Pensioners Index

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SCHULTHESS, Walter (1880-1980) was, in 1980, Lyons' oldest pensioner and celebrated this achievement with Moet et Chandon champagne and a plateful of smoked salmon joined by Lyons Chairman Brian Salmon and other members of staff, family and friends. He was born on 12 March 1880 and died on 6 June 1980 just three months after his centenary year. Born in Switzerland in 1880, Schulthess served his apprenticeship at the Hotel Bellevue, Geneva between 1895-1898. He then left for Paris and was floor waiter at the Grand Hotel until 1902. Anxious to improve his English he came to London and served three years as a wine waiter at the Carlton Hotel. When the Hamburg-America Shipping Line were building two large liners they approached the Carlton Hotel company to organise the first a la carte on board any ship. Schulthess was sent to organise it. At the same time the Titanic was nearing completion and he was approached by White Star to join the new ship but he declined and instead stayed with the Carlton Hotel and subsequently worked on the Kaiser-Augusta Victoria instead. He made 38 crossings of the Atlantic and then took a job as assistant manager of the Cecil Restaurant in the Strand primarily to get his mother and sister over from Switzerland to live in England. From the Cecil Restaurant he went to Egypt and took a hotel job near the pyramids. It was here that he met Isidore Gluckstein who told him that if he ever came back to London he would like him to visit Cadby Hall. In 1914 Schulthess did just that and began his career with the company. He worked in the Trocadero Restaurant and Strand Corner House as a superintendent. He was promoted to chief superintendent, went to the Popular Cafe, then joined the management at the Regent Palace Hotel and later the Strand Palace Hotel, in which he worked until 1933. In that year the Cumberland Hotel was opened and Walter was one of five at manager level looking after different functions of the hotel. In his later years there he assisted management generally and his beautiful handwriting was frequently in demand for special menus. In March 1971, then at the age of 91, he retired from the Cumberland Hotel having spent more than 56 years with the company. At his Maida Vale house he was looked after by a team of State registered nurses. The picture at the left was taken at his eightieth birthday celebration.

SEATON, George (1888-1976) who was born in Northampton, worked for Lyons longer than anyone else, 74 years in fact. He joined Lyons in 1902 when 14 years old and like many others of that period started work in the Checking Department. He moved to the Tea Department and went to the Tea Dispensary at Greenford. He then had a spell with the Stores Department and then the Ice Cream Department and was then transferred to Rannoch road in 1943 where he remained. His sporting activities in his early days with Lyons were legendary. He played football for the London Business Houses team in the early years of the century and also for Middlesex and on one occasion turned out for Fulham against Chelsea. He participated in cricket, rowing, swimming, shooting, athletics, boxing, tennis and cycling. He was an Official of the Thames Rowing Association. He hated the idea of retiring and died on 27 February 1976 aged 88. Almost to the very end he continued working as a part-time messenger at Soft Drinks Rannoch Road factory where he had worked since 1943 and from where he had officially retired many years previously. George never married and lived his autumn years with his brother and sister-in-law.


STANDINGFORD, Oliver William, OBE (1912-1980). Standingford was born at Brentford, Middlesex on 9 October 1912. He first worked as a Management Trainee in the Stock Department of Lyons in 1930. He served in the Army during World War II and returned to Lyons after war service as Training Manager and later as assistant comptroller. He accompanied Raymond Thompson on a study tour of the United States in 1947 and on their return home submitted to the Lyons Board a report and schematic diagram for a computer system which had been drafted, with Simmons, on the Queen Elizabeth. Their report suggested that Lyons should build a computer for clerical purposes. Oliver Standingford left Lyons and became Assistant Comptroller and later a Director of Walkers Dairies Limited in Liverpool, which became part of Lyons Maid Limited.



STEVENS, George Frederick (1911-2002) was born on 19 July 1911 in Clapham, south London where he attended the Central School and matriculated. His father was an inspector in the Metropolitan Police. George Stevens, always referred to by the sobriquet Steve, started employment with Lyons on Saturday 31 January 1927 when staff worked a routine five-and-a-half-day week. His first four years were spent as a trainee in the Account Department at Cadby Hall followed by a year on the catering side to gain background knowledge. During this period he trained and qualified as a Chartered Secretary. By 1933 he was in charge of the office at Orchard House, headquarters of the Teashops Department, and in the years leading up to the war was involved in many projects including the introduction of punch-card machines for payroll work. He met Ethel Mary Evans, who was working in the Import/Export department of Lyons and they married on 4 September 1937 and in 1949 had a daughter, Lucinda. In 1940 he joined the RAF and was commissioned in the Equipment Branch but spent most of the following seven years on secondment to the Ministry of Aircraft Production, dealing with the procurement and dispatch of unusually-equipped aircraft for special missions. Posted to 41 Group he reached the rank of Squadron Leader and, after the war, the Air Ministry asked him to stay on as a regular. He declined, having already confirmed with Lyons that he would return when hostilities ceased. Accordingly he resumed his responsibilities with the company in 1947 and within a few months was made deputy manager to the Bakery Office, which became the largest in the company with 550 staff handling the orders and administrative arrangements not only for bakeries but for the whole of Cadby Hall production. In 1958 Bakery Division was formed and he was made comptroller. Ten years later (1968) there was a power struggle within the Bakery Division and George Stevens left and was given the job to head up the new computer division then growing rapidly. Although he was not a technical person he had strong qualities of organisation, written presentation, financial acumen and possessed a strong bias towards fairness. He began to understand how the new technology would affect the business and became a strong advocate towards automation. During his tenure as chief executive of Computer Services he had to cope with the fall-out of a disastrous computer room fire that all but destroyed the computerised records of the company. His managerial skills and contacts, developed during his time at Lyons, proved invaluable with coping with this crisis. George Stevens retired in July 1976 and spent much of his time in his beloved garden. He was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and attended the Chelsea Flower Show every year. Although his wife's name was Ethel she was always known as Dinah and she pre-deceased him. For a period in his career he looked after the private ledgers of the Salmon and Gluckstein families.

STOKES, John H. M. (1889-1967) One of the longest serving employees of the company, 63 years in total. Born in Crowthorne, Berkshire, he started work at J.Lyons in 1904, in the Checking Department, at the age of 14. Later he moved to the Stock Department and then saw service with the Royal Army Service Corps in the First World War. In 1919 he returned to the company and became associated with the administration of the Engineers Department working under the personal direction of Major (later Sir) Isidore Salmon, and then in a similar capacity under Samuel M. Gluckstein. This led, in 1921 - when Normand Ltd was formed - to a post as Secretary to Normand Ltd - manufacturers of the company's fleet of lorries and vans at Park Royal - and in 1934 he was appointed Manager. In 1957 he became a director and remained so until his death 10 years later from heart disease. He received a gold watch from Douglas Gluckstein at a celebration at Cumberland Hotel, to mark his 60 years service with Lyons. He was succeeded by his wife, Ursula, and their son Christopher.