Mem­o­ries come around again

Sto­ries from for­mer work­ers wanted for EMI Vinyl fac­tory re­union

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

EMI is invit­ing for­mer em­ploy­ees at the Old Vinyl Fac­tory in Hayes, to come back and share their mem­o­ries of the iconic site.

The fac­tory was a ma­jor em­ployer for the town and pro­duced records by some of the world’s best-known artists, in­clud­ing The Bea­tles, The Rolling Stones and Cliff Richard.

The re­union will take place on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 3, from 10am to 1pm and is hosted by the EMI Ar­chive Trust in con­junc­tion with the BBC for their Peo­ple’s His­tory of Pop pro­ject.

Caryn Tom­lin­son, Chair of the EMI Ar­chive Trust, said: “All around the world, peo­ple are fa­mil­iar with read­ing on a record sleeve those fa­mous words: ‘EMI Records, Hayes, Mid­dle­sex, Eng­land’ and we want to make sure that we never for­get the work and the mem­o­ries of the peo­ple who were be­hind that, the peo­ple who worked in EMI’s his­toric home.

“Any­one who has ever

The Uxbridge Gazette Se­ries worked at EMI in Hayes is wel­come to come along on Fe­bru­ary 3.

“We are part­ner­ing with the BBC who will be record­ing peo­ple’s mem­o­ries on the day as part of their big Peo­ple’s His­tory of Pop pro­gramme which is run­ning through­out 2016 and BBC Lon­don will be broad­cast­ing live from the event so it prom­ises to be a very spe­cial and mem­o­rable day.”

Ms Tom­lin­son is also keen for for­mer em­ploy­ees to bring any arte­facts they’d like to share from their time at EMI.

She said: “Whether th­ese are records, pho­tos, pa­per­work, or any­thing at all – we want to see and hear as much as pos­si­ble.”

Roy Matthews, who worked for EMI when Hayes was still a vil­lage and the com­pany was called The Gramo­phone Com­pany, shared some of his mem­o­ries.

He said: “Ev­ery­one in Hayes knew or was re­lated to some­one who worked at the ‘Gram’, as EMI was known lo­cally.

“In the 1950s some 14,000 were em­ployed – each morn­ing and evening masses of bi­cy­cles filled the sur­round­ing streets like a tidal wave re­sem­bling a Lowry paint­ing. The whole town could hear the ‘Gram’ hooter sound­ing each morn­ing an­nounc­ing the 7.30am start of the work­ing day.”

EMI was formed by the merger of The Gramo­phone Com­pany and an­other com­pany, Columbia Gramo­phone, in 1931. Roy joined EMI as a stu­dent ap­pren­tice in 1952 and went on to be­come an en­gi­neer, ris­ing up the ranks to man­age the EMI record fac­tory in Hayes from 1967 to 1979.

He added: “The Record Fac­tory at Hayes had its own spe­cial cul­ture that I am sure de­rived from mu­sic, a prod­uct that lives and that touches ev­ery­one’s life.

“It was a busy pres­surised in­dus­trial en­vi­ron­ment but al­ways re­tained the at­mos­phere of a large fam­ily.

“On Hayes Sta­tion the name boards car­ried the words ‘Home of His Mas­ter’s Voice’ (the in­spi­ra­tion for the name of high street mu­sic shop HMV). That says it all.”

If you would like to come along, send your RSVP de­tails to 7Won­der, the pro­duc­tion com­pany work­ing with BBC on the Peo­ple’s His­tory of Pop pro­ject, at: phop@ 7won­der.co.uk or tele­phone 0203 701 7615.

n BACK THEN: The EMI Vinyl fac­tory in Hayes in its hey­day

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