By Laurie Stonehouse

The following photograph was taken at the now demolished Peachaven Hotel, the event is the christmas party for the employees of Fergusons which was a factory on Denton Island.

Some of the names in the picture are - Ron Player, Flo Wingate, Beryl Wingate and Joyce Player.

Photo:Ferguson's Christmas Party - c1954

Ferguson's Christmas Party - c1954

M Morris

This page was added by Laurie Stonehouse on 16/03/2012.
Comments about this page

Wouldn't the Fergusons factory have been in Lower Place at that time?

By Ron Herriott
On 16/03/2012

The first phrase of Ferguson's factory to be built on Denton Island was in the early 60's and was built by Oxley & Bennett LTD. Both myself and my father worked on the construction, the general foreman was Tom Bray. As Ron, the above writer says, a part of the factory was in the old slaughter house at Lower Place but I think the main part was at east side in what was "Champions". It all later became a part of "Thorn Industries". The factory manager at that time was a Mr Harry Cotler.

By Colin Brandon
On 17/03/2012

You're quite right Colin.The factory on Denton Island was completed in 1963 and all employees from Lower Place moved there, my Dad (Joe Blackman) being one of them. Mr Kotler was Works Manager. I started work there as a 15 year old in February 1964 and worked there until it closed as J2T Video in April 1988. During those years it was under such names as Ferguson Radio Corporation, British Radio Corporation, Thorn Electrical Industries and then in 1982 became J2T Video. 'J' standing for the Japanese Company JVC, '2T' representing the companies Thorn and Thomson. It survived for another year after a 'management buy out' as DI Electronics but then closed for good. Champions, the cabinet factory was amalgamated onto the Island sometime in the late 60's but I can't quite remember when. I have lots of photos of the works and the employees so maybe I should post them sometime.

Please do so Paul, it would be great to see them - Carol (Editor)

By Paul Blackman
On 19/03/2012

I remember your dad and the other staff moving in to the new factory. Some members of the Deekin family [sorry if I have mis-spelt that name] were working there along with the ladies on the assembly lines. They used to "swear" that the lines were "tweeked" up a bit now and again by the management. I never realized it had so many name changes, as I had left Newhaven in 1972. It was a shock to see it had all gone. Please put those photos on here Paul, it will be good to see them.

By Colin Brandon
On 20/03/2012

My father worked at the Drove factory until it closed, but started off at the smaller works off Lewes Road, which he always referred to as "Essex Place" (roughly where the telephone exchange is now). 

The Drove factory, although known as "Champions", had Newhaven Cabinet Company along the front in Ferguson's time, and I don't remember it ever having "Ferguson" on it, like the newer "Island" one did.

On closing (1966?), some of the work went to the "Island", but other cabinet manufacturing moved to another factory in Rayleigh, Essex, and my uncle, who also worked at "Champions", moved there.

My father was a tool and jigmaker and did work on machines on Sunday mornings, when they weren't in use. Sometimes, I went with him, and to a child the factory was a fascinating place, especially pressing the buttons on the vacuum-forming machine.

Ferguson's used to have a float in Newhaven Carnival, one year was a large silver flying saucer made of plywood. Sadly, the idea of leaving it somewhere on the Downs afterwards didn't happen.

Does anyone have any photos of the children's Christmas parties, held in the works canteen? 

By Barry Parks
On 30/05/2014

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