The Backbone of Industry

An article from the Horwich & Westhoughton Journal & Guardian on Friday, September 24, 1954


“It is the intention of the management to administer all rules and regulations with fairness and equity, to treat every employee’s case on its own individual merits and to maintain good working conditions and fair discipline throughout the mill.” This is an extract from a handbook presented to all employees at the Victoria Mill of W.T.Taylor and Co. Ltd which, in the foreword, extends a welcome and a wish for “success at your work.” The 900 people from Horwich and district who work at the mill are agreed that these are no empty words and here, probably, is the reason why a concern which started in a small way and had a hard fight to overcome financial difficulties in its early years was able to call itself the largest towel mill in the British Commonwealth during the golden jubilee celebrations at the week-end. Fifty years is but a short period of time in which to achieve such remarkable progress and the firm of W.T.Taylor has obviously been blessed not only with progressive and enlightened management, but also with employees capable of showing both loyalty and efficiency.

The backbone of British industry

Family firms, where control passes from one generation to the next and where employees often start straight from school and finish at retiring age, are the backbone of British industry. They often lead the way in the quality of their products and in the relationship between those who employ and those who are employed. There is, of course, a definite link between the two, as the success of the Victoria Mill through half a century of industrial unrest and economic hardship has proved. Horwich has good reason to be thankful that the Taylor family chose to carry on their enterprise within its boundaries and the town as a whole will share in the congratulations to the firm on reaching an important milestone in its history.

The importance of the good team spirit

By a happy coincidence, the Horwich Employment Committee this week discussed a Ministry of Labour report on the factor to which the firm of W.T.Taylor and Co. have long attached considerable importance – human relations in industry. In the report, the Minister, Sir Walter Monckton, is quoted as saying, “No matter how good may be the technical equipment, however advanced the method of process, efficiency is in the end determined by the extent to which you have been able to cultivate a good team spirit in the industrial unit. It is that feeling of oneness, the identification of the individual with the group, which gives life to all the techniques and policies.”