Remembering the good old days at Birkby’s

Former Birkby’s employees got together at the weekend to reminisce over old times and rekindle friendships from their time at the Liversedge factory.

Wednesday, 9th October 2013, 3:00 pm
This picture of staff at Birkby's is on the group's Facebook page
This picture of staff at Birkby's is on the group's Facebook page

The company closed down last year with the loss of almost 400 jobs, but the people who worked there are determined to keep the memory of the firm alive.

Not long after the closure a social event was held for the employees at Brighton Street Club in Heckmondwike, and it was so successful that a year on, another reunion was held.

Bob Wells, who worked at the plastics firm, said the evening on Saturday at Brighton Street, which was organised by Rachel Dean, had gone really well.

Judging by the hairstyles, this picture of Birkby's Plastics staff could have been taken in the 1980s.

“It’s hard to believe that it was a year since the original meet up, but we had a good turnout again and a great night was had by all,” he said,

Birkby’s was one of the oldest firms in the area, having been established in 1867. It made plastic parts for the automotive industry.

A Birkby’s Facebook page has been set up and Bob has posted a number of albums of pictures from over the years and among them are the pictures which appear here.

One of them shows the Miss Birkby finalists in a photograph from the Spenborough Guardian.

A bird's eye view of the old Birkby's in Headlands Road, Liversedge

Bob said: “The competition ran from the back end of 1960s and into 1970s and was held at the town hall, Cleckheaton.

“The three young ladies in the picture are two sisters, Hillary and Susan Benson who lived at Littletown at the time, and Brenda Ford.”

Another picture, also from the Guardian, showed the company’s first ever long service awards.

A total of 42 employees who had clocked up 1,374 years between them, were presented with inscribed gold watches.

Two longest serving employees of Birkbys, Francis Hepworth of Church Lane, Roberttown, and Annie Osborne of Halifax Road, Liversedge, receiving their gifts from chairman and managing director Arthur Marks.

Among them was Francis Hepworth, 62, who was not only the longest serving member of management, but also the overall longest serving employee of the whole firm. At the time of the presentation he had worked there 44 years and was a material technologist in the laboratory.

The longest serving female employee was Annie Osborne who worked in the production control department as a records clerk.

The finalists of the Miss Birkby competition with Hillary and Susan Benson of Littletown and Brenda Ford.