Today, we have for you, the second part of the Blackburn Times article for you to enjoy: -
After passing through the iron gate at the entrance, I peeped at the foundation stone on the main building. It was dated 1938 and I was later told that Alderman J Fryars then Mayor of Blackburn had made an expert job of laying it.
Looking round at the factory blocks on the 43-acre site, it did not seem out of place to conjecture that such strides could only have been made over a century and certainly not within a decade and a half.
Mullard loomed like a monster cave to be explored and investigated in sections. The assorted processes in the evolution of the valve were so interlaced that to take each one and look at it seperately was almost a crime against the system. So, instead of plunging into the technicalities of valve production, I learned how the factory ticked over and how an army of over 3300 employees were kept marching.
An army they say, marches on it's stomach so one of the key spots on the tour was the factory canteen where 1200 can be seated at one sitting. An interview with the canteen manager revealed how the 48 strong canteen staff manage to cope in feeding the factory and the daily consumption list is enormous with 1200 to 1500 meals being served comprising of 750 sweets, 40 gallons of soup, 15 cwts of potatoes and 950 rounds of sandwiches and all this washed down with 7000 cups of tea.
Up in the morning early, the canteen staff are on hand to serve a steaming brew to workers on the early shift and so it continues from 06:30 until 22:30 meeting the needs of a steady stream of eager customers. For those who have not the time to leave their benches during the staggered 10 minute breaks, a dozen tea trolleys skim round the various departments with a respectable assortment of cakes and snacks.
Part 3 of this fascinating tale follows over the next few days.