Pensioners Index

......Extended .Obituary..- 'L'.......


LAMPITT, Dr. Leslie Herbert (1887-1957) chief chemist at Lyons, was responsible for creating the finest food laboratory in Europe. He was born on 30 September 1887 at Aston, Warwickshire, and died, aged 69, on 3 June 1957. He married Edith Potts in 1915. Between 1936-1957 he was a main board director. gained a Priestley Scholarship to Birmingham University where he was a distinguished student between 1906 and 1911. He obtained a general BSc in 1909 and in the same year was awarded a MSc followed by a Diploma in Malting and Brewing in 1910. He obtained his doctorate in 1919. Lampitt was chief chemist at La Meunerie Bruxelloise (1911-1914) when the First World War broke out, but he managed to escape to England. He volunteered for the Warwickshire Regiment but because of a long wait joined the Royal Army Service Corps and returned to France, where most of his time was spent on the supply side in Dunkirk and Le Havre. He attained the rank of major, at which time Samuel Gluckstein  served under him as a subaltern.
After the war Lampitt met Samuel Gluckstein who invited him to look at the factories at Cadby Hall after which Lampitt suggested that Lyons should apply science to food production. Lampitt was offered, and accepted, the job of chemist on the condition that he could have total independence in running the laboratory (no other Lyons department had such independence) with a generous budget to fund qualified staff and purchase equipment. The terms were agreed and he started work in July 1919. Thus Leslie Lampitt had filled what was almost a self-created job and the application of science to food manufacturing had begun at Lyons.
Lampitt established his initial 3,000-square-foot Bio-Chemical Department, in a building near Cadby Hall. By 1925 the increasing number of chemists and support staff had outgrown their accommodation and they were moved into St Mary's College.   Here the laboratory, the first of its kind in the European food industry, set about analysing the changes that occurred during the manufacture of food and during its subsequent storage before sale. From just three in 1919, laboratory staff numbers increased to nearly forty by 1924. As their work became more important, Lampitt persuaded the directors that a new laboratory should be built, incorporating all the modern scientific apparatus available at that time. Of modern design, this laboratory opened in 1928 with 35,000 square feet of space set out on seven floors of a brand new building where ninety staff analysed 40,000 food samples per year. The laboratory became involved in all aspects of food production
Under the guidance of Dr Lampitt, who was highly respected in his day, the laboratory set exemplary standards and became nationally known, attracting many graduates from Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge universities, all believing this was the place to gain maximum exposure to food technology. It was in June 1949, after graduating in chemistry from Somerville College, Oxford, that a young research chemist, Margaret Roberts, joined other laboratory staff working in the physical chemistry section. Later she became Britain's first woman Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher).
Lampitt was Honoury Secretary, British National Committee for Chemistry; President, Society of Chemical Industry; Chairman, Bureau Abstracts; Honoury Treasurer, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. He submitted many papers to the Biochemical Journal and Journal of Society Chemical Industry. He spoke fluent French with an understanding of German. In 1959 The Society of Chemical Industry instituted the Lampitt Medal in his memory where he had been a member for 37 years. Struck in gold, it is awarded for outstanding services to the Society through its sections and groups.
Leslie Lampitt, who lived at Harrow, had one son (John Leslie) who also worked for the company and became involved in frozen food

LAWRENCE, Guy Kempton Kt. DSO, DFC OBE (1914-2000) was born on 5 November 1914 and died 31 October 2000. He was the son of a grain merchant and was educated at Marlborough and the Ecole de Commerce at Lausanne. It was while he was in Switzerland that he took to skiing and later became a member of the British ski team in 1937/38 winning the Flying Kilometre at St Moritz and a silver medal in the World downhill speed championship.
He was a member of the London Stock Exchange and was commissioned into the Reserve of Air Force Officers in 1934. When war broke out he was immediately called and trained as a pilot. He was posted to 78 Squadron (Bomber) and flew on 48 raids over Germany and occupied territories and completed two tours of duty. In 1941, having survived several night operations over Germany on heavily fortified targets, was awarded the DFC. In 1943 he was awarded the DSO having been mentioned in despatches. He was awarded his OBE in 1945 having been an inspiration to younger pilots, in his training role, during a period when the RAF suffered high losses.
After the war Guy Lawrence stood as the Liberal candidate for the Coln Valley but was narrowly defeated by the labour candidate. His slogan was 'You can trust this Guy' which was a retort on his name. He started an aircraft engineering and freight business and took part in the Berlin airlift of 1947 and at this time married Marcia Powell. In the early 1950s he sold the aircraft company and bought the Koola Fruta Company from two bankrupt entrepreneurs renaming the company Glacier Foods Ltd. The Koola Fruta Company, based in Maidenhead, is reputed to have been the first company in Britain to sell frozen fruit juice on a stick. Lawrence kept the Koola Fruta name and introduced Koola Kreems which was made from milk solids. In 1954 the Orange Maid ice lolly was launched as 'a drink on a stick'; made from frozen fresh orange juice, it was wrapped in foil and sold at the then high price of 6d.
Lawrence sold his frozen lolly company to J. Lyons & Co and joined them as its director. He was a main board director between 1966-1975 retiring in 1975. During this time he was involved in the acquisition of other ice cream, and non ice cream business most notably the merger with Findus of their frozen food business, and of the US based Dunkin' Donuts and Tetley Tea companies. He was knighted in 1976 after he had retired as Deputy Chairman of Lyons. Between 1978 and 1981 he was chairman of the Eggs Authority and a director of Eagle Aircraft Services. An extremely skilled negotiator, Guy Lawrence was exceptionally courteous, quietly spoken and very discreet. He had two sons and a daughter and during later years of his retirement lived at Ascot, Berkshire.

LEIGHTON, Sarah Caroline Leighton (1884-1970) was born in Poplar on 5 July 1884. Confusingly she is variously reported as B. C. Leighton and Sarah Leighton in Lyons Mail Journals but the Office of National Statistics (Births, Marriages and Deaths) record her as Sarah Caroline Leighton. She joined Lyons as a teashop waitress in 1901 on 8/- per week less 1/6d for meals. In addition to salary, waitresses at this time, were paid 6d in the pound commission. Sarah served in several teashops including those in Queen Victoria Street and Poultry in London. In 1906 she took charge of the staff in a Tea-Room at the Dublin Exhibition and assisted at every exhibition for which the Company catered, including the Franco-British at Shepherds Bush, the Japanese Exhibition at the White City, the Festival of Empire at the Crystal Palace and the Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924. During the early part of her career Miss Leighton also worked at the Coventry Street Corner House and various other teashops. In 1913 she was promoted to District Superintendent (teashops). In 1914, three months after war broke out, she moved to the Popular Café to take charge of the Grill Room. From here she went to the Regent Palace Hotel when it opened in 1915 and was employed there for the next 19 years after which she transferred to the Cumberland Hotel when that opened in 1933. Here she took up duties as Staff Manageress. Sarah Leighton is believed to have retired in about 1947 and died at Rochford on 6 May 1970. Having never married she was survived by her niece Constance Smith.

LYONS, Joseph Nathaniel (Sir) (1847-1917). Joseph Lyons was on 29 December 1847, of Nathaniel Joseph Lyons and Hannah (nee Cohen), at 50 Lant Street, Southwark, London. He was educated at the Jewish Borough School (Kennington) and although he came from a humble background he had a great love for the arts. He began his career as apprentice to an optician and invented a device called a chromatic stereoscope which he hawked around exhibitions and fair grounds. He turned his hand to water-colour painting, exhibiting at the Royal Institute where he sold several of his works. He also wrote detective stories and co-authored, Master Crime and Treas¬ures of the Temple with Cecil Raleigh. As a youth he composed music hall sketches and songs, which he sold in the vestibule of the Pavilion Theatre, Whitechapel. It was here that he met Sarah Pysche Cohen whom he married on 24 August 1881.
Joseph Lyons was a self-made businessman of huge energy, able to seize commercial and catering opportunities that frequently required mammoth logistics to organise. Outside his business interests he was also very active in the Territorial Army and played an active part in introducing athletics into its training curriculum. It has been said that he was largely responsible for organising the first Territorial Athletic meeting held at Stamford Bridge in June 1909, which attracted 1,700 entries. He received a knighthood in 1911 for his organisation of the messing arrangements for the Territorial Army.
Joseph Lyons became the company's first Chairman in 1894 and remained a Direc¬tor until 1917. Under his Chairmanship net profits of the Company were consistently high during the formative years, rising from £11,404 in 1895 to £268,474 in 1917 when he retired. During this time dividends to shareholders were frequently £30 per cent and in 1907-1909 as high as £42 per cent, the highest in the company's history. Sir Joseph Lyons died, after a short illness, at the Hyde Park Hotel on Friday 22 June 1917, aged 69 years.