Posted 05-4-16 My personal history of Autowrappers, By Dick Gash Hello my name is Dick Gash. I joined Autowrappers in 1952 and worked there until my retirement in 1995, some 43 years. My first position was working on machine assembly and testing at the Edward Street site. At that point they employed approximately 90-100 people and the business was managed by C W Maddison. The main building had been purpose built and they had a machine shop next door which I would describe as an old converted barn. Across the road, they had another building they used for chroming parts of the machinery. 1959 Autowrappers Dick at lunch. Taken in Edward Street in 1959. Photo Ref: AW0211 Photo Courtesy of Simon and Dick Gash I can remember when we first moved to Whiffler Road everybody’s opinion was that we had moved to the country. It just shows how much Norwich has been developed since then. Moving to the new site provided the company with what felt like a modern building with lots of room. I can remember feeling like a duck out of water for a while, as there was so much to organise and put right. I missed the shopping Centre in Edwards Street, remember there was no Asda back then ! The nearest public house was the Whiffler, which I used to go with John Moore and Terry Bradford a couple of times a week. The Autowrappers Christmas Dinner 1960. Daphne and Dick Gash Photo Ref: AW0212 Photo Courtesy of Simon and Dick Gash Our main customers were Rowntree's, Cadbury's and Birds Eye. We had various types of machinery. Early machines were relatively primitive with what I call clockwork engineering. As technology developed, things like Flow- Wrappers and Roll-wrappers came along. This massively improved efficiency and reliability. With the development of computerised machinery, I felt like I needed to go back to school. I got my head around most of it and there was always other people to help. 1978 Dick at Autowrappers. Working on a Cartoner Photo Ref: AW0219 Photo Courtesy of Simon and Dick Gash Around 1985, I was promoted to the Development team comprising of 6-7 people tasked with developing and improving machinery. I was also given responsibility with training fitters from our customers on how to configure and maintain our machines. One bonus of this responsibility was that I was allowed to take them out for lunch and a pint, which used to make my day and was paid for by the company. 1978 Autowrappers. Dick Gash and John Plumstead (Quality Control Engineer) Working on Tea Bagger machine. Photo Ref: AW0215 Photo Courtesy of Simon and Dick Gash I occasionally visited external companies to set-up new machinery or carry out repairs. Rowntree was the most frequent, including the Polo factory in York. I found visiting other sites a nice change to working on the main site. My young children were always appreciative of any free samples I was given, that I used to bring home. 1977 Dick Gash presented with his Long service award by the Autowrappers MD Photo Ref AW0214 Photo Courtesy of Simon and Dick Gash On my retirement in 1995, the company had seen some massive changes. I look back on my time there with fond memories and I made some lifelong friends. Good Wishes to all ..... Dick Gash