ROBERT WILLIAM BIRTWHISTLE
 


Robert W Birtwhistle, Salesman and Sales Manager with Holdsworth 1924 - 1951

Robert W Birtwhistle, 1931
Robert Birtwhistle, in 1931
Lily Birtwhistle, nee Noble, 1931
Lily Birtwhistle, in 1931

Robert W Birtwhistle, born Halifax UK on 8 January 1900, married to Lily Noble, born Halifax UK on 26 February 1900.
Robert joined John Holdsworth & Co Ltd in 1924 and his career progressed through being a Sales representative in 1927, eventually rising to the position of Sales Manager from 1937 to 1951, and he was responsible for buying the German looms in the 30's in addition to his duties as Sales Manager, hence his many visits to Nazi Germany between 1932 and 1938. He wrote lengthy reports on the factories he visited, noting how production areas changed between each visit. It was obvious to Robert that areas were being set aside for munitions and weapons production and these reports were sent to the Defence Ministry in London.
During the war as a Special Constable, he was in charge of the Air Raid Protection unit at Shaw Lodge Mills.
In 1936 he was responsible for landing the contract with Cunard to supply moquette for the Queen Mary liner and represented John Holdsworth & Co Ltd at the official launch ceremony in Southampton.
According to Robert's agreement made with the company on 27 January 1927, his position at that time was "Assistant Salesman" with an annual remuneration of 200 pounds sterling.
By 1937, then in the position of sales manager, this figure had risen to 650 plus a one percent commission of the company's net profit.
Below, are a number of documents and artefacts that have been preserved by Robert's son John Birtwhistle, who is still resident with his wife Olan, close to the business in Halifax.
We are very grateful for their contribution.

Fire Service Badge
Fire Service Badge

Güsken, 1935
Name Card of H. Gerlach from Jean Güsken, Dülken (see report)


 

Leipzig, 1935
Leipzig, 1935

Leipzig, 1935
Leipzig, 1935, The story behind the card

Robert W Birtwhistle writes "Sunday noon during my 1935 visit to Leipzig (alone) I was walking across this
square (right to left) when a Nazi band playing in front of the theatre struck up with the Natzi National Anthem.
Everybody sprang to salute but RWB - who was instantly surrounded by six S.S. men brandishing truncheons.
RWB took off his bowler hat, placed it on his chest as at a funeral, balled out 'English', and thus avoided a clubbing."

Potsdam, 1936
Potsdam 1936

Potsdam, 1936
Potsdam 1936

Potsdam, 1936
Potsdam 1936, note on back of photo

Robert W Birtwhistle writes "Lily and Robert with party and guide, Potsdam Royal Palace 1936
British, French, Belgian, Dutch, German, Americans (who came over on the first trip by commercial Zepelin airship).
Palace destroyed in 1939/45 war." Photo dated 2 Sep. 1936

Agreement with JH, 1927
Agreement Document 1927

Agreement with JH, 1929
Agreement Document 1929

Agreement with JH, 1929 Page 2
Agreement Document 1929 p2

Agreement with JH, 1932
Agreement Document 1932

Agreement with JH, 1933
Agreement Document 1933

Agreement with JH, 1933 page 2
Agreement Document 1933 p2

Agreement with JH, 1936
Agreement Document 1936


  Agreement with JH, 1936 page 2
Agreement Document 1936 p2

Agreement with JH, 1937
Agreement Document 1937

From the Album: photographs from 1948, 1973 and 2006-7

Shaw Lane, 1948
John Birtwhistle in Shaw Lane, Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax, 1948
Shaw Lane, 2006
Shaw Lane, Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax, 2006
Contract Department, 1948
John Birtwhistle with his father, Robert
in the Contract Department, Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax 1948
Contract Department, 2007
John Birtwhistle in the Contract Department
Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax, 2007
John Birtwhistle with father in Contract Department, 1948
John Birtwhistle with his father Robert Birtwhistle
in the Contract Department, Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax, 1948
Sales Office, 1948
John Birtwhistle in Sales Office, in Contract Department, 1948
Sales Office in Contract Department, 1948
John Birtwhistle with his father Robert Birtwhistle in the
Sales Office in Contract Department, Shaw Lodge Mills, 1948
John Birtwhistle in Boys Lane, view towards Shears Inn, 1948
John Birtwhistle in Boys Lane,
photograph looking towards the Shears Inn, Paris Gates, Halifax, 1948
John Birtwhistle on Steps of Main Office, 2007
John Birtwhistle on Steps of Main Office, Shaw Lodge Mills, 2007
Boardroom, 2007
John Birtwhistle in Holdsworth Company Boardroom, Shaw Lodge Mills, 2007
Mertens & Frohwein Moquette Loom at Holdsworth's, 1973
Mertens & Frohwein Moquette Loom at Holdsworth's, 1973
Main Weaving Shed, 1973
The Main Weaving Shed, Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax, 1973
Olan and John Birtwhistle's Wedding Anniversary 23 Sept 2007
John and Olan Birtwhistle,
Celebrating their Ruby Wedding at home
Halifax, 23 Sept 2007
John Birtwhistle, 19 Apr 2007
John Birtwhistle visiting the design studio, with David Hallgarth
John Holdsworth & Co Ltd, Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax
Camera: Lumix TZ1
19 Apr 2007

© 2019 David W. Holdsworth  
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Middle Pasture, Halifax, HX3 0AG, UK
Tel: +44 1422 322500