Posted 10-12-17
The father that changed the world of packaging...   
Jean Cann 
( Daughter of Bill Maddison, Founder of Auto-Wrappers )
I would like to thank Karl and Paul of Bradman-Lake for their kind hospitality and for allowing me and my family to spend some time with the machines that my father initiated with Auto Wrappers in 1947/ 8. It was a complete surprise to both Russell and me when we discovered your website because I had long since thought Autowrappers had disappeared. I am computer illiterate but I asked Russell to see what he could find out whether Autowrappers still existed and, if so, where they were. I really did not hold out much hope, but I am grateful to him also for coming up with the answers.
I came to work at Autowrappers when I was 18, having first spent three months in France and then a year with Heatrae learning office procedure as a trainee comptometer operator. I was always going to work for Autowrappers but I had to earn a stripe or two first, even though I had had some experience from the age of 12 putting dirty blueprints back in order on a Saturday morning for two shillings and sixpence for the whole morning. 
Uncle Reg taught me to use a lathe - something that wouldn't be allowed today with Health & Safety inspectors around. 
During the five years I worked at Autowrappers I learned to  run the machines and I later went to the packaging exhibitions in Olympia and, when I was 21 I sailed to America with my parents to appear with Dad at the "Exposition" in Chicago. I was allowed to wear a white coat on the stand like Dad, Uncle Reg, and Ken Mirams. We started an unusual trend in the 50s; there were very few women in those days who were involved in engineering, let alone knowing anything about the machinery that was being displayed on the stand! 
My father was considered a genius  in  wrapping machine circles, yet he had little or no interest in how his car worked. Once I  had  passed  my  driving  test (first time!) Dad bought an Austin A30 for me to drive him to work, and if it didn't go first time he would sit in it to let in the clutch at the right time once  I  had pushed it up to speed! He also expected me to collect prospective customers from Thorpe Station and take their wives on a conducted tour of historic Norwich. 
Dad enjoyed traveling abroad to visit prospective customers. My one regret was that I never went with him. 
Our Dutch agent at the time, Bob DeJongste, traveled with him on one occasion from Holland to Barcelona. Unfortunately the flight to Barcelona was full until Dad said he was the UK champion bullfighter! Bob said they got on the flight but he was very worried when he saw the red carpet on the runway as they landed.
As far as day to day work was concerned, I got most satisfaction from drawing up apprenticeship schemes and signing up young men who aspired to become engineers and who were keen to move around the factory in Edward Street learning all aspects of their trades.
Thank you again for your hospitality and for giving me a few minutes to reminisce!
Jean Cann