced cost. The grounds of nearly 100 acres provided facilities for soccer, rugby, hockey, bowls, netball, tennis, badminton, a rifle range and a swimming pool.

The sports pavilion included a restaurant and combined theatre/dance hall. The clubhouse provided comfortable lounges, three full sized snooker tables, table tennis and darts with a licensed bar serving light meals.

A further club facility at Cadby Hall provided facilities for playing bridge, chess, darts, a stamp circle, amateur dramatics, table tennis, four full sized snooker tables and a lending library with a comfortable lounge with light refreshments.

A rowing club had its boathouse at Linden House, Hammersmith, where an indoor tank for novice rowers and indoor shooting range was available in winter.

Other sections provided outside events for angling, ice skating, harriers, boxing, squash, fencing, model engineering and handicrafts. Membership was open to all male employees to the 153rd (Lyons) Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade.