These memories were kindly donated by Pauline H. 'The Company was founded and owned by a Mr C P Stone whose expertise was the production of frit for the manufacture of vitreous enamel. ‘Frit’ is a mix of silica and other various fluxes fused at very high temperatures to make glass. The raw materials were fed into large rotary furnaces and fired, after which the liquid was poured into cold water tanks and raked to form crystals. After cooling the crystals were ground to powder. According to order, frit was despatched in crystal or powdered form. Mr Stone kept management of the Company strictly within his family. He had no sons but had three nephews, who were all directors - brothers Herrick and Ronald Stokes and their cousin Colin Stokes. Herrick ran the office. Ronald spent most of his time in the laboratory. There was an increasing interest in bright colours in kitchens and Ferramic Industries came up with some vibrant ones. Colin was heavily involved with management of the factory. The furnaces always seemed to be constantly fired, a shift system was operated and men were working the factory round the clock. The work was very dirty and exceedingly hot, not many men were able to stand the conditions for long periods, they were supplied with hydration tablets and encouraged to drink water. The Company employed some West Indians who had recently moved to this country on the Windrush. The only non-family director at the Company was a Mr Donald Williams who was Finance Director. Ferramic Industries was very unpopular with local residents who suffered badly from noise and dust pollution. Apart from the two-week factory shutdown in the summer and a few days over Christmas the production was continuous. The roaring of the furnaces, fumes and dust was bad for those of us who worked on the premises. It must have been intolerable for the people living in nearby Peartree Lane. A number of letters were sent to the local newspaper and petitions against the factory were lodged. Mr Stone simply told everyone he was doing something about having filters fitted, but it did not happen in my time there.'

Ferramic Industries
Ferramic Industries Ltd circa 1938. Photograph from the Welwyn Garden City Library Local Studies Collection.
Ferramic Industries

Information from the WGC Citizens Handbook of 1945 on Ferramic Industries Ltd. Item held in the Welwyn Garden City Library Local Studies Collection.

 
 
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