Butterley

BUTTERLEY

My Father’s financial arrangement were always something of a mystery. He treated the Company as a kind of estate which supported him and gave him a significant part of his life –  Butterley was immensely important as a family company and he was very proud of all the great things which had been done. So the company supplied our staff, gardeners, our car, always a Bentley after nationalisation when the company had cash to play with, (though not my Mother’s), the mending and work which needed to be done to the fabric of the house.  Harry Parker was the key person in this, and George Scott was endlessly asked to arrange different things in the house and garden.  We never owned our own house, because the distinction between Company property and family property was something not clear and did not matter.  The Hall was company property and  when we moved to Weston Lodge we leased the house. At one time it was thought we might buy it for £13,000 but this could not be afforded so it never happened.  When my parents moved on their retirement to Warlaby Lodge in N. Yorkshire, the house was owned by the Company and bought for my Father, but he bought some of the land and built a bungalow for William and Mary   Alvarez who had been our gardener and help in Weston, and who came with us to Warlaby.  Mrs. Alvarez (a Catholic from Durham) was an incredible companion to Marjorie and looked after her devotedly when she was bedridden in the months before her death (1968).  It was the greatest sadness to Marjorie that she never had a house to own and so to do up permanently.  She did a wonderful job on Warlaby which was just finished before she died and I well remember the grief when Monty having said it was possible to buy the house, eventually said it was not.  This was because he always took a very small salary as did the other directors – they got some perks in kind (see above), and when there was any money left over it was put into the pedamarles trust for the children.  When he died it only added up to about £20,000 and some said that it had not been well looked after.  For someone to have worked from 1920 to 1966, as manager of collieries, as deputy chairman and finally chairman and managing director of the company, and who had not had a lifestyle of any great expense to have left so little showed perhaps some failure in financial skills.  He was a producer of coal and a manager of coal mines not an accountant.  Butterley was his security, and it was a great blessing from God that he died before he had to suffer the take-over especially as it was orchestrated by one of the family..