William "Bill" Prior

Pattern-maker and foreman 1916-1949

By Prior Family

William Prior, known as Bill, joined Fielding and Platt in 1916 as an apprentice in the Pattern Shop. He went on to become foreman of the Pattern Shop.

Pattern Shop outings

The first photo is of the Pattern Shop outing to Symonds Yat on 24th June 1916 (Bill is the sixth from the left in the back row of the charabanc).

The second photo is of the foreman and apprentices on the same outing (Bill is the young lad at the front on the left).

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'William

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'William

Staff parties at Upton St Leonards

During the 1920s a Staff Garden party was given at Broadsground, the Fielding family's home in Upton St Leonards. The first photo outside the house is from September 1926.

The second from July 1929 sees Bill standing in the main row of men, seventh from the right.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'William


Photo: Illustrative image for the 'William


A keen sportsman

Bill was a keen sportsman who played both cricket and rugby. The first photo of the cricket team was taken at Fielding's Cricket Club in August 1943. Bill is in the middle row, second from the right. Behind him is Mr Bill Click. Mrs Click is seated second from the right.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'William

The second cricketing photo is of the Staff Team in a Staff vs Works match played on the 19th September 1948 (Bill is seated, second from the right).

There are no details for the third photo but it is probably from the late 1930s (Bill is standing third from the right).

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'William

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'William

The Old Foundry

In 1939, Bill was put in charge of the demolition and clearance of the Old Foundry. During the war years, he acted as Personnel Officer for the company before leaving in 1949. The final photos here are of the Old Foundry site and the Works Gang (Bill is stood second from the right).

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'William

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'William

Click here to hear Bob Madeley recall the iron foundries working in the late 1930s.

Bill is remembered by Stan Nash who was a pattern-maker in the 1930s. Click here to listen to Stan's memories of the Pattern Shop and Bill as its foreman.

If you have memories of the Pattern Shop or its pattern-makers please leave us a message on our message board or a comment below.

This page was added by Prior Family on 07/01/2013.
Comments about this page

Thank you so much for contributing so many unique photographs and for sharing Bill's story! The ones of the outing to Symonds Yat are wonderful!

Bill's name is one that I recognised from speaking to another pattern-maker, Stan Nash, whose memories of the pattern-making shop in the 1930s (including some about Bill himself) can be heard on Stan's page. It would be lovely to know more about these photos and identify Bill and others in them. Please do leave comment below or drop me an email to oliver.taylor@gloucestershire.gov.uk .

By Ollie Taylor
On 07/01/2013

Having listened to Stan Nash's memories of the Pattern Shop and the precision to which they had to make the patterns, the following anecdote may amuse you. When Bill was first married, they moved into a new house and he decided to build his workshop himself, this measured approx 13ft x 8ft. He built all the walls with doors and windows first and then much to the neighbours' amazement proceeded to make the roof on the ground. They never thought that it would fit on the built walls. Of course, being a pattern maker it was child's play to Bill so that when he enlisted the neighbours' help it was but a 5 minute job to lift it into position where it fitted exactly.

By Prior Family
On 01/02/2013

Huge thanks to the Prior Family for adding this delightful anecdote about Bill's woodworking skills! Please do feel free to add any further memories of Bill here whenever you like.

I wonder if anyone else recalls Bill, funny stories from the Pattern Shop, or other stories of the pattern-maker's woodworking skills?!

By Ollie Taylor
On 01/02/2013

Staff party at Upton St Leonards September 1926. Persons standing at the rear 7th from the right, Lancelot J J Pitt, 8th from the right, Henry Arthur Williams see hyperlink to "The Williams Family"

By Terry Williams
On 12/01/2015

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