Updated: Sep 24
I think you all know that Anni Smith contacted the family through DSS's Neath factory. Through her, I got into contact with Bill Burdett, who was taken on by Jeff's father, Jack Kutcher, who was Progress Controller at the factory. He took over Jack's role after he left to run his own business. Both Jeff and I have had some lengthy conversations with him. He's in his 90s now.
Bill stayed at Smith's for an incredible 33 years, leaving the company only after David S sold out to Richard Brewster. He was appointed Works Director after Leslie Smart died. Bill's memory is very much intact and he said that he absolutely loved working at Smith's. Everyone was treated with such kindness and respect. He said that Jack Kutcher taught him everything he knew and that he had the highest regard for him. What pleased me so much was confirmation that the company was indeed run to high humanistic values, which is what dad always maintained but good to have it said from such a long-serving staff member.
I'll be speaking with Bill on a regular basis, once a month or so, and will share any anecdotes. He's told both Jeff and me that he's delighted to be in contact with the family again and in my first conversation with him said he was so pleased to have been remembered. Dad really admired Bill for all the hard work he put in and that he went to night school to learn all about business administration. I remember his wife Pat, who was the receptionist at the factory and used to appear through one of those funny little sliding windows most receptionists at most companies used to sit behind in those days.