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PINKERTON, John Maurice McLean, PhD, C.Eng, FIEE. (1919-1997). John Pinkerton was born at St Pancras, London on 2 August 1919. His father (John McLean Pinkerton), a surgeon, also a medical practitioner, and mother Norah Dorothy (nee O'Flyn) encouraged his interest in radio. He listened to his first crystal set, built by his father, when he was only three years old and by the time he was twelve had built his first one valve radio set. He entered Cambridge University to study Natural Sciences in 1937 and was allowed to continue his course after war broke out in 1939. Between 1940 and 1945 he worked on radar research at the Telecommunications Research Establishment, Swanage, and later at Malvern. He returned to Cambridge after the war to read for his PhD. He started work at J. Lyons & Co. Ltd. on 17 January 1949 as an Electronic Engineer and led a small dedicated team, resulting in the design and construction of the LEO computer, which performed its first programmed task in 1951. On 9 June 1959 he was appointed a Director of Leo Computers Limited and was responsible for research. John Pinkerton resigned his Directorship on 24 March 1963 after the merger of The English Electric Company and Leo Computers Limited. He joined ICL on the merger of Leo Computers Limited and ICT and took charge of research projects inherited from English Electric as Research Director. He was a member of the team developing the 2900 series computer. In 1982 he served on an ESPRIT committee on Advanced Information Processing. In 1983 he became Chairman of the Telecommunications Policy Group of BETA, the Business Equipment Trade Association, and represented them in discussions with the Department of Trade and Industry, leading to the 1984 Telecommunications Act. He represented ICL in the European Computer Manufacturers Association. After his retirement in 1984 he started his own consultancy in information technology. Pinkerton died on 22 December 1997.


PLAYFORD, Mary (1931-2008) did not work for J. Lyons & Co. but she was directly related to Charles Cadby and his first wife Eliza Stewart. Mary undertook extensive research into her family history and compiled a comprehensive history of Charles Cadby, the pianoforte manufacturer who built Cadby Hall, Kensington, and which became the Company's head office and food production centre. For this reason her obituary is listed here. Mary Playford, née Taylor, was born in Faversham, Kent, on 16 January 1931 and died on 11 January 2008 of pancreatic cancer. She was the Great, Great, Granddaughter of Charles Cadby and Eliza Stewart who married in Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone, on 19 March 1836. Eliza was the daughter of Captain William Stewart who charted Stewart Island off the southern tip of New Zealand and after whom it was named. Three daughters were born of this marriage, Eliza Ann on 27 March 1837 and Maria Louisa (1839-1841) and Ellen (1841-1842). Charles Cadby's wife, to whom Mary Playford is directly related, died on 5 July 1841 after only five years of marriage. Eliza Ann Cadby, the only surviving daughter of Charles Cadby's first marriage, married the Rev. William Howe Blucher McCann (of Londonderry) of whom Charles Cadby disapproved. This marriage produced a son Arthur Hugh Blackwood McCann who was a grandson of Charles Cadby. See chart below for lineage.

Charles Cadby = Eliza Stewart
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Daughter: Eliza Ann Cadby = Rev William Howe Blucher McCann
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Grandson: Arthur Hugh Blackwood McCann = Elizabeth Tucker
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Great/Granddaughter: Vera Edith McCann = Charles William Taylor
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Great/Great/Granddaughter: Mary Jean Taylor = Mark Nunley Playford

Before her marriage, on 16 May 1953, to Mark Playford, Mary lived in Faversham and was a secretary at the food canning business of British Fruits Ltd (Smedley's) in Faversham. Her father served in the Royal Engineers during First World War and by trade was a boilermaker. He died on 9 May 1970. Mary had three brothers and one sister. Her brother Roy died, aged 20, in 1946 while serving with the Army Parachute Regiment in Malaya. Apart from her interest in genealogy Mary enjoyed first her family, but also gardening, literature and following many sports. Mary Playford is survived by her husband, Mark Playford, and three daughters, Helen Jean (b. 1956), Dawn Susan (b. 1962) and Hazel Ann (b. 1966) and five grandchildren. Mary died peacefully in the Kent & Canterbury Hospital with her husband and daughter, Dawn, at her side unknowing that she had a terminal illness. Anyone connected with the Charles Cadby family can contact Mark Playford, by email, for further information. playford@northkent.com


PRICE, Leslie (1915-1972) Leslie Price, was born on 15 May 1915 in Treorchy, Rhondda Valley, South Wales. His father, Joe Price, was a miner and Leslie went to the local school in Treorchy with his three brothers and two sisters. His two sisters left Wales in the early 1930s which started a family migration and Leslie Price followed them in 1935. Eventually the whole family relocated to Sutton, Surrey. After Leslie Price arrived in England he served a five-year apprenticeship in the baking trade with Dendy Napper of Sutton, studying the processes of fermentation, his specialist subject. Dendy Napper were one of the largest high street bakers in the UK and were well known in the Sutton, Reigate, Redhill and Guildford areas. In 1940 he joined the RAF as a Volunteer Reserve Cook and served in Canada and America feeding RAF personnel who were either on training courses or posted overseas for other reasons. He was released on Class B (accelerated discharge for high demand skills) in 1945 and returned to civilian life to continue his baking profession. In 1948 he joined the Crimony Company and whilst with them attended courses in Bread Technology where he won many first class awards. He became the Chief Demonstrator for the Southern Area responsible for a team who provided bakery demonstrations to their customers. He met Beryl Blackburn in 1947, who was a nurse with one of his sisters, and they were married on 7 August 1948. They set up home in Stoneleigh, Surrey, and had three children; Colin Charles (1950), Roger James (1954) and Pamela Jane (1964). Leslie Price joined J. Lyons in 1966 working in the Individual Fruit Pie Department as a Product Development Manager. He continued to enter baking competitions and won many medals. He also helped judge baking exhibitions and his wife says 'he really loved his work'. He was a member of a Men's Club run by a local church. While walking to the car park at Cadby Hall on 8 June 1972 he suffered a heart attack and later died in Charing Cross Hospital aged 57. He is survived by his wife and three children. This information was provided by his daughter Pamela Sinfield.


PROSPERI, Amilcare (1888-1947) was the manager of the flagship Cumberland Hotel and died, following an illness, on 13 December 1947 at the age of 59. He left a widow, who was herself a member of staff up to the time of her marriage, and an only son who worked at the Regent Palace Hotel. At the age of 15 he trained as a waiter in Cannes and two year later came to England to work at the Midland Hotel, Manchester. Between 1907 and 1914 he worked in Baden-Baden, Berlin, Vichy, Monte Carlo and the Savoy Hotel in London. He joined Lyons in 1914 at the Popular Cafe, Piccadilly. After one year as a waiter at the Popular Cafe he was promoted to Superintendent and in 1918 became Superintendent-in-charge of the Louis Room at the Regent Palace Hotel. In 1924 he took charge of the famous Grill Room at the Wembley Exhibition. Then after a short stay as Manager of the Trocadero Restaurant he was appointed Manager of the Regent Palace Hotel in 1926 where he remained until the Cumberland Hotel opened in 1933. One of his last appearances was at the unveiling of the Second World War memorial (9 November 1947) a month before his death.. On a grey sombre day this well-loved character, who was known to thousands of people the world over, was laid to rest in West Norwood Cemetery on 17 December 1947. Many of the company's directors, managers and other staff were there to pay their respects and to lay wreaths and flowers on his grave.